Americans have seen high hikes in car insurance rates in recent years and Georgia saw the highest increases in the country as the industry blamed more wrecks.

Recently, the Atlanta Journal Constitution noted Georgia experienced the highest increases in personal auto insurance rates in the country in 2016.

The AJC reported a decade ago, Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens as a state lawmaker, supported a bill to free auto insurers from a rigorous pre-approval process when they sought to jack up insurance rates.

Hudgens predicted free market forces would drive insurance down. It hasn’t happened.

The AJC article noted the passage of the bill that insurers sought has not kept rates down. In fact, they have exploded.

An analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence paints a grim picture of car insurance hikes in Georgia last year. The state ranked in first or second place nationally for increases in the three previous years, too.

Car insurance hikes

Car insurance hikes cause alarm

The hike in 2016 included some massive increases in premiums. Allstate imposed a 25 percent average rate increase with some policyholders paying as much as 50 percent more.

The auto insurance industry blamed big increases in traffic, more wrecks and the cost of repairing autos in Georgia. One industry expert called it a “public health epidemic.”

You have to take out car insurance if you are driving in Georgia. Drivers can pay for different levels of insurance with more complete coverage costing more money.

The high insurance rates in Georgia may have the unfortunate consequence that drivers will opt for less cover and gain less protection if they get hurt in a crash.

The AJC spoke to Robin Greene, the driver of a 2007 Pontiac Solstice. She complained her insurance bill rose to about $240 a month. She said:

“It seems like it’s going up if not every time I renew, then every other time.”

Greene is a school instructor. She maintains full insurance coverage on her car but wonders how long that will continue.

The AJC also spoke to Atlanta Municipal Court Judge Gary Jackson. He said he sees people in his court every day who face massive fines for driving because they run out of money and fail to pay their auto insurance.

It’s no surprise to learn the insurance companies don’t put drivers first. The same mindset impacts auto accident claims. Insurance companies will often seek to pay you as little as possible to settle your claim. It’s important to hire a highly experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer to get you enough money to compensate you for your injuries and protect your future. Call us at (404) 913-1529.