Auto insurance rates- when NOT taking car to school and now “Away Student” category

S21 headed OOS for college in Aug.
He is NOT taking his car.

I called insurance co to see if a rate available for coverage to continue for when he comes home on breaks and uses his car during those days/weeks.

We currently pay $2200 a year. Roughly, $200/month.

They offered a discounted rate of $150 a month, $1800/year.

This still seems high to me.
However, DH and I will continue to use his car periodically when he’s gone (it’s an accord and much easier to drive in town and parking for errands than my large SUV).

AND, coverage will still cover S when he is a passenger in a car. (Not expected to be often since DC is not where college students bring cars. But maybe Ubers sometimes?)

Feedback appreciated. :nerd_face:
DH seems to think this isn’t something to complain about….but here I am anyhow gathering data points. :wink:

My only idea would be to see if your insurer does those discounts/rates based on actual driving, as in through an app or a device in your car (note, some people including my DH just WON’T do this on principle).

When we’ve discussed with our insurers how to get rate breaks for times when our kids were barely driving, that is what was suggested. Or, to drop comprehensive coverage on the car and only pay liability (this would be a bit of a risk since you are going to drive the car occasionally…but also depends on the value of that car).

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Geico lowered our rate a tiny bit when my daughter went to college without a car, had to be more than 100 miles away.

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Assuming your “son’s car” is registered in the parent’s name, not his name, Progressive insurance (at least in NY state - insurance rating and policies vary widely based on state of issuance) will, if the school is more than 50 miles from the address where the car is registered and if the student is living at the school as opposed to commuting, give you the option of removing the students name from the policy as a listed driver. The student would still be covered when driving the car, but the underwriting rate would only be based on the remaining listed drivers records.

Was given this information directly from Progressive - not from a broker - when S went off to school. Resulted in a very substantial savings.


We had the same “student 100 miles away” discount one year. I’d have to check to see if I still have the statement, but $400 savings sounds about right.

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Interesting. I would love to prove to them that he literally would be driving it less than 1000 miles a year. (He’s had it 2.5 years and it still has less than 9000 miles on it.)

But like your DH, I’d refuse to put some device on it etc.

Thanks for the info. I might keep asking them about it.

Good to know. I think I’m expecting too much of a drop in rate. Thanks!

Very interesting and helpful info! I will bring this up to our insurance co. Bc it’s what I was kinda thinking but you clarified it for me nicely. Many thx!!

Thx. It appears that if I can’t get S to be removed as one of the drivers then a $400 reduction might be about average. I’m going to see if it’s possible to drop him as a primary driver completely since it’s in my name and he won’t be driving it hardly at all.

Also look into good student discounts. When my kids were away at college we had both discounts. I don’t remember how much it added up to, probably not a lot because we don’t carry collision on the cheap cars the kids were primary drivers on.

Yes check all student discounts on their policies. We got one because of kid’s good driving record and another for having good grades, I believe. It makes a difference. When they were away they weren’t listed on our policy and it was just H and me listed and our policy was very low, even with 3 cars and 2 drivers, max liability coverage. (Our kids did drive when they visited for Christmas and summer and S even totaled a new motorcycle in a collision.) We had no comprehensive as the cars were old and paid like $500 or $1000 for a year (can’t remember any more) for our policies.

My daughter NEVER drove my car. It is a manual transmission and she couldn’t get the hang of it (tried ONCE). She was on my car as an ‘away at school’ driver and it was very cheap so I didn’t fight it. I had one insurer before Liberty Mutual where I signed a document that she didn’t drive and then she didn’t have to be on the policy.

Dear god that’s a good rate! It’s about 25% of what I have to pay to add my kid!

I bought my D her own USAA policy for her own car for about $1200/yr when she was 22. She also got a discount for having completed a driver’s Ed course, as well as good student and good driver discounts.

My kids and we have never had to sign any paper that they wouldn’t drive our vehicles when they visit us. They generally DO drive some when they visit.

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My kids were living at my home (they were in hs) but I didn’t want them on the insurance because it would have been $3000 EACH per year. They didn’t drive my car.

Most policies allow for ‘guest drivers’ and limit the number to 12 times per year (no way for them to know how many time they actually drive) but those are people who aren’t members of your household. If your kids are visiting, they aren’t household members, just visitors.

I think I pay over $10,000 a year for 6 of us (4 young adults) on 4 vehicles, only 1 has collision.

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Both kids didn’t drive much during college. We never had then listed per State Farm. They were protected under our policy. Hope I am explaining this correctly. But once they got their own cars they were listed under their name. Nice thing since my son graduated his company benifits includes major discounts with car, renters etc insurance. Went from like $2800 in Rhode Island where his job is to $1500 for car and renters… For the year…

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I’m looking for much more than a $400 discount from our company, USAA. It’s possible for him to not drive at all even on breaks and his car is valuable but we won’t be using it as it was a gift from his grandpa. I think we are on the title though since he was a minor when acquired. Hope to stay with the same company so we can toggle back on when he comes home next summer.

We just put one kids car on a storage only while they are away at college (greater than 100 miles). We received a refund of $650 on our progressive policy by doing so. Definitely worth doing for those far from home.