@Progressive Blog

Do You Leave Town for College?

Posted by Allison Ruuska on 1/7/2008 at 1:00 PM

If you attend school in another city or state, these factors can affect your auto insurance policy.

Many students choose to leave town or even cross state lines to attend college. If you're one of them, or if you have a child who's an out-of-town or out-of-state student, there are a few steps you should take to update your auto insurance policy.


Consider the following factors and see what you should do with your insurance policy — whether you're still on your parents' policy or if you have your own. Remember that not every insurance company does things the same way, so be sure to check with your company for the specific actions to take.

Distance From Home

How far away is your college? Is it 20 miles away but in a different state? Is it 200 miles away but in the same state?

Regardless of distance, you should notify your insurance company if you live away from home and keep a car with you. If your school is in a different state — even if it's just a few miles away — you still want to ensure you're in compliance with the minimum insurance requirements of both your home state and your college state, so providing up-to-date information to your insurance company can help you determine the proper limits to have on your policy.

For instance, if you live in Pennsylvania, where state minimum BI/PD liability limits are 15/30/5, and you go to school in New York, where state minimum BI/PD limits are 25/50/10, Pennsylvania limits would legally be insufficient to cover you in case of an accident while you're at school in New York.

If you have a Progressive policy, we can verify your policy limits are sufficient for both states when you notify us of your school address. If they need to be adjusted, we can help you choose the proper limits for your situation.

If your school is in the same state as your permanent residence but it's 100 miles or more from your home, you could be eligible for a distant student discount if you meet specific criteria, such as not having access to a covered vehicle while you're at school.

So, whether you attend an in-state or an out-of-state school, it's important to notify your insurance company if you live away from home.

Student Discounts

Some companies offer a discount simply for being a student while others offer discounts for students with good grades and/or driving records. Each discount has specific criteria, so consider what you're eligible for and make sure you provide your current student status and information to your company to ensure the proper discounts are applied to your insurance policy.

If you're on a parent's Progressive policy, you can qualify for a Distant Student discount if you meet all of the following characteristics:

  • Attend school more than 100 miles from home, even if it's in the same state
  • Do not have access to a vehicle
  • Are a licensed driver under age 23
  • Are a student at an educational institution
  • Live away from home

If you meet each of the identified characteristics, make sure you contact us to receive the Distant Student discount. If you don't have a Progressive policy, see what student discounts your company offers.

Living Situation

If you don't live at your parents' house while you're in college, it's important to contact your insurance company to provide your temporary address. In fact, your policy may require you to notify your insurance company if you keep your vehicle at a different address than the one on your policy.

Contacting your insurance company about an address change, also called a garaging change, could mean a change in what you pay for insurance. Current addresses help your company accurately determine your premiums, which could decrease or increase depending on where you live for school. Or, the price could stay the same.

With a Progressive policy, we can let you know if the price changes and when it'll change when you update your address. Also, you only need to notify us if you move to a new location, but you don't need to notify us when you return home for school breaks or between semesters.

Vehicle Access

Do you drive a vehicle while you're at school, or do you use other forms of transportation? We've already mentioned that you could qualify for a distant student discount if you don't have access to a vehicle on your policy while you're at school.

But what if you drive a vehicle occasionally, such as one of your parent's cars a few weekends out of the year? If the vehicle is listed on your parents' policy, you should still be considered a relative, which means you'd have insurance coverage for these infrequent uses. However, check your policy to make sure you fit the definition of a relative, as some policies specify a cutoff age for student relatives.

If you attend school and live away from home, it's a good idea to notify your insurance company of this to ensure you're properly covered by your policy in all situations. Even if you don't drive a car while at school, you still can qualify for student discounts, so make sure you mention your student status when you update your policy.

The information in this blog may vary based on your particular state or situation. Always refer to your insurance policy for your specific coverages.

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Are there any discounts for students who have their own policy and attend school away from home?
Posted on 9/8/2010 at 1:45 PM by Danielle
@Danielle, In many states, we discount car insurance for students with good grades (3.0 or higher GPA) and/or to young drivers (under the age of 23). You can find out which discounts apply to you by quoting (it's free, with no obligation to buy ).
Posted on 9/15/2010 at 1:48 PM by Brittany R.
Is there a discount for students who are over the age of 23?
Posted on 10/24/2010 at 12:22 PM by Heather
Are there good student discounts for policies in North Dakota?
Posted on 10/24/2010 at 3:39 PM by Karen
<p>@Heather, No. Unfortunately, our Good Student Discount is only for drivers younger than 23.</p>
Posted on 10/28/2010 at 3:15 PM by Brittany R.
@Karen, No. Unfortunately, we don't offer a Good Student Discount in North Dakota.
Posted on 10/28/2010 at 3:16 PM by Brittany R.
I've seen a lot about children getting the good student discount, but what about married adults who are going to college?
Posted on 11/23/2010 at 10:34 AM by Krista
How much is the good student discount for OH? And if you have more than one teen driver with the grades, do you get the discount for each one?
Posted on 1/24/2011 at 11:37 AM by Pam D.
@Pam, Yes, if both teen drivers qualify for the Good Student Discount, they’ll both get it. The exact amount varies, however. To find out what your family would save, you can either get a free quote online. Or, if you’re already a Progressive customer, you can log into your policy or call us.
Posted on 1/28/2011 at 10:09 AM by Progressive
Hi: My son goes to Berkeley and I live in San Jose. He is rarely home and does not have his car at school. Is there any special policy that allows me to insure him on those occassions when he does come home? Thanks JackW
Posted on 3/14/2011 at 1:35 AM by jack
@Jack, Your son is covered by your Progressive car insurance, as long as he has your permission to drive your car and only drives it occasionally (less than 12 times a year). If he drives it more often or you have questions, please give us a call: 1-800-776-4737.
Posted on 3/18/2011 at 8:59 AM by Progressive
Hi, I'm leaving for school, located in Tampa, Florida. However, my car insurance coverage is with my parents, and they live in St. Louis, Missouri. What do I do in the case I take my car down to Florida with me that's currently insured with Progressive? Thank You!
Posted on 4/18/2011 at 5:51 PM by Almir
@Almir, Please give us a call at 1-800-776-4737 (or have your parents call us), so we can review your policy and make sure you’ll be covered in Florida, too.
Posted on 5/17/2011 at 2:25 PM by Progressive
My student is from california and attending and living on campus at college in Georgia. She is finishing up her second year and we'll be buying a car for her there soon. We want to know if we use the college as her address and if it's necessary for her to have a Georgia driver's license or can we insure with her california license?
Posted on 5/17/2011 at 4:59 PM by sandy
@Sandy, Yes, she can list her college address on her Georgia car insurance policy, and she can obtain the Georgia policy with her California driver's license.
Posted on 5/31/2011 at 4:35 PM by Progressive
My daughter goes to school in San Francisco, California and parents live in New Jersey. She does not have access to a car and her friends have no cars. She will be there for one year before coming home. Is it wise to take her off the auto insurance policy completely then put her back on when she comes home.
Posted on 7/5/2011 at 1:20 PM by David
What is Progressive's discount for good grades vs. poor grades? My son has an IEP so he doesn't have a B GPA are considerations made for this problem?
Posted on 7/11/2011 at 5:08 PM by Deb Hellquist
@David, It's up to you. If she won't be driving and won't have access to a vehicle, you can remove her from the policy. However, this means that if she plans to get her own insurance policy at some point, there will be a disruption in her insurance, which might increase her insurance rate.
Posted on 7/13/2011 at 4:29 PM by Progressive
@Deb, The exact amount of our Good Student Discount varies, and in order to qualify, all young drivers do need to maintain a B average. But your son might qualify for other Progressive discounts. To find out, please start a free quote online.
Posted on 8/9/2011 at 9:13 AM by Progressive
II live in New York and my son goes to school in Delaware. He is taking a car to school with him but the car will remain registered in NY and my son has his license from NY. Will I need to get a separate policy for the car that will be in Delaware? My current insurance company is telling me that I do, and it will cost more than my current coverage because I lose the mutli-car discount on the car.
Posted on 8/20/2011 at 2:13 PM by John
My daughter has just gone away to college. The distant Student discount only changes my policy a few dollars. My daughter will not have access to a vehicle at college. She will only need coverage at winter break and between Easter Break and the end of August Can I exclude her from my coverage from now til mid- December, add her back on from mid-December through mid January then exclude her again til mid April before reinstating her for mid-April to next August? How many times can I exclude her / add her back in a year? Is it unlimited - I just need to contact Progressive or do this online? What would happen if she came home one weekend and wanted to drive one of my vehicles. I assume I would have to add her back for that weekend - or is there a clause that covers her for those couple of days Thanks
Posted on 8/26/2011 at 12:32 PM by John
My daughter has just gone away to college. The distant Student discount only changes my policy a few dollars. My daughter will not have access to a vehicle at college. She will only need coverage at winter break and between Easter Break and the end of August Can I exclude her from my coverage from now til mid- December, add her back on from mid-December through mid January then exclude her again til mid April before reinstating her for mid-April to next August? How many times can I exclude her / add her back in a year? Is it unlimited - I just need to contact Progressive or do this online? What would happen if she came home one weekend and wanted to drive one of my vehicles. I assume I would have to add her back for that weekend - or is there a clause that covers her for those couple of days Thanks
Posted on 8/26/2011 at 1:46 PM by John
@John, Because your daughter comes home for breaks and the summer, we would consider her a household member. All licensed household members should be rated on the policy. This is even more of an issue since you anticipate that your daughter may come home some weekends. This is also an issue of liability. You are still potentially liable for what your daughter does at college (i.e. – drive a friend car). Even though insurance follows the vehicle, you should not rely on other’s to protect her daughter and your assets.
Posted on 9/12/2011 at 12:28 PM by Progressive
@John - Regarding the NY versus DE question - With Progressive, you can keep a NY policy as long as all the following conditions are met: - There is at least one vehicle on the policy garaged/kept in NY. - Your son’s permanent address is still NY. – so if your son is to make a permanent move to DE for school, he’ll need a DE policy. But if his permanent Address will still be NY and he will come home on holidays, etc. he can be kept on the NY policy. We will require the zip code for which the son’s car will be garaged in order to properly rate. I hope this helps.
Posted on 9/12/2011 at 12:46 PM by Progressive
How would I go about getting an accurate quote for my car (which I own) that I park and drive only occasionally (2-3 times a month) in the city I attend college (Philadelphia)? I am concerned that getting a quote using my permanent address (my parent's house in a suburban town in the same state) would be very inaccurate.
Posted on 9/30/2011 at 9:08 PM by Dan
@Dan, Insurance companies use the garaging location of a vehicle in order to determine accurate rates. When you receive quotes, you will need to provide the address(specifically the zip code) of the location where you keep your vehicle the majority of the time.
Posted on 10/19/2011 at 8:26 AM by Progressive
My 18 yr old son is insured on our policy, and was assigned the principal driver of our 3rd car. My son has left NY to attend college in VT...so he is only home for a month at Christmas and from May-August. He has no access to any vehicle while away from home as he is in a military school. Our insurance increased dramatically when we added him, but now that he only has access to the vehicle 4 months per year we would like to find out how to decrease our insurance.
Posted on 11/7/2011 at 11:28 AM by Rebecca
Is there a good student discount for college students who don't live with their parents and drive regularly?
Posted on 12/5/2011 at 1:36 PM by Makenzie
<p>@Rebecca: In New York, all family household members of driving age or older need to be listed on your policy. If your residence is still your son's permanent residence, he would have to be listed. We would be happy to review your policy with you to determine if there are other ways to lower your rate. To do so, call us anytime at 1-800-776-4737.</p>
Posted on 12/19/2011 at 4:47 PM by Progressive
@Makenzie: The Good Student Discount applies to children of the named insured who are 23 and younger with a 3.0 GPA or better. However, if you do not live with your parents, you probably have your own policy, and the Good Student Discount will not apply for the policyholder. However, we do use education as a rating factor and being in school can sometimes help your rate!
Posted on 12/20/2011 at 10:00 AM by Progressive
I will be leaving for college in a different city this fall and, unfortunately will not be able to take my vehicle with me. Is there a policy that allows me to pay for only the months that I have off (ie Spring, Christmas, and summer breaks) and can access my vehicle? I would hate to pay for the entire year and only drive for a fraction of it.
Posted on 5/24/2012 at 9:48 PM by Christian
@Christian: We do not offer a seasonal type of policy; however, you can update your policy at any time. So, you can add coverage while you're home and remove it while you're away. For more details on your options, please call us at 1-800-776-4737.
Posted on 6/6/2012 at 5:07 PM by Progressive
So if I understand correctly because my son has his own policy (he's 18) and is going away to college where they don't allow 1st yrs to have cars he is not eligible for a discount because he's not on my policy?
Posted on 7/29/2012 at 3:42 PM by Steve
@Steve: We have a few different options available. Please have him call us at 1-800-776-4737; we're available 24/7.
Posted on 8/1/2012 at 1:03 PM by Progressive
I I have my permanent address in VA but am attending graduate school in GA. Can I have coverage while I'm in school without having to change my permanent address?
Posted on 8/30/2012 at 7:04 PM by Jessy
@Jessy: We insure your vehicle based on where you reside and keep your vehicle for 50 percent of the year. Please call 1-800-776-4737 for assistance.
Posted on 9/6/2012 at 9:57 AM by Progressive
i live in Pa and my son goes to college in NC...is it better to keep my son on my policy or would it be cheaper if he got his own policy...he is 18 years old but only drives his car to and from work and school. Thanks in advance for your reply
Posted on 9/7/2012 at 9:48 AM by Ben
@Ben: If you keep your son on your policy, it may be less expensive, at least for the time being. Just make sure that 1. at least one vehicle on your policy is kept in Pennsylvania, and 2. you provide us with the ZIP code for your son's school (we need to know where he keeps his car). However, if you'd like to see what it would cost for your son to get his own policy, you can start a quote here on our site.
Posted on 9/13/2012 at 4:25 PM by Progressive
We live in NC, my daughter is a very good student with 5.0 GPA when she finished high school . She is attending University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She lives in the Dorm and has no access to any car. She is 18 years old. She had her license 1.5 years ago. She just come back home for the holidays and spring break only, not even sure if she comes home in Summer, it depends on where she get the internship job. She is under our policy now, will it be better if we put her in her own policy? Will we get any discount ? Thanks Nancy Dumke
Posted on 10/23/2012 at 2:23 PM by Nancy Dumke
So if your permanent address is NYS but you're going to college in say Philadelphia and your car is broken into...window smashed...no problem with comprehensive covering the replacement?
Posted on 11/10/2012 at 11:27 AM by Rosanne
My daughter is going to college in Louisiana. Her permanent address is GA and her driver's lisence is GA. She will have a family car (not in her name) with her in Louisiana. Does she need a separate policy in the state of Louisiana or can she remain on our family policy?
Posted on 12/1/2012 at 3:45 PM by Bonnie
<p>@Bonnie: She may be able to remain on your family policy. Please call us at 1-855-266-8485 for assistance.</p>
Posted on 12/17/2012 at 3:39 PM by Progressive
My son goes to collage in Florida and his permeant address is in Mo. Does he have to get a drivers license for Florida or can he keep his mo license and his car is licensed in mo. Would he have coverage if insured thru our insurance in mo. and the car is in our name.
Posted on 12/19/2012 at 9:21 PM by Marilyn
Hi: My son will be attending boot camp for the navy in a couple of weeks and then after will be shipped and stationed in San Antonio, TX. My insurance rate more than doubled with my insurance carrier. Is there a way that I can remove my son from my insurance during this time?
Posted on 1/5/2013 at 5:45 AM by Daliz Vasquez
Hi, I'm currently in high school and will be graduating this year. I have higher than a 3.0 GPA, and I am planning on buying a car to go to a college about 5 hours away from home. I live in Oregon and was wondering if the discounts only get applied after I have moved away to college, or if I can buy the car now and still get the student discounts? - Thank you
Posted on 1/6/2013 at 9:15 PM by Alondra Orozco
My daughter attends college in Colorado but her permanent address is in PA (with me--her parent). Since she uses her car while at school, do we need to have her car registered in Colorado, does she need to get a Colorado license and do I need to get another insurance policy to cover her in Colorado? She is currently covered under my PA insurance policy. Thanks for your help.
Posted on 1/20/2013 at 9:20 AM by Lisa
@Lisa: All good questions! Even when a child goes away to college, you do keep her on your policy, as long as her permanent address is still with you. In your case, the state of CO may require that the vehicle be registered there, and if that's the case, they'll also require a CO policy. Since she's not a permanent resident, she shouldn't have a problem keeping the PA registration and plates. The first thing you'll want to do is go into your Progressive policy and update the garaging location for her vehicle to Colorado.
Posted on 1/24/2013 at 11:23 AM by Progressive
My son is 20 and his permanent address is AL. He is not currently a student but will be in the fall. We live in TN. His car is with him. Should we get him a policy on his own?
Posted on 2/4/2013 at 4:43 PM by Nancy Pryor
@Nancy: The key factor here is that his "permanent" address is in AL. Since that's the case, then yes, he needs to get his own policy in the state of AL. Most insurance companies will agree that you can no longer insure him under your policy.
Posted on 2/7/2013 at 9:58 AM by Progressive
Hi, this is a little complicated and want to get some advice. We (my wife, my daughter and myself) have a permanent address in NJ. Recently My wife was relocated to other state due to job change and I was relocated also but to a different state. We still have our nj home. My wife have a car with her and my we have another car in NJ which my daughter drive occasionally did not drive often since she attends college and lives in dorm there. I do not have a car but want to be in the insurance policy since both cars are under my name and I might need to drive occasionally when travel for business 1. Can we register both cars to my new address? 2. Can we use my new address for insurance or we have to use my nj home address for the insurance of one of the car my daughter's using occasionally? 3. Based on the answer to previous posts, it seem its is possible to use my new address for my daughter's insurance. Is that correct? Thank you very much
Posted on 2/10/2013 at 6:04 PM by JohnY
@JohnY: It's hard to answer these questions without first looking over your policy. Please give us a call anytime at 1-855-266-8485.
Posted on 2/14/2013 at 2:57 PM by Progressive

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