I am often asked by clients whether uninsured motorist carriers are entitled to a setoff for workers compensation and social security benefits in Georgia. The short answer is no.
The Georgia Supreme Court has held that collateral benefits setoff provisions that permit the UM insurer to reduce the amount payable to its insured under the coverage by any amount paid or payable by workers’ compensation, disability, or other similar insurance, are not authorized by the Georgia UM statute (either the former version or as amended in 2006) and are void and unenforceable. Dees v. Logan, 282 Ga. 815, 653 S.E.2d 735 (2007). In Dees v. Logan, in overruling the Court of Appeals and abrogating a line of cases upholding such setoff provisions, the Court acknowledged that the statute permits the UM insurer to provide for setoffs against collateral source property damage payments, but reasoned that the silence of the legislature in providing for personal injury collateral source payment setoffs in both versions of the statute indicated the legislature’s “clear intent” to deny insurers the benefit of such setoffs. Id. So even if the UM policy itself permits a setoff for personal injury benefits, it is in conflict with the plain mandate of the GA Uninsured Motorist Act and is void and unenforceable. Id.
Maureen O’ Conner has over 20 years of experience in the insurance claims industry. Her practice is primarily concentrated in the areas of premises liability defense, personal injury, construction, wrongful death, catastrophic injury, professional negligence, and related litigation. Molly has been with Mabry & McClelland, LLP, since 2008.
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