What is a Safe Driver Discount?

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Safe driving habits can help you avoid accidents and traffic violation tickets, while also helping you save on your car insurance premium. As a safe driver, you’re less likely to file a claim so insurers pass some of the cost savings on to you. If you have a clean driving record and focus on staying safe behind the wheel, you might be able to save as much as 30% on your auto insurance premiums. Here’s how. 

Key Takeaways

  • Since safe drivers are less risky to insure, safe driver discounts reward you with a discount on your insurance premiums.  
  • Safe driver discounts can save you as much as 30% off of your insurance premium. 
  • Insurance companies structure their safe driver discounts differently, but they often review your driving history, including at-fault accidents and traffic violations, to evaluate how safely you drive. 
  • Some insurance companies offer telematics-based programs that track your driving habits to identify whether you are a safe driver.

What Is a Safe Driver Discount?

A safe driver discount rewards good drivers with extra savings on their premium. Insurance companies want to encourage good driving habits since being safe behind the wheel can reduce the chance of accidents. With less accidents, insurance companies pay out fewer claims, and the company saves money. 

In contrast, unsafe, riskier drivers cost insurance companies more. Drivers demonstrating risky driving habits, like speeding, swerving, and hard braking, are more likely to get into an accident. Insurance companies charge these drivers higher premiums to make up for the increased risk they face when insuring an unsafe driver. 

So, insurance companies offer discounts, often a percentage off of a car insurance premium, when insured drivers demonstrate safe driving habits. It’s a way of passing savings on to you since your safe driving habits can save the insurance company money. There are a few different ways of gauging safe driving, which we’ll get into below, but these discounts encourage good driving habits. 

If you pay your premiums monthly, you’ll see the discount on your monthly bill. The same is true if you pay your premium in full. Alternatively, some companies will lower your premiums, rather than giving you a percentage off, if you remain claim-free for a certain period. 

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Types of Safe Driver Discounts

Insurance companies design their own safe driver discount programs, but typically, these discounts fall into one of several types. Some companies offer multiple types of discounts, like accident-free and violation-free, so that you can combine several discounts and save more. 

Accident-Free Discounts

Many insurance companies will discount your premiums if you were accident free over the past three to five years. These discounts can be significant, with companies like Progressive taking up to 31% off premiums for accident-free drivers.

Violation-Free Discounts

Traffic violations, including speeding tickets, can indicate risky driving behavior. As a result, some insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who maintain clean driving records with no traffic violations over three to five years. Violation-free discounts are often good for up to 15% off your premium. 

Safe Driver Discounts

Some insurance companies evaluate your safety as a driver by looking at your entire driving history, which may include car accidents and traffic violations. 

Insurance providers create their systems for evaluating driver safety, but there are also third-party systems available that they may use. For example, the Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) is a system of surcharges and credits that can help an insurance company evaluate driver safety and calculate driver premiums. The state of Massachusetts created this plan and considers not only at-fault accidents but also traffic violations in determining a driver’s safety. Insurance companies have the option of using it or of creating a unique evaluation system. 

Usage-Based Discounts

Usage-based discounts, also called telematics discounts, are becoming increasingly popular. Using telematics, whether with an app on your phone or a device installed in your vehicle, these programs track your driving habits for a designated period. 

The technology monitors risky behaviors behind the wheel, like speeding, swerving, and hard braking. Some technology will even track when you drive since late-night or early-morning driving has more risks than daytime driving. Some telematics programs also provide safe driving tips based on your driving behaviors. 

During the program, your insurance company receives the data about your driving habits and uses it to evaluate your safety and offer you an appropriate discount. Some companies structure these programs to assess you for a set period, like a month, and then use the information gathered to give you a discounted premium. Others require you to continuously drive with the telematics to receive a discount.

How to Qualify for a Safe Driver Discount

So you’re a safe driver with an excellent driving history. What do you do now? Here’s how to qualify for a safe driver discount on your car insurance. 

Focus on Safe Driving

To start, focus on staying safe behind the wheel. Take your time heading to your destination and obey speed limits and traffic laws. 

Reducing distractions while you drive can also help to increase your safety. If you’re driving with pets in the car, secure them, and talk to kids about the importance of letting you focus on the road. Most importantly, if you need to speak on your cell phone, use a hands-free setup and silence your notifications until you get to your destination. 

Take a Driving Safety Course

Taking a driving safety course can make you a safer driver, too. Courses focused on defensive driving techniques can help you learn to anticipate and watch out for other drivers, potentially avoiding car accidents. Some insurance companies will even give you a discount for completing a course. Check with your insurer to confirm that your chosen course qualifies.

Contact Your Insurance Company

While some insurance companies will automatically give you a discount for a clean driving record, if you’re interested in a telematics program, you will need to sign up for that program. Call your insurer with any questions you have about the program and to get started. 

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Which Companies Offer this Discount?

The good news is that safe driving discounts are pretty easy to find. They’re becoming more common, and most major insurance companies now offer them in some way. We’ve highlighted a few options that you might want to consider. 


Progressive’s Snapshot program is a telematics program that allows you to qualify for customized rates. During the program, you’ll use either a device that plugs into your vehicle or a mobile app to track your driving. You may be eligible for a discount just for signing up. Then, the program tracks your driving for the duration of the time that you participate. 

The Snapshot program monitors how you drive, including each time you hit the gas or the brake pedal too hard, whether you use your phone behind the wheel, your mileage, and when you drive. It also provides tips to improve driving so you can get a more significant discount. 

It’s available in all states except California and North Carolina. 


Allstate’s Drivewise is a mobile app that monitors your driving habits. This telematics program tracks your driving, including braking, speeding, acceleration, hard turns, and trip duration. 

Allstate offers drivers a discount just for signing up for the program, and drivers can receive a policy credit every six months for safe driving. Demonstrating safe driving habits can earn you up to a 40% discount. 

Additionally, if you sign up for the Allstate Rewards program, you can complete safe driving challenges to earn gift cards and rewards. 

The Hartford

The Hartford’s TrueLane telematics program helps safe drivers qualify for a discount on their car insurance. The app is available for iOS and Android. Once you install the app, it will track your speed, location, and the time of your trips. It also tracks details like turns, acceleration, and braking. Based on your driving behavior, it provides you with driving tips to improve your safety. 

Signing up for the program is optional and free. When you sign up, The Hartford offers a 12% discount. During your policy renewal, you could be eligible for a discount of up to 25%, depending on your driving habits. 

Choosing the Right Car Insurance and Discount Program

As you shop for auto insurance, finding a company that offers the discounts you want and provides the coverage you need is essential. Compare.com can help you to find the car insurance companies that meet your needs. 

With our auto insurance comparison tool, you just have to fill out a quote request form, which takes about five minutes. From there, Compare.com does all of the hard work for you, collecting quotes from up to 65 insurance companies and sharing the cheapest rates. Compare.com users save an average of $720 per year on their car insurance.

FAQs About the Safe Driver Discount

What is a typical safe driver discount? 

How much you can save with a safe driver discount will depend on your insurance company, but discounts often range from 20% to 25% off of your premium. 

Are safe driving apps worth it? 

Safe driving apps help you save money on your car insurance so they can be worthwhile. The savings that you receive will depend on your driving habits and the insurance company’s policies. To decide if a driving app is worth it to you, it’s best to thoroughly research the program to understand the rules and available discounts. 

How much does a tracker reduce your insurance? 

Discounts vary depending on your insurance company, but many companies offer discounts of up to 30% for drivers who use safety tracking apps and demonstrate safe driving habits.

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