In Atlanta I-75 and I-85 merge in the middle of the city to form the Downtown Connector, which carries more than 340,000 vehicles per day and is one of the 10 most congested segments of interstate highway in the United States. Forbes has put the Connector on its infamous national City Choke Points list -- and no one who has to cross Atlanta north to south on a Friday afternoon has any reason to doubt that listing.
Add to it the heavily traveled I-20 and the encircling I-285, known as "the Perimeter," and you find a city among the most notorious in the country for traffic and commuting. The Weather Channel has nailed Atlanta as the third worst city in the nation for commuting.
Downtown residents pay the most for car insurance, not just compared with the rest of Atlanta but in the entire state of Georgia. But rates fall considerably elsewhere in the state, especially as you head north toward Marietta and other close-in suburbs. (You'll find a map comparing sample rates in all neighborhoods below.)
Keep in mind that your ZIP code is only one of the components determining the cost of your insurance premium. Each company calculates your rates differently. So, shop around for the lowest rates.
More reasons Atlanta pays high car insurance rates
Driving risks are further increased after 8 p.m. and on weekends when, according to a Georgia State Patrol audit, officer staffing drops significantly and DUI accidents increase. Georgia also has an aggressive "Super Speeder" law that adds a $200 levy atop normal fines for speed in excess of 85 mph -- not an uncommon speed at off-peak hours for Atlanta's Interstates.
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CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average auto insurance rates for a 2014 Honda Accord for every ZIP code in the United States. We calculated rates using data for six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm).
Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. Average rates are for comparative purposes. Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.