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One of the key pieces of information that an injured motorist will need to obtain is the amount of the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance limits. It would seem to be a simple matter to call the insurance company and ask them for the information. Unfortunately, this will usually not get you the information. Insurance companies are extremely reluctant to disclose their drivers’ insurance limits for fear that the information will encourage injured victims to “bulk up” their claims by receiving medical treatment that they otherwise might not have. While most insurance companies will provide this information in response to a letter from a law firm, they will not do so for unrepresented individuals. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem.
In order to find out how much insurance coverage an at-fault driver has, you must follow the rules set forth in the law that compels insurance companies to provide this information, O.C.G.A. § 33-3-28. That law requires insurance companies to provide auto liability coverage information within 60 days of receiving a written request from a claimant or her attorney AND an affidavit setting “forth under oath the specific nature of the claim asserted.” The letter and affidavit must be sent by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery. Unless the terms of the code section are strictly complied with, some insurance companies will not provide the coverage information. State Farm Insurance Company is a prime example of this approach.
In order to assist unrepresented accident victims with this process, we have included a sample letter and a sample affidavit for your use in obtaining insurance limits information.
CERTIFIED MAIL RETURN RECEIPT
[NAME AND ADDRESS OF INSURANCE COMPANY]
RE: Claimant: [YOUR NAME HERE]
Your Insured: [AT FAULT DRIVER’S NAME HERE]
Date/Loss: [DATE OF ACCIDENT HERE]
Claim No: [IF AVAILABLE]
Dear Claims Adjuster:
I was involved in an automobile collision with your insured on [DATE OF COLLISION HERE]. The purpose of this correspondence is to request and demand, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 33-3-28(a)(1) the following information:
1. Any and all known policies of insurance insuring the above-referenced policyholder. Said insurance shall include any excess umbrella insurance.
2. The exact name of the insurer.
3. The name of each insured.
4. The limits of coverage.
You may provide a copy of the declaration page of any policy insuring the above insured in lieu of providing the above-described information. The information requested herein, pursuant to the above-stated Code section, should be provided within 60 days of the receipt of this correspondence.
[YOUR NAME HERE]
The affidavit (send this with the letter, above):
AFFIDAVIT OF [YOUR NAME HERE]
Personally appeared before me, the undersigned officer duly authorized to administer oaths, [YOUR NAME HERE], who after being duly sworn, deposes and states as follows:
My name is [YOUR NAME HERE]. I am over eighteen years of age, under no legal disability, am competent to attest to the matters stated herein and make this Affidavit based upon my personal knowledge.
On [DATE OF ACCIDENT HERE], I was involved in an automobile collision driving a [MAKE AND MODEL OF YOUR CAR HERE] on [NAME OF STREET HERE] in [NAME OF COUNTY HERE] County, Georgia. At that time and place, [NAME OF AT FAULT DRIVER HERE] negligently crashed into the rear of my car [CHANGE DESCRIPTION OF HOW THE COLLISION OCCURRED, IF NECESSARY], causing or contributing to a collision that caused me personal injuries, including but not limited to [LIST PRIMARY INJURY HERE]. It is my intention to assert a claim for personal injury damages and lost wages as a result of the subject collision.
According to the information provided on the relevant Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report, [NAME OF AT FAULT DRIVER HERE] was insured at that time by [NAME OF INSURANCE COMPANY HERE] under Policy No. [POLICY OR CLAIM NUMBER HERE, IF AVAILABLE].
With respect to the occurrence and claims described in Paragraph 2 above, this affidavit is in support of my written request to [NAME OF INSURANCE COMPANY HERE] for a statement, under oath, of a corporate officer or the insurer’s claims manager stating with regard to each known policy of insurance issued by it, including excess or umbrella insurance, the name of the insurer, the name of each insured, and the limits of coverage, as required by O.C.G.A. § 33-3-28(a)(1).
Further, Affiant Saith Naught.
[YOUR NAME HERE]
Sworn to and subscribed
before me this______day
By complying with the procedures set forth in O.C.G.A. § 33-3-28, you should be able to obtain policy limits information from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Unfortunately, strict compliance with the law is often the only way in which unrepresented victims can obtain this information.