If you live in the Peach State and are wondering how to find the cheapest car insurance in Georgia, read on for the best deal. Different insurance companies use various factors to determine how much drivers will pay for their car insurance.
Let’s look at Georgia state laws around insurance and how to find cheap car insurance.
Georgia Car Insurance Requirements
Georgia state law sets the minimum requirements for car insurance for Georgia drivers. The minimum required includes property damage liability insurance and bodily injury liability. In Georgia, drivers must have at a minimum:
- $25,000/$50,000 Bodily Injury Liability for one person/two or more people
- $25,000 Property Damage Liability
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
According to state law, uninsured drivers who do not have at least the minimum auto insurance coverage can face potential consequences, including suspending and/or revoking driving privileges. There are different penalties for different offenses. Some of these include:
- A lapse in coverage may incur a $25 lapse fee and a $60 reinstatement fee
- First and second lapse in coverage offenses within 5 years for suspended registration will result in a $25 lapse fee and a $60 reinstatement fee
- A third lapse in coverage occurrence will result in a $25 lapse fee and a $160 reinstatement fee
Criminal penalties may be assessed for the charge of driving without insurance. This is considered a misdemeanor (community service, probation, fines, and imprisonment for less than a year are commonly issued punishments for misdemeanors) and may result in up to a year in jail, a fine of between $200 and $1,000 or both.
Georgia insurance companies report to the state in anytime coverage is cancelled, lapses or when a new policy is in effect. Law enforcement can check the status of your insurance if you get pulled over.
Car Insurance Rates
Everybody thinks they pay too much for the cost of car insurance. If you are wondering how to find the cheapest car insurance companies so you can pay the lowest rates and avoid higher premiums, keep reading for some great tips from Freeway Insurance.
How Much is Car Insurance a Month in Georgia?
State averages indicate drivers in Georgia pay around $53 a month for a minimum coverage policy and $174 monthly for full coverage car insurance.
How Much is Car Insurance in Atlanta, Georgia and Other Regions?
Auto coverage varies from zip code to zip code, as well as from city to city. Some of the cheapest rates are reserved for those who live in more rural areas, while people driving in congested cities where accidents are frequent pay the highest rates.
For example, a driver in Atlanta may pay $71 for the state minimum liability per month, while someone in the rural city of Lavonia may pay $38 per month.
Remember, every person will have a different rate based on many different individual details.
How Much is Car Insurance in Georgia Per Month Compared to National Averages?
Georgia car insurance rates are not that much different from the average cost of car insurance across the nation. Nationally, full coverage averages $2,014 annually, compared to Georgia’s $2,085. For liability coverage, the national average is $622 annually, compared to $639 in Georgia.
Special Considerations in Georgia
Georgia is an at-fault state, similar to most states in that it uses a tort system, rather than a no-fault system, for its insurance. A tort system requires auto owners to carry liability insurance to help pay for injuries they cause to others when they are at fault for an accident.
Something that is like other states, as well, is Georgia’s graduated licensing program for young drivers called Joshua’s Law. This law was passed in 2005 and was named after Joshua Brown, a teen driver who was killed when his vehicle hydroplaned and crashed in Cartersville, GA.
This law requires Georgia 16-year-olds to follow a graduated learning program to receive a driver’s license.
In no-fault states, drivers purchase liability insurance to cover their own bodily injuries and property damage, regardless of who causes an accident. Most no-fault states also require drivers to purchase some form of additional medical payment coverage that kicks in immediately after a wreck to help pay for a variety of medical costs associated with an accident.
Many at-fault states also offer MedPay or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) which drivers are encouraged to purchase, but not required to do so.
How Much is Urgent Care Without Insurance in Georgia?
If you cause an accident in Georgia and you are injured, you may have to go to an urgent care facility. If you don’t have additional medical payment coverage in your auto insurance policy, then you may need to rely on your health insurance. If you do not have health insurance, then you’ll be paying out of pocket.
This visit may cost between $100 and $150, but could be much more if your injuries are serious.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Georgia does not require drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage (UM), but it’s always recommended and here’s why.
Maybe you are just cruising with the family to check out some Savannah hot spots and somebody runs into you from behind. Before you can even get out of your car, they’ve driven off. If there’s no witnesses and all you have is a vague description of the vehicle (a blue car), congratulations. You’ve just been involved in a hit-and-run! Or maybe they’ve stopped, but they are part of the 12% of Georgia drivers with no insurance.
Who’s going to pay for your ride to get it fixed? Well, you can take them to court, but if they have no money and no assets, there won’t be much compensation there. Or you can pay for your repairs out of your own already-stressed back account.
Or you could have made the smart decision and added UM to your policy. Honestly, for pennies a day, UM is worth its weight in gold.
If you’ve been required by the courts to carry SR-22 insurance in Georgia, get ready. That’s because Georgia takes a hard line on what it considers to be high-risk drivers. Georgia not only requires SR-22 in some instances, but the state also requires something called SR-22A, which means that not only will you be paying more for your insurance now, you’ll be required to buy it with 6 months prepaid for the entire 3 years you need to carry it.
An SR-22A requirement typically comes about after a driver has engaged in what the state considers to be risky behavior. And when the state puts that label on you, insurers sit up and take notice. An SR-22A may be handed out for things like a conviction for driving under the influence, too many accidents in a period of time, excessive speeding, reckless driving, or for simply driving around without insurance.
If your policy lapses during this 3-year period, your driver’s license will be cancelled. It’s better to just avoid it all by driving carefully and following the rules.
Georgia’s Unique Traffic Laws
Over the years, Georgia has come up with some, let’s say unique, driving laws. Here are just a few:
- The Slowpoke Law (2014): Most of us can probably get behind this law that states you have to move over if you are driving in the left lane and somebody comes up behind you fast. Even if they are speeding you have to move over. Failing to move over could cost $1,000 in fines (ouch!).
- The No Phone Touch Law: OK, so we made up the name, but, in essence, this law states that no part of the driver’s body can be touching their phone (even while stopped at a light!)
- The No Shoes is OK Law: Yeah, we made that name up too, but it is perfectly legal to drive in Georgia barefoot (even if you mom told you it wasn’t!).
- No Honking at the Fair: So, this is a little weird, but you cannot honk your horn at the fair (any fair!) So, that donkey that’s strolling by on its way to the exhibition tent? Let it take its time.
Factors Influencing Car Insurance Price in Georgia
Earlier we touched on how insurers come up with car insurance quotes. Everybody is different (and special in their own way aww), so your insurance agent will be asking a lot of questions to determine how to price your policy. Keep reading to see some of the most significant factors the underwriters use to determine your rate.
Next to age, driver profiles are probably the biggest determining factor. Your driving record tells the insurance company how high the risk is to insure you. Even one speeding ticket, traffic violations or car accident can take you from a safe driver (best) to a high risk (worst).
The good news is you can find cheap insurance even if your record is less than perfect with a little shopping around.
The model of your car, the year it was manufactured, and other attributes play a large part in your premium. Cars that have a high safety rating, are known to be reliable and have easy to find and cheap parts are preferred over expensive or sportier models. These luxury brands are more expensive to repair, while sportier versions are more attractive to thieves and also signal to your insurer that you may be willing to indulge in a little racing now and then.
The coverage options you choose have a bearing on the cost of your policy. There are 6 common types of car insurance, including liability, collision, comprehensive coverage, uninsured, PIP and MedPay. A full coverage policy includes liability, collision and comprehensive. The minimum amount of coverage generally means liability only.
In addition to these, there are other optional insurance products, including roadside assistance, GAP, rental car reimbursement and more.
As we mentioned before, your location plays a part in your quote – even down to your zip code. Typically, someone living in a crowded city will pay more than someone living in a rural area.
If you’ve gone without insurance for a period, your insurer will want to know why. Except for military members who have been deployed, insurers don’t want to see periods of no insurance on your record unless you have a good reason. It’s best to have continuous coverage to get better prices.
Your deductible has an inverse relationship with your premium. The higher the deductible, the lower the cost. This is because in the event of an approved claim, you’ll be responsible for the amount of your deductible.
Insurers tend to look at people who are married as more responsible when it comes to driving behavior and payment status.
Age and Demographics
Next to driving history, age is one of the most important factors in your quote. As many parents have discovered, insuring a teenage male is pretty close to as expensive as a house payment. Teenagers overall pay a higher rate due to their inexperience behind the wheel and tendency, as a collective group, to file more claims.
Teenage males are seen as even more risky. There are some things parents and young drivers can do to help manage the cost. In the end, keep in mind that as teens age, their premiums will drop – if they keep a clean driving record.
A clean driving record and a record of few to no claims will go far in finding cheap car insurance. If you get into a fender bender and the repair bill is minimal, you might consider paying for it out of pocket, if you can.
Tips to Lower Car Insurance Rates
There are many different ways to get the cheapest car insurance rates. There’s a good chance that you already qualify for one of the many discounts available. There are also some strategies you can use, such as working with an independent insurance agent. An independent agent can research many A-rated carriers to find plenty of options so you can spend time drinking sweet tea on the porch.
One of the best ways to find cheap auto insurance in Georgia is shopping around and comparing rates. You can do this yourself or let one of Freeway’s experienced professionals do it for you.
One of the biggest discounts comes when you let one company handle two or more of your policies. For example, you can save up to 25% by bundling your home insurance with your auto coverage.
Maintain a Clean Driving Record
As we mentioned before, the safest drivers get the best rates. Your insurer will reward you with a safe driver discount.
Choose the Right Coverage Limits
The more coverage you have, the higher the premium. You’ll also pay more for increased coverage amounts. There’s a fine line between how much you need to feel at peace when behind the wheel and when you are paying too much for that 20-year-old vehicle.
Defensive Driving Course
Your insurance company may reward you for taking a defensive driving course. This is especially true for seniors and young drivers.
Maintain Continuous Coverage
Remember, your prospective carrier is going to look back to see your driving record and to make sure you’ve had continuous coverage.
Pay in Full
Because it reduces their administrative costs, as well as ensuring you’ll be a customer for a while, you can likely get a discount for paying your premium upfront.
Consider Usage-Based Insurance
Usage-based insurance is becoming more and more popular. Those who work from home or otherwise don’t drive much, may be able to get a discount. After all, the less time on the road, the less chance of an accident.
Review and Update Your Policy Annually
It’s always a good idea to review your policy at every renewal period. Make sure when your life circumstances change, you update your policy to replace any new situations.
Make an Informed Decision about Car Insurance in Georgia with Freeway Insurance
The more you know, the more in control you’ll feel. Finding cheap car insurance in Georgia doesn’t have to be hard: It just takes some understanding of how the whole process works and how you can take advantage of it to feel comfortable in the driver’s seat. At Freeway Insurance, we have agents who can help you find the right coverage at the right price. Just check us out online for a free quote, call us at (800) 777-5620, or stop by one of our convenient locations.