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The Best Car Insurance for Students in High School and College

A license is a key to new adventures, like late-night drives and summer wanderings. But, as much as a new car, or driving one, is a vehicle to explore the world, it comes with its costs. Most states require drivers to own a minimum level of liability insurance, which means every driver needs to be on a policy. But necessity doesn't make it one of the cheapest car insurance options. With deductibles, additional coverage options, and the risk to insure young drivers, many students face difficult decisions regarding their car insurance. 

Questions to Ask

What should they look for? How affordable is it? High schoolers and college students may find it easier to stay on their parents' auto policy while they live at home. Some won't use their car if they are student away at school. There are ways a student can lower their monthly premiums through discounts and safe driving programs.

Searching for Car Insurance for College & High School Students

Beginning the search for the right auto policy independently means comparing rates across multiple insurers. If you want a place to start looking, here's some guidance on the best car insurance companies and policies for students.

Types of Car Insurance for Students and College Students

Before identifying the best car insurance company for students and the best auto insurance rates, you'll want to understand what types of coverage you may need. Only then should you start searching for the cheapest car insurance.

Liability Coverage (Bodily Injury and Property Damage)

Most states require a minimum amount of liability coverage. This type of coverage has two elements: bodily injury liability and property damages liability. With bodily injury liability, the coverage will pay for costs of someone's injuries from an accident, while property damage liability covers damage costs to someone's property.

Collisions and Comprehensive Coverage

Insurance companies offer collision and comprehensive coverage to protect your vehicle from damages.

Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your car if you collide with another object such as a fence or car. Comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace your car if damaged by theft, vandalism, or a natural event damages it. While this insurance isn't mandatory, it's worth considering.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If someone hits your car and are uninsured or underinsured, this type of coverage will pay for your medical expenses or property damage costs. In some states this is optional coverage, while in other it's mandatory.

Medical Payment Coverage

Medical payment coverage pays for the cost associated with injuries if you or your passengers are hurt in an accident. Some states will require this type of coverage.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal injury protection coverage is similar to medical payment coverage. While personal injury protection coverage is only available in a few states, it pays for medical payments if you're in an accident.

Find The Best Car Insurance for Students

Factors That Influence Auto Insurance Rates for Students and College Students

When shopping around for the cheapest car insurance from insurance companies, you'll also want to know the factors that determine auto insurance rates. Some factors that determine a rate include:

  • Your driving record
  • Miles put on your car
  • Zip code
  • Your age and gender
  • The type of car you drive
  • Your credit score
  • The type of auto insurance coverage you select
  • Car insurance discounts you qualify for

When getting car insurance quotes, car insurance companies will use these factors to determine your car insurance rate. To get a free car insurance quote, you can visit an insurance provider's website or seek guidance from various insurance agents. You can also use a comparison site like Smart Financial to compare your options. 

Car Insurance for a High School Student

High school is the starting point for many drivers. They are just beginning to get familiar with their car. Their newly earned license opens up their world to a set of fresh experiences beyond the vehicle, though. High schoolers find freedom behind the wheel. But driving is more than fun; it is a responsibility.

Car insurance companies know that new drivers may be struggling to make the right choices out on the road. Wise driving comes after years of experience high schoolers still lack. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), teen drivers have a crash rate almost four times that of drivers over 20 per mile driven. The risk for a crash is highest at age 16. That is why new and young drivers are often expensive to insure. As a result, they pose a higher risk. But,

Therefore, a high schooler can be an expensive addition to a car insurance policy. Families should find out the rate increase to add a teen driver to a policy and determine whether that is the right course of action. Not all teens have that option, though. While it may be more costly for a young driver to purchase their policy, it is still possible.

In that case, explore your insurance options. Be mindful of the factors that can increase your premiums and look for savings options to cut them down.

Car Insurance for College Students

College is a unique experience that opens many doors for young adults. But, unfortunately, some of those doors include new responsibilities.

College students in their twenties are likely to start looking for ways to branch out from their parents. That often includes purchasing a car with its separate policy. These new insurance shoppers should keep in mind that various factors influence the cost of insurance. While you can change some of these factors, like your driving habits or car's safety, others you cannot.

For reference, a car insurance provider may issue you a higher monthly rate if you did not have continuous coverage before. SmartFinancial did the calculations and found that a 20-year-old driver with consistent coverage has a monthly premium of around $226.45. On the other hand, those without prior coverage who want a policy may pay about $231.10. That difference of $4.65 may not sound like a lot, but that is over $50 a year.

Another example hinges on your gender. Female drivers tend to pay lower rates than their male counterparts. SmartFinancial found that a 20-year-old female driver would pay $2,617.00 annually versus a 20-year-old male driver's yearly payment of $2,869.00. That $252 is a significant difference when every penny counts.

Rating factors like these may make it difficult to find affordable car insurance. That's why it is vital that each student shop around for their best offer. Affordable car insurance for college students is available; you just may have to put in a little work to find it.

There may also be a student discount that fits your profile or a student away at school discount if you are leaving you car behind. You can compare which insurance company will offer you the best rate by entering your zip code on this page.

Best Car Insurance for High School Students

Teens are accident-prone. That's why it is vital to find a policy that accommodates that higher risk. See which insurance company has what you need.

Nationwide

One of the best car insurance companies for student is Nationwide who offers valuable options for those looking to add a new driver on to their policy. The insurance company offers a top-notch accident forgiveness program, which many inexperienced drivers can benefit from.

Although it is only offered in select states, Nationwide's Accident Forgiveness additional coverage ensures that your rate does not increase after a policy's first automobile accident.

Allstate, Farmers and Liberty Mutual

Other examples of car insurance companies with accident forgiveness include Allstate, Farmers, and Liberty Mutual. Each insurer has different rules for their accident forgiveness eligibility, its cost, and the frequency of the coverage (once every three years, five years, etc.).

Among other auto insurance companies, Nationwide and Allstate also provide roadside assistance. If teens are likely to get into accidents, there should be a plan in place to help them when they break down on the side of the road or lose a tire. Roadside assistance is a reliable service when parents can't be with their teen drivers right after an incident.

Erie Insurance

Purchasing additional policies for car insurance may help parents ensure their teen drivers stay covered, but it comes at a cost. The more complex an auto insurance policy is, the more expensive it will likely be. That is why the best car insurance companies for high schoolers also offer policy discounts catered to the age group. Some insurers, like Erie Insurance, have discounts targeted specifically at individuals under 21-years-old.

Erie Insurance, in particular, is a cheap car insurance option for teens and commuting college students. The provider offers policy discounts of up to 20% for drivers under the age of 21 who live at home. Those who complete an accredited driving training course can earn driver training discount as well.

Erie Insurance is a smaller company, but it proves that the right insurer for a high schooler needs to offer both cost-effective options and suitable protection.

Best Car Insurance for College Students

College students can also benefit from accident forgiveness. Accidents happen to everyone, even with experience under their belt. Driving in a new place, such as near campus, often creates confusion and unease. So, it is more than possible that a college attendee may also need accident forgiveness, especially if it keeps their car insurance rates down.

That is the most pressing need for most college students – cheap car insurance rates. While staying on a parents' policy may be convenient and slightly cheaper, it is not always an option. On top of that, numerous college students are focusing on future careers and beginning their independent lives. They want their own car insurance policy.

SmartFinancial monitored thousands of average monthly insurance quotes from dozens of companies, including both household names and less represented companies. Let's look at a few of the best car insurance options for students in college.

Auto-Owners Insurance Co. and American Family

The cheapest car insurance companies are Auto-Owners Insurance Co. and American Family, offering policies at around $162. At the same time, the most expensive car insurance company for college students comes in at $249 from Mercury.

However, these are merely estimates. Different insurance companies promise varying low car insurance rates depending on the customer, policy, and other considerations.

Erie Insurance

Erie insurance doesn't come far behind, with rates starting at $173. Coverage from Erie is an excellent option for college students to reduce their rates.

How Much Should I Pay for Car Insurance?

When shopping for auto insurance for college students, choose a price that works for their particular circumstances. For example, a college student may accept a slightly higher monthly premium than the cheapest companies that insure low mileage drivers.

The acceptable cost range depends on the customer. Consumers purchasing car insurance for college students might be new to the game. However, they should consider the customer service ratings of any company. Navigating how to shop for a policy can be overwhelming, and sometimes confusion carries over into ownership. Make sure that you work with a company and insurance agent you trust that communicates clearly. That will help you avoid problems and even money loss in the future.

While there is a range of cost-effective insurers with lower premiums out there, personal circumstances can increase those monthly costs. Whether it is your gender, location, car model, or driving record, numerous factors influence your monthly payment. Working with the right insurer will guarantee you have someone on your side. They will help you bring down costs by pointing you towards the best savings opportunities, like discounts.

Find The Best Car Insurance for Students

Auto Insurance Discounts for Students

To find the cheapest car insurance, you should look for student discounts. While certain factors can drive up student premiums, like inexperience, students can counter these price spikes with discounts. Student discounts are a straightforward method to bring down high monthly insurance costs. Some are available based on an individual status as a student.

Other student discounts reward you for safe driving or bundling multiple insurance policies with the same insurer, so you have a family policy. Exploring all of your options for car insurance for students will help you find suitable discounts for you.

Keep in mind: there is a wide variety of student discounts out there. Each insurer will offer its own unique set to cater to student needs. However, it is crucial to check on a specific student discount's availability with your provider and see how much it affects rates. If you are curious about what savings opportunities are open to you, talk to your car insurance agent. They can connect you with the best student discounts available in your area that fit your situation.

Car Insurance Discounts for High School Students (State Farm Offerings)

Two types of discounts stand out best for high school drivers: good student discounts and driver's education discounts. State Farm has several offerings: State Farm's Steer Clear, which is education based, and State Farm's Drive Safe and Save, which employs a device to help lower rates. State Farm also has a good student discount. Others offer a driver training discount. More on these below.

Good Student Car Insurance Discount

A good student discount functions similar to how it sounds. It requires you to prove that you are doing well in school to earn a percentage off of your premiums. The percent varies so that you may see some difference between providers.

For example, State Farm offers a good student discount that saves you up to 25% per year. In exchange, you must show that you have an excellent academic record. Some methods of proof include a minimum of a B in your classes, a 3.0 GPA, ranking within the top 20% of your class, or qualifying test scores if you are homeschooled.

Driver's Education and Training Program Car Insurance Discount

You may also be eligible for driver's education and training program discounts. New drivers often make mistakes, which means they are riskier to ensure. Your car insurance provider will reduce your premium if you take qualifying courses that improve your knowledge and reduce that risk. This works well for high schoolers since many high schools already have driver's ed courses in place.

See if your high school's program qualifies for your insurer's discount. If it doesn't, your provider will likely have outside alternatives. Some even have their own training programs that welcome students up to their mid-twenties.  

Discounts Based On Good Driving Behaviors

Some insurance companies may offer student car insurance discounts for safe drivers. For example, State Farm offers Steer Clear and Drive Save and Safe. With State Farm's Steer Clear, student drivers can earn insurance savings by practicing safe driving habits, participating in course training, and receiving certifications. With State Farm's Drive Safe and Save, you can use a State Farm bluetooth device to track your driving habits. Positive driving habits yield more savings.

Discounts for College Students

College students can save on coverage as well. To find the cheapest car insurance rates, it's wise to assess what discounts college student qualify for. While some student discounts are the same for high school student and college student, there are a few that are different. Every insurance company my provide different offerings, so it's best to explore all options.

Good Grade Car Insurance Discounts

High school students are not the only ones who benefit from good grades. The good student discount tends to have an age cap of 25. That should carry most students through their college or university years.

Overall, the requirements stay the same: you need to perform well academically to be eligible for a good student discount. Different insurance companies will have varying guidelines to define a "good student," so some may be more lenient than others. However, you can expect an average grade minimum. Most will ask that you have above a b average or a GPA of 3.0. Additionally, you can usually submit academic awards like your position on the Dean's list or honor roll as proof.

Student Away at School Car Insurance Discounts

There is another discount made with college students in mind called the resident student discount. You may also hear it called the distant college student discount or a student away at school discount. Once again, it generally has an age limit, somewhere around 22 to 23, and applies to students living on campus away from home.

The student must still be on the parents' policy, be a minimum distance from home, and not have a vehicle at school with them. In effect, this discount applies to your parents' car insurance premium if you are a college student who has minimal access to their car. You typically only drive it on holidays or breaks when you come back.

Affiliation Association Car Insurance Discounts for Students  

Many students become involved with organizations or groups throughout their academic careers. Certain memberships may award you discounts with your car insurance provider.

Membership Discount Auto Insurance Discount

Students commonly participate in Greek life during their time at college. Being a member of qualifying sororities, fraternities, and even honors societies may earn you a membership discount with some car insurance companies. You can check with your respective group to see if it qualifies.

Or, you go directly to your carrier. Some may list participating organizations on their online platforms, but you may have to talk with your agent for additional information.

University or School Discount

Some schools as a whole offer a university or school discount to their students. But graduating from academia doesn't always put a stop to your student savings. Some insurance companies offer an alumni associations discount as well.

Therefore, you may earn this reward if you graduated from a participating university. Your administrative office should have information on any partnerships or programs they have. So, speak with an employee there or your insurer to check if your institute qualifies.

Military Auto Insurance Discount

Many students return to or attend college following their military service. As a result, these university students have the option of another affiliate discount called a military discount. With this, active and reserve members who have served this country can earn a cheaper car insurance rate.

In addition, some insurance companies make it easy for members in the military to alter or cancel their policy while deployed without consequence. Parents: Is your student away at college and not using their car? Don't let their policy lapse! Otherwise, car insurance quotes will be higher once they are ready to start driving again.

Cheap Car Insurance Quotes

SmartFinancial partners with agents in your area who offer the lowest car insurance quotes for young drivers and parents of young drivers. You may also be eligible for a good student discount or other discounts on top of low rates. Access the lowest quotes for a car insurance policy in your area by answering a few simple questions. You don't need to put down a credit card because the service is free. Just enter your zip code below to get started.

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