Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Mar 15, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • GEICO defensive driving course completion can provide up to a 10% premium discount on auto insurance
  • Defensive driving courses for GEICO customers are $14.50 and a nearly 50% discount from full price
  • Qualifying participants must be at least 50 years of age and register for the program voluntarily

We all know that driving a vehicle can be an intimidating experience. Despite that, it’s something most of us can’t avoid. Although a vehicle can be dangerous in the wrong hands, you can take steps to ensure you’re up-to-date on the rules of the road. Doing so can help make driving safer, and far less stressful.

Below, we outline the details of GEICO’s defensive driving course program, and how it can help you become not just a better driver, but also help lower your premiums as well.

What is GEICO’s defensive driving course program?

Car insurance companies tend to reward their safest drivers. Defensive driving courses approved by GEICO teach safe driving and accident prevention. Even better, taking a GEICO-approved course can help lower your monthly auto policy premiums by as much as 10%. Discount details and eligibility are dependent on your state of residence.

GEICO believes that making the roads a safer place is important to the overall safety and well-being of all drivers. Providing the incentive of a premium discount is a worthwhile exchange for helping customers become better drivers. Additionally, defensive drivers are considered lower risk, and therefore cheaper to insure in the long run.

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How does GEICO’s defensive driving course program work?

Eligibility and discount levels vary by state. Simply enter your state of residence, and GEICO will provide all approved schools and courses available to you. Additionally, benefits and details of eligibility are conveniently outlined for you.

If you have an unlisted driving course in mind, GEICO offers 24/7 customers service to help you determine if it will qualify. By and large, GEICO makes signing up for the course of your choice easy. Doing so will bring you one step closer to your awarded safe driver discount.

Do I qualify for an approved GEICO defensive driving course?

GEICO defensive driving course requirements vary by state. For those living in most states, GEICO requires that participants be 50 years of age or older to participate. Additionally, GEICO asks that course enrollees take classes voluntarily, and are not being required to do so by a government entity or court order.

Upon course completion, and for those who qualify, receiving your premium discount is made easy. Simply provide your course certificate to GEICO, and your premium discount is applied to your auto insurance policy once confirmed.

How much do defensive driving courses cost?

Online defensive courses for GEICO customers cost as little as $14.50, and $27.95 for non-customers (a nearly 50% discount for GEICO drivers). Additional GEICO customer benefits include:

  • Long-term premium discount. Following course completion, your premium discount can continue with you for up to three years.
  • Immediate certificate of completion. Your discount is processed within 30 minutes of completing your defensive driving course.
  • Around-the-clock support. When needed, you can access a GEICO representative 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
  • Certified courses. GEICO-approved defensive driving courses are all certified by the DMV.
  • Online only. Courses are 100% online, with no requirement to visit a physical facility for testing or instruction. You may also use any device convenient to you to complete your course whether that’s a phone, tablet, or computer.

GEICO also promises that minimum effort is required to sign up and complete approved defensive driving courses.

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Do other insurance companies offer defensive driving course discounts?

Several other auto insurance companies offer a discount in exchange for defensive driving course completion. Discounts typically range between 5% and 15%. Below are a few auto insurance companies that offer defensive driver discounts:

  • Farmers Insurance
  • State Farm
  • Nationwide
  • Esurance
  • Allstate
  • The Hartford

Discounts and approved courses may vary state to state, and by the insurance company. Take a look at our GEICO insurance review to learn more about GEICO auto insurance coverage.

What can I expect to learn in a defensive driving course?

Overall, taking a defensive driving course through GEICO provides well-rounded driving instruction that will help you to operate a vehicle in the best interest of everyone on the road. Below are a few key takeaways you can expect from completing an approved defensive driving course.

Accident prevention

Being aware of other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians can go a long way to help in preventing accidents. Regularly checking your mirrors and keeping your eyes on the road at all times is also important in helping you anticipate unexpected maneuvers from those you share the road with.

Defensive driver techniques

Making smart and safe decisions on the road can help minimize the threat of an accident. Focusing on things such as speed control, keeping a safe distance, expecting the unexpected, and staying alert are also important when ensuring your safety, as well as other drivers.

Speed control

Keeping your car moving at a controlled speed should always be a top priority for a driver. To accomplish this, it’s important to observe posted speed limit signs at all times.

Keeping a safe distance

One of the most effective ways to avoid collision is to keep a safe distance from other drivers on the road. Additionally, it’s key to keep an eye on other vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, and any other obstacles on the road, and provide at least three feet of space when applicable.

New drivers can also benefit from taking a defensive driving course. Defensive driving courses usually provide more detailed information than a standard driving course and therefore be more ultimately beneficial to all drivers.

Are there other benefits to taking a defensive driving course?

Other than gaining a premium discount on your auto insurance, there are many other benefits you can get by taking a defensive driving course.

  • Remove a driving violation. In qualifying states, taking a defensive driving course can help remove a driving violation from your record.
  • Preventing a ticket from hitting your record. A defensive driving course can serve to prevent a ticket from appearing on your permanent driving record. Accomplishing this can keep your premiums low.
  • Reclaiming your license. In the event your license has been revoked or suspended, taking a defensive driving course can be the first step toward getting it back.

Of course, the ultimate benefit to completing a defensive driving course is keeping your driving skills sharp. Doing so can keep both you and other drivers safe on the road.

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Online Versus In-Person Driving Courses

GEICO exclusively offers online course options. If you are not a GEICO customer, selecting an online or in-person defensive driving course can be a tough choice to make. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when making your selection:

  • Online advantages
    • More cost-effective
    • Complete the course from the comfort of your own home
    • Schedule flexibility
  • Online disadvantages
    • Can take longer
    • No live instructor to offer support
    • Some programs may not be accredited
  • In-person advantages
    • Live instructor to offer support
    • Typically just one session
  • In-person disadvantages
    • Not as convenient
    • More expensive than online options

If you aren’t a GEICO customer, check with your insurance company to clarify what options are available to you.

The Bottom Line on GEICO Defensive Driving Courses

The best way to keep your driving skills sharp is by enrolling in a defensive driving course. Doing so not only helps to ensure your safety on the road but the safety of others on the road as well.

In addition to helping to ensure a clean auto record, completing a GEICO-approved defensive driving course can lower your monthly premiums by as much as 10%. Take the first step in earning your policy discount by researching participant eligibility in your state.