Car insurance rates could go up in Georgia

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News 12 First at Five; May 15, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- If you live in Georgia, your car insurance rates could be going up. That's after Governor Sonny Perdue signed a law giving car insurance companies the right to file for a rate hike without prior approval.

With the new law, insurance companies still have to file rate increases with the insurance commissioner's office, but the commissioner can no longer veto the rate hike. This is all set to go into effect on October first.

News 12's Gene Petriello spent the day talking to drivers. Most drivers aren't happy about having to pay more and neither is the Georgia Insurance Commissioner. He tells News 12, he's disappointed because there's nothing he can do about it.

People begged and pleaded about 15 days ago to News 12 to not have this bill signed, but Governor Perdue is closing the door on that debate.

"I certainly don't like it," says Don Autry.

"I hate shopping for insurance," says Robert Waldera.

But with no cap on the price, you just might have to like shopping around. Lawmakers tell News 12, more competition could mean lower prices.

"That is always taught to us in economic classes, as more competition comes, the prices go down. But, in the oil industry, that is certainly not true," says Don.

"You get what you pay for, that's my motto. If you go for the cheap rates, you're not going to get the services you need when you need it," says Robert.

"If we could find cheaper rates, that could be good," says Don.

"I don't see a reason for leaving somebody just because it's going to cost you a couple of extra dollars especially when you're getting good service," says Robert.

The more money you could be pumping into your car insurance, the more you have to worry about the companies abusing their new power.

"Some of the companies are going to take advantage of these people," says Robert.

"You're looking toward the same bill and then you get one month that's not the same. I think that's not right," says Patricia Brown.

So, check your car insurance receipt soon. It just might surprise you!

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