John Oxendine: Working for the consumer.

If you want cheaper car insurance, move to Illinois. Or New Mexico or Missouri or Oregon.

Those are some of the states that Insure.com says have lower auto insurance rates on average.

Georgia, on the other hand, ranks 8th highest in this annual ranking. Drivers in the Peach state pay on average, $1,751.42 a year in premiums, Insure.com says. The national average $1,429.26.

I’m sure a press release blaming the lib’ral Insure.com will be forthcomming.

48 comments

  1. Henry Waxman says:

    If all those Georgia drivers were distracted by the lies of the Lib’ral media (aka billboards), then we wouldn’t have nearly as many accidents.

    • Henry Waxman says:

      Correction: If all those Georgia drivers weren’t distracted by the lies of the Lib’ral media (aka billboards purchased by other candidates), then we wouldn’t have nearly as many accidents.

  2. Glen Ross says:

    This would probably be lower if I didn’t intentionally hit every car I see with a “Yes We Can” and/or “Coexist” bumper sticker. I’ll take the blame for this one, John.

        • Jason, Some companies have actually reduced rates substantially, and are growing rapidly… If the companies who price themselves out of the market place, they do at their peril. That’s the great thing about Free Enterprise.

          Those evil insurance companies actually do what they promise. Three weeks ago we had a nasty hail storm in Macon. I called the claims office last Thursday at 3:30 pm. The adjuster was out the next morning at 11:30, with MY contractor. At 1:00 pm the adjuster provided me with the written estimate and a check for the damage. This morning my roof is completely repaired!

          Monday night my car stalled at the gas station at 10:00 pm. I called my company, they sent out a tow truck who towed it to the dealership for repair. They paid the bill!!! No calls to the insurance commissioner or a legislator or an attorney, THEY DID WHAT THEY PROMISED TO DO IN THE CONTRACT.

          This year we’re getting our panties in a wad about everything. We say we want less government control, yet at the same time we ask for more regulation. The consumer has the greatest amount of power in this day and age like no other time in history. You can simply type on your keyboard and shop. That’s putting the power back in the hands of the people. At some point, we’re going to have to start believing in Free Enterprise or we might as well sign on to Obama’s great power grab. There is no comparison in the service you get from a politician as compared to an individual or company whose livelihood depends on fulfilling their promises.

          • Jason, I’m not criticizing you, as you are one of the good guys. After reading my post, one could conclude I was taking a potshot at you. I wasn’t.

            What bugs me is that polticians will aim their arrows at the producers and providers without even a glance at their own back yard. ie, Property Tax Assessments- we get all bent out of shape at our assessors (and rightfully so), but we don’t even enlighten the public of their ability to file a return on their property each year, establishing their own value…. I would be there aren’t 5 legislators who even understand that ability that exists right now. I helped literally hundreds utilize their right under the law this year. Amazingly, it works!

            • B Balz says:

              The new property tax law was to include a provision to take the right to file a return away from the taxpayer. Is that still in the Bill?

              • I don’t know. I’m getting a bit tired of legislators playing games with revenue schemes. I guess it’s not just legislators but local governments as well. Everyone is in the money grab business.

    • LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

      Well, the problem with regulated rates is that the good drivers essentially subsidize the rates for poor drivers. Theoretically, by deregulating the rates, good drivers should pay lower rates, while risky drivers pay higher rates. The problem I have with this is that, I haven’t had a citation or wreck in almost 10 years, and my rates have actually risen the past 2 years. Not by much, but they did go up.

      But as Dave Bearse points out below, comparing state to state is misleading. Traffic, crime, urban vs rural, the level of state-mandated coverage, driver’s education, etc all impact rates.

      • ByteMe says:

        Only two reasons for rates to go up:

        1. The pool payout was higher than expected, so they need to increase their rates to get the profit back in line.

        2. The pool payout was the same or lower, but their investment income tanked (see 2008, Financial Crisis), so they have to bump their rates to get the profit back in line.

        You’d think if this was important enough, someone would look at why our rates are near the top compared to other states and provide a decent explanation of how to bring our rates back in line with states that have excessive snow/ice-related accidents. That might be the insurance commissioner, yes?

        • LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

          OH, there are analysts (most people derisively refer to them as bureaucrats) within the Insurance Commissioner’s Office and other parts of state government who know why rates fluctuate…but you don’t actually expect them to be heard?

          • ByteMe says:

            Well, I do expect an elected official to say something if they care more about the job they’re doing than how to shake down the companies they are supposed to be regulating. But that could just be me… and a few million others. Silly us.

        • Republican Lady says:

          Byte,

          As I recall from a statistics class, insurance also can go up by age brackets so that 70 year olds pay more than 30 year olds because statistically, they have more illnesses and therefore, are more likely to crash. Does that sound right?

          • ByteMe says:

            Yes, but LIMH is describing rates changing over a 2-year-period and doesn’t mention a big life change, like becoming single or suddenly turning 80 years old or having an accident or moving violation or buying a new car (collision coverage goes up), so in general the rates should be fairly consistent year-to-year (actually, it should go down, just because collision will go down some each year a car ages).

          • Ambernappe says:

            The rates are promulgated on experience – the number of claims and accidents, age, location and many other esoteric statistics of interest to actuaries only. Illness is not a rate factor, however, some companies want to know about medications as an underwriting factor.

            • Ambernappe says:

              The one-way distance to work or school can affect rates considerable, if there is a youthful operator, the charge is usually automatically applied to highest rated auto.
              If there is one incident (fault does not matter) that is not being charged, any additional incident by any operator – over $450. damages , or a moving violation, if I remember correctly, results in a premium increase. Applying the rates to the risk results in the premium. You should always ask your agant for an explanation because mistakes occur, though not frequently.

        • hannah says:

          Insurance is very important in Georgia. The five top categories of federal assistance to Georgia are all insurance related (flood, mortgage, medical, retirement).
          In the last full year for which numbers are available (2007), Georgia received federal assistance to the tune of $34 billion.
          http://www.fedspending.org/faads/faads.php?reptype=p&database=faads&datype=T&fiscal_year=2007&sortby=f&detail=-1&principal_place_state_code=13
          Given the importance of insurance to the business community, it’s probable that the availability of health coverage via universal health insurance will not result in premium reductions for the medical liability component of either auto or home owner’s or other casualty insurance policies.

  3. Booray says:

    Georgia’s insurance rates have actually dropped a lot since that bill referenced by Shep passed – the situation was worse when we had government approval of insurance rates. If I remember correctly, Oxendine lobbied for government approval of insurance rates instead of having competition (because competition meant he couldn’t shake down auto insurance companies anymore at rate approval time).

    I know my own rates dropped substantially the last two years after being the same for a while before then.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Anecdotal. It’s a stretch to think that even the Ox was scrutinizing insurance-company proposed reductions, and rushing along proposed increases.

    • benevolus says:

      From the info at that insure.com site, annual average premium in Georgia in 2005 was $960 (18th highest). Now it’s $1751 (8th highest).

  4. Dave Bearse says:

    Does the ranking factor in differences in required minimum coverages by state?

    I’m no Ox fan, but if not, the ranking may well be a rather useless oranges to apples comparision.

  5. John Konop says:

    The fastest way to lower insurance cost is eliminate their rights to ignore the anti-trust laws! Tell me one corporate monopoly that you like cable company, electric company…..?

  6. btpull says:

    We pay higher rates because our roads are congested and our highway system is dangerous; 285 is ranked in the top 5 of the most dangerous highways in the nation. The teenagers killing themselves in single car accidents every spring has caused insurance for younger drivers to become almost unaffordable.

    • ByteMe says:

      Almost, but not quite enough to dissuade someone’s semi-absent daddy from buying that nice shiny new car for the next 16 year old…..

  7. Republican Lady says:

    If Ox can’t regulate the auto insurance rates for this state, how will he ever manage to state budget? More reasons not to elect him.

  8. BuckheadConservative says:

    As much as I do not like John Oxendine, I’m not going to lay this one on him. I do not favor state control over rates. In Georgia, we have notoriously bad drivers, and we’re paying for it. I’m confident data would back that up, if I had it. I’m basing that totally on reputation/conventional wisdom. Anyone have anything to that end?

    • benevolus says:

      Did we suddenly become worse drivers in the past five years?

      The question is, why isn’t the free market working for this? Is the auto insurance industry here dominated by a couple of heavyweights? Are the policies deceptive so that people can’t really comparison shop?

      • Ambernappe says:

        You CAN comparison shop. You must use the same coverages in each request to companies of the same type – assigned risk, standard, preferred, minimum coverages. Not sensible or provident to purchase minimum or low liability because that is what protects your property in the event of a judgement against you – your income can be attached for several years in most states.

        • benevolus says:

          OK, so that would mean that is not is what is causing the rates to go up so fast. The competitive pressure should be helping to keep rates down.
          I don’t think there’s only a few providers either, so lack of competition isn’t it.
          Barring any other ideas, one if left to believe that the government was somehow artificially keeping rates lower. But the companies apparently were making plenty of money anyway or they wouldn’t keep selling here.
          Collusion?

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            That question I haven’t seen asked is not why is it higher here, but why is it cheaper in other states?

            • kcordell says:

              Maybe you should ask Rep. Carl Rogers. He played a large part in getting our liability rates increased. His reasoning was that he wanted to bring Ga. more in line with surrounding states. Oh, did I mention he’s an insurance salesman?

  9. Technocrat says:

    Speaking of John Oxendine why is it that while Fox Local and Nation [Greta] covered his middle finger to Obama’s Health Care High Risk pool…. PP ignored it along with most Democratic news outlets. Could it be to protect Handel PP is being a Democrat Partner?

    • ByteMe says:

      I’ll bite. What Democratic news outlets? PP I can understand. Just curious as to what other outlets you read/hear that are in Georgia (since no one cares outside of Georgia) that you claim are “Democratic news outlets” that didn’t have a single mention of this?

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