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Georgia Factors that Affect Insurance Rates

Whether you're purchasing insurance in Georgia for the first time or you're just looking to update your policy, you're probably interested in spending as little as possible for good automobile insurance. While most companies will do the best they can to find you the rates you want, particularly if they know it's important to you, it pays to be informed. That way, you can ask about specific factors and how they're effecting your insurance rates, to make sure you get the best deal possible.

Major Factors that Affect Insurance Rates

There are several major factors that affect your automobile insurance rates in Georgia. The first of these is your driving record. This is probably the most important determinant of how much you will pay for insurance, because it offers solid proof of whether you are or are not a safe driver.

Both accidents and moving violations will effect your vehicle insurance rates, with accidents generally being the more important of the two. Sometimes, your insurance rates can go up as much as 20% after just one accident! Often, the insurance company will count an accident against you even if it is small, because they know that the total damage done in an accident can vary quite a lot based on factors that are outside of your control. All they know is, you were driving poorly enough to cause a problem.

Getting ticketed by the police for committing a moving violation will also cause your car insurance rates to go up, because getting the ticket indicates to the insurance company that you are an unsafe driver and, therefore, at a higher risk of costing them money. The state automatically reports all of these violations to the auto insurance companies, so there isn't much hope of avoiding a rate increase if you get a ticket. In GA, however, the state will not report any speeding violation where you were going less than 14 miles per hour over the speed limit. You will still have to pay a fine and have points on your license, but your auto insurance rates will not go up.

It's especially important that you avoid major offenses like getting a DUI, street racing, or reckless driving, because these can cause your insurance rates to skyrocket. Insurance companies view these as extremely unsafe driving behaviors, and so your rates will jump significantly if you are guilty of one of these offenses.

Demographics comes in second to your driving record as an important factor that affects your insurance rates. This includes your age, gender, marital status, and geographical location. Regarding age, younger drivers, especially those under age 25, are statistically more likely to get into an accident than older drivers. Gender compounds this, because men, who have been shown to have more anger and violent tendencies, are considered more dangerous drivers than women. Thus, men under the age of 25 have some of the highest insurance rates around.

Regarding marital status, married people are seen as more responsible and stable than singles, and thus pay lower auto insurance rates. Their stability has proven effective in helping them avoid auto accidents. Your location is also important. Just living in Georgia could raise your rates, as the state is in the top five most common locations for auto thefts. In addition, the more urban the area in which you live, the more you will pay in auto insurance. This is because you will be facing more traffic, and more cars on the road means a higher chance of getting into an accident.

Finally, your car plays a significant role in determining your auto insurance premiums. If your vehicle is new and would be expensive to replace, you will pay more to insure it. In addition, certain makes, models, and years of car have proven themselves common targets for thieves, and owning one of these will also make your rates go up. Note that it isn't just new cars that get stolen, but certain makes and models of older car are popular, too.

The extra features your car has can make it less expensive to insure, too. Safety features, like airbags, anti-lock brakes, and automatic seat belts, can lower your insurance rates. Likewise, anti-theft features such as an alarm system or even consistently using something like The Club, can earn you lower rates. For lower rates on these items, check with your auto insurance company specifically, as different companies view these features very differently.

Other Factors that Affect Insurance Rates

In addition to the major factors mentioned above, there are other things that will affect your insurance rates, just not as much. Your credit score is the first of these. People with higher credit scores are deemed to be lower risks to insure in Georgia, and vice versa. While this may not seem fair, particularly if your low credit score is not a direct result of actions you chose, it has held up statistically that people willing to take risks with their money are also more likely to take risks while driving. If you can improve your credit score before you purchase insurance, it will affect your rates for the better.

Your job is also a factor, as some occupations have been shown to correlate with a lower risk of automobile accidents. While you could have an anomalous personality for your job, your insurance company probably will not be willing to listen. Statisticians and insurance companies aren't sure why these numbers are the way they are, but they have held true over time and so your rates will be adjusted accordingly.

How much you drive also contributes to your insurance rates. This includes the total amount you drive in a year as well as how far you live from your main place of employment. The more a car is on the road, the more likely it is to be in an accident, just because of the sheer numbers of vehicles it will have a chance to come into contact with. If most of your time is spent driving in rush hour traffic, your rates could be higher still, because of the especially high concentration of vehicles on the roads during those times.

Your total years of driving experience will also influence your auto insurance rates. More experience usually means fewer accidents, as you have honed the skills and reflexes over time that will keep you and your vehicle safe. Combine this with the improved judgement that can come over time, and it makes sense that more experienced drivers would pay less for car insurance.

Finally, lapses in your auto insurance will count against you when it comes to determining rates. If you owned a car but did not have insurance, the insurance company will assume that you were driving without insurance, which means you're willing to take a lot of risks.

While very few people fit a perfect insurance profile, it's good to know how you measure up to the auto insurance company's ideal. That way, you have some bargaining power when determining your insurance rates. Knowing how auto insurance rates are determined will also help you to recognize when you're getting the best deal possible and when you should move on to the next company.

 

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