Nowadays, everyone is strapped for cash, especially students. After paying for books, tuition, fees, and rent, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot on car insurance. Fortunately, there are several ways college students can save money on auto insurance. Despite a desperate-seeming financial situation for most college students, the opportunities to cut cost and find major discounts are everywhere.
As it turns out, many different companies offer discounts and incentives for college students that aren’t available to other customers. Many of the CEO’s and high-level employees at important companies were once broke college kids themselves, and they understand how important it is not to bury the college-age generation of students in mountains of debt.
It’s for this reason that there are a number of insurance companies who offer discounts on auto insurance for college students. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways for college students to save money on car insurance and which companies out there are offering great deals for students.
How Can College Students Save On Car Insurance?
You can keep your premium down by keeping your driving records clean. You simply need to drive safe, watch out for crazy drivers and follow the speed limit. On the other hand, driving under the influence of alcohol or without insurance can get you in trouble and eventually increase your premiums.
Get Good Grades
Many insurance companies like Geico and Allstate offer significant discounts for high-performing students because they believe that college students with good grades make for safer drivers.
To qualify for these car insurance discounts, you need to:
- Be enrolled full time at university, college or high school
- Be 25 years old or younger
- Maintain a 3.0 GPA or be on the dean’s list or honor roll
- Prove your grades via a letter from the school administrator or a report card.
Ask your insurer about its offering if you qualify for this discount. It is also important to compare discounts when determining the overall cost of car insurance. For instance, State Farm offers a 25% discount for high-performing students and you might even qualify for a discount for simply taking diver education classes.
Use Your Parents’ Insurance Plan
According to a U.S News and World Report Survey, about 52% of college students leave their cars at home when going off to school. If you are in this group, consider staying on or being added to your parent’s insurance plan. They have probably built up a good history with the car insurance company and keeping your name on their multi-car auto insurance plan can help you save some money. On the other hand, your parents can help you decrease the premium and still keep you protected by dropping you down to an occasional driver on the insurance policy. Some insurance companies refer to this as a ‘student away at school discount’ or ‘resident student discount’. This is a great cost saver especially for students attending school more than 100 miles from home.
Choose Your Car Carefully
Someone who has a sports car will pay more than someone with a Dodge Dart. Therefore, you should get a car you can afford by shopping with the added cost of auto insurance in mind.
Take a Driver’s Education Class
You can shave some money off your insurance bill by taking a defensive driving class. This will enhance your driving skills and insurance companies will deem such drivers less risky to insure.
Finding affordable auto insurance is just like seeking a student loan. You can save by taking out only as much coverage as you need, chasing discounts and receiving help from your parents.
Companies Offering Cheap Car Insurance for College Students
1) American Family
Besides being one of America’s largest car insurance companies, American Family offers discounts (as much as 25%) for students ranking in the 80th percentile of their class or students maintaining a B-average. Moreover, American Family offers a Teenage Safe Driver Discount for teenage drivers who drive at least 3,000 miles per year.
On the other hand, students who are 25 and do volunteer work for non-profit organizations for a least 40 hours per year may qualify for young volunteer discount. This enables students who are volunteering to save money on car insurance for doing it.
2) State Farm
State Farm is one of the cheapest companies for college students to get their auto coverage. Students with good grades can save up to 25% on their car insurance premiums. The company also offers the Steer Clear drivers training program as well as resources for students and their parents on their website.
The Steer Clear Drivers training program helps newly licensed drivers drive more safely and meet safety goals such as avoiding phone use while driving. The Steer Clear Program is a good way for drivers to learn more about safer driving. Those who complete the program and maintain safe driving records can save up to 15% off their premium.
USAA is only available to DOD employees, active duty military members, veterans and their families. USAA offers discounts for safe driving, completing an approved driver training course, and good grades. If students attend school over 100 miles from home and don’t take their car, they can enjoy significant discounts. This is one of the best options for former or current service members.
4) AMICA Mutual
Despite being a smaller insurer, AMICA has a long track record of typical college student discounts and customer satisfaction. The company also offers free help for losing your keys and roadside assistance, which can be an asset if you run into such problems. AMICA will always be there to help if you have a flat tire or dead battery. This can mean extra peace of mind for parents, especially when sending their kids off to college.
Farmers offers up to 24% per year in premium savings for students with good grades. Besides offering one of the highest discounts for high-performing students, Farmers also offers the Distant Student Discount for students who attend school far away from home.
Allstate offers a special discount for students who attend school a certain distance away from their primary residence. Students can take advantage of the Resident Student Discount which applies if the student attends school more than 100 miles away from home. The Resident Student Discount allows students to save up to 35% on their car insurance premiums.
Additionally, Allstate offers a Good Student Discount of up to 9%. Although this is significantly smaller than the likes of Farmers and State Farm, it really adds up when you factor in Bundling, Resident Student Discount and other discounts.
Although these companies offer attractive discounts for students, switching might not be worth especially if you are happy with your current car insurer. It is also essential to remember that some insurance companies reward loyalty with discounts and bundling policies can also lead to major discounts.
Young drivers typically see higher rates than experienced drivers but research on discounts and comparison shopping can make auto insurance premium payments more affordable. If you want to see who’s offering the best deals on car insurance for college drivers in your area, use our quote comparison tool at the top of the page.