When you’re shopping for California car insurance, you’ll see the word discount used a lot in advertising and quotes. Car insurance companies are eager to attract new customers, and they tailor their rates and discounts to appeal to different segments of the driving public. It’s their way of staying competitive in a crowded marketplace.
That’s good news for consumers, but it can make shopping for California car insurance a bit confusing. If you hunt around a bit somewhere like here, you’ll be able to find discounts on everything from driving an electric car to getting good grades in school. While all of these discounts are nice to have, they’re voluntary. There is one type of California car insurance discount that’s mandatory, however: The Good Driver Discount
The Good Driver Discount
California has a long history of regulating the auto insurance industry in the state. In 1988, Californians passed Proposition 103. It contained several insurance-related provisions, but the most important one was the Good Driver Discount. This provision requires California car insurance companies to give safe drivers a 20 percent discount on their policies. The provision also defined what it would take to qualify for this safe driver discount:
How Long You’ve Been Driving
The first qualification for the discount was being licensed to drive for at least three years in California, another of the United States, or Canada. This means new drivers can’t qualify for the discount under any circumstances. We all begin our driving career with an unblemished record, but this three-year window is important to establish a meaningful track record. This three-year period will also be important for others who are looking for the discount in the following ways
Not Responsible for an Accident
If you’ve been driving for at least three years, and haven’t had an accident for the past three years, you meet the biggest requirement for the discount. Even if you have had an accident, you can still qualify for the California car insurance discount if it was determined that you were less than 50 percent at fault.
If you receive more than one demerit point on your driving record during the preceding three years, you won’t be eligible for the discount. If you’re required to attend traffic school due to a traffic violation, you also won’t qualify for the discount until three years have passed.
Everyone Must Qualify
If you are purchasing insurance for an auto that will be used by multiple members of your household, everyone that uses the car must qualify for the discount in order to receive it. In some cases, you can still qualify for the California car insurance discount if you have a teenaged driver with less than three years of experience if everyone else in the household is eligible.