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Compare the best defensive driver discounts
Taking a driving course could save you 10% on your car insurance and drop points from your driving record
If you’re looking for a way to lower your premiums, or if your driving record is less than perfect, a state-approved driver training can save you on your monthly car insurance premiums. After you complete a few hours of training and pass a written or practical exam, you could score savings up to 10% on your car insurance premium.
What's in this guide?
- Which companies have the best defensive driver discounts?
- How much does it cost?
- How do I get a defensive driver discount?
- Compare top companies with defensive driver discounts
- How do I submit my certificate of course completion?
- Who's not eligible for defensive driver discounts?
- Bottom line
- Common questions about defensive driver discounts
Which companies have the best defensive driver discounts?
While a defensive driver discount can vary pretty from 5% to 20% across insurers from state to state, the average discount throughout the country is 10%. That’s about $140 in savings for an annual car insurance premium of $1,400, the average car insurance rate across the US.
- State Farm. This company offers a defensive driver discount in all states. However, State Farm’s discount for taking a defensive drivers course ranges from 5% to 10% depending on which state you live in.
- Esurance. A couple of different scenarios qualify you for this 10% discount. These discounts from Esurance are also called a Mature Driver, Driver Improvement or Accident Prevention Course discount, this usually applies to drivers 50 or older. In four states — New York, New Jersey, Georgia and Oklahoma — the discount is available to all drivers, regardless of age. In South Carolina, the age requirement is 25.
- Geico. The discounts offered by Geico vary across the country, ranging from 5% in California to 20% in New Mexico. This discount isn’t available in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina or Vermont.
- Allstate. The discounts you can get with Allstate include a 10% discount for drivers who have completed a defensive driver course. However, eligibility for this discount will depend on which state you live in; for example, the discount isn’t available for Texas drivers.
How much does it cost?
Costs are usually around $25 or at least under $50, though a few programs may cost $100 or more. However, you’d likely save more money than you pay for a course on your annual car insurance premium with an applied defensive driver discount.
Is a defensive driver discount worth it?
Yes. The average defensive driver discount awarded by insurance companies is between 5% and 10% for a minimum of three years. This means you’ll save more money from a discount than you spend on taking the course. For example, if your annual car insurance premium is $1,400, and you pay $25 for a defensive driver course, you’ll save $70 to $140 dollars on your annual insurance premium.
In the pursuit of this discount, you could also end up erasing violation points from your license when you submit your certificate to the DMV. Erasing points from your driving record can further reduce your car insurance costs by improving your driver’s history. And brushing up on your driving habits will save you more in the long run by helping you stay safe on the road.
How do I get a defensive driver discount?
Almost everyone should be eligible for this kind of discount. Some defensive driver discounts are designed for a specific age group. For example, safe student driver discounts target drivers under 21, and mature driver discounts are for drivers over 50 or 55. Since your rates reflect your age and young drivers and seniors have the highest accident risk, insurers want to reward safe drivers in these age groups.
All you have to do is enroll in and pass a defensive driving course. Many courses have in-person training plus online or text material to supplement the course. After that, provide proof that you completed the course to your provider and the DMV to get the maximum benefit from your efforts.
Compare top companies with defensive driver discounts
How do I submit my certificate of course completion?
Whatever class or course you end up taking, you’ll want to make sure you get a certificate upon completion. It’s important that you can prove you enrolled and completed the class. Once you have your certificate, submit it to your insurance provider directly to get your discount.
You can also submit the certificate to your DMV, even if the class wasn’t mandated because of a violation. Showing that you’ve taken a defensive driving course can actually take points off your license. There are a handful of states that have legislation specifically addressing defensive driver courses. New York, for example, allows you to take a course every 18 months to remove violation points from your license and every three years to get a 10% car insurance discount.
Who’s not eligible for defensive driver discounts?
If you fall into either of these categories, you probably won’t be able to get a safe driver discount.
- Commercial drivers. If you drive for commercial use, you’re usually not eligible for a safe driver discount.
- Revoked or suspended license. Depending on the laws in the state you live in or where your traffic violations took place, you may be excluded from the defensive driver discount or having points removed from your record.
The savings from a defensive driving class may outweigh the costs and time spent. If you want to improve your driving record and your car insurance provider offers this discount, consider the benefits of a defensive driving course.
If your current insurance company doesn’t recognize your hard work improving your driving, you have other options. Compare car insurance companies to find the best savings.
Common questions about defensive driver discounts
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