How to Control the Cost of Auto Insurance for Your College Student

The typical college student under the age of 25 can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to a staggering $5,000 a year on car insurance. Once you figure in tuition, books, housing, meals and other miscellaneous expenses the prospect of walking, cycling or using public transportation is appealing, but it’s not always practical.

If your child is heading off to college this fall, there are things you can do to reduce their insurance costs.

In most cases, keeping your child on your insurance plan can save you money. Be sure to list her as a primary operator of the vehicle.

Most major insurance companies offer lower rates to high school and college students who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher and who make it onto their schools’ honor roll or dean’s list.

When considering where your child will attend college remember that insurance rates are lower in small towns and rural areas than in larger, urban areas.  Living close to campus can also help reduce your rates, as many providers offer discounts to drivers with shorter commutes.

The type of car your son or daughter drives will also have a significant bearing on the amount you pay for their insurance. Sports cars are more susceptible to damage, and their drivers are more prone to speed which translates into higher insurance premiums.

Insurance companies offer reduced rates to drivers of cars with safety features, including side airbags and electronic stability systems.

They also consider credit ratings when determining drivers’ insurance rates. Having a good credit history can decrease your auto insurance premiums by as much as $1,000 per year.

One of the most obvious factors affecting insurance rates is the driving record of the insured. Even minor violations can cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket.

Even if you’ve had the same insurance provider for years, it’s a good idea to shop around for the best deal once your young drive gets behind the wheel. You should compare quotes from a number of insurance providers. Larger companies don’t always deliver the best rates or customer service, so don’t dismiss smaller companies out-of-hand.

Even if your son or daughter has a clean driving record, you might want to consider having them take a driver safety course. This is an affordable and not overly time-consuming way to reduce your monthly auto insurance premiums.

When choosing your plan, make sure you understand all of the features and provisions in order to avoid paying for coverage that you really don’t need. You might want more coverage than the minimum required by law, but you probably don’t need an extravagant plan that covers all possible contingencies.

There are three basic levels of coverage. They include liability insurance, which protects you in the event you’re involved in an accident that was not your fault. This level of coverage will pay for damage to the other vehicle as well as any medical bills and other expenses claimed by the driver of the other vehicle. Liability insurance does not cover damages to your vehicle.

Collision insurance covers repairs to your vehicle and replacement if your car is totaled in an accident.

Comprehensive insurance pays for repairs to your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident, by flooding, fire, high winds or a variety of other natural disasters.  It will also pay for the replacement of your vehicle if it is stolen and not recovered.

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