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How Does Auto Insurance Work When My Child Goes To College?

    5 minute read

    First, your teen learned how to drive. Now, they’re going off to college. Where did the time go? As you prepare to send your child off to college, there are many things you may be worried about. Do they have enough bedding and toiletries and towels? What about laundry detergent and cooking supplies? You can’t forget to send them with some family photos to hang up on their dorm room wall, too. Another thing that may change is your Auto Insurance. Hopefully, you’ve thought about how your policy works while your teen is away at school, especially if they’re taking a car to campus with them.

    It’s essential to understand how your Car Insurance coverage works while your child is at college in case they get into an accident. You don’t want to find out you have improper coverage after it’s too late. And you don’t want your insurance company to completely drop your policy, either.

    Understanding The Rules of Auto Insurance

    When you purchased your Auto Insurance policy, you had to inform your agent of your home address. This partially determined your Auto Insurance rate, among other factors like your driving record, marital status, education, etc. These same determinants applied to anyone else on your policy, including your teen driver. Essentially, your Car Insurance coverage is tied to your specific address and the drivers on your policy who live there with you. If any of these factors change, then so will your rate. Therefore, if your child moves away for college, your coverage may be invalidated if they need to make a claim. This is especially true if they attend a college out of state.

    That’s why it’s important to keep your Auto Insurance company informed about any address changes. It could mean the difference between your child being covered after an accident versus owing thousands of dollars in damages. When you inform your agent of your child going away to college, they can help ensure you have the appropriate coverage.

    How Does Auto Insurance Work While My Child Is Attending College?

    Just because your child is going to college, doesn’t necessarily mean your Car Insurance rate will increase. Below are some of the factors that may affect your rate:

    Is your child taking a car to campus?

    Auto insuranceMany freshmen college students choose not to take a car with them to campus during their first year of studying. This is because they usually live in a dorm or other housing on campus, so they don’t need a regular mode of transportation. If your teen isn’t taking a car with them, then your Auto Insurance rate may actually decrease. This is because the risk of accidents or tickets is decreased. Additionally, if your child is attending a university that’s 100 miles away or more and not taking a vehicle with them, your insurance company may even offer you a discount.

    Just remember that it’s important not to exclude your child from your policy completely. They will need coverage if they will be driving at home during holidays and breaks.

    Where is their college campus located?

    If your child will be taking a car to campus, then you need to inform your insurance provider of the address they will be residing at. This location will affect your Car Insurance premium. Urban settings typically generate higher Auto Insurance rates compared to rural ones.

    Is their college campus located out of state?

    The minimum Car Insurance requirements vary depending on the state. If your teen is attending a college in a different state and will be taking a car with them, make sure that your coverage meets that state’s minimum requirements. For example, New York’s minimum requirements are higher than many of the surrounding states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

    Is the car in their name?

    If your child will be living in off-campus housing and the car they drive is in their name, then they may need to get their own Auto Insurance policy. This is because they have basically moved out of your home and their permanent address has changed. If this is the case, speak with your agent to figure out what your options are. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to get Auto Insurance for a car you do not own, so your teen may be stuck paying a high premium.

    However, speaking with an AIS Insurance Specialist at (855) 919-4247 can help you find the lowest rates out there. Call now to get a free quote for your college student. We will help you and your child find any price-break possible.

    What If My Child Drives Someone Else’s Car At College?

    Let’s say your child decides not to take a vehicle with them to college. You may be wondering how Car Insurance works if they drive someone else’s car while living on campus and they get into an accident. Or, what if your child does bring a car to campus and they let a friend borrow it who gets into an accident?

    Driving Someone Else’s Car

    auto insurance at collegeIf your child occasionally borrows a fellow student or friend’s car while away at college and gets into an accident, they should be covered by the Auto Insurance covering that car. However, this is only true if they are not driving that person’s car habitually. This is called permissive use.

    On the other hand, if they are driving their friend’s car regularly, coverage may be excluded if the owner of that car did not include your child as a driver. In the case of a roommate, spouse, or live-in boy- or girlfriend that are both regularly driving one car, both drivers must be listed on the policy for coverage to apply.

    Someone Else Driving Their Car

    So, what happens if it’s the other way around and someone else driving your child’s car got into an accident? If it’s a one-time or occasional occurrence, then your Auto Insurance should cover the accident up to your policy’s limits. However, it’s important to instruct your child not to lend their car to someone else for a long period of time as to avoid invalidating their Car Insurance coverage.

    For more detailed information on permissive use and how coverage works when someone else drives your car, go here.

    Other Important Things To Know

    If you sell or give your car to your child, make sure the title is in their name and that they also have their own Car Insurance policy in their name. This is essential if your child is residing at a permanent address out of state.

    auto insurance discountsAdditionally, your child cannot be covered under your Auto Insurance policy after college graduation unless they move back home. If they are not moving back home, make sure the title of the vehicle they’re taking with them is in their name and that they get their own insurance policy in their name, as well. It’s true that their policy may cost more this way. But they will no longer be able to be covered under your policy since they live at a separate address.

    The best thing you can do is keep your Auto Insurance company informed of any changes that may affect the terms of your policy. Speaking with an Insurance Specialist will help ensure you have the protection that you and your family needs. Change isn’t always a bad thing. Call (855) 919-4247 now to see if you qualify for a discount or price-break once your teen leaves for college.

    The information in this article is obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here. Such policy will be governed by the language contained therein, and no warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.