Did you know you can save anywhere from 5 to 15% on car insurance by becoming a better driver? Some insurers give out a discount for taking defensive driving classes. 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 driver 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.
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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 drivers who practice safe habits and actions. This includes taking driver improvement or driving safety training to learn better habits. Completing an approved 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.”
What Is a Defensive Driving Course?
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 defensive driving classes cover the following material:
- Defensive maneuvers
- Car maintenance
- Traffic laws and regulations
- How to avoid weather hazards
Not only can a defensive driving program get you a discount, but it’ll more than likely keep you safer. It’s a win-win for you and your car insurance provider. In some instances, the successful completion of a defensive driving course will result in a driver’s license point reduction.
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-class and remote learning.
Many auto insurance companies in every state offer a defensive driving course. Some 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 driver improvement school.
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 a Defensive Driver Course Discount
Several companies lower rates for completing a driver training program. Each auto insurance provider has varying requirements and rate reduction amounts.
Below is a list of major insurers offering a specific discount for taking a remedial driving class:
The State Farm defensive driving 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 discount may not be available. You may also see State Farm give it another name. These states offer this reward 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 (AmFam) offers a defensive driving car insurance discount. The exact savings are unclear on the insurer’s website. All you need to do to start saving is complete a valid defensive 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:
- North Dakota
People over the age of 55 can lower their rates 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 policy. 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
The GEICO defensive driving discount provides drivers that complete an approved program a 5-15% rate reduction. How much you save depends on a variety of factors including your driving 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 insurance agent about the specific requirements and savings.
Farmers customers over the age of 55 can save by completing safe driver training in the last three years. The company doesn’t list exactly how much you can save on your car insurance policy. Your agent will have more info on how much you can save.
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 offers a driving school discount through SafeDriver.com. Anyone who completes this program can lower their car insurance premium. Savings vary from person to person; however, most can see about a 3% reduction. This program may not be available in your state. Check with your USAA agent to learn more.
Defensive Driving Discount by Company
|Insurance Company||Age||Max Savings|
|Farmers||65+ or 55+||N/A|
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does taking a defensive driver 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 take an approved defensive driving class?
These classes cover a wide range of driving techniques and maneuvers. This includes 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 training program you select. SafeDriver.com’s online traffic class takes around three to four hours to complete. Other programs could take several weeks to complete. You should also expect to pay a fee for the program.