How to get a defensive driving discount

Since defensive driving can make you safer on the road, many insurance companies will offer a discount for taking a defensive driving course. Each insurer's discount and terms are different, and state regulations can come into play, too. Before you sign up for a defensive driving course, you can do the following:

  • Check your state's regulations or laws about defensive driver discounts
  • Learn your insurer's available discounts and requirements, including any defensive driving discount age limits
  • If a defensive driving discount is available, make sure you select a state/insurer-approved course
  • Compare costs, timing, and formats (in-person vs. online) of approved defensive driving courses to find the one that's right for you

Does driver's ed reduce insurance?

Insurers may offer a discount or lower rate for teen drivers who complete a driver's education course, but the savings may not be comparable to a defensive driving discount. Bear in mind that these are two different types of driving courses. Driver's education is meant to teach young drivers the rules of the road and basic driving skills before earning their license. Defensive driving courses are designed to improve your existing driving skills so you can better anticipate situations that may cause an accident and drive more safely in general.

How do driver safety course insurance discounts work?

Defensive driving is often geared towards younger and older drivers who may have higher car insurance premiums, but a defensive driving discount may be offered to people of all ages. Some states require insurers to offer defensive driving discounts, while others do not. In many states, a four-hour course is enough to fulfill the requirement for a defensive driving certificate and discount.

After you've completed an approved defensive driving course, your auto insurer may apply your discount for several years. If you still qualify for a discount after that period has expired, you may be able to re-take a defensive driving course to maintain the savings.