Six Hours Could Save You 10 Percent on Your Car Insurance

Monday, July 30th, 2012
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Over a lifetime, car insurance amounts to one of the most costly car-related expenses most of us will have. Over the course of our car-driving lifetime, most of us will spend thousands on it. If you’re looking for some wiggle room in your budget, there’s an easy way to decrease the monthly cost of car insurance: defensive driving.

By committing just six hours of your life to a defensive driving course, you can reduce the cost of your monthly insurance bill by 10%. Over a lifetime, that amounts to a significant amount of savings. Here are a few tips to help defensive driving work for you.

Contact Your Insurance Provider

Before you take a defensive driving course, put in a quick call to your insurance provider to make sure that they accept defensive driving courses for insurance reductions. Not all states participate in this program. And in those states that do participate, not all car insurance recipients are eligible to receive the discount.

Some insurance policies put age limits on eligibility and the amount of discount available to their drivers. Some insurance companies put age limits on eligibility or offer more or less than a 10% discount depending on age. A quick call to your insurance agent will let you know if they offer a discount, if you are eligible and exactly what you need to do to receive your discount.

Choose the Right Class

When it comes to defensive driving, you often have the option of whether to take the defensive driving course in person in a classroom or at home on your own recognizance. The choice is up to you. Some prefer working from the comfort of their own home. Others prefer the focus and brevity of a one-time six hour class. Certain insurance providers require that you not just attempt but pass the defensive driving course. For some, being in a classroom with an instructor makes this outcome more likely.

Whichever defensive driving course you choose, make sure it has the right credentials. Certain insurance companies require that you take defensive driving courses that have been approved by them or a nationally-recognized organization like the United Safety Council. Whether your insurance provider has these restrictions or not, choose your defensive driving course carefully.

For the most reliable recommendations, contact your local DMV or your local police precinct to ask for the contact information for reputable local schools or online programs. Be careful when searching on your own: some online defensive driving courses are scams. Research a course’s name on the web or through the Better Business Bureau before handing over any money.

When to Take It

The timing of your defensive driving course is as important as the course that you take. In addition to a reduction rate, many insurance companies offer a reduction of points on your driver’s license. By reducing the points on your license you may be able to further reduce you’re insurance rate.

If you’ve recently gotten a ticket for a minor traffic offense, call your insurance company to find out if you can receive a points reduction. You may find that there’s a time limit — usually around 12 months — in which you have to take the course to get your points reduced.

Even if you haven’t recently received a ticket, be aware that most defensive driving insurance discounts only apply for a limited amount of time. Depending on your insurance provider, you may have to re-take defensive driving once every three to five years. Keep track of your discount schedule to avoid surprise rate increases.

So take that defensive driving course and get those cheap automobile insurance quotes today!

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