What is GEICS and How Does It Affect My Insurance?
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According to the Insurance Information Institute, 12.6% of U.S. drivers are uninsured. To reduce the number of uninsured motorists on the roads, many states have developed compliance systems to ensure all drivers carry state-required liability insurance.
One such system is Georgia’s Electronic Insurance Compliance System (GEICS), which provides real-time status updates on the insurance status of all Georgia drivers to drivers and law enforcement personnel.
This guide will answer all your questions about GEICS, including what it is, how it works, and how to know if it already recognizes your liability insurance coverage.
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What Is GEICS?
Short for Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System, GEICS is a state-maintained database of all Georgia vehicles used to verify liability insurance coverage for each vehicle owner. The Georgia Department of Revenue manages the database.
Police and other authorities use it to confirm that you are carrying liability insurance meeting Georgia’s minimum requirements.
How Does GEICS Work?
Insurers use GEICS to report any auto insurance policy issuance and renewal. Within 30 days of a policy effective date for each Georgia-based vehicle, insurers must submit each insured driver’s vehicle’s identification number (VIN) and policy details, such as start dates, termination fees, or the addition or removal of one or more cars on a policy.
Once insurers submit your vehicle details, GEICS updates your vehicle’s tag record with a valid insurance coverage indicator or denied/inactive notice.
These system logs are made available to Georgia law enforcement, police officers, and county tag personnel, who are informed if your vehicle is insured or requires tag renewal, transfer, or replacement upon request or at a traffic stop.
With state law enforcement knowing immediately if your insurance coverage lapses or gets canceled, driving uninsured in the state of Georgia becomes much harder.
Why Does Georgia Use GEICS?
In 2004, Georgia’s state legislature created the GEICS system to cut down on the number of uninsured motorists. Using an electronic system instead of traditional paper ID cards makes it easier to catch a lapsed insurance plan.
A paper insurance card may look legitimate but can easily be misleading. Some people buy a Georgia auto insurance policy and cancel after the first month, but their card still says their coverage is good for another five months. Other people try to get away with printing fake auto insurance cards. This terrible idea is punishable by fines, penalties, and jail time.
That said, the GEICS insurance database is the only valid proof of insurance for Georgia drivers stopped in Georgia, not paper cards. However, out-of-state drivers can present paper cards as proof of insurance when driving in Georgia.
How Do I Know My Georgia Insurance Policy Is in GEICS?
You can check your own motor vehicle‘s insurance and registration status. Go here and enter your VIN. You can find your VIN at the top of the dashboard, on the edge of the driver’s side door, or on your title.
What Happens if I Don’t Show Up in the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System?
First, double-check your VIN to make sure you entered it correctly. If it doesn’t appear, contact your insurance company immediately to inform them that your coverage has yet to be recorded in the state database.
If you just bought a new policy, it may take some time to appear in GEICS. When you switch insurance companies, the state gives your insurer 30 days to report your new policy. For 30 days after receiving notice that your old policy has been canceled, your vehicle will still show as having proper insurance coverage.
After 30 days, Georgia will send you a Notice of Pending Suspension if they still need to receive proof that you have a new policy. Your insurer then gets 30 more days to report your new policy. If they don’t, Georgia will change your status to “No Valid Insurance,” resulting in a suspended driver’s license and registration.
If you sold the car, or it is junk or no longer used, fill out this form to cancel your vehicle registration.
Will I Get in Trouble if I Don’t Have Auto Insurance in Georgia?
Oh yes, you will! GEICS makes it easy for the state to find out who has an uninsured vehicle — and they’ll make you pay for it. First, you’ll pay a $25 lapse fee if your car goes uninsured for 10 days or more. Then, if you don’t pay that fee within 30 days, your registration will be suspended, and you’ll get hit with a second penalty: a $60 suspension fee. Finally, you can only reinstate your registration by paying the fee and providing proof of insurance.
If you have a second insurance suspension within 5 years, you’ll have to pay another $85 fine, and your registration will be suspended for 90 days. A third insurance lapse means a $185 fine and a 6-month registration suspension.
If the state finds out through GEICS that you don’t have insurance, expect to pay these penalties. If you’re caught driving without insurance, that’s a misdemeanor that can mean fines of up to $1,000 and up to 12 months in jail.
What Is the Estimated Percentage of Uninsured Motorists in Georgia?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, 12.4% of Georgia motorists are uninsured (2019). This stat is not an official number but an estimate based on the state’s ratio of bodily injury claims to uninsured motorist claims.
What Are Georgia’s Minimum Liability Requirements?
To drive legally in Georgia, you must carry the minimum Georgia liability insurance coverage of $25,000 in bodily injury per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per incident.
Georgia drivers can also opt for full coverage, which includes collision and comprehensive insurance. Collision pays for damages caused by vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-object, and rollover collisions. In contrast, comprehensive coverage pays for damages caused by things outside your control, such as theft, vandalism, and falling objects.
Optional coverages include uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, rental car reimbursement, roadside assistance, and medical payments coverage.
Shop Around for the Best Car Insurance Rates
If it’s time to renew your auto insurance policy in Georgia, or you’re curious how other auto insurers compare to yours, now is an excellent time to compare rates from different, affordable auto insurance companies. See all quotes in one place with Compare.com — it only takes a few minutes.
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