When it comes to car insurance, any discount you can receive is a good thing. Car insurance can be quite expensive, depending on several factors such as where you live and what type of car you drive. One of the universal discounts that is often offered by car insurance companies is the good driver discount. These programs have become very common, and new technology is bringing them full circle with some companies.
The Two Types of Good Driver Discounts
There is more than one type of good driver discount, depending on the car insurance company. Some companies combine the two types of discount into one combination discount. However, insurance companies that offer the two types of discounts separately offer you more flexibility in being able to get some type of discount on your car insurance.
The accident-free discount, or the claims-free discount, is something you can get if you do not have any accident claims within a specified number of years. Some car insurance companies require three years accident free while others require five years without a claim. The discount may also be stacked with decreasing deductibles for each year that you go without filing a claim.
Good Driver Discount
This type of discount is given if you have no traffic violations on your driving record within a set amount of time. Some car insurance companies allow you to have one point on your license and still receive the discount, while others require you to have a completely clean driving record. Again, the period of time you must have a clean record for ranges from three to five years depending on the company.
New Technology Leads to a New Kind of Good Driver Discount
Some of the major car insurance companies are offering a new kind of good driver discount based on the latest technology. Using an app on your phone combined with a sensor that is placed on your dash, your driving skills are monitored by the technology.
The sensor monitors different aspects of your driving, such as:
- How quickly you accelerate
- How hard you brake
- Your average driving speed
- How many miles you drive per month
Not every car insurance company offers this new technology, but it is estimated that it could become standard in the future. A few car insurance companies are even requiring you to install the app on your phone in order to have a policy in some cases.
If you have multiple drivers that are using the same vehicle, it may not be beneficial to use this new technology. If one driver has great defensive driving skills and other drivers do not, the results of the tech gathering will be skewed, and it could affect your discount.
Additionally, if you have a clean driving record and are accident-free but know that you tend to brake hard or speed on occasion, it may not be beneficial to use the new technology. You could save more by going with the traditional good driver discounts. If the tech reveals that you are not the safe driver you appear to be, your premiums could actually go up instead of down.
Do Good Driver Discounts Stack?
In some cases, you may be able to stack good driver discounts. If your car insurance company splits the two types of good driver discounts, you can usually qualify for just one or both the accident free and the good driver discounts.
You can also stack good driver discounts for multiple drivers. If each driver on your policy qualifies for the good driver discounts, you can stack those discounts for each driver. The more good drivers you have on your policy, the lower your car insurance premiums will be.
For car insurance companies that use the new technology, stacking may work differently. You may be able to get the tech-driven good driver discount and an accident free discount. In most cases it will not stack with an additional discount for having a good driving record.
What Can I Do to Get a Good Driver Discount?
The best way to qualify for a good driver discount is to obey all traffic laws and use defensive driving tactics to avoid auto accidents. A defensive driving course can help young or new drivers learn how to avoid car accidents. Defensive driving courses have the added bonus of removing points from your license in some states.
Other Perks for Good Drivers
In addition to these common discounts, some car insurance companies give you additional perks for being a safe driver. If you are accident free and violation free for a period of time, some car insurance companies will give you accident forgiveness and minor traffic violation forgiveness coverage. Having this coverage means that your premium rates will not go up if you have an accident or traffic ticket. However, an incident invoking forgiveness coverage could strip you of your good driver discount depending on the car insurance company.
Getting Discounts as a Safe Driver
Many car insurance companies do not advertise their safe driver discounts. Your current car insurance company could offer such discounts and you don’t even realize it. If you think you might qualify for a safe driver discount, contact your car insurance company or agent to find out if it is available with your current policy. You can also call around to other car insurance companies and go online for quotes to learn if they offer a safe driver discount.