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- Anyone who has less than five years of driving experience is classified as a high-risk driver
- College students who have a permanent address at home are considered dependents on their parents tax filings
- If your child has regular access to a car while they are away at college, they should stay on your policy
- Encourage your college student to get good grades, and they will qualify for a Good Student Discount
- College students who live in their own apartments should buy their own auto insurance policy for coverage
- As adolescents, college students are considered to be a different driver type
College Students May Be Able To Stay On A Parents Policy
One way to keep your auto insurance rates downis to stay on a parents policy. Thismay be possible even if you go to school out of state as long one of yourparents is listed on the title of the car you drive. But if you have your owncar and youre the only person listed on the title, youll probably have to geta separate policy, which typically costs more.
If you plan to live at home while attendingcollege, you may be able to stay on a parents policy if you dont own thevehicle youll be driving. But if youll be living on campus or renting anapartment during the school year, check with your insurance company to find outif you need to buy your own coverage.
Even if youre not taking a car tocollege, its generally a good idea to stay on a parents insurance policy so thatyoure covered if you ever need to drive at home for breaks. Your parent might evenget a discount on their policy if you plan to keep your car at home whileyoure away at school as long as that parent owns the car. Remaining on aparents auto policy can also help you avoid coverage lapses, which can driveup your rates when you buy your own insurance policy down the road.
Should You Get Aaa Car Insurance
When we talk about AAA auto insurance, we are actually referring to over 50 individual motor clubs under the AAA umbrella. Each state can have its own self-contained AAA auto insurance company, with all the automobile clubs operating under the same guidelines. However, there may be slight differences in coverage options, customer service, and AAA auto insurance discounts by state.
While AAA is best known for assisting drivers with flat tires, lockouts, fuel delivery, dead batteries, breakdowns, and towing, the company also offers AAA auto insurance to members. You can become a AAA member for as little as $50 to $100 per year.
The insurer offers all of the standard types of car insurance, including:
- Bodily injury liability
- Personal injury protection
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Some also offer rental car reimbursement, pets insurance, gap coverage, and custom equipment coverage, which comes in handy if youve installed items like stereos and rims after you purchased the car.
AAA has earned above-average customer satisfaction ratings. The car insurance company also has an A+ rating on AM Best, which means its in good financial standing to support customers. Overall, its worth considering AAA when shopping for car insurance.
To learn more, read our full AAA insurance review.
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Best For Infrequent Drivers: Metromile
Metromile’s quoting system allows drivers to enter their current auto insurance premiums so they can compare and see if switching companies makes sense. Your monthly premium will consist of a base cost plus a per-mile fee, which means less driving equals lower insurance costs. Metromile claims that if you drive fewer than 12,000 miles per year, which is the national average, you will save money with its insurance.
Metromile doesn’t charge policyholders for driving more than 250 miles per day, depending on the state. College students or new drivers can think of this as a cap on the amount they can be charged, should they choose to drive home or go on a road trip. In New Jersey, Metromile won’t charge drivers for more than 150 miles per day.
The company’s biggest drawback is its limited availability.
Currently, Metromile is only available in eight states: Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington. If Metromile isn’t available where you live, ask your insurance company about a low-mileage discount, which is offered by most car insurance companies.
Assuming Your College Student Will Make Safe Driving Choices
While you most likely have been encouraging safe driving since the day your teen got a driver’s license, you will no longer be around to give reminders. And big driving mistakes, like causing an accident or driving while intoxicated, can dramatically affect your family’s auto insurance rates.
Each time your student dings the family’s insurance record, rates on all your vehicles will rise.
One way to reinforce responsible driving is to ask your college student to sign a safe driving contract, such as Liberty Mutual Insurance’s Parent-Teen Safe Driving Contract.
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Potential Savings With A Good Student Discount
The good student discount can be a serious discount, ranking high among the top money savers on car insurance. Savings will vary by the insurance carrier, but they are often substantial. State Farm, for instance, offers up to 25% discounts for good students.
It’s best to speak with an insurance agent to see exactly how much you could be saving with a good student discount. Even if your grades aren’t good enough to qualify yet, you can touch base with your insurance agent as you work to improve your GPA.
How Do Student Discounts Work For Car Insurance
Adding or keeping a college student on your auto insurance policy could affect your rate, usually based on their driving record and the university’s ZIP code. Fortunately, many car insurers offer discounts for parents who have college students on their policy, including students who are away at school:
To qualify for the good student and distant college student discounts, the student cannot be the primary named insured on your policy or the spouse of the PNI. Additionally, to qualify for the distant college student discount, students must be enrolled at an educational institution located where they reside. You may also be asked to provide proof that your college student meets the above eligibility requirements.
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When Your Child Leaves Your Home And Attends School Far Away
When students are attending school far away from their childhood home, there still may be a need for auto insurance coverage. It all depends on if the student takes a car with them or if they have regular access to other vehicles to commute to school or work.
You should always keep students on your insurance if they are regularly driving at college.
You know you have to insure a car that they take with them, but you should also have that barrier of protection if the student will be borrowing or renting cars.
Its better to pay the premium than to face an uninsured loss where you could lose everything.
Our Pick For The Cheapest Car Insurance For College Students
It’s important to remember that the average annual cost of car insurance in the United States is about $900 per year. That’s $75 per month. But that’s the average for everyone.
The average cost for college students is roughly $3,816 per year, or $318 per month. So, if you’re paying less than that, you’re winning!
Note: The insurance offers that appear on this site are from companies from which The College Investor receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site . The College Investor does not include all insurance companies or all insurance offers available in the marketplace.
Our #1 pick for the cheapest car insurance for college students is Allstate. The reason might surprise you. It’s because Allstate has an awesome incentive program to combine renters insurance with their car insurance. And by combining your policies, you can save big bucks AND get more of what you need.
When you combine car insurance with renters insurance, you get a multi-policy discount, which saves you a lot of money. At Allstate, while rates vary, that can be a significant reduction. With that, we recommend Allstate as our top pick for the cheapest overall auto insurance for college students.
Runner Up: Metromile
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How Safe Is The Campus
If your college-bound kids are taking up temporary residence at a campus away from home, enlist the help of your
No matter your vehicle Allstate has coverage for a college student. Image Credit: Skunkworks Photographic Creative Commons license
insurance agent and check into the crime and vandalism rates for the campus and its surroundings.
This will give you and your child a good idea of what to expect as s/he prepares for life in new surroundings.
If your child is going away to college and bringing a car to an environment with a higher crime rate, you may want to include comprehensive coverage at levels suitable to protect against theft or vandalism damage.
It might also not be a bad time to invest in anti-theft devices for any car headed to campus.
Doing so may not only cut back on the likelihood of things being stolen or damaged, but it might also land you a premium discount.
Dropping Insurance Coverage For Students Who Leave Their Car At Home
Even if your student is not taking a car to college, you should continue coverage. Many companies have a discounted rate for students who are away at a school and at least a certain number of miles from home, typically 100 miles.
“When they come home from school on breaks, you will still want them to be covered,” says Kevin Conlee, director of auto line management at Allstate. “Additionally, if they go without insurance, they may have issues getting auto insurance down the road, since many companies require continuous coverage.”
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Wait Should I Even Take My Car To College
While this article will help you find the best deal on car insurance, our greater purpose at Money Under 30 is to save you money, period. Before shopping for insurance, it may be best for your bank account to leave your car at home, or not have a car at all.
A good place to start is a quick Google search to confirm a key detail: does your school even allow you to bring a car? Many colleges and universities do not allow freshmen to have cars, for example, so they can better acclimate to on-campus living.
Once youve confirmed that its even a possibility, lets cover expenses next. Whether youve already brought your car to college, are considering bringing it up, or are even debating purchasing a car, consider first the six major expenses of owning a car:
- Maintenance and tires.
- Licensing, registration, and taxes.
Granted, some of these expenses wont change whether your car is parked on campus or in your parents driveway. Most will increase, however, and youll also have to account for your schools parking fees.
Despite the cost, you may still choose to have a car on campus. You may need to make frequent trips back home or commute to work, and constant ridesharing isnt cost-effective. Or maybe your parents moved, and you have nowhere else to leave your car.
Car Insurance Advice For International Students
International students seeking to purchase car insurance may encounter a number of obstacles. Many car insurance companies will require the student driver to have a valid U.S.-issued drivers license even if the state where they are attending school does not.
Some states require international students to obtain a state drivers license if they plan to drive a car, while other states allow them to use a valid drivers license from their home country provided they also have a valid International Drivers Permit. Its imperative to check with your states Department of Motor Vehicles to find out the specific requirements for international drivers.
If you dont have a local drivers license, its possible you will be placed in a high-risk group of drivers that could increase your car insurance rates.
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Good Grades And Better Car Insurance Rates
Many car insurance companies offer a good student discount. The qualification rules for this vary by company, but generally if your student is within a certain age range, enrolled full-time in high school or college, and is recognized for good grades or other scholastic achievements, you earn a discount.
For example, Nationwide requires a student to be between age 16 to 24, enrolled full-time in high school or college, and maintain a minimum of a B average. Youll have to show proof of academic achievement with a current report card or a form signed by a school administrator.
A solid letter grade isnt the only path to a discount. Some insurers offer multiple ways to prove academic success. For example, Geico offers discounts for full-time students between age 16 to 24 who achieve one of the following:
- Rank scholastically among the upper 20% of their class
- Have a grade average of B
- Have an average of three points for all subjects combined
- Were included in a list for scholastic achievement such as a Deans List, Honor Roll or comparable listing
- Ranked in the upper 20% of a national standardized test within the past 12 months, such as the PSAT, PACT, SAT-I, ACT, Iowa Test of Basic Skills, California Achievement Test or TAP
Best Mobile Apps: Allstate
Allstate Mobile allows users to access their plan information, manage claims and instantly connect to an insurance agent. You can file a claim right from the app, which we consider the best part. This saves you from long phone calls during what is usually a stressful time.
Allstate’s QuickTrip app is a trip optimizer, which saves time and mileage. Drivers can enter as many locations they wish to visit, and the app will find the optimal multistop route for the day. This is a great extra perk for college students, especially those with tight schedules.
While Allstate offers great mobile apps, it also has an extensive network of agents, which are available to answer your questions in person. This can be a huge benefit for college students who may be unfamiliar with the nuances of their auto insurance policies.
College students should be mindful, however, that Allstate’s policies are typically among the most expensive among major insurers. As a result, student drivers should carefully consider how they prioritize balancing service quality and cost.
Allstate has approximately 12,000 exclusive agencies spread across the country, meaning there’s likely one located near you. Ultimately, Allstate offers a great mobile experience and doesn’t skimp on in-person support.
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Drivers Education And Training Programs Discount
Completing a driverâs education class can help reduce premiums for new and teenage drivers. Check with your high school or other participating organizations to see how to sign up for classes. You may also be able to get a discount for completing additional driverâs education, like a defensive driving course.
Many insurers, like State Farm and GEICO, offer their own driver training programs for young drivers. State Farmâs is called âSteer Clearâ and is offered to students under age 25 â it tracks your driving, includes informational quizzes and videos and offers a discount upon completion.
College Student Who Goes To School Out Of State Drives Own Car And Returns For Holidays And Summer:
- Again, if the title is in your name, you should have your own car insurance policy.
- If the car is in your parents names, you can stay on their car insurance policy.
Three main things to remember:
Communicate with your car insurance company:
Let them know where youre going to college. If youre going to college out of state, for instance, you are going to be driving in another state.
Why does that matter? Because insurance laws and requirements vary by state, and if youre going to be insured properly, your insurance carrier needs to know your driving habits and where you are going to be living throughout the year.
If you don’t want to sacrifice coverage to save money, you owe it to yourself to see whats out there. No insurer handles things exactly alike when it comes to car insurance, and some treat out-of-state college students, and in-state college students, differently.
Also, the price for the same policy will vary by hundreds of dollars because insurance companies each use their own method for deciding what you pay. That means you can save money by comparing prices and choosing the carrier that best fits your needs that has the lowest rates.
Keep communicating with your car insurance company:
No, you dont have to send them birthday and holiday cards, but its easy to fall into the pattern of thinking, Well, I just called my insurer two years ago. Any time your life changes in a big way, especially if youre moving, you should contact your insurer.
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