Collision and comprehensive coverage are two of the four types of automobile insurance policies you can purchase in the state of Georgia. The other two types of policies are: liability and uninsured motorist.

According to the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, collision insurance generally covers the cost of physical damage to your car in an accident. The state of Georgia does not make collision insurance mandatory, but the company that finances your vehicle might. Collision coverage protects your vehicle even if you are not the at-fault driver in an accident.

Comprehensive insurance pays for any type of damage to your vehicle that does not involve a collision. For example, comprehensive insurance coverage might cover you if someone steals your car, or when your car is scratched, keyed, catches fire, or suffers damage or destruction in a natural disaster.

Collision and comprehensive coverage in Georgia are part of responsible car ownership. Each type of insurance has its own limitations and may not cover all damage to your vehicle.

Choosing the Right Insurance Coverage

It can be easy for most drivers to choose to protect their vehicles with collision insurance. A policy of this kind can help you understand what it covers and how it protects you, your passengers, and your vehicle against injuries, damage, or complete destruction. 

You may have more concerns about comprehensive insurance coverage and whether or not you need it for your vehicle. If you are wondering about the damage comprehensive insurance might cover, the following list may help you make an educated and informed decision. The Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner’s Guide for Automobile Insurance informs drivers that comprehensive insurance might cover incidents like:

  • A fire
  • Theft of your vehicle
  • Cracked or broken windows and windshields
  • Acts of vandalism like keying or scratching
  • Damage from floods or other weather-related incidents
  • Unexpected objects falling onto your car
  • Hitting an animal in the roadway

Each type of coverage may have limitations and may not cover certain types of damage. This list is not exhaustive, and an attorney can help you determine if a different type of damage is protected by your collision and comprehensive coverage in Georgia.

Your Time to File a Claim Is Limited

When you are injured in a car accident, the first thing you should do is get medical attention for yourself and any passengers in your car. After you have secured treatment for everyone’s injuries, you might want to speak with a car accident lawyer about your options about the potential pursuit of financial recovery.

In the state of Georgia, you generally have two years to file a claim for your physical injuries under the statute of limitations imposed by O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. An attorney can help you understand any relevant timelines and can make sure that your case does not exceed the time restrictions and become ineligible for coverage and claims.

Mandatory Collision and Comprehensive Coverage in Georgia

Because the cost of car insurance can vary widely, many vehicle owners purchase only the minimum policy required by Georgia law. The state makes liability insurance mandatory for vehicle owners to ensure they are able to compensate another driver in the event of an accident.

In most instances, when you purchase a new car financed by a bank or other lender, the state does not make collision and comprehensive coverage in Georgia mandatory even though the lender may do so in order to protect their investment. The lender has a substantial investment in your auto loan and views your vehicle as collateral for the loan.

In case of a car accident, the lender wants to be sure their collateral is protected from the damage and destruction that can result from a collision. To do so, they might make full insurance—collision and comprehensive coverage—a mandatory part of your purchase agreement.

Make the Most of Your Insurance Coverage

When you buy an insurance policy, you do more than protect your vehicle. You also protect your family and your other financial assets. Insurance coverage is designed to provide financial protection for you in the unlikely event that you hit another car. Similarly, when another driver hits your car, their insurance provides you with many of the same financial protections.

When you are ready to purchase an insurance policy and want to be sure you select the right kind of coverage, speak to an attorney who understands collision and comprehensive coverage in Georgia. Speak to a lawyer to help identify all the options you have available to recover the financial compensation you deserve in the aftermath of a car accident. Call S. Burke Law at (404) 842-7838 today. We want to help you in any way we can.