Best Car Insurance for College Students
Finding car insurance for college students can be difficult, given high rates for young drivers and unique student needs. To simplify the process, we've put together a list of the best student car insurance companies across several criteria.
Best Cheap Car Insurance for College Students: GEICO
GEICO's low rates and abundance of discounts make it what we consider the best cheap car insurance for college students. While quotes vary depending on where you live, we found that GEICO consistently offers college-aged drivers low auto insurance rates. Furthermore, GEICO offers discounts to members of college-centered groups, like alumni associations, fraternities and sororities. So, if you're involved on campus, chances are you can receive discounted auto insurance rates.
When compared to other national insurance companies, GEICO routinely offers the cheapest auto insurance for college students. Below, we list sample quotes for college-aged drivers provided by a few national insurance companies. Based on our sample, GEICO offers college-aged drivers auto insurance rates that are much lower than any of its competitors' rates.
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Best Discounts on Car Insurance for College Students: State Farm
State Farm offers all of its customers access to a long list of auto insurance discounts, but some of its best ones are reserved for student drivers. For instance, its good-student discount offers up to 25% in annual auto insurance savings to eligible college students. The eligibility requirements vary by state, but typically the driver must be a full-time student and have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (out of 4.0). What makes this discount great is that it continues until the driver turns 25 years old, even if they graduate from college before then. State Farm's "student away at school" discount is great for college students who live on a campus where a car isn't necessary. It offers savings to drivers who live more than 100 miles from home and keep their car there. To be eligible for the discount, college students may only drive their car while they're home on vacation or during a holiday.
State Farm's Steer Clear program offers all drivers under the age of 25 the opportunity to save money on their auto insurance. The program allows drivers to review and improve their driving skills through educational materials and by self-logging significant events that occur during their trips. If no violations or accidents occur during their trips, then they become eligible for a discount on their auto insurance.
Best Car Insurance for Infrequent Drivers: Metromile
Metromile is a great insurance company for college students who drive infrequently but still want the convenience of having their car while at school. Your monthly premium will consist of a base cost plus a per-mile fee, which means less driving equals lower insurance costs. Metromile's quoting system allows drivers to enter their current auto insurance premiums so they can compare and see if switching companies makes sense. Metromile claims that if you drive fewer than 12,000 miles per year, which is the national average, you will save money with its insurance. Metromile doesn't charge policyholders for driving more than 250 miles per day, depending on the state. College students can think of this as a cap on the amount they can be charged, should they choose to drive home or go on a road trip. In New Jersey, Metromile won't charge drivers for more than 150 miles per day.
The company's biggest drawback is its limited availability. Currently, Metromile is only available in eight states: Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington. If Metromile isn't available where you live, ask your insurance company about a low-mileage discount, which is offered by most car insurance companies.
Best Mobile Apps: Allstate
College students are frequently on the move and need an insurer with a comprehensive suite of mobile apps. Allstate offers drivers two mobile apps, both of which serve important functions: Allstate Mobile and QuickTrip. The first allows users to access policy information, manage claims and instantly connect to an agent. You can file a claim right from the app, which we consider the best part. This saves you from long phone calls during what is usually a stressful time.
Allstate's QuickTrip app is a trip optimizer, which saves time and mileage. Drivers can enter as many locations they wish to visit, and the app will find the optimal multistop route for the day. This is a great extra perk for college students, especially those with tight schedules.
While Allstate offers great mobile apps, it also has an extensive network of agents, which are available to answer your questions in person. This can be a huge benefit for college students who may be unfamiliar with the nuisances of their auto insurance policies. Allstate has approximately 12,000 exclusive agencies spread across the country, meaning there's likely one located near you. Ultimately, Allstate offers a great mobile experience and doesn't skimp on in-person support.
Car Insurance for College Students: How to Save Money
If you're a college student with a car on campus, or the parent of one, consider the methods listed below as a way to save money on student car insurance.
Keep the Student on the Parents' Policy
Having a college student on their parents' policy should generally result in lower auto insurance costs for the family compared to buying the student a separate policy, especially if the other members of the family have good driving records. Among the reasons it's cheaper is that the parents likely have a longer history with the insurance company. As a result, auto policies under a parents' name tend to be lower-priced.
The flip side, however, is that a college student who's on the family policy could raise rates for the parents if they run into trouble at the wheel. We recommend exploring pricing for an individual policy for the student and a policy for adding them to (or retaining them on) the family policy.
Explore Discounts for a Student Who Will Drive Less While Away
If your child is attending college more than 100 miles from home without the car, the family may qualify for an away-from-home discount or could even remove the student entirely from the family policy for the time they're away. The student can still drive the car during spring and winter breaks, provided they don't drive for more than a certain number of days in a row, as stipulated by the insurance company. Also, with the student now driving the car less or not at all, you may be eligible for a further premium reduction based on the reduced mileage.
Get a Discount for Good Grades
Good students drive better, according to insurance companies, and this is typically reflected in auto insurance rates. Most of large insurance companies will discount premiums for full-time high school or college students who meet certain requirements: Their grades must meet or exceed a B or 3.0 GPA, or they must rank within the top 20% of their class or within the top 20% of certain standardized test scores from the past 12 months. It's best to ask your particular insurance company about discounts they give for good grades.
Comparison Shop Across Multiple Companies to Save on Student Car Insurance
One of the best ways to save money on auto insurance is to shop around and compare rates. Auto insurance is a highly competitive industry, and in any given area there may be a multitude of competitors. So, it's best to take your time in gathering quotes to ensure you're getting a fair deal. Consider comparing the quotes you receive to the average cost of auto insurance in your state to get a sense of the price you're paying.
The quotes provided above are estimates submitted to the Texas Department of Insurance by the respective insurance companies for a driver under the age of 25 with no previous violations. The policy being quoted includes $50,000 in coverage for bodily injury liability per person ($100,000 for all injuries) and $50,000 in coverage for property damage.