Car insurance for college students: Your complete guide

College student moving into the dorm
October 14, 2021

Car insurance may be the last thing you get excited thinking about before heading to your new school. But coverage is important—and legally required. We've got you covered with our complete guide to car insurance for college students

Start by comparing insurance quotes

One of the most important steps to take when shopping for insurance is to request quotes from multiple companies. It's the best way to get a good price on insurance. Plus, you can compare things like types of coverages and available discounts.

Review these questions to help find the best car insurance

You'll have to take plenty of quizzes in college, so we promise—this one will be easy. Consider your answers to these questions to help determine the most affordable coverage that provides the protection you're looking for.

Where will you live?

You likely already know where you'll be living. This can impact the cost of your insurance. For example, if you'll be living in an area with higher crime rates or heavy traffic, your insurance rates may be higher.

It's also important to consider that not every insurance company provides national coverage, so it can be helpful to find an agent located near your school.

Do you need your own insurance as a college student?

Whether or not you need your own auto insurance as a college student depends on where you're a resident and where you live. If you're still considered a resident of your parents' house—meaning you live there whenever you're not at school, such as during holidays and breaks—you can typically stay on your parents' car insurance policy.

However, if you're no longer considered a resident of your parents' house, you'll likely need to get your own policy. Likewise, if you're going to school out of state and you have your car with you there, you'll mostly likely need your own policy since different states have different insurance requirements.

In any case, you must notify your insurance provider if you're changing locations to attend school. They'll set you up with a separate policy, if required, or adjust your current policy accordingly.

How does going to college out of state affect my auto insurance rate?

Going to college in a different state will likely affect your car insurance rate. Every state has different insurance laws and coverage requirements, which can cause your rates to go up or down.

Car insurance rates are also dependent on the specific area where you'll be living. For example, if you're from a rural area and go to college in a larger city, your insurance rate may go up. This is because, statistically, you'll be more likely to get into a car accident since there are more cars on the road and incidents of theft are often higher.

However, being in a bigger city in a less expensive insurance state could actually result in a lower rate, so be sure to check with your insurance provider to make you get the best rate possible.

How much does car insurance cost for a college student?

How much your car insurance costs is dependent on a few factors including how old you are, where you're going to live, and how clean your driving record is. The good news is that most insurance companies will offer car insurance discounts to help you save.

Understand car insurance coverages for college students

Some car insurance coverages are required by your state, and there are a variety of optional coverages you can choose to add. When you're going to college, be sure to look at these types of insurance.

Liability car insurance

Liability insurance coverage is usually required by the state where you live. If you cause an accident, it'll help pay for damage to another person's vehicle and their injuries.

Comprehensive insurance

Comprehensive car insurance helps cover incidents that happen to your car that aren't your fault, typically by forces outside of your control. That includes acts such as vandalization or theft, and weather-related damage such as hail.

Collision insurance

Collision car insurance helps protect you in case of damage to your car if you're in an accident. This even applies if you caused the accident. Even if it's not an accident with another car and you hit a stationary object, this can help.

Non-owner insurance coverage

If you're attending college and don't own a car, but think you might occasionally drive someone else's car, you'll need non-owner coverage. This will help protect you in case you're at fault in an accident while driving a car that you don't own.

Leverage car insurance discounts for college students

No one wants to add another large expense on top of tuition. Luckily there are many car insurance discounts college students like you can take advantage of:

  • Defensive driving discount: Complete an approved defensive driving course and you could receive a discount on your car insurance.

  • Anti-theft discount: Have you secured your car with an anti-theft device? If so, your insurance provider may offer a break on your premium.

Learn more ways to save on car insurance for college students

  • Stay on your parents' insurance: When you have multiple cars and people listed on a policy, it could help you save money. If you can stay on your family's insurance, they may be eligible for a discount for insuring multiple cars.

  • Keep a clean driving record: Insurers look at your driving record when pricing your policy. That means any speeding tickets you've gotten or accidents you've been in can make the price of your insurance higher. The cleaner you keep your driving record, the cheaper your insurance can be.

  • Be mindful as you build good credit: It's also helpful to have a good credit score. This tells insurers that you're capable of paying bills in a timely manner. Therefore, you're more likely to pay your insurance premiums on time as well—which can lead to lower rates.

Get your free Dairyland quote for college student car insurance today

Before you head to college, check getting car insurance off your list. Start to request and compare quotes today. Get your free quote from Dairyland instantly.

Related links:

What happens if you're in a car accident? Learn what to do if you're involved in a car accident.

Have questions about car insurance? Contact someone at Dairyland today. We can help.

The general information in this blog is for informational or entertainment purposes only. View our blog disclaimer.

*Data accuracy is subject to this article's publication date.

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