Ga. Commissioner: Uninsured Motorist Bill Would Cost $400 Million

Georgia’s top insurance regulator is warning that auto insurance costs could go up $400 million if lawmakers pass a bill changing uninsured motorist insurance.

The legislation, Senate Bill 276, has been working its way through the legislature and will soon come up for a vote by House legislators.

If this bill passes, insurance premiums for Georgians could rise more than 20 percent, according to Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine.

“This change will come at a steep price to Georgians. Overall, we estimate Georgia drivers will pay an additional $400 million in automobile insurance premiums if SB 276 were to pass and 84 percent of average policyholders will likely receive at least a 10 percent increase in their automobile insurance premiums. And this estimate is just for the ‘average’ Georgia driver,” Oxendine said.

Oxendine said some drivers could receive more than a 20 percent increase.

The bill is designed to overhaul the uninsured motorist coverage to require additional “stacking” of policies to supplement coverage.

Proponents of this bill argue there is a need for this change in the law because of consumer confusion over the way uninsured motorist coverage currently operates.

But Oxendine says the bill goes too far in effectively mandating that all drivers buy additional coverage.

“My office is not opposed to allowing consumers to have the option to purchase the additional coverage. However, as currently written, the bill does not give consumers an option — it mandates that all drivers who purchase uninsured motorist coverage must purchase this more expensive coverage,” he maintains.