What is a daytime running lights discount?

A daytime running lights discount reduces car insurance rates by up to 5% if your car has DRLs. Companies that offer the daytime running light discount include GEICO, Esurance, and Farmers.

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: May 20, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Daytime running lights increase the visibility of a car the minute an engine turns on
  • Top insurance companies provide great discounts for vehicles with daylight running lights
  • Drivers should review all the discounts in which they qualify and take advantage of the deals

Safety is taken into consideration quite a lot by many drivers. Drivers aren’t the only ones with an interest in road safety. Auto insurance companies smile favorably upon those customers who take steps to reduce the chances of a vehicle being involved in an accident.

Offering discounts to customers whose cars come with added and special safety features is one example of how insurance companies reward safe drivers. Cars with daytime running lights fit the profile of a safer vehicle, which creates opportunities for drivers to access specific auto insurance discounts.

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What are daytime running lights?

Daytime running light bulbs are located at the front of a vehicle, below the headlight bulbs. These lights turn on automatically once when the engine engages. The safety benefit of these running lights for cars is to add illumination and visibility to a vehicle during daylight hours. Think of them as daytime headlights.

At night, brake lights and headlights help make a vehicle visible. Daytime running lights serve a similar purpose before the sun goes down.

These lights do not cast a direct beam of light as would be the case with automatic headlights. The mild illumination is intended to simply add a little additional visibility on the road. Added visibility could prevent an accident during twilight hours when it’s too dark to see well and too light for automatic headlights to turn on.

When you turn on your car and start the engine, the illuminated daytime running lights act as a notice to drivers and pedestrians that your vehicle is ready to hit the road. A vehicle without daytime running lights offers no added warning or notification a vehicle is ready to move.

Other than the sound of the engine and, possibly, the brake lights, drivers and pedestrians receive little in terms of an alert. If the lights cause another car to slow down or a bicyclist from darting near the vehicle, an accident can be avoided.

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Will daytime running lights help during inclement weather?

Fog and rain can reduce visibility on the road. Drivers might not be able to see the road clearly when the rain starts pouring. Seeing other vehicles might prove difficult as well.

Even during the morning or afternoon hours, rain can hamper the ability to see oncoming traffic. The addition of daylight running lights won’t guarantee that pedestrians and other drivers will be able to see a vehicle, but having daytime driving lights is still a good precaution.

Can safety features reduce auto insurance claims?

Safety features that reduce the chances of accidents could lead to fewer auto insurance claims. If you are at fault for an accident and cause harm to someone else, your auto liability insurance kicks in. Sometimes this is why it’s better to have more than the minimum car insurance coverage.

Upon damaging your own vehicle due to your own fault, collision insurance addresses a portion of the repairs. With added lights, others may be able to spot your car and avoid an accident even when you act negligently.

Near-misses may be frightening, but they aren’t accidents. No accident means no insurance claim, and the insurance company won’t lose money on a policy. Again, no guarantee exists any safety feature can reduce or eliminate an accident.

Reducing the potential for an accident does count for something. The insurance companies are willing to serve discounts to those whose vehicles present less of a chance for an accident.

Insurance Companies Offering a Discount for Daytime Running Lights

So what is a daytime running lights discount? It’s exactly as it sounds, a discount given for your vehicle having daytime running lights. However, not all insurance companies present daytime running light discounts to customers. Different insurance companies make their own decisions regarding what discounts to provide. The companies currently offering the discount are:

  • 21st Century
  • AAA
  • Allstate
  • American Family
  • Ameriprise
  • Country Financial
  • Esurance
  • Farmers
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Metlife
  • Nationwide
  • Progressive
  • Safe Auto
  • The Hanover
  • The Hartford
  • Travelers
  • USAA

Interestingly, this discount seems to be very common throughout the industry. Few companies do not offer it. However, not every insurance company employs the same rules for accessing a discount.

With GEICO, this particular discount is only available in Louisiana and New York. The other insurance companies do not currently present any restrictions. Still, it is a good idea to check on requirements when reviewing quotes.

One thing worth pointing out: unless you tell your insurance company you have daytime running lights, the company won’t issue a discount.

In fact, it would be a good idea to look over all the discounts your current provider offers. Ask for as many as you are eligible for. Even a small decrease in premium prices can help a budget, so take advantage of the discounts available.

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How else can you save money on your auto insurance policy?

Periodically request three of four quotes from different auto insurance companies. Review the discounts and every other bit of beneficial information associated with the policies.

A change to a newer, better, more affordable policy is always possible. Daytime running lights discounts weren’t available a few years ago. You never know when a new discount will be added by a company. As a result, it’s best to check out new quotes every year.

Enter your ZIP code into our free comparison tool below to get quotes for free today.

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