Can I Get a Discount on Car Insurance as a College Student
Driving a car can be both a privilege and a pain. It allows for freedom, but it also comes with responsibility: getting annual checkups, understanding the road rules, and getting insurance to cover damages. Car insurance is arguably one of the most important parts of owning a car, but can you get a discount on car insurance as a college student?
The good news is that most companies offer discounts on car insurance for college students. There are usually specifications on how a student can get a discount, such as getting good grades, but this is only sometimes the case.
This article will look at the different kinds of car insurance discounts available, how to get a discount, and some of the companies that offer discounted student car insurance.
What is Car Insurance?
According to AAA, car insurance is a type of protection that eases financial costs and is needed when driving a vehicle. It usually includes coverage for the driver and their passengers as well as coverage for the car itself.
The first car insurance record was noted in 1897 in Dayton, Ohio. Gilbert J. Loomis bought an automotive liability insurance policy that would protect him if his car “damaged property or injured or killed an individual.”
What Does Car Insurance Cover?
Car insurance nowadays can cover various things depending on how much a person is willing to pay for coverage.
This is one of the most common things covered by car insurance. It can help pay for repairs or replacement parts for the party at fault and those involved in the crash.
Another essential coverage is non-collision, which means that the damage to a vehicle was not from a collision with another car. This can include if the vehicle was stolen, vandalized, or damaged by fire, flood, earthquake, falling objects, or other causes.
Suppose any car is in an accident, and the driver or the passengers get hurt and require medical attention. In that case, car insurance can cover the costs of medical expenses, including ambulance costs and staying at a hospital.
If a person’s car needs to be repaired in a shop, car insurance can cover the cost of a rental car until the personal car has been fixed.
This kind of insurance pays the difference between a policy for a financed vehicle and the money owed to a lender if the car experiences severe damage.
Car insurance can cover end-of-life expenses for fatal collisions, especially if those involved in the accident do not have life insurance.
Protection for New Car
Depending on when a new car was purchased, there is car insurance to pay for repairs or replace a new vehicle if it is damaged or totaled in an accident.
How Can I Get a Discount on Car Insurance as a College Student?
Now that we know what car insurance is, how can a college student get a discount on their car insurance? There are a few ways to ensure that a student will get cheaper insurance:
WalletHub says that it pays to get good grades in college. For example, most major car insurance companies offer a “good student discount,” meaning that students who maintain a B grade average can usually get cheaper car insurance. But, again, the thinking is that students responsible in the classroom will be responsible on the road.
The amount of the discount varies, but most car insurance companies give 25%-30% off for good grades. A couple of caveats are that the student is unmarried and between the ages of 16 and 25. Being in the top 20% of national standardized testing or on the Honor Roll or Dean’s List can also be rewarding for students looking for discounted car insurance.
Lots of Distance
Many car insurance companies will also give discounts to students that live far away from their hometowns. Forbes mentions the “distant student discount,” given to college drivers if they meet specific parameters.
Commonly, to qualify for the “distant student discount,” college students need to be at a school 100+ miles away from home, will only drive a car when they come back for breaks, or has the car at home when they are in school.
Take Driver’s Ed
Another way to get discounted car insurance is to ensure the student takes Driver’s Ed. After completing an approved driver training program, there is often a driver training discount. It will vary by state and car insurance company.
Major Car Insurance Companies and Their Discounts
Several car insurance companies can choose from when considering the best-discounted vehicle coverage. The most popular ones are as follows:
- State Farm
How to choose which company to go with? Below are more details about the student discounts each place offers.
Geico has a lot of options for college students and incentives that will provide discounts on car insurance. For example, they offer those mentioned “good student discount” and another one called the “good driver discount,” meaning that car insurance is discounted if the driver has not been in an accident in the past five years.
In addition, Geico also offers discounts for those memberships if a student joins certain fraternities, sororities, or student organizations. However, check their website for discounts, as only some states offer them.
State Farm offers discounts for students, precisely 25% off, if good grades are maintained through the semesters. Students must be between 16-25 years old and maintain a 3.0 GPA or be in the top 20% of their class.
They also have a Drive Safe and Save program, which uses telematic data to analyze a person’s driving. Discounts will vary between states, but savings can range from 30% to 50% off.
Metromile states that college students can pay between $4,000 and $7,000 annually for car insurance. This is because younger drivers are often considered more reckless than older drivers.
Luckily, Metromile offers discounts for college students, including a discount reward for safe driving and a unique Pay-Per-Mile car insurance program. This kind of car insurance is especially beneficial to college students because:
- College students will only pay for the miles driven. So why spend hundreds of dollars when the monthly amount of miles driven is only 50 or so miles?
- Many college classes might be remote, so it makes more sense to only pay for a car if it is not even being driven to class.
- If a student lives on campus, has a short commute, or works nearby, it is more beneficial to walk rather than drive.
Metromile works exceptionally well for commuter schools or students that live on-campus or do not require much driving to get around.
Allstate knows that car insurance can be expensive, especially for a college student struggling to pay tuition and other bills. So Allstate offers several savings tips, but their insurance also has some college student benefits.
For example, they offer a “resident student” discount, meaning that a student is going to a college that’s over 100 miles away and they are leaving their car with their parents. They also offer a discount for good grades (the student must be unmarried, a full-time student, and no older than 25 years old).
Allstate also discounts if a student bundles their car and rental insurance. Since many college students are likely to rent, this bundle deal can make sense for specific individuals.
Nationwide offers a lot of the same discounts as other car insurance companies. There is a Good Student Discount and multipolicy discount, similar to Allstate. They also have a Driver’s Ed discount, although people should double-check with Nationwide as they only accept specific approved driver training programs.
In addition, Nationwide also has a SmartMiles Discount and a SmartRide Discount. The SmartMiles Discount is an insurance policy that pays per mile, so if a student drives less often, this is a great option. The SmartRide Discount rewards students who drive safely.
This discount involves the student downloading the Nationwide app. The app can then keep track of the following:
- Measures the number of miles driven. The more miles are driven, the more likely an accident can happen.
- Keeps track of hard braking.
- Notes fast acceleration. Accelerating over 7.7 miles per hour per second can be a sign of aggressive or unsafe driving.
- It looks at nighttime driving, which is between midnight and 5 AM.
If the app determines that all these are being considered, a discount can be given for safer driving.
Progressive also has similar discounts, although they tend to have more restrictions than others. For example, their good student discount requires a B average, but it is only around 10% off, and students can be at least 23.
There’s also a distance discount similar to Allstate, where students need to live 100 miles away from home but must be 22 years old or younger.
Having a car in college might seem like a privilege to some. However, getting around campus or driving home can be helpful throughout the school year. College students with cars may not have disposable income, but there are ways to help insure their vehicles without spending too much. Many insurance companies offer discounts for college students, but be sure to ask as they are only sometimes advertised.
If you qualify for certain government benefits, you may also be eligible for Lifeline or the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Lifeline and ACP are government-run programs to help low-income consumers receive free or heavily discounted communication services.
Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.