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Taking an approved Defensive Driving Course earns Florida drivers an auto insurance discount, whether it is a Basic Driver Improvement Course (for drivers not yet 55 years old) or a Mature Driver Program (for drivers 55 and above). You will be entitled to a certain amount of premium reduction under the Defensive Driver Discount — or an equivalent discount of a different name depending on your insurer — as it is your legal right to receive one.
You can also take the class to reduce the number of traffic points on your record. We found a total of 31 approved Florida Defensive Driving course providers, listed in two tables at the end of the article.
Benefits of taking a defensive driving course in Florida
Aside from its intangible benefits of honing your safe driving techniques, another advantage when you voluntarily take a Defensive Driving class is the financial return on your insurance premiums.
Car insurance discount — Basic Driver Improvement course
Also referred to as the 4 hours BDI — after successfully completing a Basic Defensive Driving class in Florida, you are entitled to up to 10% premium reduction authorized by the state of Florida. Your provider will issue a course-completion certificate, which will qualify you to enjoy your insurance discount. Once your insurance company receives this, they'll process the discount. You can hold on to this privilege for a 3-year period as long as you observe these conditions within that time:
- You must not be involved in any road accident in which you are at fault
- You must not be convicted of a moving traffic violation
While requirements and restrictions differ between companies, in Florida, the following rate reduction standards generally apply:
- You must complete an approved defensive driving course with a passing grade to earn the discount
- You can only take a defensive driving class for a discount once every several years
- You can usually only apply one defensive driving discount per car
Auto insurance discount — Mature Driver program
If you’re at least 55 years old and own a Florida Driver’s License, successfully completing a motor vehicle accident prevention course allows you to save on your auto insurance premiums for three years. We estimate that the savings in Florida for senior citizens from the mature driver program can add up to be around $100 a year, amounting to a total of $300 in three years. Your actual defensive driving savings will ultimately depend on your auto insurance company and how much your premiums were initially.
Reducing your Florida traffic points
Another reason for enrolling in a Defensive Driving Course is to reduce violation points from your record, which affects your driver's license and your car insurance rates. Florida’s common traffic infractions have a point value assigned to them.
By Florida law, if you incur 12 points within a period of 12 months, your license will be suspended and you will be stripped of your driving privileges. Fortunately, you can re-earn your right to the road when you complete an approved Driver Improvement Course.
On top of this, depending on how frequently you rack up these points in Florida, your auto insurance company can raise your rates. Your carrier cannot impose an additional premium or refuse renewal of your motor vehicle insurance policy because you have a non-criminal traffic infraction on your record.
However, if you commit a second infraction within 18 months, or a third infraction within 36 months, or when you exceed the county’s speed limit by more than 15 mph or cause an accident you're at fault for, your auto insurance companies are no longer restricted. They can either raise your rates or refuse to renew your policy. Taking these driver improvement courses will therefore give you more breathing room by reducing the weight of your points.
Basic Defensive Driving Course providers in Florida
Like most states, traffic schools in Florida offer Defensive Driving courses with your choice of a classroom set-up or an online tutorial. The curriculum may vary per school but mandated topics covered are:
- Defensive driving techniques
- Alcohol/drug abuse, violations and safety
- Florida traffic laws
- Rules of the road
- Sharing the road with other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians
Listed below are Basic Defensive Driving Course providers approved and certified by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Prices range broadly because some inexpensive providers like American Safety Council and Lowest Price Traffic School don't include fees for Certificate Processing and State Assessment services in their price (you'll have to pay extra if you want them):
Contact Information (phone)
|Classroom, Online||(888) 497-4499||$24.95|
American Safety Institute, Inc.
|Classroom, Online, DVD||(800) 800-7121||14.95|
|Classroom, Online||(800) 723-1955||14.95|
|Classroom, Online||(800) 660-8909||11.50|
|Classroom, Online||(866) 357-2020||25.00|
|Classroom, Online, DVD||(800) 732-4135||8.50|
Mature Driver program course providers in Florida
Mature Driver programs offered in Florida are set up to accommodate senior citizen’s unique needs. Traffic schools such as the American Safety Institute let you choose between an online course you can take in the comfort of your home, classroom locations available throughout the state, and even driving lessons behind the wheel for those who want a hands-on approach to their newly-learned traffic techniques.
Carefully designed Mature Driver programs cover the following topics:
- Florida traffic laws
- Driver fitness and aging
- Driving in traffic
- Sharing the road
- Safety equipment
Listed below are Senior Citizen Insurance Discount Course providers approved for the purpose of and compliance to Section 627.0652, Florida statutes:
Contact Information (phone)
AARP Driver Safety Program
|Classroom, Online||(800) 350-7025||17.95|
|Classroom, Online, In-Car||(800) 771-2255 or (800) 732-4135||14.95|