Defensive Driving Course Insurance Discount

Completion of an accredited defensive driving course can lower your rates. GEICO, State Farm, and other top insurance companies offer driver safety class discounts of 5 to 15% . Read more here.
Instructor high-fiving driving school student

Did you know you can save anywhere from 5 to 15% on your premium by becoming a better driver? Some insurance companies award discounts for taking defensive driving courses. They do this because it shows you care about being safe on the road and are proactively taking steps to improve your skills.

Be aware that, depending on your age, you may not be eligible. Generally, providers only offer this discount to those over 55 or younger than 25. However, the rules vary between insurers.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about the defensive driving course insurance discount, including how it works and how to qualify. You’ll also find out who offers this benefit and how much you can save.

The Purpose of Defensive Driving Courses

Defensive driving courses exist to help prevent you from getting into accidents or any other dangerous situation on the road. They’re typically offered by your state’s department of motor vehicles and, on occasion, in partnership with insurers.

These driver safety programs cover the following material:

  • Defensive maneuvers
  • Car maintenance
  • Traffic laws and regulations
  • How to avoid weather hazards

Not only can a defensive driving course get you a discount, but it’ll more than likely keep you safer on the road. It’s a win-win for you and your car insurance company. In some instances, the successful completion of a driver improvement program removes points from your license.

In many states, you can take online classes and never touch a motor vehicle or go to class in person. However, some states mandate all in-class instruction. In addition, there are a few states with hybrid courses involving both in-person and remote learning.

Classes Are Offered in Every State

Auto insurance companies in every state offer a defensive driving course. However, be aware that some programs are better than others. Just make sure that the school you select is approved by both your state and insurer. Most of these traffic safety schools offer 30-day money-back guarantees. But it’s best to do your homework before you choose a safe driver education provider.

How the Defensive Driving Course Discount Works

Discounts are a great way to save money on auto insurance. Each one knocks a percentage off of your rates. Getting several at the same time can significantly lower your premium.

In particular, insurers reward policyholders who practice safe habits and actions. This includes discounts for taking classes to improve driver skills, accident prevention, or basic safety training to learn better habits. Completing an approved defensive driving course can lower your premium by up to 20%. Though, this depends on your age, provider, and state.

Keep in mind that car insurance providers have motorist safety programs with company-specific names, such as “accident prevention course discount” or “driver education.”

How to Qualify

Not everyone is eligible for this discount. In general, insurance companies only reward drivers on the young and old sides of the spectrum. This refers to people under the age of 25 or over the age of 55. But your provider may have different age requirements.

Age isn’t the only requirement to qualify for this discount. Your insurer may want you to:

  • Be the car’s main driver
  • Have completed a valid driver training course within the last three years (two in Washington state and D.C.)
  • Have a clean driving record for three years
  • Pass the final exam
  • Be able to provide proof of completing the program

Companies With Defensive Driving Discounts

Several companies lower rates for completing a defensive driver training program. Each auto insurance provider has varying requirements and premium reduction amounts.

Below is a list of major insurers offering a specific discount for taking a defensive driving class:

State Farm

The State Farm defensive driving course discount can save you anywhere from 5 to 15% on car insurance. Your exact savings will depend on other factors, such as your state and age. To qualify for this benefit, you must meet these requirements:

  • Be the car’s main driver
  • Have no tickets or accidents in the last three years (two in Washington state and D.C.)
  • Show proof when you complete an approved curriculum
  • Be at least 55 years old (60 in Ohio and Connecticut)

Depending on your state, this reward may not be available. You may also see State Farm give it another name. The defensive driving course discount is available in these states but under a different name:

  • Accident Prevention – Maryland
  • Accident Prevention – New York
  • California Good Driver – California
  • Driver Education – Colorado
  • Driver Improvement – Pennsylvania
  • Driver Training – only available in 23 states
  • Good Driving – available in all states, except CA, IL, IN, MA, MO, NH, NJ, and RI
  • Inexperienced Driver Safety  – California
  • Motorcycle Education – Hawaii
  • Motorcycle Training – Oregon and Tennessee
  • Traffic Mitigation – Delaware

American Family

American Family (AmFam) offers a defensive driving discount. The exact savings are unclear on the insurer’s website. All you need to do to start saving is complete a valid safe driver class and submit proof of course completion to American Family. You must also be over the age of 55 and be a resident of a qualifying state. The following states are eligible:

  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Washington

Nationwide

People over the age of 55 can lower their premiums with Nationwide by taking a defensive driving course. Upon successful completion of the class, drivers are rewarded with reduced rates. Most people save 5% on their auto insurance. Be sure to ask your agent for more information. To qualify, you must:

  • Pass a valid accident prevention program
  • Have no at-fault accidents within the last three years

GEICO

The GEICO defensive driving discount provides policyholders that complete an approved course a 5-15% rate reduction. How much you save depends on a variety of factors including your driver record and state of residence. You can assume that you’ll likely need to be over 55 years old or younger than 25 to qualify. Be sure to ask your GEICO agent about the specific requirements and savings.

Farmers

Farmers customers over the age of 55 can save by completing safe driver training course in the last three years. The company doesn’t list exactly how much you can save. Your agent will have more info on how much your premium is reduced..

Travelers

Travelers’ driver training discount helps young policyholders save money on car insurance. You’ll need to pass a valid driving education course to qualify. Many people save up to 8%. Check with your agent or contact Travelers directly for more details.

USAA

USAA offers a driving school discount through SafeDriver.com. Anyone who completes this program can lower their car insurance premium by approximately 3%. This program may not be available in your state. Check with your USAA agent to learn more.

Defensive Driver Course Discounts by Company

Insurance CompanyAgeMax Savings
State Farm55+5-15%
American Family55+Varies
Nationwide55+5%
GEICOVaries5-15%
Farmers65+ or 55+N/A
TravelersUnder 218%
USAAUnder 213%
Note: table data found on the above insurers’ websites.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does taking a driver safety class lower your rates?

Savings for this discount vary depending on your age, state, and insurer. In general, taking a defensive driving course can lower rates by anywhere from 5 to 20%. Be sure to speak with your agent about how much you can save.

What do you learn when you enroll in an approved defensive driving program?

These defensive driver courses cover a wide range of driving techniques and maneuvers, including the following:

  • Traffic laws
  • How to avoid weather-related hazards
  • How to perform defensive maneuvers
  • Basic car maintenance

How long does it take to complete a defensive driving program?

This depends on which driver driving course you select. SafeDriver.com’s online traffic class takes around three to four hours to complete. Other defensive driving programs could take several weeks to complete. You should also expect to pay a fee for the program.

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