If you’re a Florida driver, you’re already paying more than the average American for auto insurance. So you want to do everything you can to keep your coverage costs as low as possible. And that can make a defensive driving course seem pretty appealing. If this quick-and-easy course can help you land an insurance discount, it’s well worth it, right?
Absolutely, assuming your insurance provider will accept the course for a discount — or to prevent a rate increase, in certain cases. But when, exactly, will taking a driving course keep your auto insurance costs low? Here’s your guide to learn all about your Florida defensive driving course insurance discount options.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV) offers a specific type of driving course to help older drivers land an insurance discount. It’s called the mature driver discount and to get it, you need to be over 55 and complete a course from an HSMV-approved provider.
The course itself is usually affordable (less than $20) and you can take it online. The exact discount you’ll get after completion will depend on your insurer, though. To make sure it’s worth your while to complete this optional Florida defensive driving course, you might want to reach out to your insurance provider first. Ask them if they apply a discount for mature driver courses and, if so, how much you’ll save.
Generally, the discount for a mature driver course stays with you for three years.
While the mature driving course is technically the only way to land a discount, you do have another option to keep your premiums as low as possible. In some cases (non-criminal offenses and speeding less than 15 mph over the limit), the HSMV gives you the option to take a basic driver improvement course to prevent an insurance rate increase after a ticket.
If you don’t take the course, you could pay a fair bit more for your insurance once the ticket gets reported to your insurance provider. But if you complete this course, the HSMV specifically says that your insurance company can’t “impose an additional premium or refuse to renew a policy.” (This assumes your ticket was for a non-criminal violation and you haven’t had any other tickets in the last three years.)
To avoid paying more for your car insurance after a ticket, you just need to sit at your computer or on your tablet or phone for four hours to complete an HSMV-approved driver improvement course. You can take the course whenever it’s convenient for you, too.
Once your course is done, we’ll report your completion to the HSMV. But to make sure you don’t get points on your license or an insurance rate increase, you also need to bring your certificate of completion to the clerk in the county where you got your ticket.
Ultimately, if you’re under 55, you can’t take a driving course out of the blue for an insurance discount. But if you get a ticket, completing a basic driver improvement course can at least keep your rates from going up.