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Auto Insurance for College Students When Away From Home

Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...
  • When you’re licensed to drive and you live at home with your parents, you need to be listed on their insurance
  • As a listed driver, you’re covered to drive all of the vehicles on the policy and other borrowed or rented vehicles
  • If you attend college near your home, you’ll remain a listed driver but may qualify for Good Student Discounts
  • Students who attend school at least 100 miles away from home will receive a Student Away at School rating
  • Student Away ratings will save the insured money only if the teen doesn’t bring a car with them to school

When your child is accepted to a college in another state, you experience a mixture of emotions. You know that there is a time in the near future when you won’t see your young adult’s smiling face every day.

You also know that it’s necessary for your child-turned-adult to grow up and become more independent if they are going to discover their purpose in life.

Life changes in several ways when it’s time for the semester to start. You’ll have to decide what you’re going to do with an empty room, but that’s not the only decision that’s going to have to be made.

For some, it’s actually more difficult to decide what to do with auto insurance. The first step is to compare car insurance quotes to find the best rate. Enter your zip code above to begin.

Here’s what you should know about insuring a college student away at school:

You Should Be Paying Premiums for Your Teen When They Are in High School

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If your teen isn’t yet on your insurance and they have a license, they should be. High school students are only automatically covered under their parents’ car insurance policies while they are learning to drive and they have a permit.

The very moment that a teen goes from having a permit to passing a licensing exam, they need to be insured.

Your teen won’t be named on your insurance ID cards. Typically, with most insurers, you’ll only find the named insured’s name on the proof of insurance.

If you’re worried that your teen wasn’t added to your insurance at that time, you can find out by calling your insurer or looking at your declarations page.

Most of the time, you’ll realize they are insured because your premiums could close to double while your young driver is newly licensed.

Should you remove your teen driver as soon as they leave for college?

You have a right to change your teen’s room to a gym or a sewing room as soon as they leave the room. You shouldn’t act so hastily when it comes to changing insurance coverage.

In fact, you don’t always need to remove a student who’s away from home from the plan because it can create some unnecessary risk.

One of the biggest questions you need to ask yourself before you make a serious insurance mistake is where your student is going to school.

The proximity from the school to your home is important for a few reasons. It’s a factor that can seriously influence your car insurance decision making.

First off, students who are only a few cities away from home are much more likely to visit home frequently. Being 30 miles away might seem far for an attached parent, but to insurance companies, it’s not far enough.

Your driver could easily come home after school or on the weekend and borrow a car. If your student is 100 miles away or more, it can significantly reduce exposure to loss.

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Does your student have regular access to a household car?

If you didn’t have access to a car to commute to and from school when you were earning a degree, you might be a bit jealous that your student does.

Having access to a car makes life 100 percent easier when you have to make classes and shifts at work. As nice as it is for your student, it’s going to cost you to give them that freedom.

If your student is taking a car with your or they are going to be driving someone else’s vehicle regularly, it’s best for you to keep them on your policy.

It’s a must when one of the cars in your house is going to school as long as the car is staying registered in your name and to your address because of insurance laws. If you removed your child from the policy and there was an accident, your claim would be denied.

Why should you still list your student if they will be driving at school?

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Just because you’re forward-thinking enough to know that allowing your student to take a car to school isn’t a good idea doesn’t mean that you have control over whether or not they will use their driver’s license.

It might be a requirement that you set, but you’re not there to monitor them.

College students don’t need a car to be at risk of having an accident. They can legally drive and borrow cars, which could, in essence, put your finances at risk too.

If your college student is dependent on your financially, you could be sued if they got into an accident while they are away. One small mistake made by your young adult could potentially lead to loss of your assets.

When can you remove your student?

All signs point to insuring your college student when they are going to be exposed to loss, but there will be a time when it’s okay for you to take your child off.

It makes the most sense to do it when your child is paying their own way through school and they have rented their own home. This is when an adult is no longer a dependent.

Independent students may buy their own cars, but the cars will be registered in their names. This means that they must buy their own insurance as a vehicle owner.

Unfortunately, the premiums will be high because your child won’t qualify for all of the multi-car and loyalty discounts that you’re getting.

You aren’t obligated to stay with your current insurer when your student goes away. If they are attending school 100 plus miles away and they don’t take a car, you might be able to get a Student Away or Distant Student Discount.

This lowers premiums substantially so you still have some protection. Get quotes from your insurer and then compare quotes with other carriers online to see where you’ll pay the best rates. Enter your zip code below to get started.

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