Car insurance for college students
College students often get the best car insurance deal, and greater convenience, when they stay on their parents' policy. However, it's ultimately up to each family and where the student is attending school. For example, depending on the school's ZIP code, getting a separate car insurance policy for the student may result in more affordable rates, but that could make it more of a hassle to share cars when the student is home. For out-of-state college students, a separate car insurance policy may be required by some states and insurers.
Can I stay on my parents' car insurance if I move out for college?
In most cases, college students can stay on their parents' car insurance when they go to school — if you haven't moved out permanently. Many families decide to keep their college students on their policies for the following reasons:
Sharing one policy is usually more affordable, as you split the cost of certain coverages.
You can share cars
You're both covered when driving each other's cars, so you don't have to let the insurance company know who's driving which car when.
It's easier to manage a single policy rather than two. Plus, the student is covered when they return home for the summer or winter break.
As long as you keep your parents' home as your permanent residence, you can usually stay on your parents' insurance through college. If you decide to fully move out and keep your car at your own residence, however, you'll need your own policy.
Pro Tip for Parents:
What do you do with car insurance if your child moves out permanently? Your child must get their own policy under their new permanent address. If they don't drive your cars anymore, you can remove them from your policy and likely lower your premium.
What about car insurance for out-of-state college students?
Most states allow out-of-state college students to stay on their parents' car insurance if their primary address is still the parents' residence. However, depending on your state, insurer, and other factors, you may be required to get your own policy instead. Your insurer can let you know if you'll need your own policy after clarifying the following:
- If you're taking a car to college (and who owns it)
- The ZIP code where the car will be parked
- Whether you're living on or off campus
What about car insurance for international students?
Car insurance doesn't cover drivers abroad unless you're a U.S. student going to Canada. If you're studying in another country, you'll need your own car insurance policy that's valid wherever you plan to drive. Learn more about international car insurance.
What if I only drive when I'm at home?
As a college student, you should remain on your parents' car insurance policy if you come home on weekends or school vacations and drive your parents' cars. In fact, Progressive requires college students who are away from home but occasionally drive their parents' cars to be on their parents' policy.
Are there age limits for students to stay on their parents' car insurance?
Car insurance rules don't change whether you're an 18-year-old at home, a 19-year-old college student, or an adult living with your parents. If you share a permanent address, or if the car is usually kept overnight at your parents' house, you can continue sharing a car insurance policy — regardless of your age. Learn more about kids staying on their parents' car insurance.
How do I add a college student to my car insurance policy?
If you plan to add or keep a college student on your policy, you should notify your car insurer before your child moves out. You'll need to provide the college's ZIP code, verify that your home is still your student's primary address, and go over any restrictions for covering out-of-state students.
How do coverages work?
See how coverages apply when college students are sharing an auto insurance policy with their parents:
|Damages car||Hits someone else|
|Student driving parent's car||Damages carCovered, minus your policy's deductible, if comprehensive and collision are included||Hits someone elseTypically covered by bodily injury and property damage liability up to your policy's limits|
|Parent driving student's car||Damages carCovered, minus your policy's deductible, if comprehensive and collision are included||Hits someone elseTypically covered by bodily injury and property damage liability up to your policy's limits|
How much does car insurance cost for students?
The cost is typically higher for college students than for older adults, primarily because people between the ages of 18 and 22 can be riskier drivers. Cost savings is one of the reasons most parents keep their college-aged students on their car insurance policy.
Can it be more affordable for college students to carry their own insurance?
It often depends on where the vehicle is kept. If it's in a more affordable ZIP code than the parents', you might save money by having two separate policies. Also, students over the age of 24 with a clean driving record may get cheaper car insurance on their own if their parents have tickets or accidents on their records.
How do student discounts work for car insurance?
Adding or keeping a college student on your auto insurance policy could affect your rate, usually based on their driving record and the university's ZIP code. Fortunately, many car insurers offer discounts for parents who have college students on their policy, including students who are away at school:
Good student discount
Many insurers offer discounts for young drivers on a policy who are also good students. In most states, you'll get around a 10% discount* on your Progressive auto policy if your child is a full-time student, under the age of 23, and has a B average or better.†
Distant college student discount
Some insurers also offer distant student discounts for college students who go away to school and don't take a car. Depending on the state, you'll get a discount for any full-time college students on your Progressive auto insurance policy if they're 22 or younger and enrolled at an educational institution that's more than 100 miles away from home.†
In most states, Progressive offers personalized rates based on how safely you drive using Snapshot®, a mobile app or device that plugs into your car.** A key component of safe driving is the time you spend behind the wheel. So, if your child's car typically sits in your driveway or a school parking lot, you could score big savings for the infrequent driving category.
†To qualify for the good student and distant college student discounts, the student cannot be the primary named insured (PNI) on your policy or the spouse of the PNI. Additionally, to qualify for the distant college student discount, students must be enrolled at an educational institution located where they reside. You may also be asked to provide proof that your college student meets the above eligibility requirements.
Other ways to save
One easy way to save on your auto insurance as a college student is to drop collision coverage on your vehicle if it's of minimal value and not being financed. Lenders typically require comprehensive and collision coverage for leased and financed vehicles, but if your car is paid off, dropping one or both from your coverage can help lower your rate. Keep in mind that you'll have to pay out of pocket to repair or replace the car if it's damaged or totaled.
How to keep (or add) a college student on your policy
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Are you a college student looking for your own auto insurance? Get an auto quote online to find the right coverage options for you.