If you're like most American drivers, you're desperate to find a way to lower your car insurance costs. Although the problem of auto insurance inflation isn't as serious as the issue of health insurance inflation, it's a real concern that many drivers would like to see addressed in the near future. With many drivers seeing premium spikes of 50 percent or more after receiving just one or two tickets over the course of a five-year period, it's clear that something sustainable needs to be done. Of course, it's highly unlikely that such action will take place in the near future.
In the meantime, drivers must resort to reducing their insurance costs with gimmicky discounts and safe driving practices. These days, most auto insurance companies offer a dizzying array of credits for a wide range of activities and achievements. For instance, family-focused auto insurance companies may offer discounts to married couples or stellar students. Value-oriented providers might focus on drivers who consistently avoid accidents and traffic citations. Still other providers might offer to slash premiums for drivers who consent to carry maneuver-monitoring devices in their vehicles' cabins.
There are plenty of lesser-known insurance discounts as well. In fact, one of the industry's best-kept secrets is the so-called "driver's ed discount." While this discount isn't standardized across all providers and jurisdictions, it could end up saving you a substantial amount on your monthly premiums. Before you assume that you'll be able to claim this discount, you should make sure that your provider offers it. You may also need to check with your state's motor vehicle bureau to find a qualifying driver's education program.
The exact value of your driver's education discount will depend upon the policies of your insurance carrier. As a rule, low-cost insurance providers issue driver's education discounts on the order of 5 to 10 percent. By contrast, full-service providers may offer credits of up to 20 percent for qualifying driver's education programs.
It's also important to note that the timing of your driver's education course is crucial. In general, insurance companies offer deeper driver's education discounts to younger drivers who haven't had the time to form bad habits behind the wheel. If you've been driving for a long time, your discount may be negligible. If this is the case, you should ask your provider about its "defensive driving" discount. These days, many insurance companies reward adult drivers who enroll in approved defensive driving classes.