May 6, 2010

Defensive Driving Courses And Three Ways They Impact Your Coverage

Premiums charged by auto insurance companies vary widely based on location, demographics, driving history, and a multitude of other factors. Despite variation in how insurance premiums are calculated, completion of defensive driving courses from an approved traffic school will result in lower insurance premiums for most drivers.

First, it is important that we understand what is meant by defensive driving’ and examine the various types of classes you might find beneficial. Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations (the National Safety Council standard) defines defensive driving courses as ‘driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of conditions around you and the actions of others.’ Thus, the classes we are discussing help drivers to better recognize and respond to the situations that commonly cause accidents. Requirements and approved providers vary depending on state and insurance company. Some states allow online self-paced classes. Others states require that courses be completed in the classroom and/or on the road. The training time requirements vary but are generally between four and six hours. The benefits of taking a defensive driving course fall into three broad categories.

Most insurance providers use points on a person’s license as a determinant of auto insurance coverage. Drivers gain points on their license for traffic violations. If you have recently received a traffic ticket, it is possible that you can avoid the points on your license. Courts often dismiss traffic citations when a driver provides proof of completion from an approved traffic school. Drivers with the rare ticket can help keep insurance premiums low by attending traffic school. If you receive a traffic citation and are looking to have it dismissed, it is important to research whether a specific driving program is approved both by the courts and your insurance company.

Many drivers pay high insurance premiums as a result of points accrued from past traffic violations. If you are paying a lot for your auto insurance coverage because of past mistakes, you may also be able to benefit from taking the type of classes we are discussing. Most insurance providers will reduce the premiums of high-risk drivers who become safer drivers through an approved traffic school.

Finally, new drivers and drivers who have never received a traffic citation can also benefit from lower insurance premiums by completing approved defensive driver training. Eeven good drivers lower their risk of collision by learning and applying the techniques taught.

If you are looking for looking to reduce or maintain your auto insurance premiums by improving your defensive driving skills, it is important to do your research. You should always contact your insurance provider to determine specific requirements and find out what programs are approved in your area.