With 20% of the market, State Farm is the largest provider of auto insurance in Georgia. In May 2020, the insurer announced a rate reduction of over 12% for 1.8 million customers in the Peach State.

Now, less than a year later, State Farm has hiked their rates back up. Effective March 15, the company raised rates by 4.4% in Georgia. Why? The company states the hike is a result of increased auto claims from spring 2020. 

Why are rates increasing?

The pandemic created a unique situation for many American household. More people started working from home and kids were attending school online while at home. As a result, fewer people were driving. Fewer drivers on the road meant fewer accidents and claims. 

The Georgia Department of Insurance reported that private passenger auto insurers paid out $6.5 billion in direct losses for 2019 - pre-pandemic. For 2020, that number dropped to just $5.9 billion in direct losses. 

Now, life is returning to pre-Covid days somewhat. Kids are returning to school and people are going back to the workplace. Driving to the workplace, to be more specific. 

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How Georgia drivers can save money on car insurance

There are several factors that are used to determine the car insurance rate you have. However, there are some that you can control. Keep these tips in mind to save money on your car insurance. 

  • Bump up your credit score

Your credit history and credit score play a role in the car insurance rate you’re offered. For the insurance company, your credit history acts as an indication of whether you’re more likely to make a claim while insured. 

The higher your credit score is, the better rates you’ll get offered. If you recently made any big financial moves lately (like, paying off a big loan or reducing credit card debt) that could have improved your credit score, it could be a good time to shop for car insurance

  • Keep your eyes on the road - and off your phone

Our phones have become a major tool for most everything these days. From telling us what restaurant has the best tacos to the best route to get there, we rely on our smartphones for a lot. 

However, the result is that distracted driving is increasing. One ticket for a minor violation can send your car insurance premium up 20% to 40%. The longer you go without receiving a major citation or having an accident, the lower your premium will be. 

  • Check the list of discounts applied to your policy

This one is often overlooked because people think their insurer will give them the discounts they’re eligible for. However, your insurer may not know that you are a member of a travel club or a fraternity or sorority.