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away at college auto insurance

tninertniner Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited June 2012 in University of Alabama
As the father of an out of state college student who will not have her car on campus I am wondering what is the best method to save on car insurance. I want my daughter to be able to drive on breaks when she is home.

My insurance company is offering a very small away at college discount in addition to the rather large premium. I was planning to remove here while she is at school but then I have been informed she will be considered as not having continuous coverage and each restart will cost more.

Which insurance companies offer the best deals for away college kids? It pains me that I pay more for insurance premiums than my daughter makes by working the summer as a lifeguard! And she has had no accidents tickets and has driven for over 2 years!
Post edited by tniner on

Replies to: away at college auto insurance

  • latteladylattelady Registered User Posts: 784 Member
    I'm curious to see what kind of responses you get. I was surprised to learn that our discount for our D not taking her car to school in the fall will be less than $5 a month. The agent couldn't tell me for sure if that was only the discount or was net of an increase in our next renewal due to an at-fault accident in the family (not my D's). At this point, we have five drivers on our insurance. As our oldest is just now graduating from college, we hope to quickly reduce it to four!
  • momreadsmomreads Registered User Posts: 3,233 Senior Member
    Three years ago when my son was leaving for college, I called and asked our insurance people what kind of a discount we would receive. We were told that, since our son did not have a car at college, we would be paying about $250 a year to keep him on the policy. We just submit paperwork each year or so to let them know he is still in college.
  • kjcphmomkjcphmom Registered User Posts: 1,094 Senior Member
    I think the state you live in determines how your college student's insurance is handled. My agent took off my son when he went to oos college. (My son is forbidden to drive when away.) When he is home on break my agent assures me he is covered as a guest driver as he does not live at home permanently. I have double checked this again this week as my s just came home for the summer and he says he is covered at no additional cost. My sister eho lives 50 miles away but in a neighboring state pays full for each of her oos students and doesn't get any breaks.
  • amcm4klm3amcm4klm3 Registered User Posts: 217 Junior Member
    Insurance premiums are based on driving record, type of vehicle, credit score, location, etc. Most insurance companies have an away to college rate, but if your young adult is rated on a vehicle that has full coverage, the rate is still very high. If the vehicle will not be driven, you can raise your deductible or drop the comprehensive and collision coverage. You can lower the deductible or add the other coverages when your child comes home for winter and summer breaks. You can remove your daughter from your policy and she will still be covered when she drives your vehicles when she is home. As a matter of fact, anyone that has your permission to drive your vehicle is covered under your policy. If your daughter is not rated on a vehicle, it might be harder for her to get insurance once she is on her own or she decides to have a car while on campus. While working for a large insurance company, I had several families that decided to terminate their kids coverage, while at school. Most of the clients that were policy holders for several years, had no problem adding their kids back into the household after graduation. They would just call the agent and let him know that the young adult was back home and needed to be rated on a vehicle. Some agents are more willing to help than others. I suggest that you call your agent and ask for his/her advice.
    If you have an older vehicle with liability coverage only, rate your daughter on that vehicle. One of my clients had his son moved to grandpa's household while at college, because grandpa had an old clunker.
  • robotbldmomrobotbldmom Registered User Posts: 2,697 Senior Member
    Some insurance companies won't give a discount unless the college is a specified distance away. Otherwise students who come home frequently would get the very discounted "away at college' rate. Since we are 1200 miles away from the college, the insurance company knows that he won't be coming home every weekend. Also, some insurance companies give a discount if your student has good grades.
    Call your insurance company and bundle all your discounts together.
  • ChicagoBearChicagoBear Registered User Posts: 710 Member
    Check with your insurance company, but my DS goes to school in Ohio about 300 miles away from home. (And of course UA will be even further away when DD comes in the fall of 2013.) We have Chubb and when he was a freshman we received a nice discount and of course he had full coverage when home on break or over the summer. He also would have been covered (from a liability standpoint) if he borrowed a buddies car.

    Now he takes his car to school, but that does make things easier for move in and move out! Luckily the insurance company added a discount for college students with good grades so we actually made out fine. I can't remember the milage limit for the discount - I want to say it the school had to be 150 or 200 miles away from home.
  • ChicagoBearChicagoBear Registered User Posts: 710 Member
    Robot - I've seen comments from other insurance pros that insurance companies could legally deny a claim if you are not paying a premium for a back at home college student. The policy requires all household members with a license to be disclosed and a premium calculated. How is dependent a guest? Maybe the company might not fight it for a fender bender, but if its a six or seven figure claim they will look for a reason to deny. I want to know junior is covered. I would get this in writing - if the agent is wrong, at least you have an E&O claim.
  • robotbldmomrobotbldmom Registered User Posts: 2,697 Senior Member
    ^^^^^^I think you are confusing me with a different poster. My son is fully insured, just at an "away" rate, however I don't think he will be using the car much this summe, he is spending the summer in Europe :)
  • ChicagoBearChicagoBear Registered User Posts: 710 Member
    Sorry Robot. I was using my Blackberry coming home on the train - small screen, old eyes. My comment should be addressed to amcm...

    I saw a furious discussion about the topic of whether or not away college students are "guests". It was on "i n s u r a n c e f o r u m . n e t. While the ISO form (Insurance Service Office - that writes many standardized policy forms, which can be adopted or altered by each insurance company or be state regulation) might be stretched to cover students as guests, about 90% of the agent/brokers said no it wouldn't provide coverage. And some of those who thought it did provide coverage, acknowledged that a claim might cause subsequent cancellation or non-renewal. The reason being the client could be deemed dishonest or fraudulent. Most agents feared a claim on their professional liability errors and omissions policy. This is clearly a company and state specific issue. I don't see why they have a special rate for student away from home if the intent of the policy is to provide coverage as a guest.

    My view is if a student is claimed as your dependent on your taxes, files their taxes with your address, has their license with your address, they are not a guest. Maybe if they are not a dependent, have their license, voters registration and permanent address at their college its legit.
  • SEA_tideSEA_tide Registered User Posts: 3,877 Senior Member
    This is definitely a state and insurance company-specific issue. My family's insurance agent mentioned that the company would charge students the married, but under 25 rate if they went to school 300+ miles away and only when the students were away at school. Another insurance company doesn't charge for students who attend school 250+ miles away.

    Keep in mind that many states allow one to post a bond, usually $50,000, in lieu of having the mandatory automobile insurance. If you have the money and prefer to self-insure, that might be an option.
  • Yorba2BamaYorba2Bama Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    We have AAA. We re-instate our S on our policy when he comes home from college and cancel him when he returns to college. It's a simple phome call and no additional fees are required.
  • robotbldmomrobotbldmom Registered User Posts: 2,697 Senior Member
    Here is one insurance companies discount policies:
    Car Insurance Discounts for Teens | Liberty Mutual

    and a more general explanation of some discounts offered
    Special Auto Insurance Discounts For College Students | AutoInsuranceQuote.com
  • aeromomaeromom Registered User Posts: 2,709 Senior Member
    Bumping this for those of you who have not done anything about this yet.

    Our insurance is Liberty Mutual - just called today to put S on "Away At College" status starting August. Our premium will drop $410 a year. S is still covered (fully!) - on breaks, vacations, during summer, + even if he borrows someone else's car. LOVE Liberty Mututal! :)
  • latteladylattelady Registered User Posts: 784 Member
    I did check with out insurance again a couple of weeks ago. This time, the way they calculated it will save us about $150 a year. D will also be covered to drive other people's cars and any of our cars at home. It's better than nothing! BTW we use USAA.

    As a side note, we intend to sign D up for the Zipcar.
  • SninerSniner Registered User Posts: 400 Member
    We also have USAA and are very disappointed with only $150 savings. This is the only time in over 20 years I have had the occasion to say something negative. I know that speaks volumes, but I do believe they missed the mark this time.
This discussion has been closed.