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Car theft in Georgia rose by more than 60% in 2023. What does this mean for auto insurance rates?

<h5>Written by <a href="https://rateretriever.com/about/katie-dee/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Katie Dee</span></a></h5>
Written by Katie Dee
Written by Katie Dee
<h5>Edited by <a href="https://rateretriever.com/about/alyssa-dicrasto/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Alyssa DiCrasto</span></a></h5>
Edited by Alyssa DiCrasto
Edited by Alyssa DiCrasto
Published on 2024-01-26

Read time: 3 min

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Car theft was one of only two types of crime that went up in Atlanta in 2023, according to an article published by 11alive.com. While the rate of murder fell for the first time since the pandemic, Atlanta saw a 64% increase in the rate of motor vehicle theft, and a spike in Georgia car insurance rates likely won’t be far behind.

According to Rate Retriever’s Quarterly Insurance Rates Update Report, the estimated average premium for car insurance in Georgia is $1,642 per year, 10% lower than the national average of $1,824. However, the rise in car theft may have insurance companies reevaluating rates across the state due to the added risk.

What caused the spike in car theft?

If your car insurance rate is at risk of being impacted by the increase of stolen vehicles in Georgia, you deserve to understand what caused it. Thefts of Hyundai’s and Kia’s specifically rose dramatically over the last year due to a viral trend that exposed the vulnerabilities of several model years which make these cars easy targets.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in order to combat this theft, more than 3.9 million Hyundai’s and 4.5 million Kia’s were eligible for software updates geared at fixing the issue in 2023.

Why does the rate of car theft matter for car insurance?

Car insurance rates are highly personalized, so they will look different for every driver. Some of the factors that influence your rate include your driving record, your age, the make and model of your car, and the state you live in.

Above all, insurance companies determine your premium based on how much risk your policy introduces. The uptick in stolen vehicles in the state in 2023 has resulted in Georgia ranking among the top 10 states with the highest rate of vehicle theft in the country and this has caused the risk associated with drivers in Georgia —and Atlanta specifically— to go up considerably.

An increase in stolen cars correlates with a heightened likelihood that a policyholder will file a claim. As a result, insurers may increase their rates to better protect themselves down the line.

Car insurance in Georgia

Even with the negative impact thefts may have on car insurance rates, your specific premium may not be affected as much as you think. Car insurance companies will not just evaluate the risk associated with your state, they will narrow it down to the specific zip code you live in. Certain regions in Georgia bring more risk than others, and if you are insuring your car in a lower-risk zip code, your premium will likely be lower.

Based on Rate Retriever’s data, Atlanta was the second most expensive region to insure a car in Georgia as of the third quarter of last year. Premiums in this area averaged $2,005 per year, coming in second only to Decatur, GA where rates sat around $2,223 per year.

While the spike in stolen vehicles may raise rates even higher in Atlanta, premiums in regions like Valdosta, GA (where car insurance is the cheapest in the state) may be unaffected. Currently, drivers in this area pay on average $1,229 per year for insurance, 25% less than average for the state.

Saving money on car insurance in Georgia

If the increase in thefts has you feeling uneasy about your own premium, don’t panic. There are several factors that play a role in what you will pay for car insurance, and many of them remain in your control.

While it can be easier said than done, the best way to be sure your rates stay low is to drive safely. Insurance companies look to your driving record and accident history in order to get an idea of how likely you are to file a claim. If it is determined that you are a high-risk driver, they will assign you a higher premium in anticipation of future claim payouts. Alternatively, if you have a proven track record of driving safely and not filing many claims, insurers will feel more comfortable giving you a lower rate.

Improving your credit score is another way you can lower your rates. Drivers in Georgia with a poor credit score pay over 70% more for car insurance while those with excellent credit can save around 10% every year.

Additionally, raising your deductible can be a good way to lower premiums. This method will not be right for everybody, as a higher deductible means that you are accepting more financial responsibility if you ever need to file a claim down the line.

Finally, one of the easiest ways to control your car insurance premium is to shop around and compare rates from several different providers in your area. You can get started by taking our short quiz to compare data-backed rate estimates from insurers near you.

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