A good driver is someone who hasn’t had a moving violation ticket and at-fault accident at least in the last three years. Every company has their own way of rewarding them and therefore the description, qualification requirements, length of years checked and most importantly the size of car insurance discount offered for being a good driver changes, depending on the carrier.
Some automobile insurers divide discounts for having no accident and traffic citation while many others offer one discount for a clean history. Most companies look for the last 3 years when they determine the qualification while a few checks last 5 years of history. For example, State Farm offers discounts after 3 incident-free years, in which incidents include claims, citations and accidents. GEICO offers around 20% overall savings after 5 accident-free years.
Providers check applicants’ and all the listed drivers’ Motor Vehicle Records when they are preparing their quotes so even a listed driver with recent traffic tickets and accidents would increase the premiums.
Also, many companies start offering better rates as soon as a policyholder completes a whole year without an accident or traffic ticket and they reach the maximum discount once they get to the 3 or 5 years. So, motorists shouldn’t be disheartened because they just had an at-fault accident as they will start getting credit for staying trouble free as early as next year.
State rules are influential in the size of auto insurance discounts for good drivers. For example, carriers in California have to offer at least 20% discount for drivers who have had their driver licenses for at least three years, don’t have more than 1 point on their license, never caused an accident resulting in injuries and death, and haven’t had a DUI in the last 10 years.
On average, motorists would get 20 – 30% good driver car insurance discounts when they don’t have any accidents and traffic tickets in the last 3 – 5 years, depending on the company and state. Some companies may ignore a small accident if the damages are under $1,000 or a minor ticket if the record is otherwise clean. Also, some states may not allow carriers to use certain tickets to be used in premium calculations. For example, North Carolina doesn’t allow texting citations to be considered by insurers.
Furthermore, having a 5-year clean accident and traffic violation history can qualify motorists for Accident Forgiveness. For example, Progressive and GEICO offer free Accident Forgiveness coverage to drivers who meet this qualification and motorists become eligible to add it by paying additional premiums with other providers.
Nearly all carriers offer the savings because this is one of the most common ways of qualifying for lower rates. Erie, Amica, State Farm, Nationwide, Progressive and GEICO are some of the companies with larger good driver insurance discounts in comparison to their competitors.
At times, motorists get one speeding, careless or distracted driving conviction after a long while of having no issues and suddenly see their premiums increase more than 20%. This is usually due to losing their good driver vehicle insurance discount because of the latest ticket. If they start getting more tickets or are involved in accidents, their rates will increase more because they will get surcharges or put on higher rates.
If motorists don’t have clean driving records because they are young or just had an unfortunate accident but they believe they have a point to prove, they can choose a usage-based policy like Progressive’s Snapshot program, in which a telematics device is installed on their car to monitor their driving. Then, they may be able to qualify for lower vehicle insurance rates providing they do well behind the steering wheel. They may as well get charged more if they are actually bad, as reported by the telematics.
The more discounts you qualify the lower you pay for premiums. Nevertheless, the size of each discount counts more at the end. For example, one company may be offering fewer saving opportunities but they would be giving larger discounts for each one people qualify for. Also, some automobile insurers may start with low rates and therefore they may not need to give a lot of specific discounts to beat competitors. In short, it pays to shop around and compare quotes.