What Is the Safe Driver Discount?

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

The safe driver discount is an insurance company’s way of thanking policyholders for avoiding tickets, 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 for a safe driver discount and save lots of money on your auto insurance.

Car insurance companies give discounts to drivers with a proven track record of safe driving. To qualify, your driving record must typically be clean for around five years under the same insurer.

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

  • What it is and how to get it
  • Who offers it
  • Other safe driving programs
  • Frequently asked questions

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What Is the Safe Driver Discount?

The safe driver discount is a way for insurers to reward drivers who maintain a good driving record. That is, you could save big on insurance if you or other people on your policy can avoid tickets, accidents, or filing claims.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), your driving record is one of the top factors that go into your car insurance rates. Your rates will naturally be lower if you always stay safe. But, depending on your provider, safe driver discounts could save you about 30% on insurance.

Auto insurance companies sometimes offer safe driver savings as one discount or as a range of benefits related to driving safely. For example, some companies 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 insurers may want you to enroll in a safe driving or telematics program before you can qualify for a safe driving discount. Each company will likely have a unique name for its program. These programs might watch your claim history over a short period before rewarding you with lower rates. Or they may even want you to use a beacon device or mobile app to observe your driving 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, reckless driving, tickets, and other violations
  • Try to avoid having any expensive comprehensive claims
  • Enroll in your insurer’s safe driving program if they have one
  • Develop or keep up good driving habits

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 get a safe driver discount from your car insurance company.

Insurers with Safe Driver Discounts

Many of the major auto insurance companies offer at least some kind of safe driver discount to their customers. Though it can come in different forms and names, your insurer likely provides a way to reward good drivers.

As mentioned, many insurers offer this rate-reducing benefit as a class of discounts rather than one. For instance, you could get a discount from your insurer 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 compare quotes to find out if you qualify for these savings.

Nationwide

Nationwide offers an optional safe driving 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 safe 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 “Discounts for Driving History and Habits” category:

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

DriveEasy is another GEICO program that can help you reduce your premium. Like Nationwide’s program, it’s a mobile app that checks your driving 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 State Farm’s safe driving program that can save you roughly 30% on your insurance. To qualify, they recommend downloading either their app or OnStar. Like the above auto insurers, State Farm will calculate your savings based on your driving habits. Check with your agent or visit State Farm’s website to find out how the Drive Safe & Save program works.

Allstate

Allstate is another 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 an accident. Contact your agent for detailed info about how the Safe Driving Bonus works. They’ll be able to help you sign up and give you an idea of how much you can save.

Progressive

You can get a safe driver discount from Progressive using their Snapshot program. After enrolling, you can take advantage of the program by either using the app or a plug-in device for your car. Progressive will track your driving traits and other things such as the time of day to determine your discount.

Be aware that the Snapshot program and some of its discounts aren’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

USAA’s SafePilot program helps you save around 30% on auto insurance. Careful drivers can save 10% just by enrolling in the program. Once you’re enrolled, you’ll need to get the app and drive safely. Once enough data is gathered, USAA will tell you how well you’re driving and when you can start getting a discount.

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 this discount’s savings.

Farmers

Farmers offers reduced rates via their Signal program. Just like other insurers’ safe driver programs, 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 car insurance.

Travelers

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

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual will give you the following two discounts for safe driving depending on your state:

  • An accident-free discount if you can go several years without an accident
  • A violation-free discount if you can go several years without tickets or other violations

RightTrack by Liberty Mutual is a safe driving 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. Talk to your agent to find out how the RightTrack program works.

American Family

American Family offers a good driving discount to those who keep their driving record clear of tickets, accidents, or other types of claims for five years.

American Family also has a safe driving program called KnowYourDrive that tracks your driving habits. You can get up to a 20% discount and a 10% sign-up discount 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. 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 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 accidents or tickets. If you think you’ve hit this milestone, contact COUNTRY to find out if you qualify.

Shelter

Shelter may have the best safe driver discount. First off, a discount applies when you switch to Shelter and have been accident-free for three years. After three more years of accident-free driving, you may receive an additional discount. And finally, after yet another three years of no accidents or tickets, Shelter may offer one final discount. For good drivers, these savings could add up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why don’t all car insurance companies have a safe driver discount?

A: Almost every auto insurer has safe driver discounts. But each one typically lists it with a different name and features. Some insurance companies call it the accident-free or claims-free discount. Check with your insurer to see if it has discounts or programs to lower rates for good drivers.

Q: Can driving safely lower my car insurance rates?

A: Driving safely can lower your auto insurance rates and keep them there. You can avoid an increase in your rates if you maintain a good driving record. And depending on where you live and your insurer, you can also qualify for a safe driver discount.

Q: Which car insurance companies offer a safe driver discount?

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

Q: How do you get the safe driver discount?

A: Each insurance company has its own rules for who qualifies. A few insurers give a safe driving bonus to anyone that goes ticket- and accident-free for several years. But some providers will only discount your auto insurance 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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