How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance Rates for Students

Last Updated on June 17, 2021

Generally speaking, students are young and inexperienced drivers. Because of this, young students are typically faced with sky-high auto insurance rates. Younger people are more at risk for accidents and, because of that, pose a higher risk to their insurance companies.

The good news is that if you are a young driver or the parent of a very young driver, you have a couple of ways to help reduce these costs. Good student discounts are one way of offsetting the costs. Drivers in their late teens and early 20s can get great discounts for getting great grades. Who said that your grades did not pay off until you got out of school?

Other discounts available to students include discounts for taking driver’s ed or defensive driving classes, discounts for living away from home without a car, and discounts for being part of a specific organization. Continue reading below to learn all the ways that you can get cheap auto insurance coverage as a student.

How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance Rates for Students

The Good Student Discount for Car Insurance

A good student discount is not hard to understand. It is precisely what it sounds like. It basically rewards the student with lower premiums for getting good grades in school.

Since statistics show that students who get good grades are a lot less likely to get into an auto accident, auto insurance companies look at them as lower risk, and, because of this, they give savings on their premiums. Chances are, if you are a good student reading this, you already know about good student discounts. Why? Well, you are probably pretty intelligent and aware of academic and financial things, and how they intersect.

Some auto insurance companies will even extend the discount for a certain amount of time after the student gets out of school.

The amount that is taken off of premiums varies from company to company, so it is best to do some comparison-shopping to see what car insurance company is best for great students.

How Do You Qualify for a Good Student Discount?

  • You have to be younger than 25 years of age
  • You have to be enrolled full-time a college, graduate school, or high school
  • You have to get at least a B average (3.0 GPA) or be on the Dean’s List or honor roll
  • Show some proof of good performance (if you are home-schooled)
  • Have a valid driving license
  • Have a valid US student visa (if you are an international student)

If your grades are not yet good enough to qualify, you can try to get them up. Once they are at the necessary level, you can talk about the discount again with your insurance company.

If you look at the websites of many insurance providers, you will see that the only major requirement they have for a good student discount is that you maintain a GPA of “B” average or better.

Nearly every major auto insurance company has a good student discount. If you are unsure about ways that you can save as a young driver, contact your local car insurance agent and see what they have to say about it. The only thing you have to do is log in to the insurance company website that you are a member of and contact the insurance agent who is representing you. It is not tough to do, and you can find out what you need to do in under five minutes with a short phone conversation to the agent in charge of working with you.

How Do You Prove Good Student Status?

Car insurance companies are going to want proof that you are making good grades. You will need to present a report card or a letter signed by an administrator of the school where you attend.

You could be required to show some proof of good student status each time you renew your policy, in order to keep getting the student.

Driving Education Courses

Apart from the good student discount, some car insurance companies will give discounts to students who take driver’s education or defensive driving courses. These kinds of discounts are usually only offered to young drivers and very old drivers because those are the two groups most in need of brushing up on their driving skills. Young drivers need education because they are pretty inexperienced, and older drivers need education because they have forgotten a lot and might be experiencing cognitive decline.

To sign up for these courses, you can first check with your school to see if any free courses are being offered. Many high schools, as you know, offer free driver’s ed classes to their students. Another option would be to check with your auto insurance company to see if they offer any courses you could take. State Farm offers its Steer Clear program to policyholders. Allstate, MAPFRE, and MetLife offer discounts to student drivers that complete the teenSMART course. GEICO and Travelers also have their list of approved courses.

Resident or Distant Student Discounts

Students who are going to be going to college outside of their home state could qualify for a resident or distant student discount, which can offer significant savings to the policyholder.

The discount just applies if the student is planning on not driving the insured vehicle while he is away at school, but could use it in the months when she is back at home.

There is some proof required for a distant student discount, and that should be checked out with your insurance company, but will probably include at least the address of the college where the student will be going.

If you are a parent of a teen who is going off to college, think about asking for a resident or distant student discount. It can dramatically lower the premium rate on your auto insurance coverage.

Student Organization, Membership, and Affinity Discounts

A few insurance companies, such as GEICO, offer discounts to students that are in school clubs and organizations like fraternities, sororities, and honor societies. To check if you qualify for any of these discounts, please first check with your auto insurance agent. You can also ask the organization if any car insurance discounts are available to members.

Many schools also offer alumni discounts. Please ask your auto insurance company if members of alumni organizations can receive auto insurance discounts. Penn State graduates, for example, receive auto insurance discounts with Liberty Mutual. University of Washington graduates get significant discounts with PEMCO.

Military members also can receive significant auto insurance discounts. If you are currently deployed and not driving your vehicle, you can get lower rates and even drop coverage because your vehicle isn’t being driven. Once you come back from deployment and enroll at a university or college, you can get auto insurance discounts for being an active-duty military or a veteran.

Final Word on Finding Cheap Auto Insurance as a Student

With the number of discounts available to students, you don’t have to pay sky-high auto insurance rates as a young driver. If you get good grades, take a defensive driving course, or belong to an organization that offers car insurance discounts, you can potentially save a bundle on your premiums. Call up your auto insurance provider today and ask them what discounts are available to students. If your insurance provider does not provide any type of discount to students, it might be time to shop around, compare rates, and find one that does.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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