Georgia Car Insurance

Drivers in Georgia understand the importance of a good car insurance policy. After all, with the miles of traffic jams radiating outwards from Atlanta on a regular basis, fender benders and accidents are an all too common occurrence in the Georgia heat. To keep things easy for drivers, The Simple Dollar has put together a number of resources, links to information, facts and data about driving laws and car insurance in the Peach State.

 

 

 

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Stats in Your State

To get a sense of how car insurance premiums compare with both neighboring states and the national average, read through the graphs and data below. You might find out that you’re paying more than you should for car insurance in Georgia.

Auto Insurance Premiums

Between 2000 and 2008, Georgia car insurance rates were lower than the national average by anywhere from $20 to $50 per year. Georgia’s predictable weather and relatively new infrastructure make driving in the Peach State easier, and safer, than many other states.

Traffic Fatalities over time

Stricter safety standards for vehicle manufacturers caused a decrease in traffic fatalities across the country from 2005 to 2011, and Georgia was no exception. Yearly fatalities dropped from 1,729 in 2005 to 1,223 in 2011.

Auto Repair Costs

The average cost of repairing an automobile in the state of Georgia has flip-flopped significantly in recent years compared to the national average. In 2010, Georgia drivers paid $338.31 in vehicle maintenance costs -- nearly $30 less than the rest of the country. In 2011, however, Georgia car owners paid $350.66 for repairs, while U.S. drivers paid roughly $16 less.

Rules in Your State

Knowing the rules and regulations in Georgia can mean the difference between a hefty fine – even jail time – and a traffic ticket. To keep track of regulations for insurance, licensing, and DUI’s, read through the resources listed below.

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements for Georgia

Liability insurance with the following limits:

  • $25,000 of bodily injury or death to another person
  • $50,000 of bodily injuries or deaths to all other persons
  • $25,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident

The Georgia Graduated License

If you’re adding a new teen driver to the family roster, make sure they’re fully licensed before they get behind the wheel. The rules for teen drivers in Georgia according to the Georgia Department of Driver Services are listed below.

Hardship License for Minors?

Yes. Hardship licenses may be available to teens who have school attendance issues and need an exemption in order to travel to and from school, or who have family medical reasons that necessitate driving, such as a disabled parent. The minor must be old enough to qualify for a license, but will allow a teen driver a restricted license without having to go through the permit process. The pertinent form is DDS 7012.

Learner’s Permit Age:

15 years old. Teen drivers must hold their permit for one year, and must log 40 practice hours before they can apply for a restricted license.

Restricted License Age:

16 years old. After passing their license test, new drivers are allowed a restricted license. Its restrictions include only one passenger under age 18 for the first six months or 1,000 miles of driving. After that, they are allowed 3 passengers for the next six months or 1,000 miles of driving. Following that, no more than 4 passengers are allowed until the driver has reached the age of 18. Additionally, they are not allowed to drive between 1:00 am and 6:00 am until they reach age 18.

Full License (Unrestricted) Age:

18 years old.

More Resources for Georgians

Official Code of Georgia

Title 33 of the Code of Georgia sets forth the regulations and statutes governing insurance companies, policies, and requirements of the industry. If you’re up for some technical reading on the laws around insurance, pull up a chair and get comfortable with Title 33.

Title 33: Insurance, Chapter 6: Unfair Trade Practices, Article 2: Unfair Claims Settlement Practices.

Listed below are some of the most significant unfair claims settlement practices defined by the Code of Georgia. There are 14 unfair acts in total listed in the article, but you’ll only find a handful listed below on this page. For the full list, click on the link above.

  • (1) Knowingly misrepresenting to claimants and insureds relevant facts or policy provisions relating to coverages at issue;
  • (4) Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of claims submitted in which liability has become reasonably clear;
  • (5) Compelling insureds or beneficiaries to institute suits to recover amounts due under its policies by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in suits brought by them;
  • (6) Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation;
  • (14) Issuing checks or drafts in partial settlement of a loss or claim under a specific coverage which contain language which releases the insurer or its insured from its total liability.

Georgia Insurance Unfair Trade Practices

Although Georgia does not have a specific bill of rights for consumers when it comes to insurance, it does have a straightforward set of rules that prohibit insurers from using unfair trade practices. Read on for additional details on those rules below.

DUI/DWI Laws:

Next time you’re thinking of getting a drink and driving home, consider the fines, license suspension, and possible jail time you could face for it. The basics of DUI penalties in Georgia are listed below.

Administrative license suspension 1st offense? 1 year
Restore driving privileges during suspension? Limited driving privileges may be restored after 30 days if the driver demonstrates special hardship.
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for first offenders for the following offenses? No
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for repeat offenders for the following offenses? yes
Fine for first offense? $300 to $1,000
Jail sentence for first offense? 10 days to 1 year

Representatives & Resources in Your State

If you need an advocate to support you, or are just looking to learn how insurance works in the eyes of Georgia's government, check out our list of state contacts and websites.

Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner
Consumer Services Division
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
West Tower, Suite 716
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
(404) 656-2070
Contact Information
Get Directions
Consumer Complaint Portal
Use the above link to contact the Insurance Commissioner to file a complaint about a specific insurance company.
Car Insurance Information for Consumers
The Office of the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner has put together a useful brochure for consumers who wish to learn more about car insurance in Georgia.

Georgia Department of Driver Services
Department of Driver Services
Post Office Box 80447
Conyers, Georgia 30013
(404) 657-9300
Contact Info
The Department of Driver Services governs the licensing of new drivers, among other key resources for Georgia drivers.

Georgia Department of Transportation
One Georgia Center
600 West Peachtree NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30308
(404) 631-1990
Get Directions
Contact Info Page
The Department of Transportation handles the maintenance of Georgia’s road, as well as the state’s outreach on traffic conditions and highway warnings.