What’s the Good Driver Discount? How Do I Get It?

Good driver discounts are offered to low-risk drivers with good driving records. Having less than two accidents on your record can qualify you for a good driver discount. You can also take a defensive driving class and purchase accident forgiveness coverage to qualify. But don't rely on good driver discounts to get you the cheap auto insurance rates you're looking for. Enter your ZIP code below to start comparing multiple auto insurance quotes for free to find the cheapest car insurance possible.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2022

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The good driver discount rewards safe drivers by giving them lower prices on car insurance.

Obviously, everyone wants the good driver discount. But what exactly is the good driver discount? How do you qualify for the good driver discount? Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about the good driver discount and how you get it.

What is the Good Driver Discount?

The good driver discount is a discount given by car insurance companies to safe, low-risk drivers.

Every car insurance company has different rules regarding who is and who is not a good driver. Some car insurance companies require you to have a clean driving record for five years to qualify for the discount, for example, which means no accidents or traffic violations.

Other car insurance companies require you to have a clean record for just one, two, or three years.

Some insurers also have a sliding discount: you get additional savings for every year you go without making a claim or committing a violation. You might save 3% off your car insurance premiums for every year you go without making a claim, up to a maximum 15% discount.

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How Do I Get a Good Driver Discount?

The best way to get a good driver discount is to shop around with car insurance companies in your area. Determine each company’s rules for qualifying for the good driver discount.

You might not qualify for a good driver discount at one insurance company, only to qualify for the discount at another insurance company.

Some companies will ignore a speeding ticket, for example, while others will not. Some companies will ignore one at-fault accident, while others will not.

Or, call your own insurance company to see if you qualify. Typically, your insurance company will apply the discount automatically as soon as you qualify.

Tips for Qualifying for Good Driver Discounts

Qualifying for a good driver discount can be easy or hard depending on your insurance company. Here are some tips to make it easier to qualify:

  • Take a defensive driving course. You’ll learn how to be a better, safer driver. You may also get a car insurance discount for taking the course.
  • Consider purchasing forgiveness coverage. Some insurance companies let you add accident forgiveness to your plan. You pay a little extra today but can ‘forgive’ one at-fault accident from your record. Forgiveness coverage can also waive any surcharges caused by traffic violations like speeding tickets.
  • Shop around. Different car insurance companies have different rules regarding good driver discounts. You might not qualify for a good driver discount at one company because you were in an at-fault accident five years ago, while you easily qualify at another company because they only look at three years of your driving history.
  • Follow the rules of the road. Follow speed limits and signs. Avoid reckless driving.
  • Drive defensively. Leave plenty of room between yourself and other drivers. Assume everyone else on the road is a bad driver.

By following these tips, you give yourself the best chance of qualifying for – and maintaining – a good driver discount.

How Do I Lose My Good Driver Discount?

If you’ve qualified for a good driver discount, then that’s great!

However, good driver discounts aren’t permanent. Even the world’s safest drivers can have bad luck or a momentary lapse in judgment. With one mistake, you can lose your good driver discount and cause rates to skyrocket.

Companies have different rules regarding how to lose a good driver discount. The most common reasons to lose a good driver discount, however, include:

  • Getting a traffic violation or moving violation (like a speeding ticket)
  • Being found at-fault for an accident
  • Making a claim under your collision coverage
  • Getting any points on your license

Some insurance companies ignore one incident. Others take away your good driver discount as soon as you commit one of the above acts.

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Certain States Require Insurance Companies to Offer Good Driver Discounts

In some states, insurance companies are actually required to offer discounts to good drivers.

In California, for example, regulations require insurers to offer a 20% discount to good drivers. The state defines a ‘good driver’ as someone who meets the following criteria:

  • Has had a license for the past three years
  • Has not lost more than one point on their driving record due to a violation
  • Has not taken traffic school or a defensive driving course more than once because of a violation
  • Has not been at-fault in an accident that resulted in injury or death within the last five years
  • Has no convictions within the last ten years for DUI-related offenses

If you match these conditions, then you should qualify for a good driver discount in California.

How Long Do I Need to Wait to Qualify for a Good Driver Discount?

At-fault accidents and speeding tickets remain on your driving record permanently. However, most states only allow insurance companies to view incidents dating back three to five years.

In other words, if it has been more than five years since your at-fault accident or speeding ticket, then you should have no trouble qualifying for a good driver discount.

Many states have exceptions for offenses related to driving under the influence. In California, for example, DUI-related offenses remain on your driving record for ten years. Insurance companies are not allowed to offer you a good driver discount if you have been convicted of a DUI or similar offense within the last ten years.

Final Word: Compare Insurance Quotes to Find Good Driver Discounts

You might already qualify for a good driver discount. In fact, you may already be receiving a good driver discount. Contact your insurance company to see if you qualify. If you have driven safely and have not made a claim in the last three to five years, then you may qualify for a safe driving discount.

If you do not qualify for a safe driving discount with your current insurance company, then you may want to compare quotes from other providers. Some insurance companies have looser rules governing safe driving discounts.

Compare quotes online today to make sure you’re taking advantage of good driver discounts.

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