What should I do about car insurance while at college?
You have a lot to worry about when heading off to college. One of the last things you might be thinking about is car insurance coverage and insurance premiums. However, there are some important things to keep in mind with auto insurance during your college years.
Do I need to let my car insurance company know about my college plans?
You don’t need to share your declared major, but, yes, auto insurance companies do need to know if you’re heading off to college. This is especially important if the college of choice is out of state from your current residence. Where your vehicle is primarily located is a big factor in determining possible risks and coming up with your car insurance rate.
There are also things to consider if you are residing year-round at school or just during the academic year. Each insurance company will have different requirements based on this scenario. Get in touch with your auto insurance agent or car insurance company to discuss details.
Why is your college location important for auto insurance?
Year-round college students will likely need an auto insurance policy for the location that matches their school residence. This is the case for multiple reasons, including:
States have their own insurance requirements, including minimum limits
Garaging location is a prominent factor in your insurance rates
Miles driven can impact rates
Whether college students live at home part-time can be a factor in determining residency
You might think you’ll get cheap car insurance by not reporting your college destination, especially if you’re moving from a rural location to a big city. However, if something bad happens and you didn’t disclose your new location, you might end up not being covered at all.
Should I have my own insurance policy?
Generally, the answer to this question is yes, but that depends on the situation.
If you’re still going to be a resident of your parents’ household, you may be able to be kept on your parents’ plan.
You should get in touch with your insurance carrier. Make them aware of the upcoming life change, and they will provide direction as to the best course of action to take.
If you do plan on getting your own car insurance policy when going off to college, either as a full-time or part-time student, make sure you get more than one quote from a car insurance company. After all, why pay more if you don’t have to?
Do I need to be covered if I don’t have a vehicle on campus?
Again, the answer to this depends on the situation. Generally, if you will be doing any driving (e.g., a friend’s car, a parent’s car when visiting home), you need to have car insurance coverage. While the vehicle owner’s policy should cover you, what happens if your friend let it lapse?
Also, if you remain on your parents’ policy, you can drive when you’re home on breaks. You’re also typically covered if you occasionally drive a friend’s vehicle. Plus, you will still have coverage as a passenger in a vehicle and as a pedestrian.
Are there good student discounts?
Each insurance provider has its own set of discounts, which may include a good student discount for college students. You might also qualify for resident student or occasional driver discounts, depending on the situation.
Can my friends drive my car at college?
It seems like no big deal to let a roommate or friend borrow your car. However, remember that when it comes to car insurance, your policy follows your car. That means if your roommate gets into an accident, your insurance probably covers the damages caused. Plus, it’s likely your rates will rise due to an at-fault accident involving your vehicle.
Consider these details when handing over the keys for a pizza run.
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This document is made available by Sentry Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively “Sentry”) with the understanding that Sentry is not engaged in the practice of law, nor is it rendering legal advice. The information contained in this document is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Legal obligations may vary by state and locality. No one should act on the information contained in this document without legal advice from competent and licensed local professionals. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT IS DISTRIBUTED BY SENTRY “AS-IS”, WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES. SENTRY WILL HAVE NO LIABILITY TO ANY PERSON OR ENTITY WITH RESPECT TO ANY LOSSES OR DAMAGES CAUSED, OR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN CAUSED, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY BY THIS DOCUMENT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH CLAIM IS BASED ON CONTRACT, WARRANTY, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE AND FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE AND DEATH) OR OTHER GROUNDS.
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