If you’re looking to save money on car insurance, you don’t have to look very far. According to multiple car insurance companies, good driver discounts save people hundreds of dollars each year — and most auto insurers offer them.
Insurers reward drivers with no recent accidents or traffic violations because these types of drivers tend to file claims at lower rates. Even if you don't have a clean history (with no accidents or violations), insurance companies still have rewards for people who are trying to improve their driving habits.
Do you still have questions about discounts for safe drivers and how to get them?
In this article, we'll answer the following:
What kind of good driver discounts are offered?
One common type of good driver discount focuses on accidents. As in, if you don’t get into an accident for, say, three to five years, you receive a lower rate or some other rebate.
The second type of good driver discount focuses on major moving violations. It’s often tied to avoiding traffic offenses like speeding or running red lights. Steer clear of them for a set number of years and your insurance company may reward you.
Which companies offer safe driver discounts?
Most large insurers offer discounts for driving safely or remaining accident- and violation-free.
You should know that while most insurers offer good driver discounts, some will place restrictions on who can apply for them. For instance, USAA only offers the discount to residents in certain states.
Here are the most common good driver discounts and which companies offer them:
|Discount||Companies offering the discount|
|Accident-free (Up to 20%)||American Family, Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Travelers|
|Defensive driving (10-15%)||American Family, Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm|
|Seat belt (Varies)||GEICO, State Farm|
See how much you can save with a good driver discount.
Before you begin asking your company about their good driver discount, keep in mind:
- Discounts usually have a limit. Some companies will not allow you to stack certain discounts together.
- Each discount has its own restriction. Some discounts will only apply to certain coverages rather than your entire policy.
California's good driver discount law
Insurance companies are required to provide qualified California residents with a 20% good driver discount under state regulation. In order to receive the discount, you must meet the following criteria:
- Have a valid driver's license for at least three years. If your license was revoked or suspended in the middle of a three-year time frame, you are not eligible for the discount.
- Receive no more than one Department of Motor Vehicles point in the last three years.
- Not be enrolled in traffic school more than once due to a violation.
- Never be found responsible for an accident that caused injury or death.
- Have no DUI charges in the last 10 years.
Any California drivers who meet these requirements should check with their insurance company to make sure the discount was applied to their policy.
How to keep or qualify for a good driver discount
Getting a good driver discount is just half the battle. The other half? Keeping it. You can accomplish that by doing the following:
Admittedly, this is easier said than done. The more you’re behind the wheel, though, the more likely you are to crash, get caught speeding or receive a ticket for some other traffic infraction. And any one of those incidents is enough to make your safe driver discount go kaput.
So, if you can cut back a bit on driving, do it. Plus, many insurers offer low-mileage discounts.
Take it easy on your gas and brake pedals
Follow this advice and you’ll be less likely to speed or crash. And that means you’ll be more likely to hang on to your good driver discount.
Another option to consider if you're a good driver is looking into telematics-based discounts like pay-how-you-drive, which rewards you for safe driving habits such as soft braking or refraining from speeding. Telematic discounts are not widely available in every state so check with your local insurance agent to see if you can sign up.
Pay-how-you-drive car insurance
|Company||Where is pay-how-you-drive insurance available?||Estimated annual savings*|
|Progressive Snapshot||Every state and the District of Columbia||$145|
|Allstate Drivewise||Every state||Contact your insurer.|
|State Farm Drive Safe & Save||Every state except CA, MA and RI||Up to 30%|
|Farmers Signal||Every state except HI, NY and SC||Up to 15% during each policy renewal and the possibility of saving an additional 10% by enrolling drivers under 25 in your household|
|Nationwide SmartRide||Every state except AK, CA, HI, LA, MA and NY||Up to 25%|
|Esurance DriverSense||Esurance has three different DriveSense programs, each serving different states.||Contact your insurer.|
|Liberty Mutual RightTrack||AL, AZ, CT, IN, MI, NH, NM, OK, AND, PA, TX||Up to 30%|
|GEICO DriverEasy||AZ, CO, CT, FL, IL, IN, LA, KY, MD, NC, NJ, NM, OH, OK, OR, PA, TN, TX, VA, WI||Contact your insurer.|
|USAA SafePilot||AZ, OH, TX, VA||Up to 30%|
|*Rates are based on calculations listed on the insurer’s website.|
Keep distractions to a minimum
This includes refraining from using your phone while driving, but it also means don’t unwrap or eat food while driving. And don’t try to pick up objects that fall off the dashboard or seat and onto the floor. No matter what causes it, distracted driving is extremely dangerous.
Avoid these activities as much as you can, too:
- Adjusting the radio.
- Looking at directions.
- Talking with passengers.
Sign up for a defensive driving course
Defensive driving courses aim to teach drivers how to avoid and prevent crashes, how to use safety devices properly and more. Classes typically last four to eight hours, depending on which state you live in.
Not only can such a course make you a better, safer driver, but it might make you eligible for a defensive driving discount.
Get accident forgiveness coverage
An accident forgiveness add-on can keep your rates from going up if you’re involved in an accident. And it can keep you from losing your safe driver discount in that situation, too.
Something to keep in mind before you agree to this kind of coverage: sometimes you need to buy it and sometimes you earn it.
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