With the academic year starting soon, some parents are preparing teens for college. And with all the excitement, it is easy to overlook making the appropriate changes to your auto insurance policy—changes that could save you money and help keep your young driver safe.
Below you will find answers to some of the most common questions about college students and car insurance.
Does my college student need their own policy?
Not necessarily. Because they are considered inexperienced drivers, a college student with their own policy will likely end up paying much more than a student listed on their parent’s policy. So, depending on the arrangement, if you or your student wants to save money, keeping them on an existing policy is likely the right play.
Even if the student plans to go out of state, remaining on a parent’s policy may be possible, if a parent’s name is listed on the vehicle’s title. If the student drives their own car and he/she is the only person listed on the title, then they may have to get a separate policy.
Should I cancel my college student’s coverage if they are not planning to bring a car to school?
If you are sure they will not be driving, taking a student driver off your policy could result in big annual savings. But let’s consider a few benefits of keeping your student driver insured…
Will your student be coming home for the summer and using a car? What about winter break? If your college student plans to come home often or sporadically, consider keeping their insurance active.
Depending on the insurance company, excluding a student driver for just the academic calendar year may be an option. This type of coverage usually turns on and off automatically, so you don’t have to reinstate the coverage every time your student comes home.
There are, however, more important reasons to keep your student driver insured, even when they are away without a car.
First, in the event your student driver borrows a friend’s car and gets in an accident, they will have greater protection by being insured under a parent's policy. And second, maintaining an active history of insurance can help secure more options and better rates for your college student in the future (some insurers will not even consider an applicant who doesn’t have auto insurance history).
Are there student discounts available?
Maintaining your student driver’s coverage could make you eligible for discounts on your insurance policy. Here are a few examples:
- Good student discount. Insurance companies commonly offer discounts to students who maintain good grades. Ask your insurance agent for specific details and definitions to see if your student qualifies.
- Good driver discount. Many insurance companies offer discounts for maintaining a clean driving record for a certain period of time.
- Distant student discount. Some insurers offer discounts for full-time students who attend school at least 100 miles away and do not have regular access to a car.
- Driver’s education discount. Young drivers who complete a recognized driver’s education course may qualify for a discount. Approved courses vary by state and insurer.
The best way to ensure you are getting the best deal and the right coverage is to talk to your insurance provider. Ask about student discounts, and don’t be afraid to shop around.