While it’s also likely a bit scary, getting ready for and then heading toward college is one of the most exciting times for fresh high school grads. For a lot of teens, college means making their own stride whether it’s making friends with new people, living alone for the first time, or having more freedom to grow and develop into an adult. Of course, becoming an adult comes in many forms, and one situation many teens do not think of involves car insurance. A teen’s parents may decide it is time for their child to handle this on his or her own—for those who do not know where to start, here is what you must know about car insurance when heading off to college.
Informing the Car Insurance Provider
Even if their car is left at home, teen drivers must inform their provider that they have moved away to live on campus (unless they plan to live with their parents off-campus). There are a few reasons behind this, including the following:
- The car insurance provider must know where the vehicle is located.
- Teens may need a separate policy upon moving out of their parents’ house permanently.
- The teen or his or her parent may be eligible for discounts.
Parents’ Policy vs. Student’s Policy
Many young drivers as well as their parents don’t know how long kids can remain on the parents’ policy. In fact, it can greatly vary depending different circumstances and the provider’s policies. Typically, however, teens can stay on their parents’ policy if they don’t have or own their vehicle’s title, still live in their parents’ home, or if their parents’ home address is their primary residence. If college students move out and purchase their own vehicle, their insurer may require students get their own insurance.
The benefits of remaining on a parent’s policy include:
- Possibly paying lower insurance rates when compared to their own policy
- Keeping uninterrupted coverage, which can help students get less expensive insurance once they’re on their own
Staying on a parent’s insurance policy ensures college students are:
- Covered for driving when returning home for breaks
- Covered for driving friends’ cars
- Covered as a pedestrian or passenger
Minimum State Liability Requirements
If teens plan on taking their car to an out-of-state school, their car insurance must meet that state’s liability insurance requirements. If a teen’s provider is licensed to do business in the same state as the university, the company knows the state’s minimum requirements already and can adjust appropriately. These adjustments could lead to parents’ premiums going down or up.
For college students who plan to have their own policy, look at at least three different insurance quotes, research potential new companies by viewing consumer complaint ratios, and ensure the insurance policy meets the state’s minimum requirements.
Resident Student Discounts
Some auto insurance companies offer these discounts to college students whose campus is at least 100 miles from their parents’ house and won’t be driving when gone.
Occasional Driver Discounts
If students leave their car behind, their parents can bump them down to “pleasure-only” or “occasional” drivers, which might reduce premiums. Teens should ask their agent if this option is available with their provider.
Good Student Discounts
These discounts can be available to students even after their high school graduation. If they keep getting the grades required for a company discount, teens could use them to get cheaper auto insurance all through college. Not all providers offer these discounts, but it never hurts to ask.
Think you or someone you know is in need of Behind the Wheel Training? Training Wheels is an Egg Harbor City driving school specializing in teaching new teen drivers how to stay safe on the road. For more information on our lessons, please click here.
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