Car insurance for high-risk drivers in Georgia

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In Georgia, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury death and the second-leading cause of hospitalizations. With such a significant number of injuries and fatalities attributed to car accidents, it comes as no surprise that Georgia insurance providers tend to take high-risk driving behaviors seriously.

Drivers are considered “high-risk” if they have been found at-fault for an accident, have at least one speeding ticket, have a DUI conviction or have had a lapse in insurance coverage. Following such incidents, it can be challenging for high-risk drivers to find affordable car insurance coverage — or sometimes even a provider willing to take on the risk of insuring them. However, by taking the necessary steps to correct their driving record and researching available providers in the region, high-risk drivers in Georgia can find the car insurance coverage solutions they need to stay safe and protected on the road.

Rates for high-risk car insurance in Georgia

After committing a high-risk driving offense, your 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 take into account the driver’s record prior to the incident when making rate adjustments.

Rates after a speeding ticket

Speeding is the fourth-leading cause of traffic fatalities in Georgia. After a driver receives a speeding ticket, their rates will increase depending on their specific provider, driving history, age and gender. The table below illustrates what high-risk drivers in Georgia can may pay for car insurance before and after receiving a speeding ticket in the state:

Car insurance company Georgia average annual premium for full coverage before a speeding ticket Georgia average annual premium for full coverage after a speeding ticket % difference
Nationwide $1,202 $1,939 61%
Progressive $1,800 $1,946 8%
State Farm $1,375 $1,719 25%

Often, the best way to find the most affordable car insurance following a speeding ticket is to shop around to find the provider that is best able to meet your needs. Additionally, you may be able to work with your carrier to find discounts through eligible driving courses which — upon completion — may help reduce your rates.

Rates after an at-fault accident

Causing an accident in Georgia is one of the more serious traffic violations that drivers can commit. As such, rate increases are usually much more severe following such infractions. Again, rate increases will vary depending on your driving history, insurance carrier, age and gender. The table below outlines what Georgians can expect to pay after being found at-fault for a car accident:

Car insurance company Georgia average annual premium for full coverage before an accident Georgia average annual premium for full coverage after an accident % difference
Auto-Owners $1,494 $1,659 11%
Nationwide $1,202 $2,226 85%
State Farm $1,375 $1,834 33%

At-fault accidents can remain on your driving record for up to three years, impacting the rate you pay for insurance coverage until the infraction is removed from your history. If you’ve been found at-fault for causing a car accident in Georgia, expect to pay more for your insurance coverage for years to come as you work to correct your record.

Rates after a DUI

Drunk driving is the leading cause of motor vehicle accidents in Georgia, making it the most serious traffic violation a driver can commit. Once a driver receives a DUI, their insurance carrier may not allow them to renew their policy. Additionally, you may be required to carry a SR-22, which is a special certification for high-risk drivers that proves they possess the minimum state required car insurance coverage. Not only that, but depending on your age, license type and prior DUI convictions, you may face license suspension or revocation, fines, jail time, and significant insurance rate increases. The following illustrates just how significant these rate increase can be for high-risk Georgia drivers:

Car insurance company Georgia average annual premium for full coverage before a DUI Georgia average annual premium for full coverage after a DUI % difference
Geico $1,711 $3,227 83%
Progressive $1,800 $2,067 15%
USAA $1,506 $2,126 41%

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. 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, Georgia teens tend to pay much higher premiums for their insurance coverage than their adult counterparts. The following outlines what some of the top providers in the region charge for annual full coverage for teen drivers added to their parents’ policy:

Car insurance company Average annual premium for full coverage
Georgia Farm Bureau $2,304
Metlife $1,974
State Farm $1,466

*16-year-old on their parent’s policy

With time and experience, your teen driver’s auto insurance rates will decrease. In the meantime, however, you may be able to take advantage of available good student discounts through your 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 one or more of the following incidents on their record:

  • At-fault accident
  • Speeding ticket
  • DUI conviction
  • Lapse in coverage

It’s important to note, however, that the standard definition of a high-risk driver differs slightly, which may impact the rate you pay in actuality. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, a high-risk driver is defined as one who has 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 it’s inevitable that high-risk drivers in Georgia will pay more for their car insurance, there are ways that these drivers can save on their rates. The following are just some of the ways in which high-risk drivers may be able to get lower premiums:

  • Shop Around: Your current carrier might not be the most affordable option in your area, and in some cases, they may not renew your coverage depending on the type of infraction committed. By shopping around, you can be more confident that you are paying the most affordable rate for the coverage you need.
  • Credit rating: While your driving record is the most important thing considered when calculating your premium, making improvements to your credit score can also help reduce your rates.
  • Increased deductible: If you are able to do so, increase your out-of-pocket obligation to offset the price of your monthly premium. The higher your deductible, the less expensive your monthly payment will be.
  • Get discounts: Lots of insurance companies offer discounts for safe driving, defensive driving classes, driver’s education courses, good students, and more. 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 for your insurance rate obligation, the best step to take after falling into the high-risk driver category is generally to commit to safer driving habits. Once you’re able to maintain a clean driving record for at least five years, your insurance rates should go down significantly.

Frequently asked questions

How long am I considered a high-risk driver?

It depends on the specific infraction you committed. Minor violations, such as a one-time speeding ticket, may be removed from your record in as little as one year if you had a clean history while a DUI conviction can remain on your record for as many as three years. Consult with your insurance agent to understand how long you’ll remain on their high-risk profile list.

How long does it take for insurance rates to go down for high-risk drivers?

In most cases, it takes between three and five years for a high-risk driver to see their rates fall back down to average levels. This is because insurance carriers generally look at the past five years of driving history when determining your rates.

What is the best insurance company for high-risk drivers?

The best insurance company for high-risk drivers really depends on your specific needs. Drivers should consider affordability, breadth of coverage, customer satisfaction, and available discounts when choosing the best insurance carrier. Refer to our list of the best car insurance companies to find the provider that works best for you!

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 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 coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 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.

High-risk drivers
Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.

Written by
Carly Severino
Insurance Contributor
Carly Severino has two years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, Coverage.com, Reviews.com and TheSimpleDollar.com. She has experience covering a broad range of insurance products, including homeowners, life, auto, and medical insurance. Her expertise has also been called upon in the development of various websites for insurance companies, including Birtwhistle & Livingston, Inc., GovTech Insurance and Tax Title Services.