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Joanna Johnson

Car Insurance Expert
Updated: 1/2019

Joanna is an expert on understanding how the different laws and regulations in the car insurance industry shape the way that policies work.

Affordable car insurance has proven to be a challenge for today’s students to obtain. With premium 6-month from car insurance providers averaging anywhere from $850 through to $1,900 rounded up. This average range is taken from some of the more popular car insurance companies, such as:

  • Progressive, with an average premium of $850
  • GEICO, with an average premium of $875
  • Allstate, with an average premium of $1,279
  • State Farm, with an average premium of $1,409
  • Liberty Mutual, with an average premium of $1,865

Taking only some of the averages available to college student today, students can gain an idea of what pricing they may be looking at and plan accordingly. For those who can’t afford these types of plans, knowing these prices may help with their awareness, but it can also prove to set the bar outside of their financial budget range. On this list, Progressive shows to be the best deal for an offered premium plan. Despite this, there may be more than one reason why a company like progressive isn’t the best choice for a student. Looking around at other options is suggested for college students who are trying to find the best deal, while also being comfortable with the rest of the company’s policies.

Car Insurance for College Students

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Why Should a Student Have Their Own Car Insurance?

Having your own car insurance as a student will differ depending on a few factors. To clarify, a student having their own car insurance policy means that they will not be a part of a parent or guardian’s car insurance policy. Meaning that if they have been a part of their parent’s policy previously, once they have their own policy, that will no longer be the case. There are plenty of pros and cons for a student to have their own policy. Some pros to having your own car insurance include the ability to build your own credit by holding a policy for an extended period of time and by making all payments on time and in full.

For some car insurance policies for teens or young adults, this will end up reducing future costs for that individual’s car insurance policy. An example would be that, should your policy start out as $100 or more per month for the first few years, being able to hold onto your policy for a certain amount of time may reduce it down to the mid to late double digits per month. That will significantly reduce costs in the future simply by showing dedicated efforts to pay on time each month.

 If you are part of a family plan, where your parent is the head of the account, then this would likely build their credit and not yours. Obvious cons include higher costs due to being a new driver and due to age adjustments. It can also be more difficult for late teen drivers to obtain car insurance in the first place, since they would fall into the age bracket that is the most accident prone on the road.

When Should a Student Get Their Own Car Insurance Policy?

If you are driving a vehicle full-time and are not currently living within your parent’s residence, then obtaining your own car insurance policy is a must. The reason being that if your car insurance company catches wind that you are not currently living with your parent and are still driving a vehicle everyday, then you risk having your insurance policy interrupted or denied altogether. If you are already in the middle of a long-term policy plan, then this can really put a strain on your personal finances and even the credit you’re trying to build may be in jeopardy.

Sufficed to say, it would be a mistake not to invest in a car insurance policy under your name if you feel that you’re at risk. Even if you’re living in a complicated situation, such as between your parent’s home and elsewhere, there is still no reason to risk it.

When Does a Student Not Require Their Own Policy?

If you are not living with your parents or guardian while attending college, but know you will not be driving, then there will be no reason to get your own insurance policy. For example, there are plenty of students who choose to attend a college in a major city and who come from smaller towns, where driving is completely necessary.

Car Insurance for College Students

Since major cities tend to have greater public transportation options, this is generally a good source of transport for students to get them to and from where they need to go. Since these students have an alternative way of getting around, they know they will not need a car anytime soon. It saves them money and they can still be a part of their parent’s car insurance policy whenever they return home from school. That is, as long as their insurance has a permissive policy in place to allow this.

Let’s say you want to drive only when visiting home for the holidays or between breaks from school. If you’re still on their policy and there is a “permissive policy” that the company allows these types of intermittent permissions, then you can use that policy whenever you return home and need to drive. In order to make sure this permissive policy has the “okay” with the insurance plan, be sure to have your parents check with their insurance company in advance to see. Permissive use generally gives up to 12 occasions per year for drivers to be given special permissions to drive under the policy.

By not dropping your parent’s policy, this prevents the potential of a lapse in agreed payments. Should that happen, it can cause your own premiums and basic plan prices to go up whenever you do end up needing your own policy in the future. Basically, a good rule of thumb is to not drop your policy with your parents unless you know for a fact you will be driving while living away from your parent’s residence.

As a special side note, if your parents have an insurance coverage plan that includes it, there is the potential for a student bonus for keeping you on their plan. The regulations for that include the student not living further than 100 miles from the place of residence attached to the plan and other guidelines that would vary by company policy. This is not available with all plans, but may be worth looking into for the parents of a student who is staying on their plan and still living within a certain amount of miles from their home.

Car Insurance for College Students

How Can a Student Find the Most Cost-effective Policy?

How difficult finding a favorable policy will differ for every student. Each state has different regulations and all companies will have their issues with younger or newer drivers taking up policies with them. Most insurance companies are accepting of new drivers, but at a cost. For those students who are still considered teens, there may be the possibility of getting a discount based off of good grades and attendance in school. Be sure to ask around with different insurance companies and see if they offer this type of deal in your area.

When a discount on a lower cost car insurance plan is possible, the insurance company will generally get your grade or attendance information from certain documents. Usually, it is not up to the school to send these documents of proof out to the insurance company. Rather, it is often the driver’s responsibility to gather up their grades and documents they request from the school to prove their good attendance, and sent it to the insurance provider themselves for consideration.

In order to find the best policy for a student or a driver just starting out, it may require going the extra mile in this way. While providing your good grade information may seem like a hassle, it is something that will likely pay off in the end if you end up with a significantly decreased insurance policy plan as a result.

Word of mouth can never fail you either as a teen or young adult driver. Be sure to inquire to teachers and peers at your school. Networking is one of the most major ways that anyone ever hears about good deals with companies. It is through personal recommendation that most students will get their first jobs when leaving college, so the same concept certainly applies with seeking out insurance policies that would fit them well.

Try asking your friends and classmates who they go through and what their premium is. Not everyone will be willing to share exact numbers, due to privacy concerns, but most people are willing to share whether their policy is at least favorable or unfavorable and why they think so. Taking in that information can help you gauge whether the same might apply to you, especially if the policy is not s good due to that person’s age alone.

On the same note, if you do happen to know someone with a good policy, ask them if their insurance company gives them or both of you a bonus or discount for a referral. As you will come to find out, companies really do want your business and with a referral from a friend who has had an account in good standing, that can even help your own initial quoted price for insurance.

Policy Differences For Graduate Students and Those Currently Enrolled

Those graduate students who have successfully completed college have a whole other set of options to choose from. Compared to those students who are currently enrolled in college, new doors open up to more possibilities with car insurance policies.

For graduate students, having a degree to show for your years of effort is more than just a piece of paper with a gold seal. Not only do you now have the higher knowledge to get you on the right path to success in your chosen field, but you’re also viewed very differently by insurance companies for your accomplishment. Those who have a degree will have more of a possibility to save money on their car insurance policy.

Since the impression that is given to car insurance providers is overall more positive, there are lower 6-month premiums available for graduates to peruse through. Just like we have one with students who are currently enrolled in college, here is a list of a top five major service provider average 6-month premium price between companies, from lowest to highest average:

  • Progressive, with an average premium of $807
  • GEICO, with an average premium of $884
  • Allstate, with an average premium of $1,107
  • State Farm, with an average premium of $1,142
  • Liberty Mutual, with an average premium of $2,050

Again, Progressive appears to be the lowest insurance provider on this list. As was previously mentioned with the currently enrolled students, Progressive may have other policies that may not fit well with the preferences of a graduate student. Doing research into any increase costs down the line and any other policies that might be attached to a plan is highly suggested. These are also only a few examples of average costs between each insurance company. Insurance policies will differ so vastly between each state, with the economic factors of the area taken into consideration.

Car Insurance Pausing Options

Let’s take a look at a very common scenario. Let’s say that you want to go to school and you’re not part of your parent’s car insurance policy. You’re not planning on driving at all while at school and will simply walk, borrow a ride from a friend, or take public transportation to get to where you need to go. Is there a way to completely pause your car insurance payments while you’re in school, since you know you’re not going to be driving anytime soon?

The short answer is “no” for a complete pause to be placed on paying car insurance. There is an option only for those who are not going to be driving for a specific amount of time. Some insurance companies have what is called a “storage coverage” side to the policy. This takes into account any time you’re simply storing your vehicle away while you go on a trip, even if it is a Summer internship.

If your insurance company will allow you to, you can put into place storage coverage, which is also known as storage protection. What this does is it reduces your payment (but does not completely stop it) down to comprehensive coverage only. Comprehensive protection will cover your car in the case of it getting damaged, stolen, or vandalized while it is not in use.

FAQ

General Car Insurance for College Students FAQ

Here are some of the general car insurance for college students questions we receive. You might find what you’re looking for below:

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How can I add my full-time college student to my car insurance?

If you currently have a car insurance policy, you’ll need to contact your car insurance provider to add your student. Some car insurance providers may have online hubs that allow you to do this without contacting their customer service team.

How much auto insurance do I need college student?

This will depend on the type of insurance that you want. If you want to protect yourself form all potential costs, a comprehensive plan is your best option. But for a college student, this type of auto insurance plan might be too expensive to pay for.

Are students living in dorms covered on parent's auto insurance when they come home to visit?

Typically, you can remain covered on your parent’s insurance when you come home. If you want to be safe, you should always contact your insurance company to confirm this before you drive your parent’s car.

What counts as a good student for car insurance?

This is dependent on the provider of your insurance plan. Some insurance providers will ask for proof of a certain GPA — this can result in lower car insurance payments.

How students get a break on car insurance with grades?

Some car insurance companies offer discounts to drivers that have good grades. In some cases, you’ll have to prove that you have a certain GPA to receive this discount.

How long can college students stay on parents car insurance?

You can typically stay on your parent’s insurance as long as you want if you’re living at home. There doesn’t tend to be an upper limit on age.

How can I put college student car insurance on hold?

If you want to put your insurance policy on hold, you’ll need to contact your insurance provider or broker. You should always make sure to confirm that the plan is on hold.

How does a student moving out of state get auto insurance?

This depends on where you’re moving. There’s a chance that you might be able to get your current provider to cover you in your new state — contact them before you decide to move to a different insurance company.

Where to get student proof for car insurance?

This will depend on your insurance provider. They may ask for a student ID or proof of enrollment. Ask them how they want you to prove your enrollment.

What can happen if student with auto on college campus is not reported to insurance company?

This depends on what has occurred. While this is a common question, many people don’t clarify what has occurred on campus.

How to get proof of being a good student for car insurance?

You can ask for a proof of enrollment from your university. Ask you insurance provider what type of proof they typically require.

What car insurance provides discounts for being a University of Phoenix student?

This is a constantly changing subject. If you want to see which insurers offer University of Phoenix students discounts, you should shop around and ask you broker before you apply for a quote.

Students want to know: if they hit someone with their car, which insurance?

This is a complex question. As every insurance policy is different, it’s important to shop around before making a decision on a provider. Some providers will offer accident forgiveness — this can be a good option to protect yourself if you hit someone.

Car Insurance for College Students Pricing FAQ

If you have a question about car insurance for college students pricing, you might find the answer here.

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How much is international student car insurance?

This depends on the insurance provider and a range of different factors. In some cases, you might not be eligible for car insurance with your current license — it will depend on the country that you’re from.

How much is car insurance for college students?

This is a question that will depend on a wide variety of different factors. This includes your driving record, age, vehicle make and year, and a range of other factors.

How much is a good student discount for car insurance?

This will depend on various factors and the insurance company that you’re working with. If you can save around $300 per year, you’re getting a solid discount. This being said, any discount is positive.

What is the cheapest auto insurance for students?

This is constantly changing. To find out which policy is best for students, get a quote from a variety of different car insurance providers. A variety of factors will contribute to the quote that you’re offered.

Why is car insurance so expensive for students?

Car insurance is typically expensive for students because of age — you’re a riskier driver when you’re younger. Students are more likely to get in accidents.

Which car insurance has a student discount?

A lot of major auto insurance companies in the United States have student discounts. Some also provide further student discounts if you have good grades.

How to get the student discount on car insurance?

This will depend on the insurance company that you have. Some offer student discounts to all students, while some offer student discounts to students with good grades. Some do both.

What would an 18-year-old college student pay for auto insurance?

This depends on the coverage, the car, the driving record of the driver, and the insurance company providing the policy. There are other factors that will also contribute to the cost of the policy.

How college student pay for car and insurance?

If a college student doesn’t have support from their family, a part-time job is most likely the best way to pay for a car and insurance. You may also be able to seek grants or scholarships from your university.

How much is car insurance for college students at Progressive?

The average car insurance premium for students at Progressive is around $1,200 for six months. This can be quite expensive if you’re operating on a student budget.

How much should a student budget for car and insurance?

This will depend on the type of car and the level of coverage. The more expensive your car is, the more you’ll have to pay for insurance — especially if you want to have comprehensive coverage.

How much will car insurance rates increase when I add a student?

This will depend on the student, the type of car that you’re seeking coverage, the state you live in, and much more. It’s impossible to predict — you should ask your provider if you want to know how much it will increase. If your student is a teen, it may increase your insurance an average of around $600.

How much is car insurance for a college student in NYC?

The cost of insurance in NYC will depend on a range of factors — but the average cost of insurance for students around the country is over $3,000 per year. It’s not cheap to insure a car as a student.

What does it cost to put a college student back on family auto insurance for spring break?

This will depend on the provider — some will still allow you student to have coverage on the vehicle when he’s back for spring break. Others may request that your purchase short-term insurance.

What is the cheapest car insurance in Chicago for international students?

This will depend on the type of insurance you’re looking for, the car you own, and the country that your license is issued in. In some cases, you might not be eligible for insurance in the United States unless you obtain a US license. You should shop around for quote from different providers in Chicago to get the best prices.

How much do grad students pay for auto insurance?

This will depend on your age, car, state, and plenty of other factors. As grad student tend to be older, you might be able to save more money than an undergraduate student.

Other Car Insurance for College Students FAQ

If you have any other questions about car insurance, check out some of the topics below.

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How to reduce car insurance for students?

The best way to reduce car insurance for students is find the cheapest insurance on the market. You should also be looking to keep your driving record clean and seek insurance providers that have discounts for students or good grades.

What qualifies as a college student for car insurance?

This depends on the insurance provider. In some cases, it may be someone who is in full-time education at an accredited college.

Which is the best for car insurance for students in US?

This depends on the state and a variety of different factors. As insurance rates and premiums are always changing, it’s a good idea to get quotes from multiple sources before you commit to a single provider.

What is the difference for auto insurance employed or student?

There will be different options and offers depending on if you’re a student or employee. In some cases, a student may be able to receive certain discounts. The benefits will vary depending on the insurance provider.

How auto insurance work for out of state students?

You’ll typically need to get a new policy because each state has different coverage requirements. If you’re using a large insurance provider, you’ll likely be able to use them in your new state, but you’ll need to contact them to adjust your coverage or offer you a new policy.

I'm a college student who drives very little, whose auto insurance policy should I be on?

If you don’t plan on driving when you’re at college, you may not want to be on your own insurance policy. You should talk to you provider about whether you’re allowed to stay on your parents insurance for when you visit home and want to drive.

Do students need car insurance?

If you’re driving a vehicle as a student, you will require auto insurance. You may be able to get coverage on your parent’s insurance.

What are major requirements for car insurance for college student?

If you’re a college student, the insurance provider will most likely want proof of your enrollment. If you want a good grade discount, the insurance company may also require proof of this as well.

How long does it take for the auto insurance company to verify the good student discount?

This will depend on your provider. You should ask them this before you sign up for a policy — this way you can judge what the price will be.

How much liability car insurance does a student need?

This will depend on your state’s requirements. For example, in Texas you will need at least $30,000 of bodily liability coverage per person.

How can I prove grade for good student discount for car insurance?

The way you can prove your grades will depend on your provider — some may want a transcript or other proof of your GPA.

How do Michigan students get car insurance?

Michigan student get car insurance in the same way that any other students do. Head online and find the best car insurance providers for students and compare different insurance quotes.

Should I keep my student on my car insurance policy?

If your student is planning on being home a lot and driving the vehicle, it may be a good idea to keep them on your car insurance policy. You can talk to your provider about the difference in cost for your student’s coverage.

How much is the good student discount for car insurance?

This will depend on the insurance provider that issues your policy. While many providers offer this as a bonus, the actual discount that you’re offered will vary.

How to get car insurance as an unemployed student?

There are plenty of insurance companies that offer insurance policies to students. If you’re not employed, you may be able to seek scholarships or grants to cover your insurance costs. Alternatively, you may be able to work during school breaks to fund your car insurance.

What is the good student discount for car insurance?

The good student discount for car insurance is a type of student discount that is dependent on you achieving certain grades. Some insurance providers give you a discount on insurance if you get good grades.

What is the change in price of the car insurance if you are full time student or employed?

This will depend on your particular circumstances and your driving record — age is also a huge factor. In some cases, you may be able to get a discount if you’re a student or if you have good grades at college.

Medical student car insurance, where to register?

If you’re a medical student, you can seek a car insurance policy anywhere that offers traditional student car insurance policies. If you’re employed, you may be able to find insurance at other providers as well.