2020 Georgia Code
Title 33 - Insurance
Chapter 34 - Motor Vehicle Accident Reparations


Cross references.

- Uninsured motorist coverage under motor vehicle liability policies, § 33-7-11.

Rate regulation and premium reductions, T. 33, C. 9.

Motor carriers indemnity insurance or self-insurance, § 40-1-112.

Motor vehicle liability insurance coverage, notice, and proof requirements, §§ 40-5-70 et seq.,40-6-10,40-6-11.

Motor vehicle accident financial responsibility, T. 40, C. 9.

Motor carriers definitions and exemptions, § 46-1-1.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1987, p. 542, § 2, effective April 2, 1987, repealed former Code Section 33-34-11, as enacted by Ga. L. 1974, p. 113, § 13, relating to promulgation of rules and regulations by the Commissioner.

Former Code Section33-34-17 (Ga. L. 1989, p. 1805, § 1), relating to inapplicability of provisions to nondomiciliaries, was repealed by Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, § 15. For similar provisions, see § 40-5-73.

Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, §§ 6-12, provided for the repeal of former Code Sections 33-34-10.1, 33-34-10.2, 33-34-11, 33-34-12, 33-34-12.1, 33-34-12.2, and 33-34-12.3, effective January 1, 1991. For similar provisions, see Code Sections 40-5-70 through 40-5-72, 40-6-10, 40-6-12, and 40-6-13.

Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, § 13, provided for the repeal of former Code Section 33-34-13 (Ga. L. 1987, p. 542, § 2; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1719, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, § 13), relating to rules and regulations, effective January 1, 1991.

Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, § 14, provided for the repeal of former Code Section33-34-14 (Ga. L. 1983, p. 726, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 22, § 33; Ga. L. 1987, p. 553, § 1), relating to liability insurance for motorcycles, effective January 1, 1991. For similar provisions effective after January 1, 1991, see § 40-6-11.

Ga. L. 1991, p. 1608, § 1.12, effective October 1, 1991, repealed the Code sections formerly codified at this chapter, and enacted the current chapter. The former chapter consisted of Code Sections 33-34-1 through 33-34-10, 33-34-10.1, 33-34-10.2, 33-34-11, 33-34-12, 33-34-12.1, 33-34-12.2, 33-34-12.3, 33-34-13 through 33-34-16, 33-34-16.1, 33-34-16.2, and 33-34-17, and was based on Ga. L. 1974, p. 113, §§ 1-14; Ga. L. 1975, p. 3, §§ 1-6; Ga. L. 1976, p. 642, § 1; Ga. L. 1976, p. 1078, § 1; Ga. L. 1976, p. 1513, § 1; Ga. L. 1976, p. 1523, § 1; Ga. L. 1977, p. 807, §§ 1; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1520, §§ 5; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1369, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 2075, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 594, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 1428, § 2; Ga. L. 1981, p. 1329, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1981, Ex. Sess. p. 8, Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 33; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1234, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 24; Ga. L. 1983, p. 726, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 22, § 33; Ga. L. 1984, p. 516, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 697, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 1221, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1984, p. 1333, §§ 1-3; Ga. L. 1985, p. 149, § 33; Ga. L. 1985, p. 891, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 935, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 542, §§ 1-3; Ga. L. 1987, p. 553, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1116, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1433, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1988, p. 13, § 33; Ga. L. 1988, p. 1555, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 1890, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1989, p. 14, § 33; Ga. L. 1989, p. 405, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 510, §§ 1-3; Ga. L. 1989, p. 841, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1719, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1805, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 8, § 33; Ga. L. 1990, p. 194, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1990, p. 1236, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 1477, §§ 1, 2, 6; Ga. L. 1991, p. 94, § 33; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1608, § 1.12; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1830, § 2; and Ga. L. 1992, p. 2464, § 2.

Ga. L. 1991, p. 1608, §§ 3.1, 3.2, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "Section 3.1. Except as provided in Section 3.3 of this Act, this Act shall become effective on October 1, 1991, and shall apply to policies of motor vehicle insurance issued, issued for delivery, delivered, or renewed on and after October 1, 1991. Except for an otherwise permissible cancellation of a policy of motor vehicle insurance, coverages payable without regard to fault in motor vehicle insurance policies in existence on October 1, 1991, shall remain in effect until changed by specific request of the policyholder and reflected by endorsement to the policy or until the renewal date of the policy; provided, however, the insurer shall be required to send written notice to the policyholder of any changes in coverage to be effective upon renewal of the policy as a result of this Act not less than 60 days prior to the renewal date of the policy. Written notice to the policyholder shall be accomplished in such form and manner as prescribed by the Commissioner of Insurance."

"Section 3.2. (a) Each insurer shall file its proposed forms, manuals, underwriting rules, rates, and rating plans for coverages under motor vehicle insurance policies to be issued, issued for delivery, delivered, or renewed on and after October 1, 1991, with the Commissioner of Insurance for such examination and approval as is required by law. The Commissioner shall not approve such filings unless such filings contain optional medical payments coverage. Rates and rating plans for motor vehicle insurance coverages filed pursuant to this subsection shall reflect a reduction of the rates or rating plans for such coverages on file with the Commissioner as of January 28, 1991, of not less than 15 percent, as compared to rates in effect for coverages required to be offered by the former 'Georgia Motor Vehicle Accident Reparations Act,' with the exception of physical damage coverages, as specified in paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of former Code Section 33-34-5 and third-party property damage coverages. On October 1, 1991, the Commissioner shall reduce by 15 percent or such higher amount as he determines appropriate, after notice and hearing as required by law, any rate or rating plan for such coverages under motor vehicle insurance policies for which no filing has been received."

"(b) Any insurer aggrieved by the rate filing required pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may petition the Commissioner for a hearing to grant relief from the rate filing as the result of extraordinary circumstances. The insurer shall have the burden of proof to establish the extraordinary circumstances which justify relief. A hearing conducted pursuant to this subsection shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 2 of Title 33. Upon conclusion of any hearing conducted pursuant to this subsection, the Commissioner shall enter an order specifying the rates to be used by the insurer and shall indicate in his order all factors entering into a decision to relieve the insurer from full compliance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section."

Ga. L. 1991, p. 1608, § 3.1, became effective on April 17, 1991, for the purposes of promulgation of rules and regulations by the Commissioner of Insurance. Ga. L. 1991, p. 1608, § 3.2, became effective on April 17, 1991.

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Georgia Automobile Insurance Plan, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Comptroller General, Commissioner of Insurance, Subject 120-2-14.

Law reviews.

- For article advocating compulsory automobile insurance, see 19 Ga. B.J. 207 (1956). For article arguing against compulsory automobile insurance, see 19 Ga. B.J. 209 (1956). For article advocating moderate reform of auto accident compensation system prior to Georgia's adoption of the Georgia Motor Vehicle Accident Reparations Act, see 5 Ga. St. B.J. 321 (1969). For article analyzing the trend in this country toward no-fault liability, see 25 Emory L.J. 163 (1976). For article surveying recent legislative and judicial developments regarding Georgia's insurance laws, see 31 Mercer L. Rev. 117 (1979). For article surveying judicial and legislative developments in Georgia's tort laws, see 31 Mercer L. Rev. 229 (1979). For article surveying developments in Georgia constitutional law from mid-1980 through mid-1981, see 33 Mercer L. Rev. 51 (1981). For survey article on insurance, see 34 Mercer L. Rev. 177 (1982). For annual survey of insurance law, see 35 Mercer L. Rev. 177 (1983). For annual survey of law of insurance, see 38 Mercer L. Rev. 247 (1986). For annual survey of insurance law, see 42 Mercer L. Rev. 259 (1990). For note on 1991 amendment of this chapter, see 8 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 99 (1992). For comment, "Treatment of Guest Passengers: Georgia Maintains Its Minority Rule," see 31 Mercer L. Rev. 1061 (1980).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Repeal of former § 33-34-6. - Repeal of former O.C.G.A. § 33-34-6 bars plaintiff's recovery of penalties and punitive damages pursuant to that statute. American Ass'n of Cab Cos. v. Egeh, 205 Ga. App. 228, 421 S.E.2d 741, cert. denied, 205 Ga. App. 899, 421 S.E.2d 741 (1992).

Effect of repeal of former law.

- Insured's ability to seek punitive damages and penalties under repealed O.C.G.A. § 33-34-6 of former No-Fault Act did not survive repeal of the act; the mere mention within the insurance contract of an act authorizing penalties is not sufficient to secure the right to collect penalties by contract since the right to collect penalties must be specifically included in the terms of the contract. Terry v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 205 Ga. App. 224, 422 S.E.2d 212, cert. denied, 205 Ga. App. 901, 422 S.E.2d 212 (1992); Steptoe v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co., 210 Ga. App. 756, 437 S.E.2d 626 (1993).

Effect of repeal.

- Plaintiff may seek recovery of attorney fees, punitive damages and a 25 percent penalty under former O.C.G.A. § 33-34-6 despite the section's repeal in 1991. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Sills, 208 Ga. App. 184, 430 S.E.2d 32 (1993).

Exclusion in an automobile policy for intentional injury or property damage was enforceable when the injured third party had access to recovery through uninsured motorist coverage under another policy. Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Jackson, 211 Ga. App. 613, 440 S.E.2d 242 (1994).

Bad faith penalties under former O.C.G.A. § 33-34-6 are not awardable if an insurer has a reasonable and probable cause for refusing to pay a claim. The advice of an independent medical examiner that treatment furnished a claimant was not in fact necessary, unless patently wrong based on facts timely brought to the insurer's attention, provided a reasonable basis for an insurer's denial of a claim for payment for such treatment. Haezebrouck v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 216 Ga. App. 809, 455 S.E.2d 842 (1995).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 7 Am. Jur. 2d, Automobile Insurance, § 20 et seq. 7A Am. Jur. 2d, Automobile Insurance, § 342 et seq.

"Commercial" Use of an Automobile, 1 POF2d 285.

Insurer's Wrongful Refusal to Settle Within Policy Limits, 6 POF2d 247.

Resident of Household of Named Insured, 13 POF2d 681.

Automobile Insurer's Waiver of Policy Restriction, 27 POF2d 683.

Use of Motor Vehicle by Person Claiming Insurance Coverage, 34 POF2d 585.

Automobile Insurer's Bad Faith in Responding to First-Party Claim, 3 POF3d 751.

Ineffective Cancellation of Automobile Insurance Policy - Deficient Communication of Cancellation Notice, 10 POF3d 483.

Ineffective Cancellation of Automobile Insurance Policy - Deficient Form or Content of Cancellation Notice, 11 POF3d 131.

Ineffective Cancellation of Automobile Insurance Policy - Deficient Repayment or Render of Unearned Premium, 11 POF3d 227.

"Permissive" Use of Automobile - Grant of Permission to Insured's Permittee, 16 POF3d 433.

"Permissive" Use of Automobile - Delegation of Permission to Second Permittee, 17 POF3d 409.

"Permissive" Use of Automobile - Use Within Scope of Permission Granted, 18 POF3d 433.

Identification of Hit-And-Run Vehicle and Driver, 60 POF3d 91.

ALR.

- Automobile liability insurance, 6 A.L.R. 376; 13 A.L.R. 135; 19 A.L.R. 879; 23 A.L.R. 1472; 28 A.L.R. 1301; 41 A.L.R. 507.

Admissibility of evidence as to insurance on issue of negligence in operation or care of automobile, 28 A.L.R. 516.

Constitutionality of compulsory liability insurance legislation as a condition of use of automobile not operated for hire, 39 A.L.R. 1028; 69 A.L.R. 397.

Automobile insurance: pleading and proof as to value, 64 A.L.R. 172.

Increase in insurance rates or loss of opportunity to obtain insurance in consequence of another's tort as ground of liability, 92 A.L.R. 1205.

Injury to or death of person whose relationship to named or additional insured was such as to negative latter's liability as within coverage of automobile liability or indemnity policy, 110 A.L.R. 87.

Constitutionality, construction, and application of statute for determination by executive or administrative board of questions in relation to motor vehicle accidents, 110 A.L.R. 826.

What amounts to accident within policy of automobile liability or indemnity insurance, 117 A.L.R. 1175.

Automobile liability or indemnity insurance: "omnibus" coverage clause, 126 A.L.R. 544.

Refusal of automobile liability or indemnity insurer to assume defense of action against insured upon ground that claim upon which action is based is not within coverage of policy, 133 A.L.R. 1516; 49 A.L.R.2d 694; 50 A.L.R.2d 458.

Statute regarding automobile liability or indemnity insurance of state where injury occurred as applicable to policy of another state, 137 A.L.R. 656.

Coverage of liability policy on "commercial" vehicle, 144 A.L.R. 537.

"Business" within automobile liability policy when used for pleasure and business, as including business of insured's employer, 146 A.L.R. 1189.

Coverage of policy insuring automobile against particular risk, to the exclusion of others, where risk insured operates to subject it to risk not insured, 160 A.L.R. 947.

Risks within "loading and unloading" clause of automobile liability policy, 160 A.L.R. 1259; 95 A.L.R.2d 1122.

Cancellation of compulsory automobile insurance, 171 A.L.R. 550; 34 A.L.R.2d 1297.

Insurance as covering automobile while being used for illegal purpose, 4 A.L.R.2d 134.

Automobile liability insurance: permission or consent to employee's use of car within meaning of omnibus coverage clause, 5 A.L.R.2d 600.

Act or default of additional insured in respect of giving notice of suit or delivery of suit papers to insurer, as affecting rights of named insured against insurer, 6 A.L.R.2d 661.

Construction and effect of clause in liability policy voiding policy while insured vehicles are being used more than a specified distance from principal garage, 29 A.L.R.2d 514.

Liability of insurer, under compulsory statutory vehicle liability policy, to injured third persons, notwithstanding insured's failure to comply with policy conditions, as measured by limits of Financial Responsibility Act, 29 A.L.R.2d 817.

Construction and effect of exclusionary clause in automobile liability policy making policy inapplicable while vehicle is used as a "public or livery conveyance,", 30 A.L.R.2d 273.

Failure to give notice, or other lack of cooperation by insured, as defense to action against compulsory liability insurer by injured member of the public, 31 A.L.R.2d 645.

Effect of provision of liability policy covering hired automobiles but excluding from definition of "insured" the owner of such vehicle or his employee, 32 A.L.R.2d 572.

Misrepresentation by applicant for automobile liability insurance as to ownership of vehicle as material to risk, 33 A.L.R.2d 948.

Automobile liability insurance: conditional vendee of insured as within coverage of omnibus clause, 36 A.L.R.2d 673.

Collision insurance: insured's release of tortfeasor before settlement by insurer as releasing insurer from liability, 38 A.L.R.2d 1095.

Risks within "loading and unloading" clause of motor vehicle liability insurance policy, 6 A.L.R.4th 686.

Cancellation of compulsory or "financial responsibility" automobile insurance, 44 A.L.R.4th 13.

Liability insurer's postloss conduct as waiver of, or estoppel to assert, "no-action" clause, 68 A.L.R.4th 389.

No-fault insurance coverage for injury or death of insured occurring during carjacking or attempted carjacking, 42 A.L.R.5th 727.

Validity, construction, and application of provision in automobile liability policy excluding from coverage injury to, or death of, employee of insured, 43 A.L.R.5th 149.

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