Car insurance for college students

This page answers 10 must-know FAQs about college student car insurance. You’ll find this information helpful if you or someone in your family is (or will be) a college student driver.

College is an exciting and busy time for many lucky teens. Why should purchasing car insurance be a problem? Not that car insurance for young drivers is cheap, but a little information can go a long way when it comes to saving money on car insurance.

Here are the ten most frequently asked questions regarding car insurance for college students.

What are the best companies for college student car insurance?

Almost all car insurance companies in America are willing to write policies for college student drivers, although many carriers will not insure drivers with no prior insurance. However, some car insurance companies feature special discounts for college students. Overall, most drivers are able to get auto insurance policies. The question is the cost.

Here’s a list of seven major auto insurance companies that have special deals and discounts designed for college student drivers. Visit any of the following insurance websites (and others as well) for college student car insurance quotes:

21st Century Insurance: This college student car insurance provider offers a Good Student discount to college students with a grade point average of ‘B’ or better. The company website also provides useful tips about things like saving money and living on your own.

Allstate Insurance: Allstate has a “resident student” discount for college drivers who live on campus, at least 100 miles away from the family car. This discount can save college drivers up to 30 percent on monthly premium rates. Allstate also offers “good grade benefits,” which is a discount for drivers under the age of 25 who achieve a GPA of 3.0 or better at an accredited college.

American Family Insurance: American Family insurance boasts numerous family-friendly auto insurance discounts. Cost reductions that apply to college student car insurance include the Good Student discount, the Good Driver discount, the Teen Safe Driver discount, the Multi Vehicle discount, the Young Volunteer discount, and the All In The Family discount, to name just a few.

Geico: The Geico website has a number of articles and statistics pertaining to young drivers, including one that shows you how to transfer from your parents’ policy to your own individual policy at the lowest possible rate.

Progressive Insurance: Progressive offers a loyalty discount to drivers who wish to add a college student to their policy, as opposed to buying the student an individual auto insurance policy. Drivers who hold active policies for more than one year can add this discount to their savings by adding a college student onto the family policy. This is a good way to cut costs on college student car insurance.

State Farm Insurance: State Farm offers several college student car insurance discounts. Among them are the Safety Feature Discount for driving a car with well working, updated safety features. Then there’s the Safe Driver Discount for avoiding all accidents and moving violations for at least three years. There’s also the Good Student Discount for earning a GPA of 3.0 or better at any accredited college. Finally, take advantage of the Steer Clear discount, where college students can save even more on premium costs by taking a driver safety class.

USAA: USAA provides affordable and competitive auto insurance policies to members of the military and their families. Naturally, this company offers a number of discounts on car insurance for young adults, including college students.

Is car insurance pricier for college students than for other drivers?

In most cases, yes. Drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 are some of the highest risk drivers, according to the opinions of insurance underwriters, whose opinions are based on actual traffic accident statistics. However, 16-year-olds have college students beat it terms of which group gets hit with the highest premium rates. People under the age of 17 are considered some of the highest risk drivers in America.

However, this is not to say that college student car insurance is cheap. College is expensive! Even for students who live at home, there’s still college tuition, the price of a car, and high premium rates on college student car insurance. What’s more, if your kids are in college, the chances are they’re not raking in the millions just yet. If you are like most low or middle income families, you may be stuck with a rather hefty car insurance premium bill while your student attends college.

Is college student car insurance cheaper than for people of the same age who are not in college?

Probably, yes. If nothing else, college students are entitled to certain auto insurance discounts, such as for getting good grades or for living away from home. Yet, college students are also entitled to all the other discounts available to other young drivers. The Good Driver discount, the Safe Driver discount, the Anti Theft Device discount, the Safety Feature discount, and all kinds of other discounts are up for grabs, whether or not a driver attends college.

Also, car insurance companies such as Liberty Mutual (for instance) have partnerships with various alumni organizations. College students may be eligible for a discount if they attend a school that partners with their insurance company. In fact, it may benefit high school students to find out which insurance carriers are partnered with the particular colleges they plan on attending.

Can college students be added onto their parents’ policies?

Yes. In fact, family car insurance policies are cheaper than individual car insurance policies.

Still, prepare for the shock: Adding a young driver onto your auto insurance policy may as much as double your premium rates. Even worse, individual policies for young drivers can be three times the average rate for car insurance. Unfortunately, statistics show that younger drivers are about three times as likely to cause accidents as older drivers are. That’s why college student car insurance is pricey no matter which way you slice it.

Overall, it’s cheaper to add your college student to your family car insurance policy than it is to get an individual policy for the student. Either way, you’re probably the one who pays the cost, so it may be best to go the cheaper route. However, be careful not to lose your own low premium benefits in the event that your college student is a poor driver who racks up accidents and/or moving violations.

What is the average annual premium on college student car insurance?

Roughly 13 percent of drivers in the United States are young drivers between the ages of 18 and 24. The average annual premium for young drivers will vary from state to state. Below is a list of states, accompanied by the average annual college student car insurance premium rate for young drivers. Compare these numbers to the average overall car insurance premium rate.

State Average Annual Premium for Ages 18-24 Average Overall Premium
Alabama$4,692 $1,529
Alaska$3,144 $1,605
Arizona$4,468 $1,222
Arkansas$6,792 $1,399
California$6,177 $1,962
Colorado$4,792 $1,558
Connecticut$7,964 $1,638
Delaware$8,716 $1,580
Florida$4,278 $1,830
Georgia $4,732 $2,201
Hawaii$900 $1,400
Idaho$3,309 $1,053
Illinois$6,279 $1,370
Indiana$3,330 $1,202
Iowa$4,248 $1,058
Kansas$4,680 $1,358
Kentucky$9,807 $1,503
Louisiana$11,176 $1,971
Maine$3,188 $964
Maryland$9,252 $1,810
Massachusetts$4,076 $1,604
Michigan $11,271 $2,551
Minnesota$3,366 $1,360
Mississippi $3,978 $1,385
Missouri$3,784 $1,207
Montana$4,656 $2,013
Nebraska$3,927 $1,317
Nevada$7,208 $1,388
New Hampshire$4,335 $983
New Jersey$9,048 $1,905
New Mexico$5,504 $1,371
New York$6,216 $1,173
North Carolina $1,953 $1,060
North Dakota $5,244 $1,710
Ohio$3,352 $926
Oklahoma$7,464 $1,568
Oregon$5,024 $1,333
Pennsylvania$10,208 $1,440
Rhode Island$8,000 $2,020
South Carolina$2,752 $1,316
South Dakota$4,320 $1,557
Tennessee$4,092 $1,397
Texas$4,068 $1,620
Utah$4,827 $1,192
Vermont$3,432 $1,149
Virginia$3,471 $1,114
Washington $6,000 $1,499
West Virginia$6,088 $2,518
Wisconsin$7,227 $1,087
Wyoming$3,738 $1,541

What factors affect the cost of college student car insurance?

If you’re a young driver, it pretty much goes without saying that your annual premium rates will be high. Other factors that also affect insurance rates include the zip code where the insured vehicle is parked. Underwriters consider the weather conditions and crime rates – especially theft, vandalism, and DUI – within your zip code to help them determine your premium rates. Other influences on your premium rates include your marital status, your grades, the type of car you drive, and the number of miles you drive each year, to name just a few.

How can we minimize cost of college student car insurance premiums?

College students can do a lot to reduce costs on car insurance premiums by maintaining a ‘B’ average in school, completing a defensive driving class, and of course driving safely. Car insurance companies offer many discounts, in order to remain competitive, and also to encourage responsible driving habits.

Parents can reduce costs even further by searching diligently for all available discounts that apply to the college student and family.

If your college student is proven to be a responsible driver, you can add him/her to your policy, then lower your premium rates by raising your deductible amounts.

As time goes by and the college student drives safely, annual premium rates will gradually decrease. The student will eventually become eligible for a Good Driver discount, a Safe Driver discount, and other important price reductions.

The best car for college students, in terms of safety, price, and premium costs, is a basic, used car with updated safety features at a relatively low price. This type of car will be much cheaper to insure than a new car, a sports car, a luxury car, or any other fancy automobile.

What types of auto insurance do college students need?

It depends largely on where the vehicle is located. A vehicle you park at home, at least 100 miles from your school, will need less coverage than a vehicle parked on campus. A vehicle you leave at home may need only the state minimum required liability coverage. You may also get a live-away discount.

Vehicles parked on or near college campuses are more likely to be vandalized or stolen. What’s more, college towns have a fairly high rate of young drivers on the roads. What’s worse, some of them like to drink. College campuses are somewhat high risk areas, in the eyes of insurance underwriters.

That’s why collision and comprehensive insurance are important for college students who drive their cars regularly. Collision insurance covers the cost of the car crashing into something or flipping over. Comprehensive insurance covers most other damages your car can endure, such as from bad weather, vandalism, car theft, and animal strikes, among other unforeseen mishaps.

If the car is already paid off, collision and comprehensive coverage may not be necessary. Just don’t get into an accident!

How does car insurance work for a college student who lives out of state?

A college student must follow the auto insurance laws of the state where the car is most often parked. If the car is parked at home, adding the college student onto the parents’ policy should work fine, with no out-of-state complications. However, if the car and student are out of state, the car must be insured in the state where it is located. In this case, it may be best to get a separate policy for your college student. Compare the minimum liability limits between your state and the state where your student will attend college.

What are some safe driving habits college student drivers should acquire?

Exercising safe driving habits is the best possible way to avoid collisions, and will also keep your premium rates as low as they can go.

Here are ten crucial safe driving habits that college student drivers must learn, if they ever expect to get a break on college student car insurance:

  1. Demonstrate Defensive Driving: College students can earn a discount by completing a defensive driving course. These courses are offered by DMVs all across America.
  2. Avoid Distracted Driving: Put your cell phone, head phones, and ear buds away while driving. It isn’t even a good idea to use a speaker phone, although that may be legal. Minimize your passengers. Don’t drive when you are tired. Keep your eyes on the road, and always remain alert.
  3. Assume the Worst of Other Drivers: Tell yourself the other driver is going to do something insane or illegal. This will prevent you from taking too many chances on the road. Also, keep your car a good distance away from drivers who seem to be driving erratically.
  4. ALWAYS Flash Your Turn Signals: This is important to do whenever you intend to turn or change lanes, even if you don’t see any other vehicles on the road. Just make it a habit.
  5. Know Your Blind Spots. Be fully aware of your vehicle’s blind spots and ALWAYS check on them before turning!
  6. Don’t Speed: Speeding kills. You are never in that much of a hurry. When driving in bad weather or passing road hazards, reduce your speed even more.
  7. Don’t Tailgate: Keep a polite distance of several car lengths when driving behind other vehicles. Many cars get rear ended by distracted tailgaters.
  8. Test Safety Features: ALWAYS check your turn signals, lights, seat belts, alarms, brakes, and other devices before starting the vehicle. Make sure all safety features are in good working order.
  9. Get Regular Tune Ups: Proper automobile maintenance will not only keep you safer, but will also help to keep your premium rates low. Remember to get your oil changed. Check on your tire pressure. Listen to the sound of your engine. Have your brakes checked.
  10. Maintain Calm and Courteous Interactions With Other Drivers: When in doubt, let others pass first. If someone cuts you off, don’t reveal any emotion. Most importantly, ALWAYS give way to large vehicles. It’s a simple fact that drivers of larger vehicles would much rather run you down than overturn a big rig, or even worse, a busload of passengers.

A college education is a pricey privilege that not everyone can afford, much like college student car insurance. College students are encouraged to drive safely and with great respect for their wonderful, worrying parents, who are often willing to foot the enormous bill for college, cars, and car insurance.

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