Effective January 1, 2009 you must now make a choice when you renew your uninsured motorist coverage. You will be asked whether you want "reduced coverage" or "add on coverage". Uninsured motorist coverage in Georgia is an optional coverage. This means that you must elect to choose this coverage for an additional charge when you purchase your automobile insurance. It will not be included automatically as part of your overall automobile coverage.
Over the years my experience has been that when my clients inform me that they have "full coverage" they do not have uninsured motorist coverage. The term "full coverage" is often used by insurance salespeople to indicate you have the full minimum liability coverage that Georgia law requires.
Liability coverage protects your assets and provides payments for a person who sustained damages in an accident that was your fault. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you by providing a source of recovery in the event that a person who causes an accident in which you sustain damage is either uninsured or underinsured.
"Reduced coverage" will provide to you the difference between the coverage the responsible party has and the amount of coverage you purchase. As an example: if the at fault driver had minimum coverage of only $25,000.00 per person and you purchased $50,000.00 of reduced uninsured motorist coverage you could recover $25,000.00 from his company and $25,000.00 from your uninsured motorist coverage for a total of $50,000.00.
"Add on coverage" will provide additional coverage to you up to the limits of coverage you purchase. As an example: if the at fault driver had minimum coverage of only $25,000.00 per person and you purchased $50,000.00 of add on uninsured motorist coverage you could recover $25,000.00 from his insurance company and $50,000.00 from your own insurance company for a total of $75,000.00.
In order to properly protect themselves I now recommend that my clients have a minimum of $50,000 of "add on" uninsured motorist coverage and much more if they can afford it. This type of coverage is surprisingly inexpensive and should not significantly effect your overall cost by making this change. Consult with a reputable insurance broker who represents more than one company to compare prices on the coverage you want.