The Consumer Federation of America, an organization that has been studying auto insurance trends for more than a decade, released a study in December 2013. The study analyzed auto insurance trends in all 50 states starting from 1989 to 2010. During the period of the study, they found that the countrywide average auto insurance expenditure had risen by an average 43.3 percent as of 2010 to stand at $791.22. Furthermore, the study found that in 38 of the 50 states the average expenditure has grown by more than the national average of 43.3 percent.

Georgia finds itself among a minority of states where insurance expenditure rose by less than the national average. Back in 1989, the average auto insurance expenditure in Georgia stood at $531.01. By 2010 the average figure had risen to $749.09, an increase of 41.1 percent. In the same period, Georgia showed a slight improvement in its countrywide rank by going from being the 19th most expensive to the 20th most expensive state in which to buy auto insurance.

One of the main reasons, according to the study, for Georgia’s better than average performance at keeping insurance costs lower than average is the regulatory system in place there. Georgia has a Prior Approval (PA) system which requires insurer to obtain approval for rates changes before they can be implemented in the market. The study found that states which had a PA system in place achieved more success than states that were either less or not regulated.

The study concludes that stronger auto insurance regulation helps keep premiums lower. For instance, states that had a PA system in place kept the rise in costs down to 48 percent on average. On the other hand, costs went up by 70.1 percent in states that are deregulated. Georgia has done well compared to most other states in keeping auto insurance expenditure down.