Georgia Car Insurance: How to Shop for the Lowest Rates
Georgia ranks as the 15th most expensive state for car insurance, at an average of $1,865 a year.
High rates are due to the fact that Georgia has some of the most accident-prone highways in the United States.
Another is that insurance companies in the state have the right to raise premiums without approval by the state insurance commissioner.
With high car insurance rates in Georgia, it's important to take the necessary steps to find the right premium and coverage.
In this guide, you’ll find plenty of strategies to do just that.
Average Car Insurance Rates in Georgia
Statewide average premiums in Georgia for three popular car insurance coverage levels (all premium information provided by CarInsurance.com.)
- “Full coverage” –100/300/100***, with comprehensive and collision coverage, including a deductible of $500: $1,865 per year
- Liability only, with 50/100/50: $754 per year
- Liability only, using the state minimum coverage levels: $684 per year
The basics on coverage levels
The first number represents bodily injury or death to one person in a single at-fault accident.
The second number represents bodily injury or death to two or more people in a single at-fault car accident.
The third number refers to property damage caused to other vehicles in an at-fault accident.
Full coverage also includes collision and comprehensive coverage, which pays for repairs to your vehicle no matter who is at fault.
Factors that Will Affect Your Georgia Car Insurance Premium
Below are seven of the main factors that will determine the premium you’ll pay for Georgia car insurance.
This is only an important factor if you’re 25 or younger.
For example, a 19-year-old woman will pay $463 per month for full coverage, while a 19-year-old man will pay $549 per month for the same policy.
But it evens out with drivers 25 and older.
Drivers will typically pay higher rates until age 25, then they’ll start to drop. Luckily, car insurance companies allow young drivers to qualify for student discounts and by staying on their parent's policies.
If you’re younger than 26, premiums will be a great deal higher, whereas 65 and over will only be slightly higher than the average rate.
For example, an 18-year-old male driver living in Atlanta will pay $774 per month, or $9,288 per year, for 100/300/100 coverage. But a 30-year-old male with the same coverage will pay just $223 per month, or $2,676 per year.
A 75-year-old man with the same coverage, also living in Atlanta, will pay $248 per month, or $2,976 per year. It’s only a bit higher than a 30-year-old male will pay for the same coverage, but it gives you an idea how car insurance premiums increase once you reach the age of 65.
Your driving history is the biggest factor when it comes to your insurance premium.
One advantage in Georgia is that no points are assessed for speeding convictions of less than 15 mph over the posted speed limit.
The state's relatively new Super Speeder law adds an additional $200 fine for anyone convicted of speeds of 85 mph or more (75 mph on a two-lane road). That’s just the fine assessed by the state. Additional fines can be levied by the county or municipality where the infraction took place.
Speeding no more than 10-15 miles over the limit will produce a 17% premium increase, while speeding 30 or more miles over the limit will increase your premium by 59%. The average increase in Georgia is 78% for a first offense DUI/DWI (subsequent offenses will be much higher and carry serious penalties).
Premium increases based on at-fault accidents can have a similar effect.
A typical car insurance premium in Georgia will increase by 41% after an accident claim that’s determined to be your fault.
That’s just an average, since the premium increase will vary based on the dollar amount of any property damage claim, or whether or not the accident resulted in bodily injury.
Insurance companies look to your credit history to determine your rate.
Bad credit drivers will pay an average of 67% more on their premium than a driver with good credit.
The good news is even with bad credit, the right coverage can be found based on the company you choose.
Just as a refresher, a policy with liability limits of 100/300/100 is $1,865 per year, while liability coverage limits of 50/100/50 is $754, and $864 per year at the state minimum liability level.
But be careful you’re not carrying too little liability coverage. Your net worth should be matched with your liability limits.
For example, if your net worth is less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50. If your net worth is between $50,000 and $300,000, choose at least 100/300/100. If it's more than $300,000, choose at least 250/500/100.
With too little coverage, a major claim or lawsuit could force you to pay for any out-of-pocket expenses.
The vehicle(s) you’re covering
The age of your vehicle plays a major role as well. An older vehicle will usually cost less than a brand-new vehicle to insure. The more expensive a vehicle is, the more it will cost to insure.
Meanwhile, certain vehicle types – like SUVs, pickup trucks, sports cars, and luxury cars – will cost more to insure than sedans and older vehicles.
You may not need collision and comprehensive coverage if your car is worth $3,000 or less. That can save hundreds of premium dollars each year.
The average cost per year for collision is $543 in Georgia, while comprehensive is $158.
The insurance company
The company you choose will be an important factor. The differences in pricing for the same coverage between different companies can amount to thousands of dollars.
Below are the average statewide premiums for full coverage (100/300/100) by six major carriers operating in Georgia:
- GEICO: $1,394 per year
- State Farm: $1,698 per year
- Owners: $1,435 per year
- Nationwide: $1,719 per year
- Progressive: $2,142 per year
- Allstate: $2,850 per year
Notice that Allstate, the most expensive provider, charges premiums that are about twice as high as GEICO, the lowest-cost provider.
Average Georgia Car Insurance Rate Based on Georgia City
Even within the same state, there can be major variations in premium levels from one city or town to another.
With the statewide average premium at $1,865 in Georgia for 100/300/100 coverage, average premiums on a local level are as follows:
- Albany: $1,712
- Athens: $1,763
- Atlanta: $2,328
- Augusta: $1,766
- Columbus: $1,880
- Macon: $2,027
- Marietta: $2,131
- Savannah: $2,024
Car insurance will be higher in more populated areas like big cities. As shown above, Atlanta and Savannah have much higher rates than smaller cities.
Auto Insurance Laws in Georgia
Georgia car insurance laws require that drivers carry minimum liability coverage limits of 25/50/25.
The minimum car insurance requirements in Georgia are listed below:
- Minimum bodily injury liability, one person: $25,000
- Minimum bodily injury liability, two or more people: $50,000
- Minimum property damage liability: $25,000
Basic Information on Optional Coverages in Georgia
As is the case in virtually every other state, there’s a wide range of optional coverages available to add to your policy in Georgia.
The most popular include:
While the personal property damage portion of a car insurance policy covers the cost of repairs to the other driver’s vehicle when you are determined to be at fault, it will not cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle.
You can add collision coverage specifically for that purpose.
If you have a loan or a lease on your vehicle, it will be required by your lender.
This provision will cover your vehicle for damage sustained while it’s parked.
This includes theft, damage from falling objects, and weather-related hazards, like storm damage, or animal strikes.
Despite state laws to prevent it, a large number of drivers have no car insurance.
Many more have only minimal coverage.
This provision will protect you if you’re involved in an accident with either type of driver.
MedPay (medical payments)
MedPay offers medical and funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident up to $25,000, no matter who's at fault.
This provides you and your passengers with coverage of medical expenses if your health insurance limits are exceeded.
This provision will pay the difference between the value of your car and the balance left on your loan/lease.
It’s recommended – and often required by the lender – if you have a loan equal to more than 80% of the value of the vehicle.
Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage pays for damages if you’re hit by a driver with no insurance or a driver with coverage that’s insufficient to pay for your repairs and medical expenses.
This is another option that’s strongly recommended.
Tips to Get the Best Rates on Georgia Car Insurance Policies
Below are the most popular strategies to get the best rates on car insurance in Georgia:
Poor driving history can have the most impact on your premium.
Drive safe and avoid any violations or at-fault accidents.
A clean driving history for three years or more will provide you with the best rates available.
Shop for the lowest cost provider
Shop around and see who has the best rates.
The difference in premiums between companies can be $1,000 or more for the same amount of coverage.
Complete a safe driver course
If you have a poor driving history, or if you’re a new driver, your insurance company may allow you to complete an approved safe driver course.
That may minimize the damage from your driving history and give you a better rate.
Raise your deductible
If you have collision and comprehensive coverage on your car, you’ll have a deductible.
If it’s $500, increasing it to $1,000 can save hundreds of dollars in premium costs each year.
Take advantage discounts
Check with your insurance company to see how many discounts they have available.
Take advantage of any and all that apply to you.
Keep your credit clean
Keeping your credit clean for at least the last two or three years will help you secure a better rate.
Unfortunately, Georgia is one of the more expensive states to purchase car insurance in.
And, it can be particularly expensive if you have moving violations – especially if you violate the SuperSpeeder law – or at-fault accidents.
Take advantage of the tips and strategies provided above to get the best coverage at the lowest possible premium.