A Guide to Car Insurance for College Students Out of State
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Students who move out of state won’t necessarily need to get new insurance when they go to college. They may not even be able to bring a vehicle because many colleges limit how many freshmen can bring vehicles to school. If parents own the insured vehicle, coverage will stay with the parents. You can add a student from out of state to your insurance by contacting your provider and giving them the student’s ZIP code, age, credit score, driving record, as well as the make and model of the vehicle they drive. Having a student on your policy will most likely raise your rates, but there are various discounts you may be able to take advantage of to help keep your rates down. There may be additional discounts available depending on the student’s university and membership in certain school organizations.
If you have a child who is off to college or you’re a student moving to university, keep reading to see how to keep car insurance costs low.
Do Students Need to Get Car Insurance if They Move Out of State?
Students need to have car insurance if they intend to drive regardless of where they’re living. There is, however, the possibility of being covered by permissive use while driving someone else’s car which extends the coverage of an insured driver to someone who occasionally or temporarily borrows the insured’s vehicle.
Most states require drivers to have a minimum amount of liability insurance. The exceptions to this are New Hampshire and Virginia. And while you are not required to purchase insurance in those two states, you will be required to foot the bill if you cause an accident. Specifically, in the case of Virginia residents, you need to pay a $500 uninsured motorist fee to the DMV, otherwise, you are required to purchase car insurance.
For the college student who moved out of state and was previously on his parent’s policy, that child won’t necessarily have to purchase new insurance. This is especially true if your child plans on leaving their vehicle at home. If they end up taking a vehicle with them to school, they can be named on your policy. Just make sure that your home is listed as their primary residence. Keep in mind that younger drivers are considered to be higher risks. They don’t have as much drive time under their belts making their skill level lower and/or their tendency towards risky behavior high. This means your insurance carrier will most likely raise your rates if you add a young person to your policy. However, it’ll still be much cheaper than if they buy their own standalone policy.
Car Insurance for College Students Out of State: What To Consider
There are several things to consider when thinking about car insurance for a college student. Both children and their parents should look at the positives and negatives associated with having a car on campus if your kid attends college out of state. It simply might not be feasible to have a vehicle with the child while they’re away. In fact, there are colleges that will set limits on the number of freshmen students who have vehicles on campus so they will engage in school activities.
None of this should lead you to the conclusion that coverage should be dropped if your son or daughter doesn't bring a vehicle to school. After all, they may need to drive in the event of an emergency. Depending on the situation, they may opt for non owner car insurance. It provides liability coverage when an individual doesn’t own a vehicle or they drive someone else's. In the event of a car collision, liability coverage pays for the injuries and damages for which the student is at fault. It will also help them get a lower rate when they are able to buy a standard car insurance policy.
What Happens if the Students’ Parents Own the Vehicle Being Insured?
Coverage will continue under the parent’s policy if the parents of a college student own the car that is being insured.
What Happens When the Student Owns the Car Being Insured?
A college student who owns a car and has their own insurance policy should contact that insurance provider and let them know they will be attending school out of state. The carrier may need to adjust rates and update the policy accordingly. Insurance companies will usually have what’s called a mileage restriction for out-of-state drivers. This includes students who live over 100 miles away from their home.
Should your child stay on campus or out of state for most of the year, the insurance company may see them as a permanent resident. The car insurance policy may need to be changed if this is the case. And if they intend to stay in their new location permanently, the insurance plan should be changed to that location.
How To Add a College Student in Another State to Your Car Insurance Policy
Whether you're adding an out-of-state driver or keeping one on your policy, you should contact your insurance provider before your child moves away from home. Make sure you provide the college's zip code and that your home is still your child’s primary residence, and be sure to go over any restrictions that may exist for covering out-of-state drivers. Additionally, you will need to provide the insurance company with your child’s age, credit score, driving record as well as the make and model of the vehicle they drive. This will help your insurance company generate the rate for the policy.
You'll then need to pick what types of coverage you want for your child. Below is a list of coverage you may want to consider:
- Liability coverage - Liability coverage is required in most states except New Hampshire and Virginia. It helps cover medical costs for those who are injured and the costs of repairs or replacement of property in a car accident you are responsible for.
- Collision coverage - Collision coverage helps pay damages to your vehicle caused by an accident regardless of who is at fault.
- Comprehensive coverage - Comprehensive coverage helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged by something other than a car accident. Covered perils include collisions with animals, earthquakes, explosions, falling objects, fires, floods, falling objects, hail, riots and windstorms.
- Emergency road service - Emergency roadside service helps provide coverage for the cost of:
- Delivery of gas, oil, battery or change of tire (Emergency road service won’t necessarily cover the cost of the item itself)
- Locksmith, if the keys are lost, locked inside the vehicle or stolen
- Mechanical labor
- Towing to the nearest mechanic
- Medical payments coverage (Med Pay) - Medical payment coverage helps pay for the costs associated with medical bills or funeral costs for you or your passengers if there is an injury or death due to an accident regardless of who is at fault.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage - Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage provides protection to you in the event you're involved in an accident that is caused by someone who does not have car insurance or by someone whose auto insurance is not adequate enough to cover the damages you incurred.
How Will Your Rates be Affected if You Add an Out-of-State Student to Your Policy?
Your rates will most likely go up if you add a student from out of state to your policy. The first reason for this is younger people tend to be considered higher risk because they have higher rates of car accidents. Also, they are considerably more likely to engage in riskier behavior while on the road. Younger people also have a shorter credit history which is something insurance companies take into account when generating rates for their customers. There are ways, however, to keep your auto insurance rates down if you add a student to your policy, such as:
- Good student discount
- Resident student discount
- Distant college student discount
- Multiple policy discount
- Anti-theft device discount
- Good driver discount
There is also the option of finding a new insurance provider who will provide you with a more reasonable rate. Don’t hesitate to shop around and see what the other carriers are offering for students.
Are There Car Insurance Discounts for College Students Out-of-State?
There are several discounts available for students who live out of state.
Good Student Discount
There are many insurance companies that have discounts for students who have a certain GPA with savings of up to 10%. Remember that in order to get this discount, the student may not be allowed to be the primary named insured (PNI) on the policy.
Resident Student Discount
For those students who are away at a school that is at least 100 miles away, you may qualify for a resident student discount.
College students who rent an apartment and have an auto insurance policy could qualify for a discount for bundling their car insurance and renters insurance plans.
Anti-Theft Device Discount
There are usually discounts available for those who own a vehicle that has an anti-theft device installed. This shows insurance companies that you are trying to keep your vehicle safe and secure.
Good Driver Discount
Your student can get a discount for being a safe driver with the safe driver discount, which rewards customers who have not experienced an accident or ticket for a specified period of time.
Do Universities or Colleges Offer Discounts?
There could be auto discounts that can help lower the rates for students depending on the university they attend and the organizations they are affiliated with.
Sorority, fraternity, and honors society discounts
Some insurance companies offer discounts to college students who are members of certain sororities, fraternities and honors societies. They are listed below.
Sororities, Fraternities and Honors Societies Offering Discounts
Remember that these discounts depend on if your insurance company has a partnership with the organization you’re associated with.
University and alumni discounts
Along with discounts for belonging to certain school organizations, there may be discounts for simply attending certain universities or for being an alumnus of one. Keep in mind that not every university participates in this program. Check with your insurance company or your school's admin office to see if your school qualifies for discounts.
Whether you’re away at college or sending your child to university, make sure you have the best auto coverage at the lowest prices. Enter your zip code below or call 855.214.2291 to receive free auto insurance quotes from agents in your area.