Published: December 2012
It's entirely possible to get a good auto insurance policy if you're a college student. You just have to know how to look and what to look for. Far beyond simply signing up for the policy that costs the least amount of money, you may discover and take advantage of specific discounts that you may not even have known existed until now. It's also important to not only get car insurance at the right price, but also to find the right plan to meet your needs. Here are some tips for college students shopping for auto insurance:
Depending on whether you're going away to college or commuting to a nearby campus, you may want to either increase your coverage or scale it back accordingly. If you're leaving your car parked at Mom and Dad's while you live on campus, you'll be in a good position to be able to save a few extra dollars a month. According to the Insurance Information Institute's tips for students, if your college is at least 100 miles away from home and no one will be driving your car during the time you're away studying, you should let your insurance company know immediately. They may qualify for what's called the "resident student" discount, which can help lower your parents' car insurance bill by as much as 30 percent.
On the other hand, going to college might just drive you to reconsider your coverage choices. If your daily commute is about to get seriously hectic, driving longer distances to get to campus and back, now may be the best time to revisit your coverage limits to make sure that you're well-insured in case you're involved in an accident.
It's always a good idea before taking up temporary residence someplace to do your due diligence in researching local crime statistics. This gives you a good idea of what to expect, as well as how to prepare for life in your new surroundings. If you're going away to college and bringing your car to an environment with a higher crime rate than you're used to, talk to an auto insurance agent about comprehensive coverage to cover you in the event of theft. It might also not be a bad time to invest in an anti-theft device for your car if you don't already have one. Doing so may not only cut back on the likelihood of your stuff being stolen, but it might also land you a discount.
Needless to say, you don't have to attend college in some distant place to suddenly need to revisit your need for better security and increased insurance coverage. Always take into account the area where your car will spend most of its time being parked and adjust your coverage accordingly.
Those familiar with the savings offered to teenage drivers with good grades will be pleased to discover that the discount doesn't stop the minute you graduate from high school. Most insurance companies continue to offer good grade incentives to students up until age 25. If you maintain specified grades in your higher education studies, you could still see a discount on your car insurance bill.
As you might imagine, there's no one-size-fits-all car insurance recommendation for college students. Each student has his or her individual needs, which in turn can have a significant impact on the amount of coverage needed and the dollar amount of the premium. To formulate a strategy, talk to an insurance agent near you.