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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 10% savings on your car insurance premium.

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.


CompanyDefensive driver discount
State Farm5 – 10%
Geico5 – 20%
USAAVaries by state
Liberty Mutual5%
Farmers InsuranceVaries by state
American Family Insurance10%
ErieVaries by state
KemperVaries by state
National GeneralVaries by state
CSAAVaries by state
The HartfordVaries by state
AmicaVaries by state
HanoverVaries by state
Country Financial5%
NJM Insurance5%
SentryVaries by state
ShelterVaries by state
AlfaVaries by state

      How much does defensive driver training 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.

      Though there isn’t a free defensive driving course for seniors, you may score a 10% discount on a course if you’re over 55 years old.

      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

      Name Product Gap insurance Homeowner discount Telematics Has an app? Available states
      All 50 states
      Your dedicated agent can help you find the best savings with multiple discounts and rewards programs.
      loan/lease coverage
      All 50 states & DC
      Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
      Depends on provider
      All 50 states
      Get your most compatible insurance options via a "smart matching" method aimed at finding you value.
      The AARP Auto Insurance Program from the Hartford
      All 50 states
      Enjoy low rates for mature drivers, plus perks like new car replacement and lifetime repair guarantees. Only for drivers over age 50.
      Telematics only
      Available in 31 states
      Track your driving to receive a low rate that reflects your driving skills, and enjoy a fully app-based policy experience.
      All states except AK & HI
      This broker shines with over 600 positive customer reviews, more top ratings than any broker we've compared.

      Compare up to 4 providers

      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.

        Bottom line

        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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