Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury deaths and the second-leading cause of hospitalizations in Georgia. With such a significant number of injuries and fatalities attributed to car accidents, it comes as no surprise that high-risk driving behaviors are an important rating factor for Georgia insurance providers.
Drivers involved in too many at-fault accidents are not the only ones considered high risk. Insurance providers may categorize having at least one speeding ticket conviction, a DUI conviction or lapse in coverage as high-risk behaviors. When this occurs, it typically makes finding affordable car insurance more difficult, and not all insurers will extend coverage. By taking the necessary steps to drive safely and research providers in the region, high-risk drivers in Georgia can find the auto coverage solutions they need to stay financially protected on the road.
Rates for high-risk car insurance in Georgia
After committing a high-risk driving offense, insurance rates will likely increase. These rate increases vary depending on the specific type of traffic infraction committed. In addition to considering the type of traffic violation, insurance providers will also factor the driver’s previous driving record when making rate adjustments. Below, Bankrate showcases how different high-risk driving incidents impact insurance rates in Georgia on average based on data from Quadrant Information Services.
Rates after a speeding ticket
According to Georgia’s 2022 Highway Safety Plan, the rolling average of speeding-related fatalities has steadily increased since 2014. After a driver receives a speeding ticket conviction, their rates will likely increase depending on their specific provider and personal factors. The table below showcases the average increase in premium from some of the cheapest car insurance providers in Georgia for those with imperfect driving records.
High-risk drivers in Georgia could expect to pay at least a 16% increase in premiums for a speeding ticket conviction in the state:
Georgia average annual full coverage premium
|Car insurance company||Rate before a speeding ticket conviction||Rate after a speeding ticket conviction||% increase|
Often, the best way to find the most affordable car insurance following a speeding ticket is to shop around. Additionally, you may be able to work with your carrier to find discounts through eligible driving courses to help reduce your rates upon completion.
Rates after an at-fault accident
Causing an accident in Georgia is one of the more serious traffic violations that drivers can commit. Rate increases are usually much more severe following an at-fault accident, although rate increases will vary depending on your driving history, insurance carrier and other personal factors.
The table below outlines what Georgians can expect to pay after being found at fault for a car accident, where the minimum increase found is at least 12.5%.
Georgia average annual full coverage premium
|Car insurance company||Rate before an at-fault accident||Rate after an at-fault accident||% increase|
At-fault accidents can remain on a driving record for up to three years, impacting insurance rates until the infraction is removed from your history. If someone is found at-fault for causing a car accident in Georgia and does not have first-accident forgiveness on their policy, they could expect to pay more for your insurance coverage as long as the incident is on their record.
Rates after a DUI
Impaired driving accounted for 24% of driving fatalities in Georgia in 2019. Once a driver receives a DUI, their insurance carrier may not allow them to renew their policy. Additionally, drivers may be required to file an SR-22, which is a special certification for high-risk drivers that proves they possess the minimum state-required car insurance limits. Depending on a driver’s license status and prior DUI convictions, it’s possible to face license suspension or revocation, fines, jail time and significant insurance rate increases.
The following table illustrates just how significant these rate increases can be for Georgia drivers with a DUI conviction on their driving record, with the minimum increase in full coverage starting at 73.9%.
Georgia average annual full coverage premium
|Car insurance company||Rate before a DUI conviction||Rate after a DUI conviction||% increase|
Note that a DUI does not only pertain to drivers operating motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. Those with marijuana, prescription drugs or other illicit drugs in their system may also be convicted of driving while under the influence in Georgia.
Rates for teen drivers
Insurance carriers consider many things when making their risk assessment for a prospective policyholder, including age in most states. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drivers between the ages of 16-19 are at the highest risk of motor vehicle crash when compared to every other age group. Because of their inexperience and high-risk driving behaviors, teens tend to pay much higher premiums for their insurance coverage than their adult counterparts, with rates increasing by at least 48% or even doubling.
The following table outlines what some of the top cheap providers in the state charge for full coverage annually for teen drivers added to their parent’s policy:
Average annual full coverage premiums for policyholders:
|Car insurance company||Rate without a 16-year-old insured||Rate with a 16-year-old insured|
*Rate reflects the total average annual premium for a 16-year-old driver added to a married parent’s policy
With time and experience, teen drivers’ auto insurance rates typically decrease. In the meantime, they may be able to take advantage of available good student discounts through an insurance carrier.
Who is a high-risk driver?
For the purposes of this article, Bankrate defines high-risk drivers as individuals who align with our base driving profile and have at least one of the following incidents on their record:
- At-fault accident
- Speeding ticket conviction
- DUI conviction
- Lapse in coverage
It’s important to note that the standard definition of a high-risk driver differs slightly, which may impact the rate you pay. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, a high-risk driver is defined as having a higher potential for filing an insurance claim than the average driver. Included among this group are drivers who:
- Have received a DUI conviction
- Received a speeding ticket
- Were involved in illegal street racing
- Have been caught driving without a license
- Habitually drive recklessly
- Have caused a fatality or serious accident
- Have a poor driving history
- Are teenagers
- Own high-risk vehicles, including exotic cars, sports cars, supercars, and collectible cars
- Have had a lapse in insurance coverage
- Are aged 70 or older
It may help to consult with your insurance agent to learn about your risk profile and the steps you can take to reduce your rates.
How to lower your rate if you are a high-risk driver
While high-risk insurance rates are most expensive on average, there are ways that high-risk drivers in Georgia can save on their rates. The following are just some of the ways in which a driver may be able to get lower premiums:
- Compare multiple providers. High-risk drivers may feel limited in their choice of providers, but shopping around is an effective way to compare rates and coverage options from multiple companies. Shopping around for quotes can show which company offers the most affordable rates and right coverage based on personal factors.
- Build a higher credit rating: Drivers may be unaware how their credit score impacts the amount they pay for car insurance premiums. Insurance companies in most states tend to associate lower credit scores with higher risk, so improving the score may help lower premiums.
- Increase the deductible: Drivers could consider increasing their out-of-pocket obligation to offset the price of their premium. The higher the deductible, the less expensive the premium. However, it’s important to ensure there are enough funds to cover the cost of a potential claim out of pocket.
- Apply discounts: Many insurance companies offer discounts for safe driving, defensive driving classes and good students. Review the available discounts that your provider offers to take advantage of as many as you’re eligible to receive.
While these options can provide some short-term solutions to decrease insurance rates, the best step to take after falling into the high-risk driver category is to commit to safer driving habits. Maintaining a clean driving record for at least five years will generally lead to significantly lower insurance rates.
Frequently asked questions
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2022 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2002 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually. These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket conviction and single DUI conviction.
Age: Rates for 16-year-old drivers were calculated based on married male and female drivers insured together with a 16-year-old driver added to their policy. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.