Getting cheap auto insurance in Georgia
If you live or are moving to Georgia, and are trying to figure out how to save some money on car insurance, you can save a bundle by learning the minimum requirements.
Compare the state’s minimum coverage requirements, car insurance coverage options and how to get cheap rates in Georgia.
Georgia auto insurance providers
Average car insurance costs in Georgia
Georgia sits above the national average with an approximate annual car insurance cost of $1250-1450. If you’re above the age of 25 and looking to buy car insurance in Georgia, you could probably expect to pay something within this range.
However, as with most insurance estimates, you could also fall outside the average range for a multitude of reasons. No matter where you are, a whole host of factors can influence your auto insurance rates, and you’ll have to consider the factors that are under your control to get the best rate possible.
- Age. Young drivers under 25, as well as seniors, will pay more for car insurance. Drivers under 25 — and especially male drivers under 25 — are believed by the insurance industry to be at high risk for car accidents. This means the older you get, the lower your car insurance rates will tend to be, until you reach a certain age.
- Gender. Men can often expect higher premiums. This is sometimes further modified by age and marital status; the differences in cost between men and women mostly disappear by the age of 35.
- Driving experience. L platers and P platers typically pay more, which often compounds the effect of age on premiums.
- Type of car. You might think screaming down the highway in a red Corvette sounds like fun, and you’re probably right, but luxury and sports cars are almost always more costly to insure than sedans and minivans. This is for several reasons, but mostly because fast cars tend to be driven fast, putting these cars and their drivers at a higher risk for accidents.
- Occupation. People who have long commutes or who drive around all day for work — say, outside sales representatives or transporters — can expect higher premiums. However, many professionals who drive a lot have work vehicles, or else have car insurance coverage through their employers to cover their mileage when they’re on the clock.
- Marital status. Single people are seen by insurers as less stable than their married counterparts. If you get married, you’ll see your premiums decrease right away.
- Location. Some places are at higher risk of theft, vandalism and other potential hazards, which incurs higher costs. Urban drivers are at higher risk for an accident than people who live far outside the city limits. Similarly, if one area is more prone to flooding or storms you may expect this to impact your premiums.
- Claims history. The more car insurance claims you have made in the past, the higher your premiums will generally be.
- Driving record. The more violations you have on your driving record, the more you can expect to pay for your car insurance. If you’re notorious for speeding, driving under the influence or trying to start a drag race at every red light, your insurer will likely know about it and raise prices accordingly.
- Credit score. Like it or not, nearly all auto insurance providers use your credit score to help calculate your risk before arriving at a policy cost. This is because multiple independent studies indicate that if your credit score is low, you’re more likely to be involved in an accident.
However, there are a few states where car insurance providers aren’t allowed to use credit to determine rates — California, Massachusetts and Hawaii.
- Other drivers. Only certain people will be approved to drive the car, and all of them impact the cost. Even the world’s safest driver will get a substantial price hike by listing another less-safe driver on the policy.
- Typical driving habits. Your typical distance driven, how often you get behind the wheel and where you drive all play a part in your car insurance prices.
Can my credit score affect my insurance rates in Georgia?
Yes, it can. Separate studies by the University of Texas and the Federal Trade Commission both show correlation between poor credit scores and elevated accident risk. Because of these findings, insurance providers throughout most of the US will factor your credit score into their calculation of your insurance costs.
The practice of using credit score to determine car insurance rates is prohibited in California, Hawaii and Massachusetts. But in the other 47 US states, providers are allowed to use these numbers to justify higher (or lower) rates.
State minimum requirements in Georgia
In order to legally drive in Georgia, you’ll need minimum liability insurance that includes:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
- $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident.
- $25,000 property damage liability coverage per accident.
When shopping for car insurance, you’ll sometimes see this written as 25/50/25.
Some states require that drivers purchase uninsured or underinsured motorists coverage (UM/UIM coverage), which protects them in case they get into an accident with someone without proper insurance coverage. Georgia does not require you to carry this type of insurance, although most drivers do. You can also get additional types of insurance to better protect yourself, including:
- Collision. Helps pay for repairs if your car is damaged in an accident.
- Comprehensive. Covers you in case your car is damaged by something other than an accident — for instance, a fire or vandalism.
- Medical and funeral services. Assists in paying for medical bills or funeral services as a result of an accident.
- Rental. Helps you manage the financial fallout of car repairs.
What happens if I’m driving in Georgia and I don’t have insurance?
Georgia law requires that you have insurance when driving. If you’re caught without it, you’ll likely face additional consequences — and Georgia’s punishments for driving without a license are particularly time–consuming.
- First offense. After your first offense, you’ll have to purchase at least the minimum required auto insurance, face a 60–day license suspension and a $200 fine by mail to the Department of Drivers Services or a $210 fine in person to your local DDS office.
- Second offense. After your second offense, you’ll have to buy car insurance and have your car insurance carrier file a Georgia Safety Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22A). You’ll also be given a 90–day license suspension and will be charged a $300 fine (by mail) or a $310 fine (to your local DDS office).
- Subsequent offenses. Subsequent punishments will be determined by a law enforcement agent or judge.
What can I use as proof of insurance in Georgia?
If you plan on driving in Georgia, you need to carry your car’s registration and proof of your insurance policy, in case of an accident. If you’re pulled over for a traffic stop, police officers will verify your insurance electronically.
Unlike most states, Georgia does not accept your insurance ID card as proof of insurance. Instead, all government agencies, including law enforcement officers performing a traffic stop, will check the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System (GEICS) to electronically verify your car insurance. Your car insurance carrier is required to report your car insurance status to the GEICS database. As a driver, you should verify your information with your insurance company so there isn’t any trouble if it needs to be verified through GEICS.
Uninsured drivers in Georgia
According to the Insurance Research Council, 12% of Georgians drive without the legally required insurance; this figure is only slightly below the 12.6% national average. To fully protect yourself from damages in a car accident, consider adding uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance to your policy.
Can I buy temporary car insurance in Georgia?
Yes, you can purchase short term car insurance for less than six months, but most insurance companies won’t offer this option.
Your best option might be to call your current insurance provider or an online provider to find out your options. You can also find a policy that lets you cancel for no or low fees, and transfer to a more long term option when you’re ready.
Drunk driving laws in Georgia
Georgia’s drunk driving laws use the same standards as the rest of the US — having a BAC over 0.08% is enough to get a DUI, and if you’re a commercial driver, all it takes is a BAC of 0.04%.
However, the state has stricter laws than some when it comes to drivers who exceed the legal limits. If you’re convicted of a DUI in Georgia, you can expect steep fines, community service, a license suspension and probably some jail time.
|First offense||Second offense||Third offense|
|Jail time||Up to 1 year||90 days – 1 year||At least 15 days|
|Fines & penalties||$300 – $1,000||$600 – $1,000||$1,000 – $5,000|
|Community service||40 hours||At least 30 days||At least 30 days|
|License suspension||Up to 1 year plus $210 reinstatement fee||18 – 36 months plus $210 reinstatement fee|
Possible mandatory IID to begin driving again
|Revoked for 5 years plus $410 reinstatement fee|
Possible mandatory IID to begin driving again
|Driver rehabilitation||DUI or drug rehab program, paid for by the convicted driver||DUI or drug rehab program, paid for by driver, plus clinical evaluation and treatment||DUI or drug rehab program, paid for by driver, plus clinical evaluation and treatment|
Can I get SR-22 insurance in Georgia?
Yes, you can. You might need an SR-22 if you’ve gotten a DUI, lost your license or have too many violation points on your driving record. The state DMV might require you to file for SR-22 to prove you have the minimum coverage required to get back behind the wheel.
What happens after a car accident in Georgia?
Car accidents can be unsettling and scary, even if it was just a small fender bender. Stay calm and follow these steps to keep your process as simple and safe as possible.
- Safety first. Check the people around you for injuries and your surroundings for any additional potential dangers. If someone is injured or you see a danger, call 911 right away. If not, it’s still usually a good idea to inform the local police of what’s happened as quickly as possible. If you’re blocking the road and feel comfortable moving your car, that’s a good idea too.
- Exchange information. Get the personal information about the people involved in the accident — like their names, driver’s license ID numbers addresses and cell phone numbers. Also write down information about their car’s make and model and insurance policy.
- Notify your insurance agent. Call your insurance company before you leave the scene. Tell them what’s happened and ask what additional steps you might have to take.
- Document the scene. Take pictures of the accident from all angles, especially the areas that got damaged. Take down the names of police officers and any potential witnesses to better protect your claim.
Who’s at fault after an accident?
Georgia is an at–fault, or tort, state. That means that if you’re found to be at–fault for an accident, you’re required to pay for the damages, including any potential medical bills to those injured. Victims have the right to further pursue compensation for lost wages and any “pain and suffering” caused by the accident.
When should I report an accident to the authorities in Georgia?
If anyone is killed, if there is an injury or if there is property damage greater than $500, you have to report the accident to local law enforcement right away. If law enforcement is not called to the scene of an accident, you’ll need to complete a Personal Report of Accident form. This form is only to protect you in court if needed at a future time because it records the information just after the accident happened. If you send this form to a government agency, it will be discarded.
Car insurance is both legally required and oftentimes a good decision for your own safety. Research your insurance options to make sure that you’re receiving the coverage that you need — and that your state requires.
Frequently asked questions about car insurance in Georgia
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