Navigating car insurance as a young driver often comes with higher premiums due to perceived inexperience behind the wheel. To address this, State Farm offers a program aimed at promoting safer driving habits while potentially reducing insurance costs for drivers under 25. The State Farm Steer Clear program combines modern telematics technology with educational components to guide young drivers toward becoming better behind the wheel. In this review, Bankrate explores how the Steer Clear program works, what benefits participants might enjoy and who can enroll, giving you the insights needed to decide if it’s the right choice.

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 teenagers and young adults improve their driving skills 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).


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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.

Online program

The State Farm Steer Clear program offers an in-depth in-app training course designed to enhance the driving skills of young motorists. The program is structured into five progressive modules, each targeting key areas of driving safety and vehicle management:

  1. Getting ready to drive: This initial module covers the essentials of vehicle knowledge like understanding car parts and safety features. It includes practical advice on car maintenance and making adjustments to the driver’s seat, steering wheel, mirrors and seat belts.
  2. Focus and distraction: Focus here shifts to the importance of maintaining concentration on the road. Lessons address the risks associated with distracted and impaired driving, including strategies to avoid common distractions, the dangers of driving under the influence and tips for hazard scanning.
  3. Residential and city roads: Exploring the dynamics of urban driving, this module teaches how to share the road responsibly. It covers communication with other drivers, starting and stopping, managing parking lots and navigating busy intersections effectively.
  4. Highway driving: As one of the more challenging aspects of driving, this section prepares drivers for entering and exiting highways, managing speed and distance, staying in lanes and changing lanes safely while being mindful of blind spots.
  5. Special driving situations: The final module prepares drivers for less common but critical driving conditions, such as driving at night, in bad weather or in rural areas. It also provides vital information on how to respond to situations involving emergency vehicles or unexpected car troubles.

On-road training program

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 by a licensed driver over 25.
  • Drivers aged 19 to 24: Complete five driving trips with or without another licensed driver. This also applies to new drivers older than 24 who 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 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:

  • Being under 25 years old with fewer than 3 years of driving experience
  • Holding a valid driver’s license
  • Having no at-fault accidents or moving violations within the last 3 years
  • Completing the in-app course and on-road hours within 6 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. According to State Farm’s website, Drive Safe & Save could help you get a discount of up to 30 percent 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 42407 to get a download link. On the App Store, it has over 47,000 ratings with an average of 4.7 stars. The app has more than 2,400 reviews on the Google Play Store with an average of 4.2 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.

How the Steer Clear app manages your data

State Farm takes the privacy of its Steer Clear app users seriously, adhering to a comprehensive privacy policy designed to safeguard customer information. Here’s a high-level overview of how data and privacy are handled within the Steer Clear program:

  • Data collection: The Steer Clear app collects data to facilitate the training and monitoring of young drivers. This includes driving behavior, such as speed, braking patterns and overall driving style. The app also collects technical information from the device, like the operating system and device model, to ensure compatibility and functionality.
  • Data usage: The information gathered through the Steer Clear app is primarily used to assess and improve the driving skills of participants. It helps in personalizing the training modules and providing feedback on driving habits. Additionally, data usage extends to calculating potential discounts on insurance premiums, based on the safe driving behaviors demonstrated by users.
  • Privacy protections: State Farm does not sell the personal information of its users. The data collected through the Steer Clear app is protected by robust physical, electronic and procedural safeguards. These measures comply with federal and state laws to prevent unauthorized access and ensure data integrity.
  • User consent and control: Users have control over their information. State Farm requires explicit consent from users before collecting or using their data, particularly sensitive information like location tracking. Users can modify their privacy settings within the app to limit or expand the scope of data collection.
  • Data sharing: Information collected through the Steer Clear app may be shared within the State Farm family of companies for business purposes, such as improving service offerings and developing new products. However, sharing outside the State Farm family is strictly regulated and occurs only with user consent or as required by law.
  • Retention and security: State Farm retains user data only for as long as necessary to fulfill the purposes outlined in its privacy policy, including legal, auditing and regulatory requirements. The company employs advanced security technologies to protect data against loss, misuse and alteration.

Is the State Farm Steer Clear program worth it?

State Farm’s Steer Clear discount 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. Most car insurance companies offer an array of 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.

What are real-life customers saying about the Steer Clear program?

The State Farm Steer Clear program aims to improve driving skills and offer potential insurance discounts for young drivers. However, user experiences, especially those shared on the App Store and Google Play Store, reveal mixed feelings about the program’s effectiveness and technology. Here’s a summary of the feedback from real-life users, illustrating the strengths and weaknesses of the app.

App Store feedback

One user expressed frustration with the app’s functionality, saying, “In theory, I’d love this app. Tips for driving? Tracking and giving feedback on your driving? Sounds great! However, this app underperforms at both of these roles.”

They noted that the educational content was “extremely basic,” and the driving feedback system was flawed. Particularly, they mentioned issues with braking scores being unrealistic.

“I made sure to brake carefully and softly, but it was impossible for me to get a higher score without being a traffic hazard.” This sentiment was echoed in another review, underscoring ongoing concerns about the app’s practical application.

Google Play Store insights

Feedback from Android users also highlighted some technical issues. One reviewer pointed out, “It is crucial that your phone does not move at all while driving!”

They shared an experience where their son received over 80 alerts for poor braking and accelerating on a very short drive due to the phone not being secured properly.

On a more positive note, another user appreciated the educational aspect: “I love the modules because they were full of helpful tips to learn when driving.”

However, they also criticized the app’s sensitivity by noting they “don’t like how sensitive it is when driving on bumpy roads.”

These reviews collectively suggest that while the State Farm Steer Clear app aims to foster safer driving habits, its execution may fall short for some users. Issues with device sensitivity and the accuracy of driving feedback are common themes. Potential users might find it beneficial to ensure their devices are securely mounted to avoid inaccuracies and gain the most from the program’s features.

Frequently asked questions

    • State Farm doesn’t publish information on how much you can save by signing up for Steer Clear. How much you can save will vary based on your state so it can help to talk to a licensed agent in your area.
    • The State Farm Steer Clear program can last up to six months. During that period, you must meet all of the program requirements, including taking training modules and completing the required number of trips. The program is self-paced, so you can finish the program faster if you want to.
    • 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.