11 Auto Insurance Mistakes Georgia Residents Don't Know They Are Making

With over half of the state's almost 10 million residents being licensed drivers, Georgia's residents would be surprised at some of the many auto insurance mistakes they don’t know they are making.

Here, we summarize several in an attempt to help this state whose motto is “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation” to be sure its residents are making wise choices and getting the justice they deserve from auto insurance companies!

Avoid Delayed Claims

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Georgia is a state in which the number of days an insurer can take to process a claim is not specifically defined, so it can be difficult to know how to hold them accountable if you are in an accident. However, statute 33-6-34 indicates that "failing to provide forms necessary to file claims within 15 calendar days of a request with reasonable explanations regarding their use" is illegal. Be certain that your insurance company is not lagging in any aspect of processing your claim or payment -- if they do, you can and should file a complaint with the Department of Insurance. More

Diminished Value

If you are in a car accident, you are entitled to whatever resale value your car lost because of the accident. Be sure that your insurance company is not indicating that "17c”" is the only way to determine diminished value, as in Georgia, many believe it is an unfair assessment tool, including Georgia's Insurance Commissioner, John Oxendine. Instead, demand that a USPAP compliant appraisal report be done by a third party like Diminished Value of Georgia.

Take Advantage of Student Discounts

Younger drivers, specifically those under the age of 25, tend to have higher auto insurance rates simply because statistically, this demographic gets in 29% of all accidents. But young Georgia drivers can take advantage of lower insurance rates for being "good students". If you are "ranked in the upper 20% of your class, have a 'B' average or better, a 3.0 average or better, or make the Dean's List or Honor Roll," then you qualify. More

Combining Home Insurance and Auto Insurance Can Be Beneficial

Some auto insurance companies offer better rates if you combine your home and auto policies. It is worth shopping around and comparing options separately and combined to see if you might be able to find a stronger offer in combining the two. More

Not Insuring Your Car

This is a no-no in Georgia, as all cars must have liability insurance coverage. The minimum requirement is 25/50/25, or coverage of up to $50,000 for all persons injured in an accident, subject to a limit of $25,000 for one individual, and $25,000 coverage for property damage. Penalties for not insuring your car can include misdemeanor charges, a suspended license for up to six months, and fees of up to $185 depending on the severity of the insurance lapse. More

The Size of Your Deductible Matters

Size matters when it comes to deductibles and car insurance rates. Unless you are incredibly accident prone, going for a higher deductible can significantly improve your car insurance rates and save you quite a bit of money in the long run. More

Georgia Defensive Driver Discount

Many insurance companies in the state of Georgia offer up to 10% off on your insurance policy if you take a defensive driving course and have a good driving record. If you are a GEICO policyholder, you actually get discounted course pricing.

Tell the Truth!

Make sure you mention to your insurance company any accidents or infractions you have been involved in. The insurance company WILL find out eventually as they do their research, and you could be subject to higher rates if the insurance company finds it cannot trust you.

Pay Up Front

In many cases, you can lower the cost of your annual insurance by a great deal by simply paying for the full policy up front. Be sure to ask your insurance carrier what kind of discount you might receive for doing so. More

Too Much Coverage

If your car is worth less than $1,000, you likely do not need collision and comprehensive coverage, which could wind up costing you more ultimately than the car is actually worth. More

Be Sure to Compare

It is always important when trying to select a policy that you compare rates. Ask friends and family whom they are using for insurance -- you might learn about good deals and great programs that way, in addition to learning about the level of customer service an insurance company provides. This will be important in the event of an accident.

In short, Georgia drivers have many discounts and opportunities to take advantage of when it comes to car insurance. It is worth educating oneself on these opportunities, as great cost savings can be the result in the long run! More