Located in the southeastern U.S., Georgia’s historic sites, stunning Southern architecture, and beautiful scenery attract visitors from around the nation and the world. Visitors may be unfamiliar with the state’s traffic laws, weather, or road conditions, and they don’t always know where they’re going, increasing the chance of accidents. Residents are encouraged to carry as much auto insurance as they can afford to protect against this risk.
Georgia car insurance companies consider an array of factors when determining your car insurance rates, including your driving record, the make and model of your car, your claims history, and your credit report. Your age, gender, and marital status are other relevant factors. Let our carrier-neutral, objective information assist you in finding the best carrier and the lowest rates for your individual coverage needs.
Georgia car insurance isn’t cheap, making shopping for a policy more stressful. Take a deep breath, though; we’re here to help. We suggest starting the process by looking into the top three auto insurance companies in the state and the rest of the Southeast (see the full list).
When comparing insurance companies, take the time to check out their rates, available discounts, customer satisfaction scores, and number of rejected claims.
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If you’re involved in an accident, your insurance offers financial security and protection against medical bills and lost wages. That’s why buying car insurance is an investment, not merely another monthly expense. Carry as much coverage as you can afford for the greatest protection against poor drivers, hazardous road conditions, and the whims of fate.
Georgia Driving Safety
Although traffic fatalities are declining in Georgia, the state’s still dangerous for drivers. In fact, Vox compiled information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and ranked the nation’s deadliest interstates, and Georgia drivers fared badly; I-285 had more fatal accidents per mile than any other interstate in 2013.
The leading causes of accidents in Georgia include following too closely, failure to yield, losing control of the vehicle, and improper lane changes. Speeding, animals in the roadway, and poor weather conditions are other noteworthy contributors. Because not all of these are under your control—and neither are other drivers—it’s crucial to maintain adequate insurance coverage no matter how safe and responsible you are behind the wheel.
Save money while saving the planet with green driver incentives in Georgia. Environmentally friendly laws and incentives are constantly evolving in the state, though, so check with your local DMV branch before making any changes to your vehicle or insurance policy.
Georgia offers several green driver benefits to entice motorists to approach the road in more eco-minded ways. Some of these include:
Georgia first-time registrations and registration renewals may be exempt from emissions inspections for new vehicles (3 model years or newer) and dedicated alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). AFVs are those that run solely on alternative fuel and don’t use regular gasoline. Alternative fuels can refer to propane, battery electricity, hydrogen, or natural gas. Georgia does not classify hybrids as AFVs.
Alternative fuel vehicles may qualify to use high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, regardless of whether there are any passengers along for the ride. A GA alternative fuel tag must be visible. Visit Georgia’s Clean Air Force website to see if your vehicle qualifies.
Driving a green car in Georgia may make you eligible for certain tax breaks and insurance discounts. These incentives typically apply to drivers of hybrids, AFVs, and economy cars. Discounts may also be available if you drive very little or own a low-emissions vehicle.
Georgia drivers are required to carry liability insurance to pay for damages and injuries inflicted on someone else in an auto accident. Minimum coverage amounts in the state include $25,000 bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident. Motorists must also have $25,000 property damage liability per accident.
High-risk drivers in Georgia who have difficulty obtaining auto insurance through the voluntary insurance market can find coverage through the Georgia Automobile Insurance Plan, or GAAIP.
GAAIP assigns high-risk motorists to insurers, but the drivers usually pay very high rates. To be eligible, you must certify that you’ve tried and failed to obtain car insurance from two or more carriers in the last 60 days. For more information on GAAIP, refer to the AIPSO website.
Maximum payment for serious or permanent injury or death to a single person
Maximum payment for serious or permanent injury or death to multiple people
Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you
Georgia law does not require motorists to buy collision and comprehensive insurance, but this full coverage is required by finance companies when taking out a loan or lease on a vehicle.
Read our post 11 Mistakes People Make When Shopping for Auto Insurance and approach your shopping like a pro.
*These rankings are based on the consumer ratings for the Southeast region of the United States, as listed in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. Five areas are responsible for the ratings: policy offerings, billing, claims, interaction, and price. Because USAA is only open to U.S. military personnel and their families, it was not included in the rankings.
Car seats play an important role in keeping child passengers safe. For this reason, Georgia has passed various laws and regulations pertaining to their use.
All children under the age of 8 who are less than 57 inches tall must ride in the back seat of a car. This protects them from accident- and airbag-related injuries. If the vehicle does not have a back seat, Georgia law allows children under 8 years but weighing more than 40 pounds to ride in the front seat, provided they are properly restrained in the car or booster seat. The recommended age for moving to the front seat is 13 years.
Children under 8 years old must ride in an approved car seat or booster seat appropriate for their age, height, and weight as defined by the manufacturer. If an officer observes an unrestrained child or seat belt offense, he or she can stop the vehicle and issue a citation. There does not need to be any other cause for stopping the vehicle.
Violating Georgia’s car seat laws can result in a fine of up to $50, as well as one point against your license per improperly restrained minor. A second offense can double the points and fines.
About 40 kids die each year in the United States from being left unattended in a car. The most common cause of these deaths is high temperatures. In Georgia, the temperature inside a vehicle on a mild day can increase 20 degrees in just 10 minutes, especially if the car is parked in the sun. Please remember that this is also a threat to pets.
Heat is not the only danger unattended children face. Injuries can happen from kids jumping around in parked cars or when a car is shifted out of park and begins moving or crashes into another object. Plus, the risk of kidnapping increases whenever a young child is left unattended. Never leave a child alone in a car, even for a few minutes.
Although there are no state laws that specifically pertain to children left unsupervised in a car, it’s important to call 911 immediately if you see a kid left alone. If the child seems sick, hot, or otherwise in danger, get him or her out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
Yes. Your credit score can be used to set your insurance premium and determine your eligibility for coverage in Georgia. Your credit score is used to determine your so-called insurance score, which has more of an effect than most other factors when it comes to what you pay each month.
Your auto insurance company bases your premium on a number of factors, and one of those is your driving record. Being a good driver can lead to significant savings on your car insurance. In fact, Georgia state law requires a 10% discount for drivers 25 and older who have had no at-fault accidents and have maintained a clean driving record for three years. Other discounts that can reduce the cost of your insurance include:
Digital proof of insurance is not only accepted, but mandatory in Georgia. In the state, a standard ID card cannot be accepted as evidence of coverage. All law enforcement and government agencies will check the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System to verify your coverage electronically. Carrying a standard ID card, however, is a recommended way to exchange information with another driver if you’re involved in an accident.
Driving without insurance in Georgia is a major offense. Even if you stay out of your car, a lapse in coverage can result in suspension of your license, inability to renew your registration, and reinstatement fees.
It is illegal for Georgians to operate a motor vehicle with the following BAC percentages:
.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old
Georgia has a zero-tolerance law for drivers under 21 that operate a vehicle with alcohol in their systems. This results in very harsh punishments for young persons convicted of a DUI in the state.
The state’s “implied consent” law states that if you’re arrested by a law enforcement officer who has probable cause to suspect you’ve been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you consent to a chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine. Refusing to take this test can result in suspension of your driver’s license for at least one year.
For a first DUI offense in Georgia, you could face up to one year in jail, a fine up to $1,000, up to one year suspension of driving privileges, 40 hours of community service, and probation. You may also be required to attend a DUI education course and install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
Subsequent offenses carry harsher penalties. Plus, a DUI will result in considerably higher insurance rates for many years.
Yes. Georgia drivers who receive points on their driving record due to a moving or non-moving traffic violation may elect to attend a driver improvement course. Successful completion prevents points from being assessed and ensures your insurance company doesn’t increase your premium. For a list of certified defensive driving and driver improvement schools, visit the Georgia Department of Driver Services website.
The easiest way to keep your insurance rates low is by being a safe driver and following all Georgia traffic laws. Monitor your credit and work to keep or get it high, avoid lapses in coverage, and shop around and compare rates to help keep your costs low, too.
Uninsured motorist insurance may be included on a policy in Georgia, but it’s not required; only liability insurance is mandatory. However, uninsured motorist coverage is highly recommended because it protects you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who does not have any or adequate coverage.
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