Do College Freshmen Require Auto Insurance? Here’s What to Know

Do College Freshmen Require Auto Insurance?

For many teens, heading off to college is surely an exciting time. You get to live on your own, make new friends, and experience the freedoms of adulthood. You’re also compelled to deal with different grown-up situations like figuring out whether you must take out your own auto insurance. If you still can’t make a decision, read on to learn more about why car insurance is necessary, especially for college freshmen.

What Statistics Say About Teen Drivers

Did you know that the second leading cause of death of teens in the United States is motor vehicle crashes? Statistically speaking, teen drivers are considered among those who are the most dangerous on the road. Numerous factors can put you at significant risk, including inexperience, not using seatbelts, and speeding. Other contributory factors are distracted driving, nighttime and weekend driving, alcohol use, and substance abuse.

For these reasons, State Farm auto insurance and many other insurers prefer to tie teen drivers into an insurance plan with their parents. Car insurance companies believe that being an adolescent, you will be more likely to be cautious if you remain responsible to your parents. Additionally, these insurers cannot exist by only insuring risky drivers. It’s crucial that they maintain a balance of both good and risky drivers. This helps them easily supply coverage to a high-risk teen if there’s another, low-risk driver on the insurance plan.

How Much Does It Cost For Students?

The average annual cost of auto insurance for any U.S. driver is about $1,555. Even if you’re already 18 years old and technically an adult, insurers may still view you as young and unskilled. With only more or less two years of driving record under your belt, you can expect them to tag you as high-risk. In this case, it’s common for auto insurance providers to charge risky drivers with enormous premiums for the supposed lack of experience. Needless to say, those between the age of 18 and 22 generally pay more than three times the national average rate.

Is It More Affordable To Get Your Own Insurance?

The cost of carrying your own auto insurance generally depends on where you keep the car. If it’s being used in a more affordable state than where your parents live, it might be possible to save money if your auto insurance policies are separate. Otherwise, getting your own policy may not be the best option.

In many cases, it will be cheaper if your parent adds you to their existing car insurance plan instead. Cost savings is one of the primary reasons many parents keep their college-age kids on their own auto insurance plan. The coverage and limits of their policy will extend to their teens. And to help offset the cost of adding a new driver to an existing plan, some insurance companies offer discounts.

Ways To Save On Teen Drivers

College freshmen are by default expensive to insure since they tend to make more claims than older, more experienced drivers. The good news is there are several discounts you can take advantage of as a student, including:

Good Student Discount

Many auto insurance providers offer good student discounts. Eligibility requirements vary for every insurer. While some companies require an A average, others are fine with a B average. They help you save on the cost by offering between 3% and as much as 15% off for having good grades. In general, you may qualify for this particular discount if you are a full-time student in high school or college and have at least a B average or higher. Additionally, many insurers require that you’re unmarried, have a safe driving record, and aren’t older than 25 years old.

Occasional Driver Discount

If your parents added you to their car insurance policy, you may qualify for the occasional driver discount. This type of discount typically requires another person, specifically the primary driver, to be insured on the policy. As the name implies, you must drive less than a certain number of miles at a given period to avail of this discount. Occasional driver discount is often used not just by college students who live on campus but also by stay-at-home parents, retirees, remote workers, and many more.

Distant Student Discount

If you are traveling far from your home to attend college, consider asking your potential insurer whether they offer a distant student discount. Depending on your insurer, they may require you to attend a school that’s at least 100 miles from home. Some providers offer this type of discount to full-time students and at a certain age limit.

When comparing rates between multiple auto insurance companies, you must also look for other types of discounts. These include a resident student discount, a low mileage discount, and a discount for completing the defensive driving course.

Other Ways To Save Money

If you’re looking for tips to save as much money as you can on your policy, you must try to expand your focus beyond car insurance discounts. There are several strategies you can use to lower your premium significantly. These include increasing your deductible, reducing coverage limits, and making full and upfront payments. You may also save by setting up paperless billing and leveraging on automated payments.

What Now?

Do you have a safe, reliable car and a good driving history? Instead of getting a brand-new car insurance policy, ask your parent or legal guardian to add you into theirs. This will help in keeping the insurance costs under control. To save more, don’t forget to help them quest for discounts. Make sure to ask the insurance agent about any other possible discounts and promotional offers that you may qualify for. This way, you can guarantee liability coverage without necessarily losing big.


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