Insurance is a broad term that applies to any agreement where you can get money or benefits for your losses. The losses must meet particular qualifications. Most insurance contracts have provisions about:
- The timing of a loss
- The type of damage (such as a collision in the case of an auto insurance or hail damage in the case of homeowners’ insurance)
- Specific kinds of exclusions
- Certain people or properties that are included
- How losses will be determined and paid
Insurance contracts are long and complicated documents that set out all of this information and more. An insurance company not only creates this contract, but it will also use an insurance adjuster to determine if your loss is covered and how much to pay for the damage.
What types of insurance are there in Georgia?
You can have insurance for virtually any type of loss. The following are just a few examples of various types of insurance:
- Auto insurance
- Home-owners’ insurance
- Life insurance
- Health insurance
- Renter’s insurance
- Travel insurance
- Pet insurance
- General business liability coverage
- Flood insurance
The most common forms of insurance for individuals are auto, health, and home insurance. Every policy has a “limitation,” regardless of what type of insurance it is. These “policy limits” provide the maximum amount of money that an insurance company will pay either their insured or someone else who was harmed.
How does auto insurance work in Georgia?
Auto insurance will come into play after virtually any type of auto accident because those driving on Georgia’s roads are legally required to have minimum levels of auto insurance coverage. Georgia is a fault state. That means that the driver who was at fault for the accident must pay for losses that they cause. All drivers should have insurance for both property damage and the bodily injury.
Most auto accidents have the following timeline regarding insurance.
- Notify the insurance company
When a car accident occurs, both drivers should immediately let their insurance companies know about the crash. Even if you are not at fault for the crash, it’s still a good idea to let your insurance company know what happened. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance or you have certain types of insurance coverage, such as collision coverage or uninsured motorist coverage, then your own insurance company may also pay you for your losses.
- Initial investigation
Once someone makes a claim, the insurance company will then do an initial investigation. They will want to know what happened, who was involved, and the extent of the damages and injuries. This type of information will help them determine whether their insurance policy was triggered and how much they may need to pay for the claim under the policy.
- Deny or accept the claim
Based on the facts uncovered in the investigation, the insurance company will decide whether it will deny or take the claim. The insurance policy and the particular circumstances of the case will determine if the insurance company will pay on the claim, defend a lawsuit, or decline to help out at all.
- More in-depth investigation
Once an insurance company decides that there is coverage, they will do some additional research. This might include getting your medical records, getting witness statements, or using experts. This investigation process can continue for a long time and will likely keep going even after you file a lawsuit. They may contact you to get more information or offer you a settlement as well.
- Negotiation or lawsuit
The insurance company will either try to work out a settlement with you before you start your legal claim or they will force you to begin litigation. Your personal injury attorney will be able to help you communicate with the insurance company or present your case to a judge or jury in court.
Insurance companies are in the business to make money. When you are in a car accident, the other driver’s insurance company will likely try to undermine your claim or pay you as little as possible. At John Foy & Associates, we make sure that the insurance company never takes advantage of car accident victims. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.