How to save money on car insurance in Georgia

Shopping around, increasing your deductible and other steps that could help
Drivers navigate the downtown connector in Atlanta. Friday, January 5th, 2023 (Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Drivers navigate the downtown connector in Atlanta. Friday, January 5th, 2023 (Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

It’s a fact of life that accidents happen, and auto insurance — at least liability coverage — is a must-have under the law to drive in Georgia.

For many motorists, finding a policy that they can afford that also provides the protection they need can be a tough balance, especially as premiums continue to rise. Motorists should think about what coverage they need to protect themselves, their families and their assets when choosing plans.

With a little legwork, there are some ways Georgia consumers can save money.

Shop around

Loyalty isn’t always a path to savings. According to Consumer Reports, shopping around from time-to-time and comparing policies can help you save money. But make sure when you call for quotes that you are comparing equivalent policies. Bankrate suggests asking providers to offer quotes for the same types of coverage and same policy limits.

Experts also suggest asking about potential discounts that can help you save, such as so-called “safe driver” deals, bundling home and auto policies, good student discounts for young drivers, discounts for being members of the military or professional organizations and savings for motorists who take defensive-driving courses.

The vehicle you drive matters

Higher-priced automobiles and high-performance vehicles are generally more expensive to insure. If you are in the market for a new vehicle, Consumer Reports suggests asking your agent for quotes for the models of vehicles for which you are shopping so that you know what it’ll cost before you buy or lease.

Slow down and drive safely

Insurance is all about risk and reducing your risk profile can help keep your rates lower. Wrecks and driving infractions can lead to big penalties and raise one’s risk profile, and that’ll show up in your premiums.

Credit scores matter

According to Consumer Reports, one way to lower your premiums is to improve your credit score. You can check your credit score online for free through the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Transunion. According to Bankrate, people with lower credit scores file claims at a higher rate than people with better credit, making them higher risks to insure.

Scrutinize your current policy

Are you driving less? Do you need the level of protection for a car that’s growing older and that’s now worth less than it was when you got the policy? Would raising your deductible — or the amount of money you would pay out of pocket — save you money in the long run? Going over your policy with your agent could lead to money-saving changes.

Life changes present opportunity

Have you gotten married? Have a teen who’s now driving? Are you in the market for a new car? Bankrate says changes in motorists’ lives could be good opportunities for shopping around.

Try to find value

One place to potentially adjust your policy to get more bang for your buck is enhancing uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is generally inexpensive, Consumer Reports says, and depending upon the plan, pays you if a motorist without coverage is at fault and you and your passengers incur medical expenses and lost wages. According to a survey by PolicyGenius, an online insurance site, 1-in-6 younger drivers operate without auto insurance.