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Insurance Commissioner Q&A

POSTED: May 5, 2007 5:02 a.m.

Q: Now that I have children, do I need to make changes in my auto insurance coverage?

A: Having a child affects all of your insurance considerations.  But focusing on the family car, here are some special concerns.

At this stage of your life, you may begin to interact with other parents, perhaps driving their children in your car while carpooling. To protect yourself you should consider increasing your liability insurance in case of an accident. The minimum required under Georgia law is 25/50/25.

The first number represents $25,000 in medical costs per person in the event of an accident, the second number stands for $50,000 total for all persons injured, and finally $25,000 in property damage liability. With the high costs of medical coverage and car repair these days, you can easily exceed those limits.

During this time of life you will also likely be accumulating more assets, and therefore you might want to consider purchasing an umbrella policy that will better protect your financial resources in case of a law suit stemming from a car accident or an accident occurring in your home.

As your family is expanding, you might be thinking about purchasing a bigger car to fit additional family members. Since auto insurance premiums are linked to the type of vehicle driven, check the insurance rates before you make your final choice of a car. SUVs, convertibles and performance vehicles typically cost more to insure than some other vehicles.

Finally, if you haven’t yet merged policies held by separate spouses, now’s a good time to do it to control costs, as consolidation will potentially offer you decreased premiums, or enable you to acquire more insurance at the same level of spending.

Please send your insurance questions to:
Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine
716 West Tower
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Atlanta, GA  30334
Or call (404) 656-2070 (toll free at 1-800-656-2298), from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, for assistance with an insurance question.
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