Mercury Indemnity Company of Georgia submitted a request on August 2nd, 2017 to the Georgia Bureau of Insurance to increase the premiums for its auto insurance customers in the state by an average of 9.9%. These pending changes would only be for policies meeting the minimum limits in Georgia.
If approved, policies written for new customers will have been affected by the change on or after August 27, 2017. The rate impact will be enacted for current policyholders on or after October 16, 2017, should they choose to renew.
Mercury Indemnity proposed rate impact
Premiums are estimated to increase for 1,759 policyholders with minimum liability limits in Georgia by an average of $85 per policy, if the filing is approved. As with most increases, though, the impact will be spread unevenly, with some policyholders receiving increases lower than that figure and other receiving larger hikes. In percentage terms, the company reports the proposed rate changes will range from 8.4% to 10.3%.
Policyholders living in the zip code 30034 are facing a 10.3% increase on average, which is the highest increase. The smallest increase is in 31525 where there is only a 8.4% increase on average.
Mercury lists out the percentage of change per policy in their filing. An average increase ranging from 5% to 10% is expected for around 95% of policies. A higher increase of 10% to 15% is expected for 8% of policies on average.
When looking at the change in dollar amounts, a little less than 20% of policies will see an increase up to $50. An average of 50% of policies will see an increase ranging from $50 to $100. A little over 20% of policies on average will be facing an increase of $100 to $150. The highest increases, ranging from $150 to over $200, will affect less than 5% of policies on average.
In the table below, we have listed the increases for specific policies:
|Minimum Limits Coverage||Proposed Change||Average In-Force Premium||Projected Premium|
|Total Private Passenger Auto||9.9%||$1,519||$1,669|
As of 2016, Mercury ranked 40th among auto insurance carriers who are active in the state. The Georgia auto insurance market is heavily concentrated. State Farm commands more of the market than any other carrier, holding 20.8% of all policies.
How these increases compare
These hikes are among the highest rate increases to go into effect for auto insurance in Georgia in 2017. Among the 12 largest companies in the state, 11 have been approved for rate changes by regulators. The average increase in premiums arising from those decisions is 8.5%. Within the approved list, the largest hikes were for American Family Insurance Group (with an average increase of 21.4%); Travelers Group (18.7% on average); and Nationwide Corporation Group (15.6% on average).
When compared to the rest of the U.S., car owners in Georgia face some of the most expensive auto insurance rates. Premiums are 46% more expensive than the average premiums for car owners in the country as a whole, with our sample Georgia policyholders facing an average annual fee of $2,201 to insure their cars.
That annual tab translates into an average monthly cost of $183, which makes Georgia the 3rd most expensive state for auto insurance in the U.S. Georgia's neighbors, South Carolina and North Carolina, are on the cheaper end of the spectrum, with our benchmark car owners paying an average of $88 and $110 respectively.