Sending your teen off to college is an emotional time for many parents, but don’t let those emotions get in the way of makings some practical decision regarding auto insurance for college students.
A big decision is whether your son or daughter will be taking a car to school. Regardless if they will be driving around their campus town or the car sits back home in your garage, let your insurance company know about this development.
Why? Well, you never know if your teen may take the car up one weekend or a sudden change in events. Plus, you never know what the insurance requirements may be in a new state or city.
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A change in life status is also a good time to consider a change in auto insurance companies, especially if your current company can’t provide affordable insurance coverage. An agent should be able to help you save on auto insurance for college students.
“In the absence of major catastrophes the most common things people want to look at are how to save money on auto insurance,” says Robert Hartwig, former president of the Insurance Information Institute. “The same goes for auto insurance."
Insuring teen drivers
Because of their lack of experience on the road, teen drivers are more likely to get into crashes. That’s why auto insurance for college students tends to be costlier. Although adults, most kids going away to school are still teenagers.
The Insurance Information Institute offers a few suggestions to help control costs associated with auto insurance for college students:
- Put teen drivers on a family policy rather than purchasing a separate policy.
- Assign teen drivers to the least valuable car on your policy. (This is not an option from all insurers.)
- Make sure your teen takes a drivers training course.
- Ask about discounts for good grades.
Also, if your child attends college 100 miles or more away from home and doesn’t take a car along, you may be able to cut your premium, while still maintaining coverage for your teen driver during school breaks.
Be sure and check with your insurance agent or find one that will offer you some sort of financial break in this particular situation. Beings specific is important to finding the most affordable auto insurance for college students.
Understanding auto insurance for college students
Parents and college students should do some homework regarding auto insurance. If a college student is going to be using the family vehicle when visiting home, parents should make sure the child is listed by name on the family’s auto insurance policy.
If the student will be taking a car with them to school, parents should check with their agent to learn their company’s rules and determine whether it would be necessary to buy a separate policy in the city and state in which the student will be living.
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In most states you can keep them on a family policy, as long as the car driven by the student is owned by the parents and the parents’ address is what the student is using as his or her permanent address.
That will probably save the family money in the long run, but having the student’s own policy will help build responsibility. Finding the best local auto insurance for college students also may help you adhere to state law if the family insurer only operates in the home state.
Parents should remember that insurance usually follows the vehicle – not the driver. That means that if a student is taking their parents car to college, they don’t necessarily need to buy new insurance for it. Liability insurance is normally required for all vehicles, so be sure to ask about liability laws when searching for auto insurance for college students.
Additional coverages like rental reimbursement, comprehensive, collision and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can be purchased for additional premium.
“It’s easy to forget about insurance,” says Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica J. Lindeen. “But having adequate renters and auto insurance means you will be protected if you are a victim of theft or an accident. And in the case of your car, insurance isn’t just a good idea; it’s the law.”