Safe Driver

Insurance Discounts

Auto insurance can be one of the biggest expenses of owning a car. Unfortunately, it is a legal requirement to be able to drive in nearly every state, and it serves to protect you in the event of an accident, theft, or other mishaps. One of the best things you can do for the insurance coverage that you want is to get every possible discount available to you.

One that is typically overlooked is the safe driver discount. While you can get a basic safe driver discount by not having any claims in a certain period (typically between three and five years), you can increase the amount of this discount by doing other things, including having certain types of safety equipment, only driving at certain times of the day, and taking a driver’s education course.

THE IMPORTANCE of a driver’s education course

Young and inexperienced drivers face the highest premiums simply because they are new drivers. However, taking a full driver’s education course that includes both practical teaching and driving practice can help to lower the cost of the insurance coverage dramatically.

For an older adult (age 50 or older), a defensive driving course can help refresh skills, help them learn about any changes to the laws, and show that they are still able to be safe drivers.

These courses tend to focus on things such as

  • Drug and alcohol awareness
  • Driving in less than ideal weather
  • Defensive driving techniques

It is important to know that taking these classes on a volunteer basis does more for your discounts than if you are court ordered to do so.

In fact, court ordered driving school will probably do very little for you other than prevent your insurance from skyrocketing because of a ticket or an accident.

the cost of driving school vs. the money you save on auto insurance

Driving school is typically a short-term course and may be done in person or online. If done voluntarily, it can be quite affordable. With a range of:

$20–$100in person
$20–$20online

Voluntarily going to driver’s school could save you greatly with discounts as high as twenty percent. Those discounts could typically last three years.

  • So, if you spent $100 on driver’s school (a one-time cost).
    –$ 100
  • But, saved $10 per month for three years, you have savings of $360 minus the $100.
    $ 360
  • A total net savings of
    $ 260

If the driving school was cheaper, your net savings would be even higher.

The cost of driving school might be much higher if it is done as part of a court order, however, because you may lose the ability to shop for the right class for your needs. Other expenses, such as court costs, license reinstatement, and lawyer fees will also have to be considered.

  • In this case, the money you would save through driver’s school would actually be the prevention of an increase in premiums. You technically may not see a discount, but you wouldn’t see an increase either.

  • Driving school would also prevent things like points being added to your license or your insurance being cancelled altogether.

Some companies will not insure what they call “high risk” drivers even if they have had insurance with them for a long period of time. You may not be allowed to renew your policy and may also need to have an SR 22 form added to your insurance for a set period of time.

why safe drivers save money on insurance

Every time you make a claim, no matterhow small, it costs the insurance company money. From paying claims adjusters to come to inspect the damage to paying for the actual repairs and more, that is an expense that they must deal with.

Insurance companies are in business to make money, so to protect that interest, they reward people that do not cost them money and penalize those that do.

If you have not had a claim or covered loss in a certain amount of time, they consider you safer than someone that has had one.

Another way that you can get a safe driver’s discount is by asking about a “pay as you drive” discount. With this, a small device is installed in your car, and your driving habits are analyzed for a period of time.

From that analysis, the insurance company gets a picture of how safe of a driver you are, and your discounts are determined accordingly. This is not available through all agents or in all areas, which is another reason it is important to do your comparison shopping very thoroughly.

There are many things that influence the price of your auto insurance, so the absolute best advice you could ever get is to always compare prices before committing.

Here are the factors that determine your insurance costs:

Your basic demographics (age, marital status, gender, and the state that you live in) In some states, occupation and other factors can also be used to determine your insurance rates.

Your driving history Accidents, tickets, and other factors can increase your insurance rates dramatically, especially if they are recent.

The type of car that you drive, including its age and any upgrades that have been done to it Modified cars may require specialized insurance and therefore may not qualify for any type of discounts at all.

Your credit score Three states (California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts) do not allow your credit score to be used to determine insurance premiums. Insurance companies view people with high credit ratings as safer risks and as less likely to file a claim.

The amount and type of coverage that you want or need Obviously, having the most coverage will cost more than minimal coverage.

Your driving habits If you tend to only drive short distances during weekdays and daylight hours, you may be considered a safer risk than someone who drives more frequently.

The type of discounts that you qualify for Multi-car or multi-policy and other discounts are just the start.

Some of these things cannot be changed, obviously, but others are within your reach.

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