It’s a mixed bag of emotions when your child goes off to college. While you’re happy for their future, you’re also feeling overwhelmed by the cost of post-high school education. One of the ways many families consider saving those costs is by keeping college students on the parent’s car insurance rather than asking their children to get their coverage.
This approach has merit, but it also comes with a few important considerations. Let’s look at the pros and cons of having your college student on your car insurance to make the best decision for your family.
The Pros of Having Your College Student on Your Car Insurance
There are three primary reasons college students opt to stay with their parent’s car insurance policy.
Savings. The first reason is perhaps the clearest. Sharing one policy with several drivers, especially some who are older and get better rates, is usually more affordable. You can split the cost among everyone on the policy to increase certain coverages.
Shared Vehicles. If your college student still lives at home, there’s a good chance you’ll want to share each other’s vehicles. With a shared policy, you can do this easier without letting your insurance company know each time a new driver gets behind the wheel of your car.
Convenience. Ultimately, many people opt to leave their children on their insurance policies simply because it’s easier. One policy instead of two makes things simpler, especially as students return home for summer or winter breaks.
Special Considerations for Out-of-State College Students
The above three reasons — savings, shared vehicles, and convenience — are relevant for students attending college in the Lake of the Ozarks region. However, if your child is attending college in another part of the state, your insurance may require that they get their own policy instead. In this case, your insurance will need to know (1) whether the college student is taking a car to college and who owns the vehicle, (2) the zip code where the car will be parked, and (3) where the student will reside — on or off-campus.
It makes more sense for students to stay on their parent’s insurance if they’re only driving while at home. However, if a child will be driving while at college in another city or state, it may be necessary for the student to get their own policy.
College Student Car Insurance Discounts
Many insurance carriers offer special discounts to parents who have college students on their policy, including those away at school. If you’re looking for a way to reduce the cost of keeping your child on your car insurance policy while in college, it’s worthwhile to look into these discounts.
Good Student Discount. If your child is a full-time student under the age of 23, they may be eligible for a good student discount. On average, this discount is approximately 10% of your monthly premium and can help incentivize your child to do well in school.
Distant College Student Discount. If your child is not taking a car to college, you may be able to get a discount on your policy. Because the insurance company will know that they’re not behind the wheel as often, they’ll also be able to determine that the risk of insuring that student is less and therefore offer you a chance to save.
Usage-Based Insurance. Some insurance providers have apps or accessories that can be put into vehicles to monitor your usage and driving behavior. The safer you drive, the more you can save. This is a great option for college students who are parked most of the time because their time on the road is reduced, and so is their risk of accidents or injuries.
What’s Right for You?
As you can see, there are many factors that go into determining whether to keep your student on your policy or not. We’re available to talk through this decision with you and offer unbiased guidance to help you save and still get the best protection. Contact us today to request a proposal or start the conversation around your family’s needs.