As another car whizzes by you in the left lane going ten miles per hour over the speed limit, you shake your head. Traveling during rush hour, or at any time of the day for that matter, can be fraught with drivers making questionable choices. Sometimes, it may feel like you’re the only good driver on the road. What does it mean to be a good, safe driver?
Following the speed limit, avoiding situations where there may be a collision, and not driving while intoxicated or distracted are all key elements of driving safely on the road. Are there any benefits to being a good driver? You may avoid a crash or a ticket, and better yet, you can actually save money.
Auto insurance companies like to provide rewards and incentives for their customers. Simply speak to your independent insurance agent about the discounts available to you, like the bundling discount, multi-car discount, and annual mileage discount. One of the easiest discounts to obtain is the good, safe driver discount.
The benefits of having a clean driving record are clear: your initial insurance premiums will automatically be lower when you sign up for a policy. On top of that, you may receive an additional discount. Depending upon your insurance company, they may evaluate your driving claims record annually, or every few years, to assess whether or not you qualify for a premium reduction. So, if you don’t have any at-fault accidents or other moving violations, you will probably qualify.
If you’ve had accidents, moving violations, and/or a DUI in the past, there’s still a chance you could qualify for a good driver discount. Generally, insurance companies will still reward you if you have proven yourself to be a better driver, free of any tickets or accidents for an extended period of time.
A Valuable Way to Save
Often, the discounts begin to appear on your bill after only one month and can be up to 30 percent; however, the average discount is 10 to 15 percent.
Your insurance company may also have a program called a vanishing deductible. This is also based on your driving record and will reduce your premium total over time. To take part in this program, you will need to speak to your agent about enrolling. This is usually only available for plans with a higher rate. There also may be a fee to enroll.
Measuring Driving Habits
One of the newer ways that insurance companies determine your driving habits is through a UBI, or usage-based insurance, program. Carriers that use this option provide the participating driver with a telematic device. Once plugged into your car, it monitors your mileage, speed, and other driving habits. The device records this data and then sends it to the insurance company to be analyzed. If you participate in the program, your insurance company will usually require you to have to device in your car for the length of your policy period.
As stated by one of the companies creating the telematic systems, “The insurance carrier can fine-tune products and procedures to go back to the consumer and offer the discount that is appropriate.” This means, that the insurance company is working to find the best discounts for you based on your driving habits.
Aside from usage-based programs, another way to incentivize good driving habits is through driver education programs. If you recently received your license for the first time, you should take a driver’s education course. If you are a more experienced driver or an elderly driver, you could take a defensive driving training course. This may also qualify your for the good, safe driver discount.
Tips for the Road
There are several factors that you need to consider every time you drive in order to retain your safe driving habits. First of all, be alert. Attentiveness means putting down the phone, food, and coffee. Keep your eyes and mind on the road while driving. Try not to be distracted by the radio or your passengers.
Second, know the rules of the road and follow them. In doing so, you’re not only keeping you and your passengers safe, but the other cars on the road too. Lastly, drive defensively. You will face obstacles when driving, like bad weather, poor drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Each of these factors is unpredictable and requires sound judgment. If you are concerned about your ability to drive defensively, there are courses available.
Speak to Your Agent
Talk to your independent insurance agent today to see if you qualify for the good, safe driver discount. Whether or not your record is clean, there still may be ways to save.
It is important to note that insurance companies take a variety of factors into account when determining your deductible and annual premium. This includes age, gender, education, driving record, and state of residence.
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Enhanced Insurance is not written by attorneys. If you’re looking for legal advice, you need to contact a lawyer. Further, insurance practices and forms change constantly and are varied from state to state. For definitive answers in your area, contact a local agent.