According to a recent article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Georgia led the nation in 2016 for auto insurance premium price hikes. In a state where more than 11.5 percent of drivers are already uninsured, this does not portend well for drivers who face the misfortune of getting into an accident.

Why other drivers’ insurance should matter to you

Georgia is a no-fault insurance state, with each automobile owner responsible for carrying a minimum of $25,000 (per person) bodily injury liability policy coverage. Additional Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is available but not mandatory.

Unfortunately, many drivers discover that the other driver failed to carry the legal amount of auto insurance to cover personal liability damages. When that happens, the injured driver has no option except to file against their own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy or uninsured or underinsured motorist (UIM) policy, if they elected to purchase a UIM extension.

Filing a claim against your own insurance company

When insurance rates increase, typically so does the number of uninsured drivers. With the high rate increase drivers in Georgia face in 2016, it is natural to expect an increased risk of being involved in an accident with a driver who has no insurance. That means filing a claim with your own insurance provider.

Many people are surprised to learn that their own insurance provider will often fight aggressively to avoid paying a full a fair settlement in a UIM claim. Despite years of faithfully paying premiums on time, policyholders suddenly find themselves in a hostile environment, with claims routinely delayed, devalued or denied.

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident on any road in northwest Georgia, it pays to discuss your UIM claim with an experienced attorney before you try to file on your own. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to explain your policy features and limitations and help you go into the claim process fully informed about what you have a right to expect in the way of a settlement.