What is a Daytime Running Lights discount?

A daytime running lights discount reduces car insurance rates by 5% if your car has DRL. Companies that offer the daytime running lights discount include Geico, Esurance, and Farmers.

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 3, 2020

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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 counts for a lot with many drivers. Drivers aren’t the only ones with an interest in 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 reflect one way 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 lights are bulbs located at the front of a vehicle. They turn on automatically once when the engine engages. The purpose of these lights is to add illumination and visibility to a vehicle during daylight hours.

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 headlights. The mild illumination is intended to simply add a little additional visibility on the road. Added visibility could prevent an accident.

Upon starting an engine, the illuminated 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 — hopefully — be avoided.

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Dealing with the Weather

Fog and, in particular, 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 pedestrians and other drivers will be able to see a vehicle, the presence of the lights wouldn’t hurt.

Reducing Auto Insurance Claims


Safety features that reduce the chances of accidents could lead to fewer auto insurance claims. When you are at fault for an accident and cause harm to someone else, your auto liability insurance kicks in.

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 the Discount

Not all insurance companies present daytime running lights 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
  • Geico
  • 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 here is, 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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Keep Up with Insurance Rates


Also suggested is to 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 becomes 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. Take this as a reason why it’s best to check out new quotes every year.

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  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daytime_running_lamp
  2. https://www.visualexpert.com/Resources/weather.html
  3. https://www.iii.org/article/what-covered-basic-auto-insurance-policy
  4. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/collision-insurance.asp
  5. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/are-you-taking-advantage-of-car-insurance-discounts-071414.html

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