Will My Auto Insurer Give Me a Discount for Taking a Defensive Driving Class?

Taking advantage of discounts can save you hundreds of dollars per year on auto insurance. Taking a defensive driving class could help you save up to 20% on car insurance.

Many insurers offer discounts to drivers who have recently completed a defensive driving class. 

Many young drivers can save 10% or more by taking a defensive driving class, for example. 

Some insurers have also started offering defensive driving class discounts to older adults. If you are 55 or older, then you could save hundreds of dollars per year by completing a defensive driving course.  

Or, if you have multiple at-fault accidents on your driving record, then your insurer could request you to take a defensive driving class to avoid higher premiums. 

Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about defensive driving course discounts and how they work. 

Who is Eligible for Defensive Driving Class Discounts?

Young and old drivers are more likely to qualify for defensive driving class discounts:

Drivers Under 25: As a driver under 25, you have less driving experience than others on the road. Statistically, drivers under 25 are more likely to cause serious accidents than drivers in any other age group. That’s why insurers charge higher insurance premiums to drivers in this demographic. To help offset these high insurance premiums, insurers may offer defensive driving class discounts to young drivers. If you are under age 25 and have taken a defensive driving course, then your insurer could lower premiums by 5% to 15%.

Drivers Over 55: Statistically, accident rates start rising as drivers get over 55. Many insurers start raising rates as drivers reach their late 60s and early 70s. Your reaction times aren’t as good, and drivers in this age group have a higher risk of causing accidents. If you are over 60, then you may be able to take a defensive driving class to offset these higher insurance premiums.

Other Defensive Driving Class Discount Requirements 

You may need to meet other requirements to receive a defensive driving class discount.

Some insurers, for example, require you to have a clean driving record with no accidents or citations to qualify for a defensive driving course discount. 

Other insurers only offer the defensive driving class discount for three to five years before it disappears from your record. At this point, you can take a new defensive driving class to qualify for the discount again.  

Some states require insurers to offer defensive driving class discounts to certain drivers. Some states require insurers to offer defensive driving class discounts to older drivers, for example. Instead of automatically raising rates on older drivers, insurers in certain states must offer older drivers a chance to take a defensive driving course to prove their skills. 

Meanwhile, insurers in New York must offer defensive driving course discounts to drivers of all ages. If you live in New York and want to save money on car insurance, then you may want to take a defensive driving course.

Some states allow you to take online defensive driving classes to qualify for a discount. Other states have strict rules regarding in-person defensive driving classes with specific criteria. 

Contact your insurer or check your state law to see if you qualify for a defensive driving class discount.

How Defensive Driving Classes Work

Defensive driving classes work in different ways depending on your state and setting. 

Some defensive driving classes are taught online. You read online guides, watch videos, write quizzes, and complete online training.

Other defensive driving classes take place in-person in a vehicle. You drive with an instructor and practice safe driving habits. Some defensive driving classes even take place on closed courses: you learn how to spot obstructions and avoid obstacles while replicating real-world settings.  

Some insurers offer app-based defensive driving classes. State Farm’s popular Steer Clear program, for example, allows drivers under 25 to save hundreds of dollars per year just by watching safe driving videos, taking quizzes, and recording trips via the mobile app.

How Much Money Can You Save with a Defensive Driving Class Discount?

On average, a defensive driving class discount is worth around 7%. 

If you pay $1,500 per year for full coverage car insurance, then a defensive driving class discount could save you $105 per year. 

Of course, defensive driving classes could also indirectly save you thousands of dollars by making you a safer driver. A single at-fault accident raises premiums by 30% to 50%, leading to thousands of extra dollars in insurance premiums over the next three to five years. If your defensive driving class helps you avoid a single accident, then it will have quickly paid for itself.

Discounts vary between insurers. Most insurers offer discounts between 5% and 10%. However, some insurers offer discounts as low as 2% or 3%, while other insurers offer discounts as high as 20%.

Final Word

Yes, your auto insurance company could give you a discount for taking a defensive driving course. The average auto insurance company gives a discount of around 7% to drivers who have recently completed a defensive driving class.

Defensive driving class discounts are most common for drivers under 25 and over 55. However, depending on your state and your insurance company, you could qualify for a defensive driving class discount at any age, helping you save hundreds per year on car insurance.  


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