Auto insurance can feel like just another monthly bill — especially when your car is humming along smoothly. But if you’re ever in an accident, you’ll be thankful you have auto insurance to help cover damages. We set out to discover the difference between Georgia’s top auto insurance providers, and find out what drivers in the Peach State need to know before they get behind the wheel.
How We Found the Best Georgia Auto Insurance Companies
We started by identifying the top five auto insurance carriers in Georgia based on market share. Next, we rigorously evaluated each company based on the criteria we used for our nationwide review of the best auto insurance, including website functionality, educational offerings, and customer service. Then we looked up each company’s reputation using J.D. Power scores and Consumer Reports ratings, and searched to see how each business was rated by major financial institutions including A.M. Best and Moody’s. Finally, we put each website to the test, retrieving sample insurance quotes for a 2012 Subaru Outback with 65,000 miles for a 30-year-old female driver to see how each company stacked up.
The 5 Best Auto Insurance Companies in Georgia
Georgia Auto Insurance Reviews
Representing 11.6 percent of Georgia’s auto insurance customers, Progressive offers a quote process and overall website experience that is clean, simple, and intuitive. Its robust FAQ section, called “Progressive Answers,” handles many of the high-level insurance questions a customer may have — from “what actually impacts your auto insurance price” to more nuanced questions like “red cars and other insurance myths.” This brand is also only one of two of the top auto insurance providers we looked at to offer a live chat option. Progressive offers a wide array of discounts, ranging from having multiple cars on one policy to having teen drivers in the household. The website also mentions giving an average discount of 7 percent for just starting your quote online — a promotion none of our other providers offer.
Progressive received only 3 out of 5 stars from J.D. Power for its overall customer satisfaction and claims process categories. Still, Consumer Reports ranked it as “very good” in regards to its simplicity of process and “excellent” for its timely payouts.
State Farm is the largest auto insurance provider in Georgia, covering roughly 22.5 percent of the market of insured drivers. The website is comprehensive, but is a bit overwhelming — you’ll need to sift through huge, bulky blocks of text to find what you’re looking for. Still, we appreciated that it lays out all of the discounts we may be eligible for, such as defensive driving course and good student discounts, and supplemental coverages offered like rideshare driver coverage and emergency road service.
State Farm’s quote process isn’t as straightforward as Progressive’s. It requires either a Driver’s Licence Number or Social Security Number, and a detailed account of any at-fault accidents, tickets, major violations, or license suspensions in the past six years. That’s a lot of information to provide if you’re just shopping around for the best deal.
State Farm was evaluated by two main financial institutions, Standard & Poor’s and A.M. Best, and earned a “very strong” and “superior” respectively for financial stability. It earned slightly lower marks from J.D. Power — 3 out of 5 stars in both the overall and claims process categories.
Allstate has garnered 9.5 percent of Georgia’s auto insurance market share — just a little behind Progressive. We quite liked that its website housed an array of useful information. Allstate took the guesswork out of the equation for the shopper, providing a small definition beneath each term for easy comprehension. Some auto insurance websites (such as State Farm) were too advanced — most of us aren’t familiar with all of these terms, so we liked Allstate’s more explanatory approach. It also clearly lists its supplemental coverage options (ranging from medical payments to sound system insurance) and discounts (including ones for having anti-theft devices or students away at school). While we could complain that the website has too much information — it’s easy to get lost navigation-wise — we actually just found it helpful to get our bearings in the world of auto insurance terms and considerations.
Customers rank Allstate 3 stars (“about average”) for overall satisfaction and 3 stars for timely payouts on J.D. Power. Allstate also receives high marks from financial institutions like Moody’s, which granted Allstate with its highest rating for having “exceptional financial security.”
Liberty Mutual represents 3.9 percent of the market share. It’s evident Liberty Mutual invested in its website—it’s well-designed and simple to use. After looking at multiple auto insurance providers, it is refreshing to find a website that is designed with the average customer in mind.
If you’re just shopping around, be warned that Liberty Mutual’s online quote estimator requires you enter your Social Security Number. No other auto insurer required this sensitive information to receive a free quote. There are two ways to obtain a quote—you can choose to receive a “quick estimate” by answering a few quick questions, or a “personalized quote,” which entails answering more detailed questions. The personalized quote option will give you a more accurate estimate based on your circumstances, but both will require a SSN—all before you’re an actual customer.
Liberty Mutual received positive ratings from all three financial institutions — Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and A.M. Best — varying from “good” to “very strong.” However, J.D. Power rated its overall satisfaction as 2 out of 5 stars, which means “just below average.”
Nationwide covers a smaller market in Georgia, just 3.1 percent of Georgia’s drivers, but its ratings from financial institutes, Moody’s and A.M. Best, range from “good” to “superior,” so it’s definitely worthy of a look. From J.D. Power, it dwindled a little when it came to overall customer satisfaction (2 out of 5 stars).
That being said, Nationwide does make up for this by providing 11 discounts to help offset the cost of auto insurance (two less than State Farm’s and Progressive’s offerings). These discounts include:
- Accident free
- Good student
- Defensive driving
- Safe driver
- Easy Pay sign-up (automatic payments)
- Affinity member
- Go paperless
- On Your Side® Review (an evaluation of your policy to make sure you’re getting the most benefits and discounts for your needs)
There’s also SmartRide® which uses a device to monitor your driving. It provides personalized feedback and rewards safe driving with discounts.
Nationwide’s website looks nice; however, because the company also handles investing and retirement, it’s a little overwhelming to navigate once you’re actually using it as a tool. Things fell apart a little bit more during the quote process. When we reached the end of the quote process and clicked “submit,” we got an odd message saying that our quote couldn’t be fulfilled online. We were automatically redirected to a website called “National General Auto, Home & Health Insurance.” We weren’t overly impressed with that experience, but its list of discounts and endorsements kept it on our list.
The Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies in Georgia
|Car Insurance Companies||Average Annual Premium|
|GA Farm Bureau Mutual||$778|
|Safeway Ins Co of GA||$1,359|
|ACCC Ins Co – Maverick||$1,691|
|Average Across Credit Rating Tiers||$1,240|
|Credit Rating Tier||Average Annual Premium|
|Average Across Credit Rating Tiers||$1,319|
Quadrant car insurance rate data as of 07/01/2019.
These rates are a sample set meant only for general comparison. Your own premium will vary. Learn how we tested rates for the cheapest car insurance companies below.
Top 3 Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies in Georgia
• Owners Ins
• GA Farm Bureau Mutual
Top 3 Most Expensive Auto Insurance Companies in Georgia
• Southern General
• ACCC Ins Co – Maverick
According to an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence, Georgia led the nation with the biggest jump in auto insurance rates in 2016. There’s plenty of blame to go around regarding factors that have contributed to this increase, but one of the main causes has been auto theft. Despite having just 22 of the nation’s 1,000 most-populated cities, Georgia had 15 metro areas listed in the top 382 cities for auto theft in 2017, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s Hot Spots Report. With this uptick in crime, insurance companies inevitably receive more claims, which they have to pay out if a driver has comprehensive insurance. Together with increased traffic accidents resulting from population growth, it’s possible that auto insurance premiums in Georgia continue to rise in coming years.
Guide to Georgia Auto Insurance Companies
Georgia Minimum Liability
Liability is an important term in the insurance industry, basically translating to “responsibility.” With auto insurance, there are two main kinds of liability: bodily injury and property damage. If you are at-fault in an accident, your auto liability insurance will pay the other driver’s medical and vehicle repair costs.
Minimum liability refers to the minimum amount of insurance coverage the state of Georgia requires you to purchase before you can legally drive your car. (Sometimes, liability coverage is shown in the following shorthand: 25/50/25.) Georgia’s minimum liability coverage breaks down in the following manner:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 property damage coverage per accident
Consider purchasing more than minimum coverage
You don’t want to purchase just the minimum liability coverage. Say you’re in a car accident involving another person’s luxury car — the crash may very well exceed the the minimum liability of $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident. You’d be stuck footing the bill for the rest of the cost out of pocket. That’s why your safest bet is to purchase the highest amount of auto insurance you can afford.
Georgia Auto Insurance Companies FAQ
How high will my Georgia auto insurance premiums be?
There are many factors that determine auto insurance premiums (if you own your home, how long you’ve been a licensed driver, your safety record, where you live, and so on). That’s why it’s so crucial to shop around for premiums and discover which auto insurance provider will give you the best coverage at the best price.
Will car thefts affect my auto insurance premiums in Georgia?
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s Hot Spots Report, 15 of Georgia’s metropolitan areas made the list of top 382 cities for automobile theft in 2017, despite Georgia having only 22 of the country’s 1,000 biggest cities by population.
So, what does this mean for your auto insurance? A higher crime rate translates to a higher premium, specifically for those who live in areas where car theft is more common. Luckily, many auto insurance providers will give a discount to policyholders with anti-theft devices in their cars.
Why are Georgia auto insurance premiums so high?
Some news outlets place the blame on a bill introduced more than a decade ago. Then-Senator (now Georgia Insurance Commissioner) Ralph Hudgens backed a bill that would essentially do away with a system of checks and balances placed on auto insurance companies. Before the bill passed, any time an auto insurance company wanted to raise premium rates, it would have to first go through a rigorous pre-approval process. Since the bill became a law, Georgia’s auto insurance premiums have steadily increased.
Meanwhile, Georgia lawmakers blame rising traffic, distracted driving, and increased opioid use as reasons why there are more accidents — and thus ever-increasing higher premiums — in the state of Georgia. (The rate of traffic fatalities has risen faster in Georgia than in the nation as a whole, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.) Regardless of the exact cause, one thing is certain: Georgia residents can expect to pay more on average than their neighboring states when it comes to auto insurance.
The Best Georgia Auto Insurance Companies: Summed Up
We worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide data on auto insurance rates by company and credit score. Quadrant makes this information available using rate data insurers are required to file with state Departments of Insurance. Rates are based on sample profiles created by Reviews.com for comparative purposes.