If you’re a safe driver, with a solid driving record and a lack of insurance claims, saving on car insurance is easy. Every time an insurance company provides a quote, it bases the figures on the likelihood of future claims. When you show yourself to be a safe and skillful driver, insurance companies feel confident providing direct or indirect discounts. In this section, we look at the top two reasons you can expect to save money on your premiums as a safe driver.
Reducing the Risk of Harm to Yourself and Others
When you pay close attention behind the wheel, follow the rules of the road, and stay aware of other drivers, you’re far less likely to have a wreck. Whether you carry only liability insurance or invest in comprehensive coverage, your driving behavior directly increases or decreases the likelihood that you cause harm to yourself or another driver.
As discussed earlier, insurance companies base premium quotes on your driving history and the amount of risk they will incur by insuring you. Even if you only carry liability insurance, your recklessness could result in injuries to others and damage to another vehicle that the insurance company will have to cover. If you carry comprehensive insurance, damages you cause to yourself and to another driver will fall on your insurance company.
By proving that you’re responsible and careful while driving, you show insurance companies that they can trust you and that you’re deserving of a lower premium.
Insurance Companies Want Your Business
Given a choice between insuring someone with a spotless driving record and no history of claims versus someone who has been in multiple wrecks, insurance companies always opt for the driver who poses less risk.
Rather than having few choices between companies that offer coverage, safe drivers can select from many different options. Insurance companies recognize this and are willing to offer discounts to lure potential customers away from the competition.
Because of this, as a safe driver you should take your time researching potential insurers to find the best rates. Don’t settle for the first one you come across, as you can probably find an even better deal by shopping around.
Discounts for Safe Drivers
As a safe driver, car insurance companies reward you for how you behave behind the wheel, how frequently you drive, and the features your car has to keep you and others safe. Some discounts come straight from insurance companies, while others come from third-party groups such as AARP. Be sure to exhaust your options and consider all the different types of safe driving discounts available to get the best premium possible. Read on to take a look at some of the most popular discounts.
Drive Safe and Save
Save up to 30% on your State Farm insurance premium simply by allowing the company to track your driving habits and patterns. Individuals choose from two options: downloading an app on their smartphone and installing a car sensor or using OnStar in vehicles with this feature. This can be a great first option for those seeking safe driving discounts, as it does not consider previous tickets or accidents. Rather, it monitors how frequently you drive within the speed limit, how often you slam on your brakes, and other factors that add up to being a safe driver.
Functioning similar to State Farm’s offering, Progressive’s Snapshot program personalizes your rate based on how you drive. Rather than taking into account your driving record, Snapshot looks at how much you drive and how you behave to create a unique quote. When signing up for this program, you receive an automatic discount. When you renew the policy, you could receive additional discounts based on your driving habits. Data from 2020 shows that drivers who use Snapshot saved an average of $146 per year.
With Liberty Mutual, you can save up to 30% as a safe driver. RightTrack keeps up with how many miles you drive, how often you drive at night, how you use your brakes, and how frequently you accelerate. You must participate in a 90-day review period before receiving a specialized quote. Select from different RightTrack options that involve downloading an app, placing a small device behind your rearview mirror, or plugging a small device into your car’s on-board diagnostics port (typically located under the steering wheel). Contact a Liberty Mutual representative to learn which applies to you.
Allstate, Geico, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide
For many drivers, being in an accident in which they are at fault can significantly increase the cost of their premiums. That said, with an accident forgiveness benefit drivers with a good record may be able to avoid an increase the first time they cause a wreck. This program helps keep good drivers with the company, ensuring they don’t change companies due to being at fault in an accident. And because your premium won’t go up after a wreck, you can keep saving with additional discounts.
Accident-Free Good Driver Discount
Geico, Nationwide, USAA
If you maintain a safe driving record for at least five years, some insurers provide a discount. However if you don’t like the idea of being tracked in your car or having insurance companies analyzing your driving patterns so you can get a discount, there are other options. Several companies provide this type of discount based solely on long-term safe driving, so make sure you do your research to find the best premium based on your driving history.
Anti-Lock Brakes Discount
Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Travelers
By driving a car with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), insurers consider you a safer driver. An ABS provides tire traction to help you steer during emergencies, thus helping you regain control more quickly. Most new cars automatically come with ABS, so many insurers include this discount when you request for a quote. If you don’t see it, however, make sure you ask. This could result in between 5%-10% off your premium for collision coverage.
Passive Restraint Discount
Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Travelers
This common discount is offered by most major auto insurers and provides a 25%-30% discount if your car has appropriate front airbags and seatbelts throughout. Because every car made since 1983 has been required to have these restraints, your insurer should automatically add this discount. That said, to qualify you may be asked to provide proof that all the restraints are in good working order.
Daytime Running Lights Discount
Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, Travelers
While a daytime running lights discount may not make a huge dent in your overall premium costs (must insurers provide around 3% off), every little bit helps. Research shows that daytime running lights can help lower the rate of accidents, making you a safer driver. Be warned: your car will need to be new enough to come with this feature, rather than you simply turning your lights on each time you get in your car. Your insurer will use information about the make and model of your vehicle to determine whether you qualify.
New Vehicle Discount
Allstate, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Travelers
Some insurers provide up to 10% off if your car is less than two years old and yours is the only name that has been on the title. The reason behind this discount is that new cars contain the latest technology to keep you safe, and of course the safer you are the less likely you are to need to file a claim.
Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, The Hartford via AARP
Also known as the vanishing deductible, this type of discount refers to a program that allows your deductible to decrease every year you don’t have an at-fault accident. Different insurers set different rules around the discount. For instance, Nationwide and Allstate provide a $100 deductible discount for every year you remain accident-free, up to five years. With Liberty Mutual, the deduction functions more like a bank account, with $100 going into a fund for every accident-free year. If you need to file a claim, you can use the money in your deductible fund to decrease your out-of-pocket expense.
Other Ways Safe Drivers Can Save on Auto Insurance
When you’re observant and careful behind the wheel, you open yourself up to additional car insurance discounts. Many of these can be paired with your safe driving discounts, creating an even lower premium. For instance, you might be a safe driver who puts low miles on your car and pays your premium in full. Or you might be a top student driving an electric car who completed a defensive driving course.
Check out the possible discounts below to make sure you understand all the different types of savings available and which you qualify for.
Defensive Driving Discount
Participating in a defensive driving course could save you an additional 10%-15% off the cost of collision, liability, and personal insurance coverage. Defensive driving classes are available online, usually last 4-6 hours, and typically cost no more than $30. Before enrolling in a defensive driving course, make sure an approved provider teaches it in your state and that the course qualifies you for a discount from your insurance company.
Low Mileage Discount
Suppose that you live in an area with accessible public transportation or that you use your bike regularly. In those cases, you may qualify for a low mileage discount. Each auto insurer sets maximum annual mileage requirements, but these usually fall between 5,000-12,000 miles annually.
Insurers regularly provide up to 20% off premiums, with the thought being that you are less likely to get in an accident if you aren’t on the road frequently. While an insurance company may take your word initially for how many miles you drive to provide a quote, you may be require to install monitoring technology to keep the discount over time.
Electric Vehicle Discount
If you care about the environment and emissions, then you probably also care about not damaging your surroundings by getting in an accident – or so the thought process goes for some insurers. While not every major company provides an electric vehicle discount, these are becoming more popular as electric vehicles become widely available.
Insurers may offer up to 10% off premiums for those who drive electric vehicles, but you need to check with individual insurance companies to learn if they offer this discount and how much of a discount they provide.
While not a hard and fast rule, many insurance companies offer discounts to senior drivers with good records, with the idea that these drivers actually drive less than other motorists. At Allstate, for instance, drivers over the age of 55 can receive a 10% discount on physical damage and basic liability premiums.
Some insurers offer this discount automatically, while others require senior drivers to take part in a driver improvement course. Typically these can be completed online and take only a few hours.
If you protect our country and national interests, then most likely you know how to protect yourself on the road. Many car insurers offer discounts created especially for active military members and veterans, and companies like USAA exclusively cater to military members and their families.
As with other types of discounts, check with multiple companies to find the best rate. Aim to find a discount somewhere in the range of 10%-15% off your entire premium. Some insurers also offer similar savings for federal employees.
Top Student Discount
If you’re a student or the parent/guardian of one, you know how much insurance for individuals under 25 can cost, mostly because insurers consider these drivers less experienced. That said, many companies now offer discounts–up to 25%–for those who maintain good grades in high school and/or college.
To qualify for this discount, applicants typically need to be enrolled full-time in an accredited degree program. They’ll also need to provide official transcripts from time to time showing that they have maintained their good grades.
Non-Resident Student Discount
This discount functions similarly to the low-mileage discount. Insurance companies often provide discounts for college students attending a university far from home if they do not take their car with them. Because these learners will theoretically only use their cars when home for holidays or summer break, insurers feel confident offering a discount.
The amount you can save with the non-resident student discount varies substantially, from 5% on the low end to 25% on the high end. Because of this, make sure you shop around before committing to an insurer.
If you need to insure multiple assets, doing so with the same company can help you qualify for a bundling discount. For example, say you need to insure your car, but you’re also dissatisfied with the home insurance premiums you currently pay. By combining these with the same company, you can save up to 25% on both premiums.
Think carefully about the type of insurance you need– be it for a boat, motorcycle, house, or apartment. Bring your insurer a list of all the items you want to insure and see what type of deal they can offer.
Similar to the bundling discount, a multi-car discount can help you save up to 25% on premiums. Even though savings means you will pay less per policy, insurers are happy to offer this discount because you still end up paying more than if you only insured one vehicle with them.
Traditionally, many insurers only offered this discount to individuals or married couples who own more than one car. However, in recent years, more companies have started providing this discount to unmarried couples and unrelated roommates.
Full Payment Discount
Rather than paying your car insurance premium monthly, what if you paid in six- or 12-month installments? Well, it could mean saving between 5%-10% on your coverage. Car insurers appreciate customers who have the financial stability needed to make full payments in advance and often reward them.
Check with your current insurer to learn if they offer a full payment discount or shop around to see if you can find an insurer that offers an even better discount. To qualify, most companies require you to make the full payment by the first day the policy becomes effective.