Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How to Save on Car Insurance With a Defensive Driving Discount

How to Save on Car Insurance With a Defensive Driving Discount

How to Save on Car Insurance With a Defensive Driving Discount

Taking a defensive driving class can save you money on your car insurance rates. And it may help make you safer driver to boot.

Many auto insurance companies reward you with lower premiums after you take a defensive driving course, but not everyone qualifies. A defensive driving course is only one step of many toward getting cheap car insurance. The classes – often sponsored by groups such as AARP, AAA and the National Safety Council at a cost of $20 to $100 – give you a refresher course in the driving laws in your state and teach you driving skills to better handle skids, pass other cars safely, use anti-lock brakes properly and more.

To get a car insurance discount, the course must be approved by the state and accepted by your insurance company. Many states and insurers accept online classes; others don't. According to AARP, 34 states and Washington, D.C., actually mandate a discount for safe-driving classes:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

How to tell if you qualify for a defensive driving discount

Insurer requirements for defensive driving discounts vary from company to company and from driver to driver.

Esurance, for example, offers around 15% off to drivers both young and old. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 qualify for a defensive driving class discount. Geico rewards drivers over age 50 and even helps pay for the course. Allstate and The Hartford set no age requirement at all.

If you're over the age of 55, you can get a smaller discount, usually around 5%. Typical savings for a 65 year old driver are about 4% off the total insurance bill, says Insurance.com Managing Editor Des Toups, based on 50-state data gathered by Quadrant Information Services (senior drivers also qualify for other discounts).

Defensive driving classes can also lower your points

Defensive driving classes can also benefit you if you have traffic violations. Some states reduce or expunge points from your driving record and require auto insurance companies to give you a mandatory reduction in your car insurance premium after you complete the class.

Defensive driving courses and the auto insurance discounts associated with them vary from state to state. But by and large, courses will lower your premium over a three-year period. And since having a speeding ticket can increase your annual premium from 5% to 20%, this can be a significant savings.

The cost of defensive driving classes

Courses that reduce points are the most expensive. In most cases, you'll take the course in a classroom setting. However, some states allow you to take a class online. Your state’s DMV will have a list of point-reduction classes.

Defensive driving courses can take between four and eight hours. Check with your car insurance company before choosing a class to make sure your insurer will accept it because when you've completed the course, your car insurance company will require proof you took the class (usually in the form of a certificate).

Although most companies and states will allow you to renew the training (and discount) every three years, the discount can be taken away if you get into an accident, so be sure to apply the skills you learn.

This article is adapted with approval from carinsurance.com: http://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/saving-money/defensive-driving-classes-save-on-car-insurance.html

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...


Related questions

Q: Do I need gap insurance?

Gap insurance is designed to cover the difference between what is owed on the vehicle (your car loan) and what the insurance company may pay out in the event of an accident or loss. Any example might be a situation...

Q: Where is the vehicle identification number (VIN) in a 2012 Hyundai Elantra?

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is a number unique to your vehicle, that is used for all legal matters, as well as ownership. You can find your VIN in three places: 1. On top of the dashboard, in the lower...

Q: A lot of damage, shops are backed up, mostly wondering if I'm possibly looking at a totaled vehicle.

You will likely need to get at least 3 different estimates on the vehicle to have a good idea of the costs. This way you can go to the insurance company with a fair estimate of the cost to repair...