Before you get your Georgia car insurance quote, you probably need to know a thing or two about how insurance works in the state. For starters you should certainly not get just one quote, but many quotes from the various insurance companies licensed to do business here.
Make sure that you have made the proper comparisons amongst all the other companies, in terms of rates, coverage and complaints. Cheap insurance is not always bad insurance, and expensive insurance is not always good insurance. The trick is to get good value for money. With that in mind, here are some important topics about Georgia auto insurance.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements In Georgia
One of the most common things people wonder about auto insurance is how little they can legally get. Each state sets it’s own mandatory minimum requirements and Georgia is no different. However, even though the amounts listed below will meet your legal requirements they are most likely not enough to provide adequate coverage if you get in an accident.
Currently, Georgia only legally requires you to have liability insurance. You must have at least:
- Bodily Injury Liability of $25,000 per person;
- Bodily Injury Liability of $50,000 per occurrence (accident);
- Property Damage liability of $25,000 per occurrence (accident);
Liability insurance is only ever used to pay others for damage you cause. It does not provide any protection to you if you are found to be at fault in the accident. Moreover, you policy only covers you up to your policy limit. Any damage costs above this, legally become your financial responsibility.
So for example, say you cause an accident and totally destroy someone’s brand new BMW X5 that cost $50,000. If you only have the legal minimum amount of property damage coverage, you’re going to be on the hook for the extra $25,000 worth of costs above and beyond your policy limit. This is not to mention the potentially horrendous medical costs that can result from an accident.
Therefore if you want to protect yourself financially, you really should consider buying at least higher limit liability insurance. For more protection consider coverage options such as uninsured motorist coverage, collision coverage and comprehensive insurance.
Georgia State Auto Insurance Laws
There are of course several other laws, rules and regulations that affect insurance in Georgia. The reason why liability insurance is mandatory in the state for example, is that Georgia auto insurance operates on the at fault principle.
Basically those who cause accidents have to pay for them, either through insurance or their own bank account. Since most people don’t have a spare $25,000 to $50,000 lying around, the only way to financially protect both the perpetrator and victim of an accident is with adequate insurance coverage.
The laws states that you must be able to show proof of insurance when required to do so. This will be in the form of an insurance card that must be carried at all times when using your car.
In addition to this, your insurer is required by law to electronically report insurance information to the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System (GEICS) within 30 days of issuing you, your policy. Basically, the vehicle identification number (VIN) on your policy is cross-referenced with your registration VIN on file with the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).
If you have a lapse in insurance coverage (10 or more days where the MVD does not have records of your policy being on file; but where insurance was maintained) you will face a fine of $25 plus a $60 insurance reinstatement fee.
If your insurance lapse lasts more then 30 days you will be sent a Notice of Pending Suspension. You then have another 30 days to notify the MVD that you have proper insurance on your vehicle. If you don’t notify them within this period of time your vehicle’s registration will be suspended. If you are caught driving after this point you will be charged with a misdemeanor and your vehicle could be impounded.
Finally, many people worry that their insurance company will cancel their insurance after an accident. In Georgia the law states that your insurance company can not cancel or refuse to renew your policy based on just one claim, so long as you have been with them for at least 3 years. However, failure to pay your premiums and/or misrepresentation on your part when applying for a policy can be grounds for cancellation or non-renewal.
For more on you and your insurer’s legal requirements please have a look at the Motor Vehicle Division’s Insurance Information page. It provides more information in much greater detail about what is and is not legal when it comes to Georgia car insurance.
Georgia Car Insurance Companies
You have a broad range of choices when it comes to Georgia auto insurance companies. The most complete record of all companies licensed to sell insurance in the state can be found at the Office of Insurance’s Company Search Page. Another option is just to get a quote from our website which provides listings for many companies.
Finally, the Insurance Information Institute has list of some of the biggest insurers in the state. These can also be a good place to start.
Allstate Insurance Group – Call Now: 877-696-6871
Kemper Corporation (formerly Unitrin)
If you have an issue with your insurance company you can get in contact with the Office of Insurance who can help you sort it out and/or help you file a complaint if it can’t be resolved by other means.
Average Georgia Auto Insurance Rates
Nobody wants to pay more than they have to for insurance. That is why it is so important to get several Georgia car insurance quotes before buying a policy. You can find out sample rates from a variety of Georgia insurers by looking at the Office of Insurance’s Automobile Insurance Rate Comparisons.
You can find rates under a variety of scenarios and how much you’d have to pay with each insurance company. Just keep in mind these are estimates only. The only sure way to find out how much you’ll pay is by completing an insurance quote.
The average rate paid by Georgia drivers, is just slightly below the national average according to most sources. For example, the Insurance Information Institute found the state to rank as the 21st most expensive in 2008 with annual average premiums of $765 (US average $789). Similarly, CarInsurance.com has found average premiums for 2011 to be $1,315 per year in Georgia (Their US average is $1,441).
Thus, if you live and drive in Georgia you can feel content that while you might not be living in the cheapest state for car insurance, at least you’re not living in anywhere near the most expensive.
Georgia Car Accident Statistics
Interestingly, Georgia’s car accident stats are only just above the national average in terms of fatalities. In 2009 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 1,284 people were killed on Georgia’s roads. There were 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled compared to the US national average of 1.14.
The Georgia Department of Transportation reported that in 2006 there were 342,534 total accidents in the state with 87,851 crashes that resulted in injuries. The good news is that since the peak years of 2005-06 the number of crashes and fatalities seems to be falling. The bad news is that it has a long way to go.
The NHTSA reports that there were still 5 counties with more than 30 fatalities each in 2009. They were: Fulton County, Dekalb County, Gwinnett County, Chatham County and Cobb County. Although these were the worst counties the problem on Georgia’s roads is very widespread.
So please take care when driving so both you and your passengers arrive alive.
Why You Should Get Georgia Car Insurance Quotes
Your motor vehicle insurance quote should explain in detail how much you are being charged for each section of your insurance policy. Without that specific breakdown, it is difficult to compare one Georgia auto insurance quote to another.
You can always look for Georgia car insurance online. There are now many different insurance companies that offer free quotes online along with websites like ours that offer quotes from multiple companies.
This is the best and easiest way for you to compare and contrast the different companies that are out there. You can more quickly and easily pick a company that’s right for your needs. Just keep in mind the minimum legal insurance you are required to carry in the state. If possible you should get this and a whole lot more.
So take a few minutes and get some free Georgia car insurance quotes using the from below. You’ll be able to find a whole bunch of companies who are desperate for your business:
Local Insurance Guides For Georgia