Home > Take a Defensive Driving Course for a Discount on your Car Insurance

Take a Defensive Driving Course for a Discount on your Car Insurance

June 6th, 2008 at 08:25 pm

(Back in December I wrote a short blog entry about how we got a 10% discount on our car insurance for taking a defensive driving course. It was a snoozer of an entry ... hastily written, and only one SA regular responded. But a funny thing happened ... It turned in to the blog entry that never dies. At least once a month, a non-SA person posts a question or comment on that entry, wanting to find out how they can take the course. Obviously, it's something people are interested in learning about and somehow it's attracting non-regulars to this site, so I thought I'd re-write what I learned, and I will try my best to be more concise, in the hopes that it will be more useful.)

First of all, I would like to state for the record that I do NOT work in the insurance field, and am in no way an expert on car insurance. I am just a consumer of car insurance who discovered a way to get a lesser-known discount on her car insurance. The following is what I believe to be true, but if any of you experts out there catch any mistakes or have anything to add, please feel free to chime in! Okay ...

Each state in the USA has different laws when it comes to car insurance. Some states require that auto insurance companies offer a discount to consumers if they complete a "defensive driving course." In some states, the discount must be offered to all drivers, in some states it is offered only to drivers over a certain age, and in some states it is not offered at all.

Taking a defensive driving course may be much easier than you think. Although how you take the course varies by state, it's very likely you can just complete the course on-line, in the comfort of your own home, in just a little bit of time.
(If memories of driver's ed class back in high school are holding you back, don't let that stop you ... It's nothing like that!)

The course need not be expensive. We paid $19.95 to take the course. You can shop around for the course. You can probably find a qualified course for around $20, so if you're finding prices much higher than that, keep looking. And if you are over a certain age (this will vary by state too), you may qualify for a discounted rate on the course.

The primary driver of the automobile must take the course. So if a husband and wife have 2 cars, they both must complete the course to get the discount on both cars.

Here is how getting the discount worked for us: My husband & I live in Texas. Our car insurance is through Geico. In TX, all residents are eligible for the defensive driver discount (there are no age restrictions). We have only 1 car and my husband is the primary driver, so he took the course. He took the course offered by Geico, on-line. We paid $19.95 for the course, and as soon as the course was completed and he had passed the on-line test, a 10% discount was applied to our car insurance policy. His course certificate is good for 3 years; after 3 years have passed, if we want to continue receiving the discount, he will have to retake the course. I should also add that my husband felt he got some very useful information from the course, so though the main goal was to save money it also hopefully helped make him a safer driver.

If you want to find out if you are eligible to receive a discount on your car insurance for taking a defensive driving course, my recommendation is that you contact your insurance company and ask them ... Ask them if they offer the discount for folks of your age in your state, and ask them if they offer the course themselves, and if so how much they charge. When you have completed the course, follow up with your insurance company and make sure they have applied the discount. When each insurance bill comes in, check it to make sure you are getting the discount each and every time.

If you are a Geico customer, check out Geico's state-by-state information at the following web site:

Text is and Link is

Click on your state's name. About 2/3 way down the page, you will hopefully see something that says "Save a little green," with a link to information for "authorized defensive driver program in ---(your state)---"

Even if you are not a Geico customer, if you check this link, you may at least be able to get some information about whether the discount is offered in your state and if there are any age restrications.

If you end up saving some money as a result of this information (and I hope you do), please come back and share your story! Drive safely.

11 Responses to “Take a Defensive Driving Course for a Discount on your Car Insurance”

  1. fern Says:

    I'm insured by MetLife and they offer a very similar program. You pay about $25 for a video and workbook, watch the video, take the test and mail in your paperwork or just do it online. The discount lasts for 3 years and you can renew it again and again. What a deal. The funny thing is that insurance companies DO NOT widely advertise these programs. You have to read those inserts that occasionally come with your bill and then follow up on it. I'm only paying $300 on car insurance annually. (99 honda)

  2. Analise Says:

    Thanks for the great idea. I am going to check with my company to see if this is available to us.

  3. SP Says:

    This is extremely true.
    I live in KS and just got my insurance company to mail the list of approved defensive driving courses to me. Please, call your insurance company right away and get the details.

  4. Debbie M Says:

    Thanks for the clear directions. I used your GEICO link to get to the $19.95 National Safety Council's class. I never knew until this year that you could take a course for less than $25 (in Texas), but it turns out you can take one for less if it's just for your insurance. (I did know that the ones with a "free meal" cost more.) What I still don't know is how to find more of these lower-cost versions.

    Unfortunately, that particular online course can still use some work. The writing is so poor that I didn't even feel I could trust some of the facts (especially since some conflict with each other). I'll pay an extra five bucks and go somewhere, just to know the class will be over in exactly six hours (instead of a minimum of six hours), even if I have to go to a comedy class that's not funny.

    If you've never taken defensive driving, I recommend a classroom non-comedy version. The video kind may be good, too. (In the online class I just took, there was supposedly one video, but really it was just a link to the transcript.) In the classroom, feel free to bring some knitting (as well as something to take notes with).

  5. Morton Feldman Says:

    I would like to take the defensive driver course

  6. Jeanna B. Says:

    Check for discounts and make sure to read the eligibility.

    I took a course for work to drive a government vehicle, so I didn't have to pay anything. Unfortunately, I don't meet the age requirements; My state has age requirements for 50 and older.

  7. Albert G. Says:

    AARP, They send me info and since I just retired from the military and I am only 49 yrs old,I wanted to ask a real agent;if My wife is ten years younger than I,can we both join? the application stated I must be 50 or retired and your spouce can join also. I wrote to the AARP Insurance office on the application and asked if our age mattered since we are both under 50? Never got a reply. I called an agent before I left Fort Bragg, N.C. and I was told that Benefit are currently not available in Hawaii, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina and South Carolina.
    OK, I'm not from those states, I'm from FL.
    So let me ask you this; It is advetised that you have the biggest following of American citizens(yes we do) and drugs are a big savings(that is true also sir)and you have political influence because of your membership size,(yes,sir we lobby and get things done)how do you represent all 3 parties,the Green,I am Dem and my wife is Republican ? (we do what is best for all the Americans). My last question sir,before I join is; How come I never see you advetise AARP as American Asso. of Retired People anymore? after a moment of silence(to be honest sir,we can't, it is in the agreement,the contract , we can only use the letters AARP). Are you a non-American owned company now? (I'm sorry, we can not say..) he hung up on me. I tried research info. I was told the United Arab Emirates owned AARP for the voting power.
    If I join a group, I want to know who is the CEO and Staff that influence my vote; We didn't join

  8. Luz Sandoval Says:

    I'd like to take test to reduce my insurance...I am with Geico Insurance, I'm a good driver and feel I am paying too much..I have a good driving record...

  9. Anne Says:

    Hours, how many hours does it take to do the on-line driver safety course with MetLife?

  10. sidnell bratton Says:

    where is the test?

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