According to road traffic accident statistics, drivers in Georgia have one of the lowest “driving under the influence” rates in the country, have a fantastic record for wearing seatbelts and rarely break the speed limit. The only conceivable reason that that have a personal injury accident rate 30 per cent higher than the national average, has to be that they cannot control their vehicles! Despite this, a high level of minimum insurance liability and a very high rate of car theft, average car insurance rates in Georgia remain fairly low.
Other than “regular” car insurance, Georgia also allows its drivers to self-insure with the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioners office (ICO). This is a complicated procedure which involves proving to the State that you have the financial means to cover any personal or physical damage you may be responsible for and have an effective claims procedure in place. Effectively, you would be acting in exactly the same way as an auto insurance company (and assuming the risk), and this is why the majority of drivers choose to get “regular” car insurance in Georgia – and let the insurance company take the risk!
Georgia Car Insurance Requirements
Georgia has a lower estimated number of uninsured drivers (12 per cent) than the national average (16 per cent) and this could be one of the contributing factors to low auto insurance rates in Georgia. The State also has a comprehensive driving education program for young drivers which may also be a reason for Georgians enjoying lower average car insurance rates than the national average.
When you buy car insurance in Georgia, it has to have the following minimum liability limits:-
$25,000 for injury/death to one person
$50,000 for injury/death to more than one person
$25,000 for damage to property
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury cover will also be offered to you whenever you apply for an auto insurance quote in Georgia and, although it is a good idea to add it to your policy, you are not compelled to do so.
Georgia Auto Insurance Laws
All car insurance policies in Georgia are registered with the Motor Vehicle Division of the Georgia Department of Revenue, and your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can be electronically checked against their database if you are stopped by a law enforcement officer. However, you are also required to carry at all time in your vehicle a car insurance policy information card for the easy exchange of information if you are involved in an accident with another driver, or wish to travel to another State which does not have access to the Georgia Department of Revenue database.
If you have no auto insurance, and are stopped by a law enforcement office at a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident, your vehicle will immediately be impounded and you will receive a hefty fine. If this is your first offence and your car insurance has only recently lapsed, you can pay $25.00 to the Georgia Department of Revenue to have your vehicle registration reinstated once you have renewed your car insurance policy. However, repeat offenders within a five year period face a suspension of up to six months and the requirement to file an SR-22 (Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate) for three years when their driving license and car registration are re-issued.
Recommended Georgia Car Insurance Coverage
Although the minimum liability limits for injury and damage (above) will be in most cases sufficient to cover your financial responsibility in any accident at which you are to blame, it does not cost very much to increase your coverage even further to protect yourself if the worst possible scenario should occur. As well as this, you may wish to invest in uninsured/underinsured injury cover to protect yourself against those one-in-eight drivers on Georgia´s roads who do not have any insurance, or personal injury protection for when liability is in doubt and you need urgent medical attention.
With climate change seemingly affecting Georgia´s weather more than many other States, it could also be advisable to invest in comprehensive car insurance. This means that you are totally covered in the event of damage to your vehicle due to extreme weather conditions, where you have been involved in a collision due to icy roads or obscured vision or if your car has been stolen – which, as you will see below, is not out of the realms of possibility in Georgia!
Cheap Georgia Car Insurance Quotes
The prospect of having to pay a considerable amount of money for car insurance in Georgia may, at first, put you off from comprehensively protecting your vehicle and those who travel in it. However, there are a number of measures you can take which will save you money on your car insurance in Georgia and provide you with a safer driving experience.
Auto insurance companies in Georgia like cars with automatic seatbelts, daytime running lights and airbags. They also look favorably on you if you have an approved electronic car recovery system (such as Lojack, Teletrac, or OnStar) added to your vehicle and have taken and passed an advanced or defensive driving course (which puts you in a small minority of drivers in Georgia!). There are many more factors which you can influence yourself to reduce your car insurance rating and save money on your auto insurance in Georgia.
Georgia Car Insurance Ratings
There are many more factors than car security which affect Georgia car insurance ratings. Two of the most influential are your driving history and license status. If you have maintained an impeccable standard of driving on the road, avoided collecting traffic violations and not allowed your car insurance to lapse this will be one of the biggest factors when a Georgia auto insurance company provides you with a quote. Other factors you should consider include:-
- Where You Live – Certain districts of Georgia have a poorer record for road safety than others and also a higher incidence of auto theft. Although it is impractical to move into a new neighborhood to save a few dollars on your car insurance, the first thing any auto insurance company in Georgia will ask you for is your ZIP code.
- Credit Score – Studies have shown that if you manage your money in a responsible manner, you are also more likely to be a safe driver. Auto insurance companies in Georgia will consider your credit score when compiling your car insurance quote, so it is in your best interests to keep your bills paid on time.
- Age, Sex and Marital Status – Despite the State´s comprehensive driving education program, young drivers are guilty of poor driving until proven innocent in the eyes of Georgia´s auto insurance companies. Female drivers are statistically less likely to cause an accident and, if they are married, they are considered to be responsible members of society and rewarded with lower insurance premiums.
- Year, Make and Model of Vehicle – Auto insurance rates in Georgia are influenced more by the safety specifications of a vehicle than its age. Therefore, even though your older car may be financially less valuable than a new model, you could still be paying a higher premium because you are considered to be more at risk of an accident.
- Vehicle Usage – Georgia was one of the first States to allow the introduction of pay-as-you-drive auto insurance, and car owners who only use their vehicles for recreational purposes can benefit from these low mileage schemes. Car owners who do a lot of driving may possibly be better off approaching car insurance companies who specialize in providing discounted car insurance for a safe driving history.
Most Stolen Cars in Georgia
One way to avoid expensive auto insurance in Georgia is to select a car which has a good record against car theft. Each year the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) publishes a list of the most commonly stolen vehicles by State. If your car appears on this list, it is unlikely you will qualify for cheap car insurance in Georgia.
The most commonly stolen vehicles thru 2009 were:-
- Honda Accord
- Chevrolet Pick Up
- Honda Civic
- Ford F150 Pick Up
- Toyota Camry
- Oldsmobile Cutlass
- Ford Explorer
- Dodge Caravan
- Dodge Ram
- Chevrolet Impala
Where Your Car May Get Stolen in Georgia
The NICB also publishes a list of the 360 “Hot Spots” in the country – districts in which your car is more likely to get stolen. Georgia fared pretty poorly in 2009, with 15 districts within the Peach State appearing on the list and 5 of those within the top 30.
The Hot Spots are determined by number of vehicles stolen divided by that district´s population. The top 10 Hot Spots for Georgia (with national positions in brackets) appear below:-
- Columbus (15)
- Macon (20)
- Augusta (26)
- Savannah (28)
- Atlanta (45)
- Chattanooga (94)
- Brunswick (109)
- Athens (117)
- Albany (121)
- Warner Robins (154)
Typical Georgia Car Insurance Rates
Despite the high volume of auto theft and horrendous driving statistics, car insurance rates in Georgia remain on the whole lower than the national average of $1,440. This may be because drivers are electing just to take the minimum liability cover, or because the good drivers are getting very cheap car insurance in Georgia and bringing the average down.
The list below illustrates the average annual insurance premium paid in districts throughout Georgia in 2009. Your personal car insurance quotation may be different due to your individual circumstances.
Car Insurance in Davisboro – $715
Car Insurance in Athens – $1,126
Car Insurance in Savannah – $1,329
Car Insurance in Sandy Springs – $1,348
Car Insurance in Macon – $1,375
Car Insurance in Columbus – $1,400
Car Insurance in Albany – $1,403
Car Insurance in Augusta – $1,413
Car Insurance in Atlanta – $1,461
Car Insurance in Marietta – $1,492
Georgia Car Insurance Companies
There are a large number of car insurance companies in Georgia, and competition is fierce between them. You can get some excellent deals on auto insurance in Georgia by shopping around and asking for a better deal than what you have been quoted. You will be surprised how often they oblige when they think you might get a cheap car insurance deal elsewhere.
|21st Century||Electric||Old Dominion|
|Alpha Property & Casualty||Firemans Fund||Permanent General|
|American Bankers||First National||Progressive|
|American Economy||GEICO||Safe Auto|
|American Family Home||General Insurance Company||Safeco|
|American Home Assurance||of America||Safeway|
|American International||Georgia Farm Bureau||Security National|
|American Mercury||Georgia Mutual||Sentinel|
|American National||Great Northern||Shield|
|American Reliable||GuideOne||Southern General|
|American States||Hanover||Southern Guaranty|
|AMEX Assurance||Hartford||Southern Insurance Company|
|AMICA||Horace Mann||of Virginia|
|Atlantic Mutual||Infinity||Southern Trust|
|Audubon||Insurance Company of the South||Southern United Fire|
|Bristol West||Liberty Mutual||State Auto|
|California Casualty||Markel||State Farm|
|Central Mutual||Massachusetts Bay||Teachers|
|Charter Indemnity Co||Mendakota||Travco|
|Charter Oak Fire||Mendota||Travelers|
|Civic Property & Casualty||Metropolitan||Twin City Fire|
|Cotton States Mutual||MIC Insurance||United Automobile|
|Delta Fire & Casualty||National Interstate||USAA|
|Depositors||National Union Fire||Victoria|
The most effective way to search for the best car insurance in Georgia is to use an online car insurance comparison tool – such as the one at the top of this page. Simply enter your ZIP code, and work your way through the questions to receive a range of car insurance quotes.