Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • In most states, drivers can qualify for a Good Driver Discount if they have an acceptable driving record
  • If you have a clean claims record but not a clean driving record, you may receive an Accident-Free Discount
  • Having a record with one or fewer tickets over the past three years will qualify you for good driver auto insurance
  • Good drivers will either fall into a preferred or a standard risk class where premiums are competitive
  • The best way to find affordable insurance is to shop around to find an insurer that has the best rates

If you asked almost anyone that you know if they are a good driver, they’re probably going to say yes. That’s true for drivers with clean records and drivers with spotty ones.

When it comes to assessing driving skill, most people believe they are better drivers than other people that they share the road with. It might be a biased self-assessment but it’s a common one.

If drivers were allowed to assess they own driving to set their rates, companies would never be able to profit.

It’s important that there’s a protocol in place that allows insurers to fairly place all drivers into risk classes. Some of these classes are good and others aren’t so good.

Let’s discuss what you need to know about good driver auto insurance.

Before that, if you’d like to go ahead and start comparing auto insurance rates, enter your ZIP code above in our FREE online quote tool!

What is a good driver?

In your world, a good driver might be someone who doesn’t panic behind the wheel or someone who gets from point A to point B the fastest.

While that might be the criteria that some set, these are two factors that insurers don’t look at. In the world of auto insurance, a good driver is one with a good driving and accident record.

Auto insurance companies look at someone’s probability of filing a claim when they are determining if someone is a poor, good, or excellent driver.

When the statistics say that someone is very likely to file a claim, they are considered a high-risk driver. When they are not likely to file a claim, they will be classified as a good driver.

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What is a good driver discount?

Good drivers are usually eligible for discounts.

In most states, there is some sort of Good Driver Discount available to every driver who qualifies.

The discount itself can drive your rates down by as much as 30 percent. While the criteria to receive the discount can vary from state to state, here’s common discount requirements:

  • You must have no more than one ticket
  • You must have no more than one at-fault accident
  • You can’t have a combination of an at-fault accident and ticket
  • You must have a valid driver’s license that hasn’t been suspended or revoked in the last three years
  • You must have at least three years of driving experience

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What is an accident-free discount?

In some states, you can get both a Good Driver and an Accident-Free Discount and in others only one of the options are available.

There is a difference between a Good Driver and an Accident-Free Discount. You’ll have to ask your agent which discounts you’re currently getting.

To get an Accident-Free Discount, you have to have absolutely no at-fault accidents in your claims record for at least the last three years.

At-fault accidents are accidents that you’re 51 percent or more liable for.

If you have a claim, that’s fine, but it must be a comprehensive claim where the car wasn’t attended. Having a ticket on your record won’t affect eligibility for this discount.

What is accident forgiveness?

Every carrier has its own special policy features that attract good drivers to do business with them. For some drivers, it’s enough for a company to offer good service and fast claims processing.

For other good drivers who can find good rates all over the marketplace, they need extra incentives to buy insurance through one carrier over another.

One of the incentives is to offer good drivers who have established driving histories accident forgiveness. Accident Forgiveness programs are becoming common because they benefit the driver during a difficult time.

If you have gone years without having an accident, some carriers will forgive you for having an accident by not raising your rates or assessing you a policy surcharge.

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What is a disappearing deductible?

If your car is damaged in an accident, you have to pay the deductible that you have on the coverage at the time.

Some deductibles can be as high as $2,000 for a collision claim when you’re trying to keep your rates down. If you have a deductible that’s this high, your bank account could really take a hit when you file a claim.

Luckily, for good drivers, there are companies that have Disappearing Deductible programs in place.

With these programs, good drivers can choose a higher deductible and it will go down year after year for as long as you are accident-free. You’ll still pay the lower rate for having a higher deductible but when you file a claim you’ll have to fork out much less.

What are risk classifications and why do they matter?

Your risk classification can change each term. Once all of your driving reports and accident records are reviewed, you’re assigned to a class for the remainder of the term and it won’t change until the policy is underwritten again.

Classifications are important because they have a direct effect on eligibility and rates. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Preferred Risk – for drivers with no accident, at least one year of insurance, at least nine years of driving experience, and above average credit
  • Standard Risk – for drivers with no more than two tickets and accidents, at least six months of insurance history, average credit, and at least five years of licensing experience
  • High Risk – for drivers with multiple tickets and accidents, major violations, lapses of insurance, suspensions, poor credit, or less than three years of driving experience

If you’re looking for auto insurance as a good driver, it’s best to identify the carriers with the best preferred and standard rates.

Since there are so many preferred providers in the United States, it’s best for you to shop around. Use an online comparison shopping tool to get your quotes now and see where you should buy insurance.

Start comparison shopping for better auto insurance rates by using our FREE online quote tool! Enter your ZIP code below!

References:

  1. http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/01-auto/auto101.cfm
  2. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/accident-free-discount
  3. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/preferred-auto-coverage.asp
  4. https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-get-a-good-driver-discount-527533
  5. https://www.thebalance.com/how-long-will-i-be-a-high-risk-driver-527279
  6. http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/feature/20-good-driver-discount
  7. https://www.thebalance.com/at-fault-accident-527313
  8. https://www.thebalance.com/accident-forgiveness-1969982
  9. https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-a-car-insurance-surcharge-527252
  10. https://www.irmi.com/online/insurance-glossary/terms/d/disappearing-deductible.aspx
  11. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/insurance-risk-class.asp