State Farm Drive Safe and Save review

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Ever wondered if being a safe driver could save you money on auto insurance? One way to find out if that could be true for you is with State Farm’s Drive Safe and Save program, which is designed to reward cautious drivers with discounts on their car insurance. With many car insurance cost factors outside your ability to control, programs like Drive Safe and Save by State Farm allow for potentially lower rates based on monitoring driving habits.

What is State Farm Drive Safe and Save?

If you are already a State Farm policyholder, this is a program worth signing up for if you qualify based on the potential savings opportunity. Even drivers who are not State Farm customers but want to save money on auto insurance might consider switching providers, because the savings of this discount potentially lowers the already-competitive rates of this national insurance company. With positive reviews from existing policyholders, the Drive Safe and Save scheme may be a great way to get savings for qualifying responsible drivers.

State Farm’s Drive Safe and Save program uses a telematics device or your car’s OnStar system to get real-time data on your driving habits. The better your driving habits, typically, the more savings potential on your car insurance policy. The company indicates you could save anywhere between 30% and 50% on auto insurance with this program.

Once you have a policy with the company, it is relatively easy to request the Drive Save and Save program online or by speaking with your agent. If you have more than one car on your policy, you may need to sign up each one separately.

This is an optional program that acts as a discount without fear of surcharging your policy for bad driving habits. Those who qualify and can sign up will net a 5% discount and with good driving habits, the discounts will accrue and be applied to your account every six months. So even if you have a bad month or two, you will still probably see savings in the next period.

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How does State Farm Drive Safe and Save work?

The free Drive Safe and Save app is a software that can integrate seamlessly with your Apple or Android phone. Once you download it from Google Play or the App Store, State Farm will send you a small beacon, about the size of a quarter, that you’ll stick on your windshield. Here are the details:

  • Text SAVE to 78836 to get a link to download the app in Google Play or the App Store. You’ll only be able to download the app received in the form of a link if your smartphone is compatible.
  • Log in to the installed app using your statefarm.com user ID and password.
  • Wait for your Bluetooth beacon to arrive in the mail a few days after enrolling.
  • When your beacon arrives, take it to the car and follow the easy setup instructions from the app.
  • The app is user-friendly and not complicated at all, and you should be on your way in no time.

OnStar

If your car is equipped with the OnStar technology, it is even simpler to sign up. Using your active OnStar account and the telematic abilities of this technology, your driving habits are shared with State Farm. To enroll, contact State Farm at 888-559-1922 and give them the details of your OnStar plan, and an agent will enroll your eligible vehicle.

What does State Farm Drive Safe and Save monitor?

Drive Safe and Save is based on your mileage and driving habits. The app will monitor how many miles you drive, along with some driving characteristics.

  • Acceleration – When you accelerate too fast, you have less control over your car, which could increase your chances of being involved in an accident.
  • Braking – Driving at a safe speed is as essential as keeping a good distance between your car and the one in front of you. Drive Safe and Save monitors how quickly you brake, and rewards you for braking slowly, proving you kept a safe distance, rather than braking quickly to avoid a collision.
  • Cornering – The technologies can track quick, sharp turns, which are not safe driving behaviors. Quick or sharp turns usually show that you were trying to avoid rapidly approaching cars – putting you at risk for a crash.
  • Speed – If you speed by 8 miles per hour or more, the app takes notice. To be considered a safe driver, you need to obey the speed limits.
  • Phone Use – This is an obvious hazard on the road, but several people still use their phones while driving. The technology can track when you are using your phone, through movement and use of the screen. Avoid phone use while driving for your safety and help increase your State Farm discounts at the same time.
  • Time of Day – If possible, avoid driving when traffic is heavy. This includes rush hour and late-night traffic.

All these factors are collected by State Farm and they go into the Drive Safe and Save grades, which give the company a snapshot view of your driving skills. These grades are used to determine your discount percentage. When you drive safe and avoid busy traffic times and late night driving, State Farm Drive Safe and Save monitors these variables, which can potentially translate to a decent discount on your car insurance.

How do you save with State Farm Drive Safe and Save?

Every six months, at the time of your policy renewal, State Farm will use the Drive Safe and Save technology to determine how safe your driving has been. Based on the elements it measures — acceleration, braking and other benchmarks — it will assign a discount to your policy, which will be somewhere between 5% and 50%.

Who is the Drive Safe and Save program a good option for?

Responsible drivers can save hundreds of dollars on their insurance premium by opting for the Drive Safe and Save program. By adhering to low-risk driving, you may see program discounts reflected in your premium cost.

It might also be a good option for those who want to improve their driving habits. There is little risk involved in signing up. The program doesn’t monitor tickets or traffic stops, and the only way your rates can go up on the program is if you already have the discount for low-mileage driving of less than 7,500 miles per year, and the program shows you have exceeded that.

Young drivers have the potential to benefit from this program. If you have a teen or young adult who has just started driving, this program will give you an informal way of knowing how well they’re doing behind the wheel so that you can help them become a safer and more conscientious driver.

FAQs about the Drive Safe and Save program

How do telematics work?

Telematics uses a combination of GPS positioning and on-board diagnostics to determine your location, traveling speed and how the car is behaving. These factors provide an insurance company like State Farm clear data to determine driving habits and assess risk to the driver.

Can your rates go up with Drive Safe and Save?

This happens only if your car has the low-mileage discount (under 7,500 miles a year) and you exceed that. In such a case, you will lose the discount.

Are all cars in a household required to participate?

No. This program is car-specific and discounts apply individually for each car that is enrolled.

How often are discounts calculated?

Your accrued savings are calculated every six months at the time of the policy renewal. Depending on your driving behaviors, your discounts will increase or decrease with every renewal.

Looking to save money on auto insurance?
Looking to save money on auto insurance?

Looking to save money on auto insurance?

Compare rates & save

How do you see your program discount?

You can see your current accrued discount at:

  • The Drive Safe & Save account page
  • Through the State Farm mobile app
  • Through the Drive Safe and Save app
Written by
Mandy Sleight
Insurance Contributor
Mandy Sleight has three years of experience writing for insurance websites such as Bankrate.com, MoneyGeek and The Simple Dollar, and has been a licensed insurance agent since 2005. Mandy writes about auto, homeowners, renters, life insurance, disability and supplemental insurance products.
Edited by
Insurance Editor