Insurance rates for young drivers are remarkably high due to their inexperience and likelihood of needing insurance to bail them out.
More than any other demographic, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are at the highest risk of getting into an accident. That’s a sobering statistic, and insurance rates for young drivers reflect this reality.
However, there are ways to lower insurance costs even for high-risk drivers. One way to lower premiums is to complete a driver training course. Here's what you should know about how a driver training insurance discount works, who is eligible to receive the discount, and how to qualify for it.
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What is a driver training discount?
Insurance companies in the U.S. offer a discount to new drivers of a certain age that have completed a driver training course. This course teaches the fundamentals of how a car works, the rules of the road, and strategies to stay safe while driving.
The intention is that graduates will help reduce the number of accidents new drivers often get into. The discount varies between insurance providers but could amount to around 8% to 10% off on insurance premiums.
How to qualify for a driver training discount
In the United States, 32 states require teens to complete a
state-approved driver’s education course before they can get their license. Some other states extend it further, requiring all new drivers to first complete the course before they can take their written and road test.
To receive the driver training discount, this course must be completed successfully and the driver needs to log several hours of experience behind the wheel of a vehicle. For example, Vermont’s approved driver training courses must provide at least 30 hours of in-class coursework, six hours of observation, and six hours behind the wheel. An average cutoff age for the driver training discount offered to policyholders is 21.
If the insured has received their license without going through the driver education program, they won't qualify for the discount, although they can get it if they complete the course later.
The discount evaporates once you exceed the maximum age defined by the insurance company, but hopefully you’ll have other discounts to use by that time, such as a
safe driver discount or
good student discount.
Mature driver discounts are also available
A driver training discount isn’t always just for the young ones, though. Some insurance companies offer driver training discounts for mature drivers too. For example,
Farmers Insurance offers a Mature Driver discount in Illinois for drivers over the age of 55 that have completed a state-approved driver training course in the past three years.
The mature driver discount can also go by different names. It’s often interchangeable with a senior driver or defensive driver discount, and the discounts can be as much as 15% to 35%.
Is the driver training discount the same as defensive driver discount?
In some states, a defensive driver discount is another name for the mature driver discount. However, defensive driving doesn’t always apply only to seniors. Like a driver training discount, a defensive driving course must be completed to get the savings from this program.
In some cases, a defensive driving course is required to get your license back after a driving infraction or an at-fault collision. If that’s the case, your car insurance rates will be higher than average since you’re a higher risk for the insurance provider.
Do all insurance companies offer a driver training discount?
Driver training discounts are not available from all insurance providers. It’s currently offered by many popular insurers, though, including Travelers, Farmers, Progressive, and GEICO.