Learn about Safe Driver Car Insurance Discounts

Do you completely stop at every stop sign, drive the speed limit, and use your indicator every time you switch lanes? If you’re the kind of person who avoids traffic infractions, you could be saving money on your car insurance. These discounts can help you save on your insurance premium:

Drivers with clean driving records may receive what’s called the “safe driver” discount. Different carriers offer different incentives for being a safe driver, so here’s what you need to know:

Each company has its own definition of “safe driver.” In general, you’re a safe driver if you:

• Have had no at-fault accidents in the past 5 years
• Have a clean driving record with no instance of speeding tickets, reckless driving charges, or DUI/DWI.

Some companies also consider whether or not you’ve filed any claim within a 6-month period (called a “claim-free discount), whether or not you use OnStar or another vehicle communication device (usually called “pay-as-you-drive programs), and if you’ve taken a driver safety course or defensive driving.

Let’s discuss all three:

Claim-free discounts can be used in conjunction with your safe driver discount…sometimes. Your insurance company will consider whether or not you’ve filed a claim on any accident, whether you’re at fault or not. Each company has it’s own look-back period for determining eligibility, and each company decides whether you can stack this discount with your safe driver savings. As time passes and your record stays clean, you could even qualify for a greater discount.

Pay-as-you-drive programs use your vehicle communication device to track your driving. It monitors how much you drive, how many times you hit the brakes, how fast you go, and when and where you drive. These insurance programs are usually partnered with the communication device companies who provide the data. While there may be some concern that your premiums could actually increase through this program, companies have ensured they only offer this option to help reduce premiums.

Before you make this choice, be sure your state allows this program and your vehicle is compatible with the communication device for installation.

Driver safety courses and defensive driving are a third way to take advantage of your safe driving habits. Most companies offer additional discounts for the completion of a driver’s education course or defensive driving training. Some folks take these courses in lieu of paying traffic fines when violations are issued. In this case you may not qualify for a discount. Double check with your insurance agent once you’ve completed these trainings to ensure you qualify.

The best way to take advantage of safe driver discounts is to follow traffic laws and keep a clean driving record. If you have a teen or other risky driver on your policy, have them take a driver safety course or consider a pay-as-you-drive program to help them learn to drive more safely.