Commercial auto insurance requirements in Georgia

Do you know what the minimum auto insurance requirements for the state of Georgia are?

If you own a business in the greater Atlanta area then listen carefully.

Or not.

But realize that you can be putting your entire business at liability.

Whether you are a home inspector, a contractor that repairs water heaters in Stockbridge or a Braselton chiropractor and use your car for business then listen closely.

  1. Minimums

    • Georgia requires vehicle owners to purchase liability insurance for their vehicles. Liability insurance pays for injuries or property damage after an accident. As of 2010, drivers must purchase a minimum of $25,000 bodily injury liability insurance to cover the injuries of a single person in an accident. Additionally, drivers must have a minimum of $50,000 in bodily injury coverage to pay for the injuries of multiple persons. Drivers must also purchase a minimum of $25,000 in property damage liability insurance to pay for damages to another person’s property. source

      Please remember these requirements apply whether you are getting an Atlanta, Savannah or an Augusta policy.

    Continuous Coverage

    • The law requires owners to hold continuous liability coverage for the entire time they own their vehicles. The DDS requires proof of insurance to issue driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations and license plates. Failure to provide proof of continuous coverage can result in loss of driving privileges and revocation of vehicle registration.

    Monitoring

    • The state maintains vehicle insurance records in the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System, a database system, and does not accept insurance cards as proof of insurance. The law requires insurance providers to submit insurance coverage information electronically to the GEICS database within 30 days of issuing a new policy or when a policyholder changes or terminates coverage. The system integrates with the state’s vehicle title and license plate database, allowing county tax officials and law enforcement officers to determine a vehicle owner’s compliance with the law.

    Insurance Cards

    • Insurance companies issue insurance information cards to their policyholders, describing insurance coverage. While Georgia law does not accept insurance information cards as proof of insurance coverage, insurance providers must issue cards and drivers must carry cards in their vehicles.

    Suspensions

    • Drivers who don’t comply with minimum insurance requirements face suspension of driving privileges and loss of vehicle registration. Driver suspensions require pre-payment of six months of minimum liability coverage to restore the license and registration.

Georgia Commercial Fleet Vehicles

Georgia allows drivers of vehicles that are part of a fleet to carry proof of insurance cards that do not list the vehicle’s VIN or the registrant’s name, as long as the card has certain other information and clearly reads “FLEET” at the bottom. source

Listed Drivers

  • Most commercial vehicle insurance requires that all potential drivers of a vehicle or fleet auto to be listed by name on the insurance policy in order to be covered. Consequently, drivers with bad driving records may not be insurable under the policy or may cause the premium to increase. Be sure to alert your insurance company immediately when you hire a new driver.

Specific Vehicle Policies

  • Some commercial auto insurance policies are valid only for vehicles specifically listed on the policy. These are common with smaller fleets and businesses. To obtain a policy of this type you must provide your agent or broker with information about your vehicles such as the year, make, model and VIN. Sometimes additional information is needed such as gross vehicle weight, engine size or number of axles.

Fleet Policies

  • Larger business or those with larger fleets can purchase commercial vehicle insurance that covers all vehicles owned by the business. Despite this generalized underwriting, an insurance company may still ask for information such as minimum number of vehicles in use and identities of drivers.

Freight

  • If your fleet hauls freight, you will want to insure the cargo as well as the vehicle. This can be covered under a separate policy such as a business policy’s inventory coverage or can be packaged into the auto insurance itself with terminal coverage and/or warehouse legal coverage. These coverage types protect cargo when it is not in transport and are subject to limitations based on time frame, location and freight type.

Please remember that these minimums are MINIMUM.

Remember that hospital bills and lawsuits can ESCALATE quickly.

Minimum coverage will expose your business to liability.

Contact your local Georgia insurance agent to discuss your own particular needs.

 

 

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