2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 33 - INSURANCE
CHAPTER 24 - INSURANCE GENERALLY
ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 33-24-51 - Purchase of insurance covering injuries resulting from governmental ownership and use of motor vehicles; waiver of governmental immunity; limitation of liabilities

O.C.G.A. 33-24-51 (2010)
33-24-51. Purchase of insurance covering injuries resulting from governmental ownership and use of motor vehicles; waiver of governmental immunity; limitation of liabilities


(a) A municipal corporation, a county, or any other political subdivision of this state is authorized in its discretion to secure and provide insurance to cover liability for damages on account of bodily injury or death resulting from bodily injury to any person or for damage to property of any person, or for both arising by reason of ownership, maintenance, operation, or use of any motor vehicle by the municipal corporation, county, or any other political subdivision of this state under its management, control, or supervision, whether in a governmental undertaking or not, and to pay premiums for the insurance coverage.

(b) The sovereign immunity of local government entities for a loss arising out of claims for the negligent use of a covered motor vehicle is waived as provided in Code Section 36-92-2. Whenever a municipal corporation, a county, or any other political subdivision of this state shall purchase the insurance authorized by subsection (a) of this Code section to provide liability coverage for the negligence of any duly authorized officer, agent, servant, attorney, or employee in the performance of his or her official duties in an amount greater than the amount of immunity waived as in Code Section 36-92-2, its governmental immunity shall be waived to the extent of the amount of insurance so purchased. Neither the municipal corporation, county, or political subdivision of this state nor the insuring company shall plead governmental immunity as a defense; and the municipal corporation, county, or political subdivision of this state or the insuring company may make only those defenses which could be made if the insured were a private person.

(c) The municipal corporation, county, or any other political subdivision of this state shall be liable for damages in excess of the amount of immunity waived as provided in Code Section 36-92-2 which are sustained only while the insurance is in force and only to the extent of the limits or the coverage of the insurance policy.

(d) If a verdict rendered by the jury exceeds the limits of the applicable insurance, the court shall reduce the amount of said judgment or award to a sum equal to the applicable limits stated in the insurance policy but not less than the amount of immunity waived as provided in Code Section 36-92-2.

(e) Premiums on the insurance authorized by subsection (a) of this Code section shall be paid from the general funds of the municipal corporation, county, or political subdivision.

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