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Thursday, January 14, 2010

How a New York Defensive Driving Course Can Save You Money

New York Defensive DrivingEvery licensed driver in New York State qualifies to complete a defensive driving course that will lower the number of points on her or his driving record and qualify her or him for a discounted auto insurance policy. The cost savings from the lower insurance premium rate cover the fee for the course almost immediately. In New York, the defensive driving class can be completed online or in a classroom setting. Drivers who prefer to progress at their own paces can take the course on the internet in their homes. Even inexperienced internet users will find the NY defensive driving course easy to complete, because the course is user-friendly. Use the following tips to complete the course online, decrease the number of points on your driving record, and reduce the cost of your auto insurance premiums.

First, select a NY defensive driving course provider. The course takes six hours to complete no matter which program provider you select, because the NY DMV imposes a mandatory timeframe for it. If you won't be able to complete the course all at once, select a provider that divides the I-PIRP course into short, manageable sections to allow you to manage your time efficiently.

The benefits of taking the course are also state-mandated and are the same regardless of the program provider you select: Up to a four-point reduction in the total number of active points on your driving record, depending on when the points were assessed, and a 10% reduction from the base rate of your current liability, no-fault and collision premiums for three years. Even if you don't have any points on your driving record, taking the course will still benefit you, because you will save money on your auto insurance premiums.

You may see the New York defensive driving course referred to as "PIRP" or "I-PIRP". This is the course you need for removal of points from your driving record and an auto insurance discount. PIRP stands for Point and Insurance Reduction Program. I-PIRP stands for Internet Point and Insurance Reduction Program - the same course delivered via the internet. Make sure the course you select has been approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles in New York.

The next step is to complete the registration process for I-PIRP with the program provider you chose. You can register for the I-PIRP course online. Note that each person with a New York driver's license listed as a principal operator on the family's auto insurance policy must register for and complete the defensive driving course to be eligible for the insurance discount. For instance, if spouses own two cars, both spouses need to complete the class to reduce the premium on each insurance policy.

Registering for the class means that you'll enter personal information to confirm your identity and make sure that the person who registers for the course is the person who completes it. Identity and participation information can also include biometric data like keystrokes, facial recognition or voice recognition. In New York, any person who attempts to defraud the defensive driving course system or who accepts a course completion certificate and its associated benefits without having personally completed the entire course has committed a crime and may be subject to prosecution, fines and imprisonment.

The course provider will collect credit card information for the course fee. You may worry about personal information on the internet; protect your personal information by selecting an I-PIRP provider with a secure website. If you experience any difficulties or have any questions during the process, the I-PIRP provider's customer service agents can assist you.

The six-hour time requirement for the NY defensive driving course begins after you complete registration. You may complete the course in one sitting or log in and out as many times as you like. As you complete the course modules, your progress is saved by the system. The class must be completed within 30 days of the date of registration.

Course participants do not have to pass an exam to earn a certificate of completion for I-PIRP. You will receive a certificate for passing the course based on the delivery option you select. Give your certificate to your insurance agent within 90 days of course completion to receive the discount on your premium (if you want longer than 90 days, you may still be eligible for a discount, but the agent may start the discount from the date of receipt of the certificate instead of retroactively from the date you completed the course). If you have a teen driver who is the principal operator of a vehicle in your household, it is especially important that the teen driver completes the I-PIRP course. The teen will qualify for a discounted auto insurance premium and will also learn safe driving habits that are especially helpful for inexperienced drivers. Your insurance agent can help you determine precisely how much money you can save by completing an I-PIRP course.

Keep the insurance discount active by retaking the I-PIRP class every 36 months. The insurance discount can only be applied to one driver for each covered vehicle. Taking the I-PIRP course may decrease the number of points on your driving record, but the points assessed by your insurance company will not be changed. Taking the NY defensive driving course does not avoid regular insurance premium increases or increases due to tickets or collisions.

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