What is the Distant Student Discount?
Last Updated on July 23, 2020
Many insurers offer a distant student discount. If you are a college student living away from home, then you could qualify for this discount.
You might qualify for the discount if you live more than 100 miles away from your home address. Some insurers require you to be a full-time student to qualify for the discount, while others do not.
Today, we’re highlighting everything you need to know about the distant student discount. We explain how it works, how much you can save, and whether or not you qualify.
What is the Distant Student Discount?
As a young person, insuring a vehicle is expensive. Drivers under 25 are the riskiest to insure. They make more claims than drivers in older age groups. That’s why insurers charge higher prices.
As a college student or a graduate student living away from home, for example, you are in a different risk class. You might drive a family vehicle when home on weekends, for example, but you’re not driving the vehicle regularly. You’re still a risky driver to insure, but you’re driving less frequently, so insurers offer a discount.
Most insurers require you to meet the following to qualify for the distant discount student:
- Attending school over 100 miles away
- Under the age of 23
- Taking full-time classes
- No access to one of your insured vehicles while at college
If you meet the above requirements, then you could qualify for a distant student discount.
Generally, a distant student discount is applied to your parents’ car insurance policy. Your parents add the discount to their policy, and you remain covered when driving any of the vehicles listed on that policy.
Thanks to the distant student discount, you can continue driving any vehicles listed on your parents’ insurance policy while saving money on car insurance.
Who Should Use the Distant Student Discount?
If you want to remain covered by car insurance while living away from home at college, then the distant student discount may be the right choice for you.
With the distant student discount, you can continue to drive any covered vehicles when you return home. If you live away from home at college, for example, but visit on weekends and holidays, then you can drive any covered vehicle while at home.
You could also be covered on any vehicles you drive at college – assuming those vehicles are not covered under your own policy. If you drive a friend’s vehicle, for example, then your insurance policy could act as secondary insurance.
Who Should Not Use the Distant Student Discount?
The distant student discount is not ideal for everyone. If you live within 100 miles of home, for example, then you might not qualify for the discount.
Similarly, the discount is not designed for those who want to drive while at college. If you own a vehicle and plan to drive it at college, for example, then you will not qualify for the distant student discount. The discount only applies if you are living away at college and do not plan to drive a vehicle.
The discount is also not ideal for a college student who does not drive a vehicle. If you live away from home at college but do not drive a vehicle when at home, for example, then the distant student discount is not ideal. In this case, you’re better off removing the student from the insurance policy (or adding them as an excluded or deferred driver) to save money on car insurance.
Consider Removing the Student from the Policy
Distant student discounts aren’t the right choice for everyone. In some cases, it’s better to remove the student from the insurance policy.
Removing a young driver from the insurance policy can save thousands per year. You’re removing a high-risk driver from your policy, so your insurance premiums will drop.
Alternatively, you can add a college student as a deferred driver. In this case, you are temporarily removing someone from your insurance policy. Your insurance premiums will drop, and you can easily re-add the named driver at a future point.
Some parents re-add the driver over the holidays, for example. If a student is spending the entire year away at college, for example, but is returning home for the holidays and wants to drive, then you might re-add the driver for November and December.
Ultimately, it depends on your family’s needs, the driver’s needs, your location, and other factors. Most insurance companies make it easy to add and remove drivers from your policy as needed.
How Much Can You Save?
The distant student discount can cut 10% to 20% off your car insurance premiums. Instead of having a high-risk driver driving your vehicle every day, that driver is only driving your vehicle on certain weekends and holidays.
Alternatively, removing the driver from your policy can save 50% or more. As a deferred driver, you are not covered by your policy at all. You are removing a high-risk driver from your policy, which means significant car insurance savings.
Ask About Good Grade Discounts
If you qualify for a distant student discount, then you might also qualify for a good grade discount.
Many insurers offer good grade discounts to high school and college students who maintain an average grade of B or higher. If you have decent grades in college, then you could save 10% to 15% on car insurance. To get the good grade discount, you sometimes need to show your report card to the insurance company.
Ask your insurance agent about how to get a good grade discount.
Other Discounts for College Students
College students can qualify for other car insurance discounts. As a college student, car insurance will always be expensive.
Other discounts available to college students include:
- Teen driver discounts
- Usage-based insurance discounts
- Paid in full discounts
- Organization/Membership Club Discounts
- Automatic payment discounts
- Safe driving discounts
- teenSMART discounts
The best way to save money on car insurance as a young driver is to continue driving safely. By avoiding tickets and accidents, you can maintain a safe driving record, which means significantly lower rates on car insurance. For every year you get older, you’ll pay slightly lower rates on car insurance. After age 25, car insurance premiums drop significantly (assuming you maintain a safe driving record).
Final Word on the Distant Student Discount
If you are living away from home while going to school, then you could qualify for a distant student discount.
The discount applies to students living away from home without access to a covered vehicle. You can remain covered under your parents’ insurance policy, save money on car insurance, and avoid a lapse in coverage.
Contact your insurer to see if you qualify for the distant student discount.