Car Insurance for College Students Away from Home

Fran
Fran Majidi
October 10, 2019

Car insurance for college students is a steep expense. It’s bad enough that car insurance rates are highest for young people but when you’re already a broke college student, having car insurance seems like a luxury that many forego due to high insurance rates. And we’re not joking. Many car insurance companies offer discounts to students who don’t bring a vehicle to college and live more than 100 miles away from school. 


The good part of having the leave-your-car-at-home discount is that you won’t have a lapse in coverage and will pay less. This is as long as you don’t use your car much, aside from holidays and summers. Another positive part of forgoing your car (but staying insured) is that your car insurance rate will drop sooner than if you lapsed coverage and picked it up later. Remember that inexperienced drivers are the most expensive to insure and you won’t be accumulating years if you cancel your insurance.


The following are ways that you can keep your car and make the lowest payments while you’re trying to focus on your studies. Our agents know how to find you the lowest rates around. Here are some tips:


Best Car Insurance for College Students: Distant College Student Discounts

  1. Allstate offers discounts for parents of students who attend college away from home. The only stipulation is that the student attend a school that is at least 100 miles away from home (parents’ home). If you qualify, you can save up to 35% on auto insurance premiums. This may just be the best car insurance for college students!

  2. Farmers has a Distant Student Discount, which offers a break for parents who have kids off at school far from home. That’s not the only discount Farmers offers. There’s also the good student discount, which can save you about 24% each year (that’s a lot!).

  3. USAA offers a Resident Student Discount for students who attend a college that is 100 miles away from home. However, to be eligible you or a parent must be on active duty in the military, a veteran or a Department of Defense employee. If you or a parent falls into this category, you can also get an additional discount for having good grades. 

  4. Amica Mutual offers a distance discount for students who attend a school that is at least 100 miles away from home. In addition, you may qualify for a discount by taking a new driver’s training course, a defensive driver and accident prevention class and you also get free roadside assistance. For students who drive long miles to get home for visits, this is a great way to stay prepared for a possible roadside breakdown.

  5. American Family offers students who drive at least 3,000 miles a year a Teen Safe Driver discount. They also offer a range of other discounts that may apply, like the Young Volunteer discount for people under the age of 25 and who do at least 40 hours of volunteer work for a non-profit organization per year. There are plenty of causes on campus that could save you money!


Other Car Insurance Discounts for College Students

  1. Liberty Mutual offers an alumni association discount and works with over 14,000 associations and employers so you may be eligible for a discount depending on where you’re attending school or doing an internship. If you maintain good grades (3.0 GPA or better), you also qualify for a discount. For drivers under the age of 21, Liberty Mutual also offers a Driver Training Discount if you complete a driver training program.

  2. State Farm offers the Steer Clear Safe Driver Program, an online course that can bring you a savings of 15%. You can even take the course on a mobile app. In addition to that, you can save 25% by keeping your grades at a B average or higher. 

  3. Esurance is owned by Allstate but has a different offer for students: a 10% discount for meeting a 3.0 GPA minimum. To be eligible, you must be under 25 years old and attending a full-time high school, college or university. You can even get the discount extended for a year after you graduate! However, the discount only applies to liability, collision and medical payments coverages.


Cheap Auto Insurance for College Students

You can also score affordable auto insurance for college students by piling on the car insurance discounts. Cheap car insurance for college students sometimes means doing some digging. Explore your sorority or fraternity discounts (yes, for car insurance!). There are also honors society discounts as well. Contact your university administration office to find out what other types of discounts you may be eligible for (they will know about affiliate programs with insurers). You can also speak with a trusted agent, who can shop car insurance quotes for you and compare the savings from each company. 


Many car insurance companies offer good-student discounts and good-driver discounts. If you’re a college student on a parent’s auto insurance it pays to ask about adding you, and possibly other family members (yes, aunts, uncles and cousins count). Some car insurers offer steep discounts for family plans, safety equipment (airbags, sensors, backup cameras, anti-theft systems, daytime running locks, anti-lock brake systems etc) and more. You never know how you may save until you ask. 


What About Pay Per Mile Insurance?

Auto insurance discounts for college students are certainly less complicated. Most people don’t know what pay-as-you-go car insurance is. You basically only pay for the amount you drive. Not many car insurance companies offer pay per mile car insurance, however, and it’s important to note that unlike telematics insurance, the driver is not judged on driving behavior, strictly miles.


Now you’re probably asking, “How does pay per mile car insurance work?” The driver uses an in-car device that tracks the number of miles you drive per month, which determines your rate. You’ll be charged a base rate plus a per-mile fee. Both factors are used to come up with your monthly payment. The base rate will take into consideration everything that regular car insurance does (credit, age, driving history and car type) but less so than your mileage.


Whatever it is you decide to buy, it's important to get matched with an insurance agent who will compare car insurance quotes for you to find the best prices and best coverage.


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