Protecting yourself with affordable car insurance in Georgia is a smart thing to do. The state requires all Georgia residents to at least carry liability insurance to cover the costs of property damage or injuries sustained by the other driver in an accident.
The minimum liability insurance required is $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
Although not required by law, it is also wise to carry some comprehensive and collision insurance to cover the costs of damage to your vehicle in an accident. Collision insurance covers damages to your car if it hits or is hit by another vehicle or object. Comprehensive insurance covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle after it’s damaged as the result of something other than an accident.
Car insurance doesn’t have to break the bank. You can take steps to ensure your car insurance rates aren’t sky high.
Here are eight mistakes to avoid to get the most affordable car insurance in Georgia.
1. Don’t Let Your Insurance Policy Lapse
Driving in Georgia without having at least liability car insurance coverage is against the law. It is essential to make sure that you have affordable car insurance coverage and take every precaution to ensure your policy doesn’t lapse.
A lapse in your car insurance could lead to increased premiums, penalties, and maybe even the suspension or revocation of your vehicle registration. In Georgia, state law requires that you maintain car insurance “continuously.” Insurance carriers are required to report any lapse in insurance to the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Here is where you can find out if your insurance carrier has reported you for a lapse in coverage, although you will receive a notice in the mail from the state of Georgia.
A lapse in insurance is when you go ten or more days without coverage. Once you go without insurance coverage, you are considered high risk in the eyes of insurance companies. Some may refuse to insure you, while those that do will charge higher premiums.
Worst yet, if your car insurance lapses and you get into an accident, you could be required to pay for any property damages or injuries out of pocket. The cost to you can be even higher if the other driver files a lawsuit against you.
2. Don’t Get a Ticket
Even a simple speeding ticket in Georgia can have an impact on your car insurance rates. Your driving record gives insurance companies an idea of how good a driver you are and what kind of risk they take on by insuring you. For example, a driver with many moving violations has a greater chance of getting into a car accident and is, therefore, a higher risk than someone with a clean driving record.
So every minor infraction you make could increase the price tag on your car insurance premiums.
3. Don’t Drive a High-Risk Vehicle
If you insist on driving an expensive sports car like a Maserati, BMW, or Porsche, you’ll pay more for car insurance. Again, the insurance company looks at the risk factors involved with certain vehicles to determine your premiums.
The most expensive cars to insure are high-end sports cars because they cost more to repair and are prone to being stolen. Insurance companies also have data on what vehicles are more likely to get into accidents.
Vehicles that lack safety features such as airbags and anti-lock brakes can also drive up your insurance premiums.
4. Don’t Ignore Your Credit Score
Your credit score can affect more than just your ability to borrow money or get a credit card. It can also impact how much an insurance company will charge you for car insurance coverage. A low credit score could indicate that you may have difficulties paying your premiums on time, making you a higher risk to insurance companies.
5. Don’t Use Your Personal Vehicle for Commercial Purposes
The risks of getting into a car accident increase the more you drive your car. So if you are using your car for a side hustle like Door Dash delivery or Uber in Georgia, you should talk to your insurance company to make sure you have the right coverage. In some cases, you may need to get commercial vehicle insurance or rideshare endorsements on your regular car insurance policy.
6. Don’t Hide Information from Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company should know about everyone who will drive your vehicle. Before you let your teenager get behind the wheel or let your boyfriend drive your car regularly, give the insurance company a call and have them added as a driver on your policy. If they aren’t on the policy and get into an accident, you could be held liable for any property damage or injuries.
7. Don’t Forget to Update Your Car Insurance Policy
Anytime you have a major life change, you should consider how it might affect your insurance policy and contact your carrier about updating the policy. Changes can include moving to a new address, getting a new vehicle, or adding a new driver. You may be surprised that some changes may help to decrease your insurance rates in Georgia. For example, your rates could drop if you move to a safer neighborhood or buy a more affordable car.
8. Don’t Forget to Take Advantage of Discounts
Is your car insurance with the same carrier as your homeowners policy or renters insurance? If so, then you should make sure to ask about multi-policy discounts. Most insurance companies offer discounts to customers who hold more than one type of insurance policy with their company. If you don’t have all your insurance under one company, you might want to look into combining them. The result could mean significant savings on your premiums.