Car insurance companies offer a variety of discounts that can help lower your rates, and one of the most common categories of car insurance discounts is safe driver discounts.
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Safe driver discounts can mean a few different things when it comes to car insurance. Let’s break down what you need to do to qualify for a safe driver discount (and how much you can save).
A safe driver discount is a discount your car insurance company gives you for avoiding accidents and moving violations.
In order to qualify, you usually need to have gone a certain number of years without any accidents, violations or claims.
Safe driver discounts are usually separate from a telematics, or usage-based discount, though many companies allow you to combine them for a much bigger discount.
The average safe driver discount can save you 20% to 25% but, depending on the company, it is possible to save much more.
What is a safe driver discount?
A safe driver discount is a discount your car insurance company gives you for, well, driving safely. There are several types of safe driver discounts, and many companies offer multiple, including:
Accident-free discount: Many insurance companies offer a discount for drivers who go three years or more without an accident on their record.
Violation-free discount: Similar to an accident-free discount, some car insurance companies offer a violation-free discount for drivers who go three years or more without a ticket or another moving violation on their record.
Good driver discount: Instead of having separate accident-free and violation-free discounts, some car insurance companies combine them into one "good driver" discount, rewarding drivers who avoid accidents, tickets, and moving violations for three years or more.
Reduced premiums: Rather than offering a specific safe driving discount, some insurance companies will simply renew your insurance without increasing your rates or offer perks at no extra charge, like first accident forgiveness.
Usage-based insurance: Most insurance companies offer a potential discount for drivers who agree to have their driving behavior monitored through a tracking app on their phone. Great drivers could earn a significant discount, but other drivers may find they get a small discount (or possibly even a rate increase) based on their behavior behind the wheel.
How do I get a safe driver discount applied to my policy?
Some companies automatically add a safe driver discount to your policy when you reach a certain point (for example, after three years with no accidents) while other companies require you to apply for the discount when you know you meet all the criteria.
Safe driver discounts by company
Safe driver discounts are available through most major car insurance companies, though the amount you’ll save can vary depending on your provider, and details like where you live.
Safe driver discounts are separate from, but often paired with, telematics system discounts at most of the largest insurance companies.
The chart below shows the safe driver discounts available from several top car insurance companies:
Safe driver discount
Stay accident-free for five years and you may be able to save up to 22% on most coverages.
Progressive offers a discount to drivers who have had no tickets or accidents in the past three years.
Allstate's Safe Driving Bonus program lets you earn a credit on your account every six months if you don't have an accident.
Drivers who have no at-fault accidents, comprehensive claims, and no moving violations will earn a discount.
New State Farm customers receive a safe driver discount when they've gone 3 years (or more) without moving violations or at-fault accidents.
How much can you save with a safe driver discount?
The average safe driver discount can save you 20% to 25%, but it is possible to save much more if you can qualify for more discounts on top of that.
If your insurance company allows it, combining an accident-free or claims-free discount with a telematics discount, a good student discount, or a safety feature discount could save you much more.
If you are buying car insurance for the first time or renewing an existing policy, working with your insurance agent or an online marketplace like Policygenius can help you compare safe driver discounts to make sure you are getting the lowest possible rate.
Is a safe driver discount the same as a good driver discount?
Sometimes — the terms often mean the same thing, but it depends on your car insurance company. Some companies may have different criteria (and separate discounts) for “good” drivers and “safe” drivers, so contact your insurance company to make sure you are getting as many discounts as possible.
Are safe driver discounts worth the effort?
Absolutely! There are several benefits to safe driver discounts, in addition to the money you can save, including:
Lower rates over time: Even without a specific safe-driving discount, drivers without any accidents or moving violations get much lower rates than drivers with a blemish or two on their driving record.
Reduced expenses: No accidents in the last three years? That means you haven’t paid for unnecessary car repairs, comprehensive or collision deductibles, or other accident-related expenses and can put your hard earned money toward other things.
Frequently asked questions
My driving record isn’t clean. How do I fix it?
If you have a traffic ticket or moving violation on your record, you can potentially take a defensive driving course to have it removed, depending on the laws in your state. For accidents and other issues that can’t be fixed by taking a class, your best bet is to avoid new tickets and accidents until the old ones fall off your record.
Are safe driving apps worth it?
Maybe. If you are an exceptionally safe driver or you don’t drive much you may earn a large discount on your insurance, but you are giving up your privacy for those savings. People who aren't stellar drivers may not save any money at all, or worse, may see their rates go up.
What is a good driving score?
A good driving score is part of a telematics system that rates your driving behavior, but what scores are considered “good” depends on who is looking at them. Tesla considers a score of 80 or higher to be a good driving score, while State Farm considers a good score to be 90 or above.
How much is the California good driver discount?
According to California state law, drivers who meet the criteria (licensed for 3 years or more, less than two points on your driving record, no DUI charge in the last ten years, never been responsible for an accident that resulted in an injury or death) are entitled to a good driver discount of no less than 20% of the cost of their car insurance.