How To Save Money With a Driver’s Ed Insurance Discount

Some insurers apply a discount to your policy premium for completing a driver’s education course. On top of lowering your insurance premium, completing a driver’s ed course teaches you how to obey traffic laws so you can avoid moving violations and potential car accidents. Avoiding traffic tickets contributes to a clean driving record, which may eventually qualify safe drivers with additional savings opportunities with their auto insurance company.

Can Driver’s Ed Lower Your Car Insurance?

Completing a driver’s education course can help lower your car insurance since it teaches students about traffic laws and how to avoid a ticket. By complying with traffic laws and avoiding moving violations and car accidents, you slowly build a clean driving record. If you stay accident- and moving violation-free for several years, you may qualify for lower rates and even earn a safe driver discount if your insurer offers it.

Do All Driving Schools Earn You Discounts for Auto Insurance?

Not all driving schools can be used to get a discount on car insurance since some courses are not legitimate and lack accreditation. You should ask your insurer for recommendations to ensure you’re completing a course that will qualify you for a driver’s ed discount.

How To Get a Driver’s Ed Insurance Discount

Earning a driver’s ed insurance discount can require you to choose an approved driver’s ed course, meet age requirements and submit proof of completion. Follow these steps to learn how you can apply a driver’s ed discount to your policy premium.

1. Check if Your Insurance Company Offers a Discount

Your insurance provider will let you know if they offer a driver’s education discount. If they do, ask when the discount will apply (immediately vs. at renewal) and how long it will remain in effect. Keep in mind that some insurance companies may enforce age caps on who can qualify for a driver’s ed discount.

Here are a few major insurance companies that offer driver’s education discounts:

  • State Farm (must be under age 21)
  • Erie Insurance (must be under age 21)
  • The Hartford (must be under age 21; under 25 in Georgia)
  • Allstate
  • Travelers
  • USAA

After confirming if your insurance company offers a discount, ask for a list of driver’s education courses that they will accept. Depending on your situation, you may want to choose an online or in-person driver’s ed course.

2. Complete the Driver’s Education Course

Your next step is to complete the class successfully. Driver’s education courses typically range from four to eight hours. In these courses, drivers may learn how to handle harsh conditions like bad weather or traffic, crash prevention techniques, right-of-way laws, how to maintain a safe distance from other motorists and other driving skills.

3. Submit Proof of Completion to Your Insurance Carrier

Once you’ve finished your driver’s education class you’ll have to fax or mail your certificate of completion to your insurance company. Once they receive it, they will process it and apply the discount to your insurance premium. Depending on your insurance policy, your discount may be applied retroactively so that it is backdated to the date you finished the class.

Will Attending Traffic School Affect My Car Insurance Rates?

Traffic school can help remove a ticket from your driving record, which insurers will look at when determining your monthly rates. Traffic violations can raise your car insurance rates for a certain time frame (typically three to five years). Drivers with one or more traffic tickets are seen as high-risk drivers and will pay more for insurance.

How Much Will It Help My Insurance Premium?

A ticket on your driving history can increase your insurance premiums because auto insurers classify traffic violations as high-risk indicators.

By getting the ticket dismissed so your insurance company doesn’t see it, you could avoid a rate increase that could potentially last for several years.

Keep in mind that adding a traffic ticket to an otherwise clean driving record could disqualify you from other discounts, like a good driver discount or claims-free discount.

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How Much Does Driver’s Ed Cost?

The cost of a driver’s ed class can vary depending on the company, course length and location. You can look for an approved course by searching online or calling your insurance agent. Private lessons can range from $50 to $80 per hour, depending on where you live.

Where Can I Find Driver’s Ed Discounts for Car Insurance?

There are multiple ways to sign up for an advanced driving course, including your DMV, online or even your public library.

  • DMV: Your state’s DMV may be an excellent source for driver’s education classes. You can either look them up online or give them a call.
  • Online: Your insurer may approve online courses, but you should always double-check.
  • Driving schools: You can look for independent driving schools that offer specialized driving classes.
  • Library: Depending on where you live, your library or community center may offer driving classes which are generally free or low cost. You can call your library and ask them about upcoming courses and how to enroll.

Online Courses vs. In-Person Courses

Depending on your insurance company may accept completion from an online or in-person driver’s ed course. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of course.

Online Driver’s Ed Course

In-Person Driver’s Ed Course

  • Typically cheaper than in-person
  • Can be done anywhere
  • May be able to complete at your own pace
  • Less face-to-face interaction with a teacher (if at all)
  • Typically more expensive than online courses 
  • Must show up to class at a specific time and location
  • May include more comprehensive instruction
  • Can interact with instructor to ask questions
  • Potentially complete in one day

Driver’s Education Courses vs. Defensive Driving Courses

Driver's education courses and defensive driving courses are two different types of courses. Driver’s ed courses teach teens and adults about the basics of driving. In the majority of states, this class is a prerequisite for drivers under the age of 18 to  21 applying for a learner’s permit or driver’s license. Currently, 32 states require you to complete a driver’s ed course before issuing you a driver’s license.

Defensive driving courses teach about local driving laws, safety information and safe driving techniques.

Like traffic school, completing a defensive driving class may help you dismiss a recent traffic ticket. These courses usually cover local driving laws, safety information and driving techniques.

Several insurance companies also offer a discount for completing a defensive driving course. The discount amount and requirements for qualifying will vary by company. The discount is commonly available to teenagers and drivers over 55. Even if you're not eligible for a defensive driving discount, completing the course could help hone your driving skills and help you maintain a clean driving record.

FAQs

What are the benefits of a defensive driving course?

Defensive driving courses teach drivers about traffic laws and tips for driving more safely. Some insurance companies may offer a discount to young drivers who complete an approved driver’s ed course.

How long is the average driver’s education course?

Driver’s education courses typically range from four to eight hours but it can vary based on the course and your state. In many states, a four-hour course is enough to receive a certificate and discount if your insurer offers it.

Are there other car insurance discounts for teen or new drivers?

Young drivers with good grades can apply for a good student discount if they maintain good grades. Maintaining a clean driving record is the best way to save because it can qualify you for lower premiums plus other discounts like a safe driver and claims-free discount.

Key Takeaways

  • Drivers can get a driver's ed insurance discount by completing a course approved by their insurer and their state’s DMV.
  • A driver’s education course can teach you how to obey traffic laws plus driving techniques to quickly react to danger.
  • Before enrolling in a driver’s ed course, first confirm with your insurer if its completion will qualify you for a driver’s ed discount on insurance.
  • You may need to provide proof of completion of an approved driver’s ed course to qualify for a driver’s ed discount.

Shopping around is one of the best ways to save money on car insurance. SmartFinancial makes it easy by matching you with a policy in your area based on your coverage needs and budget. Enter your zip code below or call 855.214.2291 to browse through free insurance quotes.

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