(a) As used in this Code section, the term “liability insurance policy” means an automobile liability or motor vehicle liability insurance policy issued or delivered in this state to the owner of such vehicle or issued or delivered by any insurer licensed in this state upon any such motor vehicle then principally garaged or principally used in this state.
(b) Any insurer, upon acceptance of liability, pursuant to any automobile liability or motor vehicle liability insurance policy, shall pay reasonable benefits for losses, including total losses, to a third party on behalf of an insured for loss of use and towing and storage costs of such a motor vehicle, and the liability of the insurer for payment of benefits for losses, including total losses, to the third party shall commence as of the time of the incident or occurrence which results in such losses; provided, however, in no event shall this Code section be construed so as to relieve the claimant of his or her obligation to mitigate his or her losses or to require the payment of loss of use and towing and storage costs benefits in an amount which is greater than the actual losses suffered.
(c) When making any payment to a third party for damage to an automobile for any loss, the insurer shall have printed on the loss estimate, if prepared directly by the insurer, the following:
“Failure to use the insurance proceeds in accordance with a security agreement between you and a lienholder, if any, may be a violation of Code Section 16-8-4 of the O.C.G.A. If you have any questions, contact your lending institution.”
This subsection does not apply if the insurer does not prepare the loss estimate or if the estimate is not prepared in the State of Georgia.
(d) The provisions of this Code section shall be applicable to all automobile liability or motor vehicle liability insurance policies that pay benefits to a third party on behalf of an insured for the loss of use and towing and storage costs of such motor vehicle issued, delivered, or renewed in this state on or after January 1, 2009.
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