New York drivers can save hundreds on car insurance online


AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – Drivers in New York have known for years about defensive driving courses they can take to get a break on their car insurance premiums, discounts that can add up to hundreds of dollars a year, and they shave points off of driving records, which can also lead to insurance savings.

All these years, the courses have been taught in classrooms, but now drivers looking to cut their insurance costs can take the safe driving courses online—actually the state permitted the courses to be taught over the Internet 9 years ago, and renewed the law when its initial trial period expired.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has approved several agencies to administer safe driving courses, but they are usually offered in classrooms. They are 6-hour courses, and they are taught more at the agencies’ convenience, than for the students.

Those courses are offered under the DMV’s Point and Insurance Reduction Program, and the 10-percent savings is applied to three parts of car insurance premiums–liability, which is the biggest cost, collision, and no-fault.

The AAA of Western and Central New York offers the online course by contracting with a vendor approved by the DMV, and Mike Formanowicz, the AAA Manager of Driver Training said the Internet version also takes 6 hours to complete.

“You have 30 days to complete the 6 hours, and the course is timed. So if you are a fast reader, it can get a little frustrating because you will get to the end of the page and you’ve got to wait a little bit until it goes to the next page.”

Formanowicz encourages drivers to take the course, for safety reasons, “I don’t know how many new things you will actually learn, but those things you knew once and forgot to do, will all of a sudden pop back into your memory.”

The discount applies to one driver per car, and could be more valuable for younger drivers who pay higher insurance rates. The AAA does offer a discount for its members.

Formanowicz added, the online course does have a few security safeguards you have to deal with it. For more information on how this all works in New York, click on the link to the DMV’s Point and Insurance Reduction Program page.

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