Whether you just purchased a new car in Atlanta, are moving there from another city or just want to find a car new insurance company, you may be wondering who the best auto insurance companies are in the area. Of course, not everyone is looking for the same thing in an insurance company; some drivers may want affordable premiums without caring as much about customer service while others will pay extra for exemplary service. Ultimately, the decision of what car insurance company is best for you will rely on the company’s price, service and how well it suits your needs. By reviewing the top 10 auto insurance companies in Atlanta, Georgia you can begin your search for coverage.

Does Location Really Matter?

Your car insurance rates are calculated based on several different factors. Your driving history plays the biggest role in determining your auto insurance, but demographic information also affects your premiums. An insurance company will collect your age, marital status, credit score and other personal information; the company will also look at where you are, not only by city but also by neighborhood.

There are three geographical factors that influence car insurance rates: amount of traffic, crime rates and local weather. Areas with heavily congested traffic are more prone to car accidents than those with open roads. Additionally, drivers who make long commutes each day have greater odds of being involved in a car accident due to the increased amount of time spent behind the wheel. Cities like Atlanta that incorporate active public transportation systems will usually have less expensive insurance premiums than those without good public transportation.

Auto theft and vandalism can also affect rates. Theft is most prevalent in border towns, growing somewhat less likely toward the center of the country; all major cities do have a threat of vehicle theft, however, regardless of their location. Georgia has the fourth highest theft rate in the country, trailing behind California, Texas and Florida.

Weather also plays a crucial role in determining insurance rates. If a vehicle is likely to sustain damage due to a catastrophic weather event, the insurance rates will reflect this risk. The most common causes of damage to a vehicle are hail and flood damage. Georgia is prone to this type of weather, especially water damage during hurricane season, but Atlanta has a lower risk of such damage than a more coastal city.

Car Insurance in Atlanta

Auto insurance in Georgia is required to maintain minimum liability coverage limits of 25/50/25. This means that the auto insurance policy will pay $25,000 per person for injuries sustained in an auto accident, up to $50,000 per accident. Insurance will also pay up to $25,000 in property damage liability. These state minimums are higher than many other areas, meaning that the average cost of insurance is probably slightly higher than states with lower limits of liability.

Depending on your needs, you may choose a higher limit of liability. Many providers recommend a policy with a $100,000 property damage liability limit and up to $300,000 per accident for injury coverage. You may also wish to carry collision and comprehensive coverage in order to pay for any damage caused to your own vehicle. Georgia also requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage, which pays for damage caused by drivers without insurance.

Overall, Atlanta’s rates are more affordable than other major cities throughout the country, but may be less affordable than rates in rural communities. Rates in Atlanta average around $113 a month; depending on what coverage you choose and other factors that affect your insurance, your rates may differ.

Top 10 Car Insurance Companies in Atlanta

1. Geico. One of the top five insurance companies in the country and often the cheapest in any area, Geico has become a major player in direct sales auto insurance in the past decade. In recent years Geico has also begun utilizing agencies, so people who aren’t comfortable maintaining all of their auto insurance business online can speak with a representative in person. Geico is headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

2. Progressive. Another of the most popular insurance companies nationwide, Progressive is best known for its quirky commercials and forward-thinking products. The first company to initiate a pay-as-you-go insurance program, Progressive offers other innovative ideas such as pet injury protection coverage. You can obtain a Progressive policy online or over the phone. The company is located in Mayfield Village, Ohio.

3. State Farm. The largest insurance company in the country by market share, State Farm is somewhat unique in its reliance on agents. While other companies employ separate claims departments, the majority of claims in State Farm are filed by the agents themselves. Due to its age and massive support staff, State Farm is more expensive than many of its competitors, but many people find the customer service to be worth the price. State Farm is located in Bloomington, Illinois.

4. Unitrin. A direct sales insurance company, Unitrin offers affordable policies through its website. In addition to auto policies, the company also offers home and life insurance. Unitrin is owned by Kemper Corporation, a financial services group located out of Chicago, Illinois.

5. Esurance. Until recently, Esurance operated as a separate company, but it has now merged with Allstate. Esurance personnel still handle claims and provide customer support, but all policies are underwritten by Allstate. Providing a low-cost, high-tech alternative to regular insurance, Esurance focuses on customers who wish to maintain insurance policies online with minimal contact with the customer support staff.

6. Nationwide. A mutual insurance company, Nationwide’s policyholders also own stock in the company. The company was founded in 1925 as a way to provide insurance to farming communities. Since then it has spread to encompass multiple insurance services, including personal auto. You can buy policies online or through independent agencies. Nationwide insurance is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

7. USAA. Originally developed to provide insurance to military personnel and their families, USAA is gradually expanding its doors to take on more varied clientele. The company still functions on an invitation basis, however, so if you are not in a military household you may not be able to obtain coverage. USAA is located in San Antonio, Texas.

8. Allstate. One of the most popular companies in the country, Allstate maintains both a large market share and rapid growth in many types of insurance. The company offers auto, home, life and extended medical benefits. While traditionally most Allstate policies were sold through agencies, they have recently begun to focus more on its website. Allstate is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois.

9. Farmer’s. Another of the many companies initially created as a mutual company for farming communities, Farmer’s insurance now offers insurance to drivers of all kinds. As with Allstate and State Farm, this insurance company relies heavily on its agency support staff to sell policies and assist with the claims department. Because of this, the clientele for Farmer’s insurance may be somewhat older than companies with a heavier reliance on internet-savvy companies. Farmer’s is located in Los Angeles, California.

10. Traveler’s. Sold through independent agencies across the country, Traveler’s insurance is one of the largest insurers of property in the country and is quickly gaining popularity as an auto insurer as well. It also provides business insurance for companies in the United States as well as overseas. The corporate headquarters is located in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Whether you choose to purchase your auto insurance online or use a local agency to locate a policy, you can obtain the best rates on car insurance by comparison shopping multiple companies. While some companies may rate higher with certain consumers due to price or customer service, only you can decide exactly what you need in an insurance company. Your ideal company may not be one of the most popular choices in the city; what matters is that it meets your needs.

Once you have obtained an auto policy, you can maintain your low insurance premiums by practicing safe driving and taking advantage of any discount programs available from the company that you may be qualified for. Some companies will offer discounts to you for taking a defensive driving course or installing an anti-theft device in your vehicle; be sure to ask your agent or customer service representative if there are any programs you can participate in that can help lower your insurance premiums.