Best Car Insurance for College Students
Car insurance is required in almost all states, and this includes college students. It doesn’t matter if the student is paying the premium or the parent is paying it. It’s required on all drivers with driver’s licenses and on all vehicles that will be driven on the roads. College students often live on a limited budget, which makes it difficult to pay additional expenses like car insurance. Choosing the best car insurance for college students involves research and time. Below is some helpful information on car insurance and finding a good policy for your college student.
What is Car Insurance?
Car insurance is a type of insurance designed to protect you from auto-related accidents and incidents. Unlike other types of insurance, car insurance is the one insurance type that is required in most, if not all, the states. There are several types of car insurance, and they all play a different role in how they protect drivers and passengers.
This type of insurance is what’s required by most of the states. It protects you from being sued if you’re involved in an accident in which you were the cause. It will also pay for medical expenses for your passengers if they were hurt in the accident and required medical care. The most important role of liability insurance is that it protects you from lawsuits.
Collision insurance will pay for damages to your car or personal property when you hit or collide into something. If you hit a tree and total out your vehicle, collision insurance will pay to have the vehicle replaced.
This insurance will pay for damages done to your vehicle when something hits your vehicle, such as an animal, a baseball, or something similar. While collision insurance covers your vehicle when you hit something, comprehensive insurance pays when something hits you.
Despite the fact that auto insurance is required, many drivers still choose to not carry auto insurance. If you’re involved in an auto accident where the other driver was at fault but had no insurance, your uninsured motorist insurance will pay for damages.
Some drivers may carry insurance but not enough insurance to pay for all the damages caused by an accident. Underinsured motorist insurance will pay for these damages.
Medical payments coverage
This type of insurance, usually part of the liability coverage package, will pay for medical bills to passengers in your vehicle when it’s involved in an accident.
Personal injury protection insurance
This coverage will pay for things like loss of income or medical payments if you’re involved in a serious auto accident.
Gap insurance will pay off your auto loan if you owe more than the vehicle is worth and the vehicle is considered a total loss.
Why Do you Need Car Insurance?
There are several very good reasons why you might need car insurance.
Although there are many reasons to have car insurance, the main reason is that it’s a legal requirement. If you get pulled over by law enforcement, the first thing they generally ask you for is your registration and proof of insurance. If you do not have insurance, you may get a citation. If you do have car insurance but can’t show proof, you may still get a citation.
Whether you’re a college student or an adult, buying a vehicle is a big transaction. Next to buying a home, buying a car is usually the most expensive purchase you’ll make. You’ve paid money for a vehicle so you want to protect it from loss. When you have full coverage auto insurance, you have the security of knowing you’ll be reimbursed if your vehicle is damaged or destroyed in an accident.
If you needed a loan to buy the vehicle, the bank will require you to have full coverage insurance. They want to know the vehicle, which is also their collateral, will be paid for in case it’s destroyed in an accident.
Repairs are paid for
Your vehicle can be damaged even if it’s not involved in an accident. Say the neighborhood boy accidentally hits a baseball through your windshield, or your vehicle has hail damage. Your comprehensive insurance will pay to have the vehicle repaired so you don’t have to.
Statistics on Car Accidents and Car Break-ins During College
Motor vehicles are among the topmost prevalent crimes committed on college campuses today with many cars being subjects of break-ins. The National Center for Education Statistics states that motor vehicle thefts made up 11 percent of the college crimes reported in 2018.
For years, it’s been that teen drivers have been more at risk for not just auto-related crimes but accidents as well. In fact, car accidents are the main cause of death among college students.
Motor vehicle crashes are also the second leading cause of death among teenagers according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They are more at risk not just because they are teenagers or college students. There are certain factors that put these young drivers more at risk.
- Inexperience – Teen drivers, which includes college students, are more likely to not recognize dangerous situations on the road.
- Weekend and Nighttime Driving –Teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in accidents at night or on the weekend according to a 2019 report by National Household Travel Survey.
- Failure to Use Seat Belts – Of the many fatal crashes involving teen drivers, 40 percent were not wearing seatbelts.
- Being Distracted While Driving – A 2019 survey showed that 39 percent of teen drivers emailed or texted while driving.
- Speeding – Among the accident fatalities among teen drivers in 2019, 17 percent of females and 31 percent of males were speeding.
- Alcohol Use – More than 20 percent of accidents involving teen drivers were alcohol-related.
- Drug/Substance Use – The use of marijuana and other drugs has been linked with many high school and college-age students.
Car Insurance Discounts for College Students
Car insurance premiums are based on several factors.
- Your driving record – If you have a good driving record, have not been involved in an at-fault accident, or received any traffic violations, you will get better rates. The better driver you are, the lower your premiums will be.
- What your vehicle is used for – The more you drive your vehicle, the more at risk you are of being involved in an accident. Therefore, the higher your premiums are going to be. If you only drive your vehicle occasionally, your rates will be lower.
- Your age – Statistics show that young drivers get into more accidents than older drivers so they pay higher premiums. Insurance companies usually charge higher rates until the individual turns 25 years old.
- Your gender – Statistics also show that females get into fewer accidents than male drivers so their insurance rates are lower.
- Where you live – Due to the high rate of auto thefts and vandalism, especially among college students, your premiums will be higher, especially if you live in a city with a high rate of crime. The smaller the town you live in, the lower your rates will be.
- The vehicle you drive – The cost and value of your vehicle are going to affect your premiums. A vehicle with a higher value is going to have higher insurance rates because the insurance company will have to pay out more money if the vehicle is involved in an accident. However, new vehicles equipped with the latest safety features may see reduced rates.
- Your credit history – Believe it or not, drivers with good credit will see lower insurance premiums. Unfortunately, most young college students do not have much credit so they pay higher premiums.
- The insurance coverage you choose – The premiums are based on what types of car insurance you choose and the amounts of coverage.
Your auto insurance premiums are based on the factors listed above. However, most insurance companies offer discounts on insurance for college students.
- Good driver discounts – Many insurance companies give college students a discount if they’ve been accident-free for a certain amount of time.
- Good student discount – This discount is offered to students who maintain grades of B or higher.
- Membership discount – These discounts are given if the student is a member of a sorority, fraternity, or honor society.
- Organizational discounts – These discounts are offered to students who are members of certain organizations, such as student organizations or alumni associations.
- Multi-car discount –This discount is offered to students who insure more than one vehicle with the insurance company. If college students put their vehicle on their parent’s policy, they can save money.
- Multi-policy discount – This discount is available if the student has more than one policy with the company, such as an auto policy and renter’s policy.
- Safety device discounts – Most insurance companies will offer discounts if your vehicle is equipped with safety devices, such as airbags, anti-collision systems, adaptive cruise control, and anti-lock brakes, among others.
- Annual pay discount – If you pay your bill annually, you typically get a discount.
- Autopay discount – If you use autopay to pay your insurance bill, you’ll generally get a discount.
Top Car Insurance Companies for College Students
When choosing the best car insurance for college students, there are a few factors that should be considered. In fact, with so many excellent insurance companies around, it can be difficult to find the best car insurance for college students. An insurance company that is the cheapest may not necessarily be the best car insurance for college students.
When choosing an auto insurance company, it’s important to compare not just premiums but what they offer for that premium. Pay attention also to the customer service they provide. You may also want to read reviews on the various companies you’re considering. Here are some of the top insurance companies for college students.
Lemonade Car Insurance for College Students
Lemonade car insurance for college students offers a few different features that make them stand out from the rest. They use location-based technology so you’re paying premiums based on where you live. Everything from buying your policy to making a claim can be done online. They also provide you with free roadside assistance and free emergency crash assistance. If you’re in an accident, they’ll know about it before you even have time to worry. In addition to having an easy-to-use mobile app, they offer competitive rates and give discounts if you drive a hybrid or electric vehicle. They have a very fast claims process. They’ll even plant a tree in your name to help fight emissions from vehicles. Lemonade has policies starting as low as $35 per month.
Geico Car Insurance for College Students
In addition to being the nation’s second-largest insurance company, Geico is one of the highest-rated auto insurance companies according to Wallet Hub. They also have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. They’re great for college students because of their various coverage options, easy-to-understand website, and competitive rates. Although this may vary by driver, their average annual premium is about $973. Geico offers driver’s education discounts, good student discounts, and several others. They also offer auto, home, and health insurance.
AAA Insurance for College Students
Many feel that AAA Insurance is the best car insurance for college students because it has very low premiums and offers various student discounts. Some of their discounts include student-away-at-school, good student discount, and new-young driver discount to name just a few. Their cheapest plans, which include roadside assistance, range from $38-$90 annually, but these also vary from region to region. The only downside to this insurance company is that the student or the parents must be members of AAA to be eligible for a policy. AAA also offers extra features like accident forgiveness, disappearing deductible, and gap insurance.
Nationwide Auto Insurance for College Students
Nationwide is a great place to find auto insurance for a college student. They offer several discounts for good students, good driving, driving less, and more. They also offer special features like accident forgiveness and gap insurance. If you join their On Your Side Auto Repair Network, you’ll save even more money on parts and repairs. College students can do anything insurance-related online. Nationwide boasts of a very fast and convenient claims process. They also offer home, health, and life insurance policies and offer discounts if you have more than one policy with them.
Allstate Auto Insurance for College Students
Allstate is a very good insurance company for college students for a few different reasons. They offer very reasonably priced premiums and also offer the pay-per-mile insurance option. This option is ideal for college students who don’t use their car regularly because it will save them money. Students who complete the TeenSMART driver education program will get a discount. Other college student discounts include good student discounts, accident-free discounts, and autopay. Their easy-to-use claims process earned Allstate a very high rating with WalletHub. Claims can be filed over the phone, online, or through their mobile app.
Progressive Car Insurance for College Students
Progressive is a very popular auto insurance company because it offers cheap car insurance not just for college students but parents as well. In fact, their premiums for college students are very low. Progressive also offers a variety of discounts, including distant students, teen drivers, and good student. They also offer a Name Your Price tool which allows college students to find a policy that meets their budget. Progressive also offers home, life, and health insurance. Although their average annual premium is $1,004 annually, college students may find policies for much less than that
If you are looking for car insurance for yourself or your college student, then check out our recommendations for an insurance policy that can provide peace of mind. Shopping around for quotes is a good idea, and try to utilize all of the discounts available.
Additional Insurance Reviews
Annie Johnson is a licensed insurance broker, specializing in auto, home and renters insurance products. She reviews insurance content on College Educated for accuracy and has a particular passion for making sure that college students and recent graduates have proper insurance coverage. Her latest passion includes researching all forms of business insurance, to ensure that recent college grads who look to entrepreneurship can have the right protection.