What Is the Safe Driver Discount?

Good drivers get into fewer accidents. They can also earn a safe driver discount on car insurance. Discover how to qualify.
Driver fastening seat belt in car

The safe driver discount is an insurer’s way of thanking policyholders for avoiding tickets, at-fault accidents, and anything else that might result in filing a claim. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Good drivers share the road with, let’s just say, less skilled motorists. But if you can obey the law and steer clear of car crashes, you might qualify and save lots of money.

Auto insurers reward customers with a proven track record some form of discount. To qualify, your driving history must typically be clean for around five years under the same provider.

This article will explain everything you should know about safe driver discounts, including:

How the Safe Driver Discount Works

Insurers reward good drivers with the best rates. It doesn’t take a genius to understand why. When take care behind the wheel, you’re less likely get ticketed for a moving violation, crash your car, or file expensive car insurance claim. Auto insurance providers love this.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), your driving history is one of the top factors that go into your rates. Your rates will naturally be lower if you always operate a motor vehicle with care. But, depending on your provider, this could save you about 30%.

Insurers sometimes offer safe driver savings as one reward or as a range of benefits related to responsible driving. For example, some providers could offer you accident forgiveness if you’ve avoided crashes for at least five years. With this, you could avoid rate increases if you get into an accident.

How to Qualify

Some companies may want you to enroll in a safe driving or telematics program before you can qualify for a discount. These programs, which each insurer has a unique name for, might watch your claim history over a short period before rewarding you with lower rates. Another possibility is using a beacon device or mobile app to observe your behavior on the road in real time.

Below are some of the ways you can qualify:

  • Stay out of accidents, especially ones where you’re at fault
  • Don’t get points on your driving record from DUIs/DWIs, tickets, and other violations
  • Try to avoid having any expensive comprehensive claims
  • Enroll in your insurer’s safe driver program if they have one
  • Develop or keep up good habits when operating a motor vehicle
  • Take a defensive driver course to improve your skills

You can’t always control everything as you drive or as your car sits in your driveway. Accidents can happen all the time. But doing most of the above should put you in a great position to receive a discount like this from your carrier.

Insurers Offering Safe Driver Discounts

Every major auto insurance company rewards good drivers. Though it can come in different forms and names, your provider more than likely offers a safe driver discount.

As mentioned, many insurers offer this benefit as a class of discounts rather than one. For instance, your carrier could reduce your premium for going several years without an accident or even using your seat belt.

Below are some of the top providers and info about their programs:

Note: these programs may not be available in some states. Double-check with your insurer or get a car insurance quote to find out if you qualify for these savings.

Nationwide

Nationwide offers an optional safe driver program called SmartRide. The carrier says that customers can save up to 40% on their policy by enrolling. They’ll also give you an extra 15% off just for signing up.

The SmartRide program requires you to download an app that monitors how carefully you drive. It’ll lower your rates based on four things:

  1. Miles driven
  2. Braking and acceleration
  3. How long you’re idle
  4. How often you drive at night

Note: SmartRide won’t raise your rates if you don’t drive well enough to get qualify. Nationwide clarifies that the app is free to use and only exists to help you lower rates. Check with your agent to find out how it works.

GEICO

GEICO has two safe driver discounts. You can find them listed under their “Driving History and Habits” category:

  • Five-Year Accident-Free Good Driver. You’ll save on your premium if you avoid accidents for five years. GEICO says that you can save up to 22%.
  • Seatbelt Use. You can qualify for a reduction of your personal injury protection (PIP) and medical payments (MedPay) insurance coverage when you always use your seatbelt. This is generally an affirmation that you must sign. Be sure to contact your GEICO agent for more exact info on how this works.

DriveEasy is another GEICO program that can help you reduce car insurance premiums. Like Nationwide’s program, it’s a mobile app that checks your behavior such as how hard you brake and how far you drive. Get in touch with your agent to find out how DriveEasy works and how much you can save.

State Farm

Drive Safe & Save is a State Farm safe driver program using telematics that can save you roughly 30% on your car insurance. To qualify, they recommend downloading either their app or OnStar. Like the above auto insurers, State Farm will calculate your savings based on what you do on the road. Check with your agent or visit the insurer’s website to find out how the Drive Safe & Save program works.

Allstate

Allstate is another car insurance company with a good driver discount. You’ll need to sign up for the Safe Driving Bonus program to qualify. The Allstate website indicates that you’ll get a bonus for every six months you go without a car accident. Contact your agent for detailed info about and give you an idea of how much you can save.

Progressive

Progressive lowers your car insurance premium if you join its Snapshot program. After enrolling, you can take advantage by either using the app or a plug-in device for your car. Progressive will track what you do as a driver and other things such as the time of day to determine how much you save.

Be aware that Snapshot isn’t available in every state. We recommend talking to your agent to see if you can use Snapshot where you live. They’ll also be able to explain how the Snapshot program works and help you get started.

USAA

SafePilot is the USAA safe driver program that saves policyholders around 30% on car insurance. Careful motorists can save 10% just by enrolling Once you’re enrolled, you’ll need to get the app and demonstrate good driving habits. Once enough data is gathered, USAA will tell you how well you drive your car and when you can expect to see lower rates.

Contact your agent or log into your account for more details about how the USAA SafePilot program works. Either method will get you started and signed up so that you can take advantage of the savings.

Farmers

Farmers Insurance offers reduced rates via their Signal program. Just like other insurers’ telematics plans, you must download an app that watches and scores you while you drive. Contact your agent to find out how Farmers’ Signal program works. They’ll help you enroll and tell you how much you can get knocked off your premium.

Travelers

Travelers offers a discount for people who stay away from tickets or car accidents. Talk to your Travelers insurance agent to see exactly how much you can save and how long it takes to qualify.

Liberty Mutual

A Liberty Mutual safe driver discount is available to policyholders with clean records . Careful drivers can qualify for one of the insurer’s two rewards:

  • Accident-free if you can go several years without a car accident
  • Violation-free if you can go several years without tickets or other violations

RightTrack by Liberty Mutual is a telematics program that can save you up to 30% on car insurance. If it’s available in your state, you can enroll, download the app, and it’ll track you while you drive your car. Talk to your agent to find out how the RightTrack program works.

American Family

The American Family good driver discount is for policyholders that keep their driving record clear of tickets, car accidents, or other types of claims for five years.

American Family also has a telematics program called KnowYourDrive that tracks your driving habits. You can save up to 20% on car insurance and receive a 10% sign-up bonus if you use the program. Be sure to speak to your agent to learn more.

Mercury

Mercury doesn’t disclose how long you need to go without having an accident or getting a ticket to save on car insurance. But they say that after a specified time, you may qualify for their good driver discount. You’ll need to contact Mercury to find out the details.

COUNTRY Financial

It’s in every car insurance company’s best interest to promote safe driving practices. Doing its part, COUNTRY offers a good driver discount to those who go three years with no car accidents or tickets. If you think you’ve hit this milestone, contact COUNTRY to find out if you qualify.

Shelter

The Shelter safe driver discount may be the best in the industry. First off, it applies when you switch to them and have been accident-free for three years. After three more years of accident-free driving, you may receive additional savings. And finally, after yet another three years of no accidents or tickets, Shelter may lower your insurance premium one more time. For good drivers, these savings could add up.

Safe Driver Discount by Company

Insurance CompanyMax Savings
Nationwide15-40%
GEICO22%
State Farm30%
AllstateVaries
ProgressiveVaries
USAA30%
FarmersVaries
Travelers20-40%
Liberty Mutual30%
American Family10-20%
MercuryVaries
COUNTRY Financial10-25%
ShelterVaries
Note: table data found on the above insurers’ websites. Savings vary by state.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why don’t all car insurance companies reward safe driving?

Almost every insurer has a safe driver discount, but each one typically lists it with a different name and features. Some companies call it the accident or claims-free discount. Check with your provider to find out how it lowers rates for good drivers.

Can good driving lower my car insurance premium?

Good driving practices can lower your rates and keep them there. You can avoid an increase in your premium if you’re a defensive driver and maintain a good record. And depending on where you live and your insurance provider, you can also qualify for a safe driver discount.

What insurers lower rates when you drive safe?

Most major car insurance companies reward safe drivers, either as a class of discounts or a program. Keep in mind, however, that some won’t apply in every state. Be sure to talk to your insurer to find out if you qualify for a safe driver discount.

How do you get safe driving discounts?

Each insurer has its own rules for who qualifies. A few companies give a safe driving discount to anyone that goes ticket- and accident-free for several years. But some providers will only lower your car premium if you enroll in a telematics program. The good news is that anyone in a qualifying state can enroll and usually get an immediate discount for signing up. After that, your savings are in your own hands because the safer you drive, the more you save.

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