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Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount
Old 11-21-2005, 11:47 AM   #1
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Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount

My USAA auto insurance policy* grants me a $12.65 semi annual credit if I participate in an authorized defensive driving class at least once every 3 years. My wife also receives the credit if she takes the course.

I just renewed by credit by taking a Texas defensive driving course on line for only $25.00.* My wife will do it this week online.

Lets look at the simple savings: Cost $25 x 2 = $50
Credits: $12.65+ 12.65 X 6 =$151.80

Over a 3 year period that is a 300% return or 100% annually.

Not* bad for a six hour tour of duty online that can be spread out over a 90 day period!!

Does anyone else take advantage of this really simple way to reduce your auto insurance premium?

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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount
Old 11-21-2005, 12:14 PM   #2
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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd
Does anyone else take advantage of this really simple way to reduce your auto insurance?
Not yet-- I didn't even realize they offered it!

It turns out that USAA is piggybacking on the state requirements. I can't get a USAA defensive-driving credit because Hawaii only offers that training for motorcyclists. I think I'll e-mail our local rep and see if Hawaii can pass legislation authorizing a defensive driving course. Maybe they can plagiarize Texas' online training...

Last Aug our USAA car policies were renewed with big increases-- 10-20% in some categories. I shrugged it off as due to all the Mainland hurricane damage and the recent industry rate increases. Frankly I feel like a captive customer with little or no alternative to USAA's low rates.

Then we got a cryptic form letter basically saying "We overcharged you on your renewal and we'll credit the refund on your next bill. So sorry. All better now. OK bye."

The next bill was credited but there was no explanation.

I finally called and had the revised policy faxed over. It turned out that there wasn't any rate increase after all. But as a captive customer, how the $%^& would I be able to tell the difference between an "honest mistake" and a "because we can" rate increase?!?
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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount
Old 11-21-2005, 01:22 PM   #3
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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount

Is this correct?

You and your wife get $25 each in years 2 and 3 in exchange for each of you completing a 6 hour course? That's only $8/hr before you reduce it to the present value today. Doesn't seem like a good deal unless you value your time at less than $8/hr. Or you like informative and edutational defensive driving classes...

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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount
Old 11-21-2005, 01:49 PM   #4
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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount

Justin,
I paid $25, and wife will also do the same soon, for a DD online course that will generate a credit on my semi-annual auto insurance premium for the next 6 semi annual periods (3 years). I have received this DD credit for the last 15 years or so, which requires me to take another course after 3 years if I want the credit/discount to continue.

It is my understanding that most states have this DD credit available, however I am only sure about Texas, as that is my home state.

Hope that this clears up any issues that you had.
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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount
Old 11-21-2005, 04:51 PM   #5
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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Doesn't seem like a good deal unless you value your time at less than $8/hr.
Well, how much are you being paid for your time when you're in ER? My time is worthless!
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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount
Old 11-21-2005, 04:57 PM   #6
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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Well, how much are you being paid for your time when you're in ER? My time is worthless!
I think I'd just skip the 6 hour defensive driving course and sign up for a 6 hour timeshare sales pitch at some exotic location in exchange for a free vacation. If I was in ER, that is.
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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount
Old 11-21-2005, 04:58 PM   #7
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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Well, how much are you being paid for your time when you're in ER? My time is worthless!
True, I'm not being paid for my time while I'm in ER, but I darned sure paid a big price to get here. For that reason I consider my ER time "priceless".



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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount
Old 11-22-2005, 11:46 AM   #8
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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount

In Texas, it is not the rebate of the fee that is important, but the 10% discount on your liability insurance that is important...
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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount
Old 11-22-2005, 12:06 PM   #9
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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
In Texas, it is not the rebate of the fee that is important, but the 10% discount on your liability insurance that is important...
What? No way! What's important is how big 'a pickup truck you drive.

You sure you're a Texan?

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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount
Old 11-22-2005, 12:23 PM   #10
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Re: Auto Insurance Defensive Driver Discount

You'll need that discount when you ram your F350 duelly into a Jag or Benz...

(It's hard to drink beer AND talk on the cellphone)
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Old 02-04-2017, 07:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justin View Post
Is this correct?

You and your wife get $25 each in years 2 and 3 in exchange for each of you completing a 6 hour course? That's only $8/hr before you reduce it to the present value today. Doesn't seem like a good deal unless you value your time at less than $8/hr. Or you like informative and edutational defensive driving classes...
I thought I'd add a more recent cost-benefit from my recent experience at USAA--
$25 for course
~5 hours "class" time (mine was an online reading/video course. it takes a bit longer due to inattention, but not much).
Save: $58/6 months, for 3 years = $348 [ignore inflation and reduction in future premium increases as unknowable]

Net savings: $323 (=$348-$25)
Time: 5 hours
After tax savings: $65/hour (=$323/5 hours)
Marginal tax rate: 25% Fed + 15% FICA/Medicare (self employed)
Before tax earnings: $108/hr (=65/hr / (1 - 40%))

Quite a bit better than $8/hr!

And neither analysis includes the value of being a better driver.

USAA also has a discount for taking a drug and alcohol awareness course (DADAP) that's about half the savings of the defensive driving course (and they add together [though with a small reduction for both]). That's still pretty darn good ROI.

[I'm committing the sin of bumping a really old post because this is the first one that came up in my search when I was starting to look into this.]
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Old 02-04-2017, 10:10 AM   #12
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I have been taking that 6-hour course every 3 years for the last 30 years. Here in New York, the course can be taken by drivers of all ages, not just those over a certain age (i.e. 55, 60, 65). And, by coincidence that year (1986), New York expanded the discount to be applicable to Collision in addition to Liability and No-Fault. This meant that nearly all the major coverages would be discounted by 10%.


I have been saving between $37 and $73 per 6-month policy going back to 1992 (when I bought my second car), which means I would recover the cost of the course (now $60 but it was as little as $25) in a single 6-month premium payment. This is pretty close to respond2u's savings.


I took the course last October so I'll be saving about $72 per 6-month policy for the next 3 years.
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Old 02-04-2017, 10:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by respond2u View Post
I thought I'd add a more recent cost-benefit from my recent experience at USAA--

[I'm committing the sin of bumping a really old post because this is the first one that came up in my search when I was starting to look into this.]
Thank you for being sinful , you may have saved some of us some nice spending money.


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Old 02-04-2017, 01:00 PM   #14
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I'm amazed! On this forum we have some people that darn their old socks and knit sweaters out of dryer lint so they can turn down their thermostats but sniff at saving 10% on their auto liability insurance! Oy!
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Old 02-04-2017, 03:45 PM   #15
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I'm amazed! On this forum we have some people that darn their old socks and knit sweaters out of dryer lint so they can turn down their thermostats but sniff at saving 10% on their auto liability insurance! Oy!
More than 10%, if you add in the drug and alcohol course

( I'm stealing "darn their old socks and knit sweaters out of dryer lint"!)
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Old 02-04-2017, 11:08 PM   #16
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I have USAA. I had no idea they offered these discounts. I'm going to have to call Monday and see if they're available in Florida at all.
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Old 02-04-2017, 11:41 PM   #17
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I have USAA. I had no idea they offered these discounts. I'm going to have to call Monday and see if they're available in Florida at all.
Hi Retired--you can probably find out now on their web site.

-Login

-click on your "Auto Insurance Policy" link

-You have a busy page with 3 tabs on top. Mine defaults to "Summary", and the one you want is "Discounts & Savings".

-Somewhere in the main page is a button that says "Update Discounts". Press it

-Now you should see the discounts available to you. Mine shows defensive driving, drug and alcohol, and motorcycle Defensive Driving (even though I don't have one)

-Go ahead and fill in as if you finished a defensive driving class yesterday, and press Next (at the bottom)

-now you should see how much discount you get!

- press Cancel so that you don't lie to USAA about having completed the course.

I still called to make sure I was picking a legit course (they mentioned AAA has class, and that's the one I went with) . Where I live, the process is straightforward, but no telling where you live.

--
Going through all that on the web site may sound like a pain, but it also leads you to where you see what happens when you tweak your coverage and deductibles.

--
They also have a Driving Research discount that's roughly 5%/car. Easy decision to put in my child's car
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Old 02-05-2017, 01:49 AM   #18
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For many years I have been getting the Defensive Driver course credit on my GEICO auto policy. I get a $23 discount per year, and with the GEICO discount the cost of the course is only $19.95 (once every three years). Very easy, and never getting out of my pajamas. And as for the 'six hours' -- at least in the online course I took, that's LAPSED time of six hours minimum, not necessarily actual time (there is an internal clock on the course that doesn't let you advance to the next section until a certain number of minutes had passed). I estimate I only spent ~3 hours actually reading the content and doing the quizzes (it's not rocket science). And in those extra minutes while waiting on the clock to permit me to advance I kept busy doing a lot of other productive things. And honestly, even while actively doing the course I was able to watch a lot of accumulated DVR trashy tv shows in the background!

One funny thing I did notice when I just retook the course last week -- previously they just gave me the 'regular' Defensive Driving content, but I guess because I've turned 60 since I last took it I'm now getting the 'senior' version -- which was a lot more depressing indeed! Kind of like a mix of the 'effects of aging' thread recently on this forum (complete with plenty of psychobabble on getting old in general that had nothing specific to do with driving), plus lots of gory car accident statistics. Fun!
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Old 02-05-2017, 03:21 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by rdy2go View Post
I'm amazed! On this forum we have some people that darn their old socks and knit sweaters out of dryer lint so they can turn down their thermostats but sniff at saving 10% on their auto liability insurance! Oy!
I hate to think of all the dryer lint I have thrown away over the years! Are there any online instructions or youtubes on making the sweaters?? Or maybe cute little doggie duds?
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Old 02-05-2017, 10:33 AM   #20
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I got a ticket and if you take the DD course it will reduce your points, too. Only thing, in SC you have to go into class and not do it online to count. Just certain vendors. I don't know if it's worth a day out of my life sitting with a cruddy bunch, (like me). Seems like a pretty good racket for the vendors.
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