Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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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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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Jun 5, 2019

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In most cases, attending driving school will reduce your auto insurance rates. This can be especially beneficial for young drivers needing car insurance for the first time or people who have accidents or moving violations on their driving records. Some states will even take violation “points” off your license with the successful completion of a defensive driving course.

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The reason behind the better rate for drivers who attend driving school comes down to statistics. Drivers who take a defensive driving class are statistically less likely to have an accident, so they represent a lower risk to the insurer, which in turn allows them to lower the rate. According to CarsDirect, taking an approved safe driving course can lower premiums by 10 to 20%.

Driving Course Options

While there are several different types of driving courses, for the purposes of reducing your insurance premium, you would be most interested in a safe driving or defensive driving course. Some of the other courses you might be aware of would be protective driving courses, performance driving courses and race driving courses, all of which can be useful for certain occupations and applications, but do not necessarily make you a safer driver.

In terms of safe or defensive driving courses, there are a variety of places that offer them and a variety of methods in which the classes can be taught.

If you check with your insurance carrier or your local department of motor vehicles, you can often get a list of available providers. For example, the Delaware DMV has a list of organizations from the AARP to private online driving schools that offer driving courses.

You can generally find driving courses that are taught in a classroom, on the road, online, or any combination of the three. Before deciding on which type of course to take, it is best to verify with your insurance provider that the particular type of class you want to take will actually get you a discount.

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Other Ways to Reduce Auto Insurance Premiums

There are many ways to reduce your auto insurance premiums. The easy way is simply to grow up; auto insurance premiums usually go down as you age, to a point. Getting married is another life change that can lower your insurance payments. Staying with your auto insurance company for a long time and/or getting different types of insurance from them will save you money, too.

Choosing your car carefully can also help you to get a more affordable car insurance rate. In general, less expensive cars are cheaper to insure. Cars with great safety ratings and extra safety features like side air bags and anti-lock brakes can get you a discount on auto insurance.

It is always a good idea to check with your insurance provider to see what other discounts that may be available. There are often discounts available for good students, members of certain organizations, and people who work in certain professions. It never hurts to call and ask if you’re getting every discount you qualify for, and sometimes you can get quite a bit of extra savings.

Riskier ways to get more affordable car insurance premiums would be to lower your level of coverage or increase your deductible. The obvious downside to this would be that you may not have enough insurance to cover the costs of an accident or your deductible may be so expensive that you have trouble paying it in the event of an accident.

Things That Can Cause Your Auto Insurance Premium to Rise

Auto insurance tends to rise most significantly as a result of unsafe driving. If you have multiple moving violations or accidents, your insurance is bound to go up. Sometimes your insurance can rise with even a single ticket or accident.

The reason for the rise in insurance premiums with accidents is obvious. If an insurance company has to pay a claim, they need to make their money back somehow.

For moving violations, the rise in premiums is more of a prediction; people who get speeding tickets and otherwise violate the rules of the road are more likely to have an accident.

Other things that could lead to an increase in what you pay for car insurance could include increasing the amount of driving you do or driving more in an unsafe area. Switching to a more expensive vehicle or a vehicle without as many safety features can also increase your premium.

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