The Consumer Federation of America released a study in November 2013 which analyzed auto insurance trends across the country between 1989 and 2010. The study found that the national average auto insurance expenditure had gone up from $551.95 to $791.22, an increase of 43.3 percent. The average expenditure 38 states went up by more than 43.3 percent. Only 12 states performed better than the national average increase. Georgia was one of the 12 states with an increase of 41.1 percent.
In 1989, the average auto insurance expenditure in Georgia was $531.01, roughly the same as the countrywide average at the time. By 2010, the corresponding figure had gone up to $749.09, again hovering around the countrywide figure. Furthermore, Georgia went from being ranked the 19th most expensive state to the 20th most expensive in the 21 years ending 2010. Basically, insurance costs in Georgia have held steady and remained in accord with trends across the country.
However, when compared against states such as California and Hawaii, Georgia’s performance is not as good. California is unique in that it is the only state in which insurance costs went down (by 0.3%) in the study period. Still, with an increase of just 13.7 percent, Hawaii has shown excellent results too. The study purports that the reason for California’s success is its landmark insurance regulation. A couple of key features are worth mentioning.
The regulation changes the rules of the game by compelling insurers to give most weight to a consumer’s previous driving record, miles driven and years of experience (in that order). By ensuring the insurers give most weight to these factors they are benefitting drivers who may live in a ZIP code with high rates but nevertheless have maintained a good driving record. Such and other features in the regulation have not only helped consumers get the best rates from themselves but have done so without affecting adversely the profitability of insurers.
Georgia is the third most expensive state in the United States in terms of auto insurance. The annual average insurance rate in Georgia is $2155, exceeded only by Louisiana ($2699) and Michigan ($2520). The auto insurance costs of driving drunk in Georgia are also much higher than they are in the rest of the country. In the state of Georgia, your insurance premium increases from $2155 to a whopping $4008 the first time you are convicted of an alcohol-related offense.
Gainesville is the least expensive auto insurance zip code in Georgia. In Gainesville too, a single drunk driving offense could spiral your insurance costs upwards, to $2745. Insurance companies are likely to keep your premiums high for at least three years from the date of your first offense.
Atlanta is one of the most expensive cities in Georgia to buy auto insurance. At $1998, Atlanta’s average rate is higher than that of most other cities in Georgia. In Atlanta, your premium will increase from $1998 to $3716 if you are charged with drunk driving. Alpharetta too, is an expensive city to insure cars. At $1803, its average insurance rate is higher than the rates in most other cities. After a drunk driving charge on your record, your average premium in Alpharetta will increase to $3354.
One of the best ways to lower your premium in these situations is to take a defensive driving course. Defensive driving courses help you learn to drive in hazardous weather conditions. On completion of the course, your insurance company will lower your premium to $3159 in Atlanta, $2333 in Gainesville, and $2851 in Alpharetta. In the state of Georgia, on average, your premium will come down to $3407 once you complete a defensive driving course. Moreover, it might help you prevent getting into accidents by making you a better driver.
The state you live in is one of the major factors that determine how much you will have to shell out every year for auto insurance. State regulations have a huge impact on auto insurance premium rates. Georgia is one of the most expensive auto insurance states in the country. With an average annual insurance rate of $2155, Georgia is the third most expensive auto insurance state in the United States.
The average insurance rates dramatically increase if you’re involved in one or more accidents. Insurance companies tend to distrust drivers who are involved in accidents and increase their rates accordingly. In Georgia, if you have been involved in one accident, your premium could shoot up to $2654. After a second accident, it could go up to $3959.
The premium increase is also determined by the Insurance Services Office’s surcharge schedule. Many insurance companies follow this schedule. For a single-car policy, your premium will increase up to $3107, and for a multi-car policy, it will increase to $2586. In Gainesville, the least expensive auto insurance zip code in Georgia, your premium will increase from $1476 to $2066 for a single-car policy. For a multi-car policy, your premium will increase to $1771.
In Georgia, if you have been involved in an accident that caused extensive property damage or serious medical injuries, your premium could increase between $3233 and $4310. Also, if you have been involved in a single accident in the past three years, your rates could increase between $2694 and $3233.
Your premium gets hit the worst if you’re convicted of an alcohol-related offense. In Georgia, this would increase your average annual premium to a whopping $4008. Most insurance companies keep the premium high for at least three years after your first DUI conviction, and raise the rates even higher if you are convicted again.
Taking a defensive driving course might help reduce your premium by around 15%. Moreover, it helps make you a better driver and helps prevent accidents.