Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer and Auto Accident Attorney litigation involving the effectiveness of a notice of cancellation of a car insurance policy was addressed this past year by the Georgia Supreme Court.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit certified the following question for the Georgia Supreme Court to answer: Was a notice of cancellation, properly given after a premium was past due, ineffective because it provided an opportunity for an insured to keep the policy in force by paying the past-due premium within the statutory 10 day period?
In the lawsuit, the insurance company contended that a policy was not in effect on the date of a collision due to a cancellation notice. The insurance company had sent out a notice entitled “CANCELLATION NOTICE, NONPAYMENT OF PREMIUM,” and the cancellation date was printed out in small boxes at the top and bottom of the paper. The paper also had “NONPAYMENT NOTIFICATION,” and “NON PAY NOTICE” stamped in large letters. The insurance company’s notice also contained payment options and a detachable payment stub.
The Georgia Supreme Court answered the certified question in the negative, noting that to be legally sufficient under O.C.G.A. §§ 33-24-45(c)(1) and 33-24-44, a cancellation notice had to positively and unequivocally state that the cancellation was occurring.
The mere fact that the notice contained an option for an insured to avoid the imminent cancellation did not change the clear statement that coverage was being terminated for nonpayment.
If you have been involved in an automobile collision, it is very important to be certain that you are covered by your insurance policy.
Oftentimes, insurance companies will try and dispute some type of coverage in order to avoid compensating you for the full extent of your injuries. Don’t go it alone: Williams Oinonen LLC can help assist you in making certain the insurance company complies with Georgia law and that your rights are protected