As a Denver personal injury lawyer, I tend to be hyper-focused on safety. It comes with the territory since I see so many people’s lives altered or destroyed in horrific Denver car and motorcycle accidents. Sadly, there are a lot of bad drivers out there who put the rest of us in jeopardy. Hopefully, their car insurance rates are very high to reflect their poor driving habits.
On the flip side, I’m happy to report that there are plenty of benefits and discounts offered to people who are habitually good drivers. I thought I’d outline some of them in this article so that you can investigate your own rates and potential benefits.
Read on to learn more about good driver discounts in Colorado.
Car Insurance Discounts
Insurance companies love good drivers. In the long run, those drivers cost the company far less and, in fact, help the company’s bottom line.
While every car insurance company tends to offer good driver discounts, these perks generally fall under the following categories:
1. Usage-Based Discounts
These programs, which are sometimes referred to as “pay-as-you-go” systems, are fairly new thanks to technologies that report your driving habits back to your insurance company. These gadgets and apps monitor your driving as you drive and can lead to rewards for things like:
Driving within the speed limit
Your braking patterns (Do you brake hard?)
Your driving routine (Do you drive in rush hour?)
Your premium is then based on the statistics sent to the company from the gadget or app.
Examples of this technology can be found at:
State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save Mobile App: This is a downloadable app for your smartphone. There’s no signup fee. State Farm claims, “The less you drive and the safer you drive, the more you could save on your auto insurance.”
Allstate’s Drivewise: This is also an app that you keep running while you drive. One of the nifty things about this app is that you don’t have to be an Allstate policyholder to rack up benefits because Allstate has partnered with other companies (think: Samsung, Le Creuset, Lacoste and more) to offer good driver discounts to anyone who takes their in-app challenges and passes. There are also insurance discounts available to Allstate policy holders.
2. Discounts for Driver Training Classes
In my day, driver training was a nice-to-have rather than a must-have. Today, however, teens are required to go through many hours of in-class and behind-the-wheel training before getting their license and car insurance. Often, car insurance companies will offer reduced rates for new drivers who take extra classes and they also offer reduced rates to seasoned drivers who take defensive driving courses. The reason is simple: safe drivers are less likely to get into car accidents and will cost the company less.
Examples of discounts for driver classes include:
State Farm’s Steer Clear Driver Discount Program: This is an incentive for drivers under the age of 25. Basically, it’s a State Farm-provided safety program; if a young driver takes and passes the course (and if they have a good driving record thus far), they may qualify for reduced rates.
None of this information is meant to endorse any car insurance company. In fact, I’m not a huge fan of Allstate.
3. Claim-Free Discounts
This reward system offers benefits to drivers who don’t file claims. This can actually be a tricky discount because, what if you’re an awesome driver who never gets in accidents? Likely, your insurance rate is reflecting the fact that you’re a good driver. But, as soon as you file your first claim, even if it’s the only claim you’ve made in a decade, your rate might go up. So then you need to weigh the cost of the damages that you want insurance to cover versus the cost of the insurance hike.
Luckily, some insurance companies give good drivers one “get out of jail free” card. In essence, depending on how long you’ve been with the insurance company, you may be allowed one accident claim without your rates increasing.
Note: None of the above information is meant to endorse any car insurance company. In fact, I’m not a huge fan of Allstate. I’m just trying to share examples. Later this summer, I’m going to write a blog about The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in the insurance world. But this fact bears repeating: Fred Loya is the worst of the worst.
Now that we’ve covered many of the insurance discounts for good driving habits, let’s look at some of the other benefits you might enjoy as a good driver.
Benefit of the Doubt
Let’s say you have a stellar driving record, not a speeding or parking ticket to be found. Then one day you’re busted by a cop for speeding. He pulls you over, takes your license and checks you out. When he sees what a model citizen you’ve been, he may let you go with a warning. I’ve heard of this happening time and time again. If you have lots of dings on your record, you’ll probably get that ticket.
With a good driving record, it’s like you’ve earned money in the “Benefit of the Doubt” bank!
Judges Like You More
Believe it or not, judges are prone to leniency when they have a good driver in their courtroom. Most judges know that we all have bad days and that, maybe, you just had a rare bad driving day and the bad luck of getting busted on the same day. I’ve seen judges give much more lenient punishments to drivers with stellar records than to those facing the same charges but who have awful records.
This is a purely aesthetic reason to maintain a good driving record, but it’s a real motivation for a lot of people! Your car will be in better shape if you’re a better driver! If you like your wheels, treat them right by obeying traffic laws. Good drivers get in fewer accidents – hence fewer dents and dings.
Of course, there’s also the financial incentive of keeping your car in good shape through good driving habits. New brakes are expensive, body work is expensive, gas-guzzling speeding is expensive. Stay safe and keep your money in your wallet!
If you have any questions about whether you have the right car insurance coverage, please contact me at (303) 388-5304.
Colorado’s Make Whole Law — There is no magic pot of gold. Absolutely everything in a case relies on how much insurance the other driver has, and how much insurance you have.