Going to Traffic School Can Lower Your Car Insurance Rates

Taking a traffic school course can help you lower car insurance rates, but it can help you in many other ways too. Discover how completing traffic school can benefit you in other ways.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent Laura Walker

UPDATED: Jun 23, 2022

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The Rundown

  • Traffic school can help reduce your auto insurance rates and provide other benefits
  • Some states require insurance companies to offer discounts to people who complete a traffic school course
  • Some states call traffic school defensive driving

If you are looking for a way to more easily afford the auto insurance you need, you might be asking yourself: Will traffic school lower my insurance? The answer is a resounding yes. Traffic school can deliver reduced insurance rates as well as other important benefits to you as a motorist.

Why Traffic School Lowers Your Insurance Rates

Traffic school, called defensive driving in some states, can be an effective way to obtain lower rates for auto insurance. After completing traffic school or a defensive driving course, you statistically become a lower risk when on the road. When insurance companies see you as a lower risk, you often benefit from discounted rates.

You will have to pay for the course. Costs for traffic school vary, but a general range is from $30 to $180. Those learning how to drive for the first time might pay more than drivers seeking to take a refresher course. Some traffic school courses include road instruction, and those costs partially depend on fuel prices.

However, taking a traffic course is a sound strategy for paying lower insurance rates. The cost of a traffic class will be offset by discounted insurance for as long as five years after completing the course. Some states even mandate that insurance companies provide discounts to drivers who have completed traffic school.

Home and car insurance discounts, especially when you have multiple discounts from your insurance company, can add significant savings. Even if you already have a discount for being a safe driver, for example, you may still be given a separate discount for attending traffic school.

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How Attending Traffic School Is Easier Than You May Think

Just as you may be wondering if traffic school will lower insurance, you might be thinking about how inconvenient it is to attend a course in person. However, this is an outdated idea. Traffic courses have evolved through the years, and there are many online traffic school courses available. You can complete online courses on your own schedule. Another option is to attend a class held after standard business hours, such as in the evening or at weekends.

Generally, traffic courses last for about eight class hours, perhaps one to two weeks. If you choose to take an online course and have the time, you can finish it sooner.

Other Benefits of Traffic School

In addition to lowering your auto insurance rates, traffic school offers other valuable benefits, including:

  • Reducing fines for violations- Driving fines include tickets, court costs, violation fees, and higher insurance rates. Some locations allow you to take traffic school to reduce fines or even dismiss tickets. Compared to driving school, the content for traffic ticket school is more in-depth. Check with the court clerk in your area for more details.
  • Improving your driving record- Some localities let you take traffic school to improve your driving record or reduce points on your license, which is essential in maintaining lower insurance rates. Make sure your state accepts your chosen course.
  • Increasing your driving skills- Safe driving can help prevent road accidents. Traffic school can teach you essential skills, refresh your understanding of driving laws, and provide potentially life-saving information on what to do in dangerous situations.

Each state has specific guidelines governing traffic school. If you opt to take a course, either online or in a classroom, first check with your insurance company, the presiding court, or both, depending on why you are enrolling. You want to make sure you are taking a course your state or court sanctions.

What To Expect From Traffic School

There are many different types of traffic education programs ranging from those designed for new drivers to classes for older drivers to education for drivers with disabilities. You need to sift through the courses available in your state until you find one that fits your particular needs.

Each state has its own set of requirements for traffic school, including specific rules and a particular curriculum. Therefore, if you relocate to another state, enrolling in traffic school can help you be a safer driver in your new location. Generally, however, common topics you may encounter include:

  • Emergency preparedness
  • Defensive driving techniques
  • Alcohol and substance awareness

Sometimes, traffic school instruction has specific segments to help organize the subject materials and make learning easier. Each section might require you to pass a quiz before moving on to the next segment. This particular arrangement is relatively common with online driving education courses.

Usually, traffic education courses finish with a final exam. You will receive a certificate upon successfully completing the course.

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What To Do When You Finish Traffic School

Traffic school will often lower insurance rates, and it offers plenty of other benefits. However, once you finish a course, there are still some important steps to take. When you receive your official certificate of completion, you need to notify your state motor vehicles department.

Furthermore, if you want to lower your car insurance rates with traffic school, you should also notify your insurance company. If you are trying to reduce fines or dismiss tickets, contact the appropriate court clerk. Sometimes traffic schools will notify state driving authorities for you, but you should not assume this will happen. You want to be sure you get credit for taking a driver education class.

Final Words on How Traffic School Can Lower Insurance

Taking a traffic school course can help you lower car insurance rates, sometimes for as long as five years, but it can help you in many other ways too. Driver education can reduce the cost and other penalties associated with traffic violations. It can also provide what might be the most important long-term benefit — that of helping you drive more safely. Taking a traffic school course can also be a great way to get cheaper car insurance rates. When you are prepared for whatever you encounter, you have a higher chance of responding without panic.

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