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Young drivers generally face higher risks and steeper premiums than their older, more experienced counterparts. Time and experience helps to even out these costs — on average — and thankfully, there are ways to speed up the process. State Farm offers a usage-based insurance program called Steer Clear to eligible young drivers designed to help them develop safe driving skills. Through the telematics program, young drivers are taught skills and techniques that promote safe, responsible driving habits in exchange for a potential discount. Bankrate’s Steer Clear review will help you understand how the program assesses your teen’s driving and how utilizing the program could help you save.
What is State Farm Steer Clear?
Young drivers are more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents than older, more experienced drivers, so Steer Clear was designed to promote safe driving habits for those under age 25. The program helps young drivers improve their skills behind the wheel and potentially save money on their car insurance at the same time. This program may be useful because young drivers usually face the highest insurance premiums of any age group. The program includes an online course, on-road training and mentorship from other licensed drivers.
Steer Clear may not be available in all states; the best way to find out if the program is an option for you or a young driver in your household is to contact a local State Farm agent.
While the program teaches safe driving habits, such as awareness of blind spots, driving in bad weather and changing lanes, it’s not a replacement for a traditional driver’s education course. To be eligible for the Steer Clear State Farm program, participants must already have a valid driver’s license and be under 25 years old in most states.
How does State Farm Steer Clear work?
Drivers who are interested in enrolling in State Farm Steer Clear should contact their State Farm agent to ensure they are eligible for the program. Then, interested drivers should download the State Farm Steer Clear mobile app to take the online course and log driving hours.
The State Farm Steer Clear in-app training course consists of five modules that focus on a variety of important topics such as:
- Blind spots
- Car safety basic
- Changing lanes
- Communicating with other drivers
- Driving in bad weather
- Entering parking lots
- Handling emergencies
- Texting and driving
The second part of the program is driving practice. The on-road requirements are slightly different for every age group. Here are the guidelines:
- Drivers under 19: If holding a learner’s permit, complete 20 driving trips with the supervision of a licensed driver over 25. If licensed, only 15 out of the 20 trips need to be supervised.
- Drivers aged 19 to 24: Complete five driving trips with or without another licensed driver. This also applies to new drivers older than 24 but have less than 3 years of driving experience.
Driving hours can be recorded for every trip in the State Farm Steer Clear mobile app. Family members or other supervising drivers are encouraged to provide feedback on the driver’s progress in the app.
Once the driver successfully completes the course, earns their on-road hours and finishes a post-assessment test, they will receive a certificate of completion. That certificate is then submitted to their State Farm agent, who will apply the Steer Clear Safe Driver Discount to the insurance premium. The only contingency is that the program requirements must be completed within a six-month time frame to qualify.
Who is qualified for State Farm Steer Clear?
Many young drivers can take advantage of the State Farm Steer Clear program, although there are a handful of prerequisites, which include:
- Be under 25 years old with fewer than three years of driving experience
- Hold a valid driver’s license
- Have no at-fault accidents or traffic violations within the last three years
- Complete the in-app course and on-road hours within six months
Older teens with their own car must get a State Farm policy before enrolling in the program. However, teens can also claim this insurance discount if they are going to be added to a parent or family member’s existing State Farm auto policy.
If you are older than 25 or do not otherwise qualify for Steer Clear, you may be able to enroll in State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save program. Drive Safe & Save monitors your driving habits like hard braking, rapid acceleration and speeding and assigns you a discount based on your personal driving patterns. Participating in this program may earn you significant savings. According to State Farm’s website, Drive Safe & Save could help you get a discount of up to 30% on your insurance policy.
The State Farm Steer Clear app
The State Farm Steer Clear app is highly rated by users and is available for download on iOS and Android. Users can also text STEER to 78836 to get a download link. On the App Store, it has over 41,000 ratings with an average of 4.7 stars. On the Google Play Store, the app has more than 2,000 reviews with an average of 4.3 stars.
Overall, the State Farm Steer Clear app is relatively easy to use. It has a simple user interface and dashboards to track progress toward module completions and driving goals. In reviews, most users say that the course modules were easy to follow, but the learning material wasn’t perceived to be more advanced than what’s included on a permit exam.
The State Farm Steer Clear app also tracks real-time driving and gives drivers a score after they complete a trip. The app senses the car’s movements to calculate speed, turning and other maneuvers. It also tracks the length of the trip, making it easy to record in the on-road hours log.
However, many users said that the accuracy of the driving scores needs to be updated or corrected. They expressed frustration over getting the app to record their trip in full without resetting halfway through.
Is the State Farm Steer Clear program worth it?
State Farm’s Steer Clear program provides an easy option for drivers under the age of 25 to learn the rules of driving and gain experience behind the wheel while saving on car insurance. The Steer Clear program offers course training, including videos, modules, quizzes, practice driving sessions, mentoring and a program certificate.
However, along with any program, there are disadvantages to State Farm’s Steer Clear. The discount is only applied after program completion, and the program must be completed within six months. Drivers who have been in an at-fault accident or were ticketed for a moving violation within the past three years are not eligible for State Farm’s Steer Clear program.
If you are interested in this type of incentive program, but do not qualify for Steer Clear, consider checking with other car insurance companies to see what discounts are available to young drivers. Every company offers unique discounts with varying qualifications, so you may be able to enroll your teen in a similar program with a different carrier to save money. For example, Nationwide also offers a safe driving program called SmartRide that offers a discount for similar safe driving habits for drivers of all ages.
Frequently asked questions
The savings that you see from Steer Clear will vary based on your underlying policy and your individual rating factors. The best way to know how much Steer Clear could save you is to talk to a local State Farm agent.
The State Farm Steer Clear program must be completed within six months of enrollment for drivers to claim the discount. Because drivers go through the course at their own pace, it can likely be completed much faster.
Drivers under the age of 25 who have had fewer than three years of experience behind the wheel are eligible to sign up for State Farm Steer Clear, provided they have a State Farm insurance policy, a valid driver’s license, and no at-fault accidents or moving violations in the past three years.
State Farm lists several discounts beyond the Steer Clear program that drivers may be eligible for. Specifics of which discounts are available and the eligibility requirements can vary by state. Among possible State Farm discounts are Steer Clear, multi-car, defensive driving, Drive Safe and Save, good driver, good student and student away at school. Insurers will also often offer discounts to people who bundle home and auto policies together.
Earning the Steer Clear discount is based on a combination of learning modules and practice trips. Drivers aged 19 and under will first watch a series of training videos, then sign the Parent/Driver Agreement and the Safe Driver Pledge. This Safe Driver Pledge will also be signed by drivers older than 19. From there, all new drivers will complete a pre-log driver’s self-assessment and take 20 trips in their trip log, with supervision as instructed, within 60 days. After completing the post-log driver’s self-assessment, new drivers will bring their trip log to their State Farm agent, who will check to ensure that the Steer Clear Safe Driver discount can be added to the auto insurance policy.