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The capital of Georgia, Atlanta, is home to 5.4 million residents (if you count the entire metropolitan area), which makes it the 9th largest metro area in the nation. Because of its population density, the city has one of the highest costs of living in the state. However some smart shopping will show the many options for cheap insurance Atlanta has available.

The city’s diverse economy, with industries ranging from media and technology to logistics and service, has led to near-constant growth. The economy is so strong, in fact, that it ranks 15th in the world. There have been many “watershed” events in the city’s history that helped it grow, the most recent being the 1996 Olympic Games, which were hosted in Atlanta, and led to an economic boom that has continued into the present day.

This revitalization is apparent in the city’s crime rate as well, which has dropped over 700 points over the past decade, and continues to decline. Auto theft remains high however, due in part to the sheer number of cars on the road, so residents are advised to carry “full coverage” on their vehicles if possible (known as comprehensive and collision coverage).

What kind of insurance do you need in Atlanta?

Did you know that the property damage portion of your liability coverage doesn’t only cover damage to others’ vehicles? For example, Dwight Eubanks (the designer featured on Real Housewives of Atlanta) recently drove his Mercedes into a puddle of wet cement! Assuming he had the proper coverage, his property damage liability would have covered the costs of repairing the sidewalk, replacing the cement, and repainting the curb. The damage to his Mercedes, on the other hand, would have been covered by his Collision coverage (again, assuming he had the proper coverage).

While we don’t all pay Mercedes rates for our auto insurance, Atlanta is pricy no matter what vehicle you own. According to NerdWallet.com the current average auto insurance policy in Atlanta costs $2,224.

Georgia law requires all vehicle owners to keep basic liability insurance on their cars (for a list of the required coverage in Georgia, head over to our state page) but remember, the purpose of insurance is to protect you financially for any eventuality. That’s why we advise drivers to purchase more than the minimum coverage.

After all, if you were to rear end Mr. Eubanks’ Mercedes (however unlikely) would $25,000 (Georgia’s minimum for Property Damage liability) cover the damage?

Recommended Additional Coverage

Georgia’s rate of uninsured motorists hovers around 16%, making Uninsured Motorist liability and property damage coverage a must-have. Also, because of the high rate of vehicle theft in most large cities, Comprehensive coverage is also recommended so your vehicle is covered for damage or loss resulting in anything other than collision (such as vandalism, flood damage, or outright theft).

Tips For Keeping Your Auto Insurance Rates Low

  • As always, the most effective way to keep your insurance premiums low is to keep your driving record clear. The Good Driver Discount is almost always the largest discount available.
  • If you are full-time student, maintaining a 3.0 GPA will give you a premium discount of up to 15% with most companies.
  • Limiting your annual miles (if possible) is a great way to save money as most companies rate partially on the length and frequency of your commute. If possible, consider car-pooling or taking public transportation at least a few days a week, especially if your commute to work is over 10 miles, five days a week.
  • If you are considering moving or purchasing a new vehicle, make sure you get a few comparison quotes before making your decision. Insurance rates vary by vehicle value, recall statistics, and zip code (sometimes referred to as “territory”)

Other available discounts include the following:

  • Affinity or Group Discount – different companies have different names for this discount, but it is usually given to drivers who are members of various organizations such as auto clubs, professional organizations (such as labor unions or Bar and Medical Associations), alumni associations, and others.
  • Mature Driving Discount – if you are 55 years old or over you can take a defensive driving course that will make you eligible for additional discounts with most companies. Georgia’s Dept. of Driver Services has a list of approved schools that offer traffic courses.
  • Alarm of Recovery Device – most companies gives discounts if your vehicle is equipped with an alarm or recovery/tracking device such as Lo-Jack.
  • Always check with your company or your agent to see if there are any additional discounts you may be eligible for.

Atlanta Traffic

Traffic rates have a direct correlation with auto insurance rates. The longer drivers are on the road each day, the better chance they have of being involved in a collision. That’s why we feel that understanding your city’s commute patterns is important and can help you save money on their insurance.

According to Forbes, Atlanta ranks #7 in the nation for worst commutes, with drivers drivers spending an average of 34 minutes a day in traffic. Urban Mobility Reports show that, in 2011, there were an average of 2.3 million drivers on the road during peak travel times and the average Atlantan spent more than two days each year in traffic.

For real time traffic data that can help you plan your trip or your commute, head over to Georgia 511.

Atlanta Crime and Accident Statistics

Aside from traffic patterns and population density, the next greatest influence on insurance rates are the crime rates (particularly vehicle theft and other property crimes) and traffic accident statistics.

According to the FBI, Atlanta had 5,150 motor vehicle thefts in 2012 and a total of 28,554 property crimes.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety records show that, in 2011, DeKalb County (10% of metro Atlanta sits in this county) has a total of 25,632 crashes. 51 of those crashes resulted in fatalities and 8,320 resulted in injury.

Fulton County (of which Atlanta is the county seat) recorded a total of 44,748 crashes, 61 fatalities, and 13,285 injuries.