If you have a college student on your auto insurance policy, you know they can be expensive -- even if they're a good driver. Fortunately there are often discounts available for good students and students who are away at school.
In this story:
Common discounts for college student car insurance
There are two common auto insurance discounts available for the college-age group:
Good student discount. This discount usually requires at least a B average or 3.0 GPA. You can also often get this discount if the student is on the Dean's list or honor roll, or scores in the top 20% for the SAT or other standardized test.
Student away school discount. To get this discount the student often needs to live at a college more than 100 miles from home and not have regular access to a vehicle on the insurance policy.
College student discount rules
All auto insurance companies must file details of their insurance policies with the state insurance departments in every state where they operate. EverQuote examined insurance filings made by large auto insurers to bring you their specific rules for getting the discounts. The discount percentages and availability can vary by state and company subsidiary, but in general here are the common rules we found:
Allstate good student discount
Allstate Insurance offers a good student discount for drivers who are under age 25 and unmarried. The student must be enrolled full-time in high school, academic courses in a college or university, or in an academic home study program. The student also must:
- Rank scholastically among the upper 20% of his/her class, or have a grade average of B minus or its numerical equivalent for all subjects combined.
- Or be on a Dean's list, honor roll or comparable list for scholastic achievement.
- Or be ranked in the upper 20% on one of the following national standardized tests administered within the past 12 months: PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test), PACT (Preliminary American College Test), SAT-I (Scholastic Aptitude Test - I), ACT (American College Test), Iowa Test of Basic Skills or California Achievement Test.
You must provide a certified statement from an authorized school official showing the student's full-time student status and attainment of at least one of the above scholastic requirements.
You can get this Allstate discount until the student reaches age 25 or marries.
Allstate also offers a resident student discount. If a person qualifies for both the good student discount and resident student discount, only the resident student discount will be given.
Farmers Insurance good student discount
The Farmers Insurance good student discount is for any driver who is single and under age 25. The student must meet at least one of these academic standards:
- A grade point average of at least a B (or equivalent) or a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 system for all subjects combined.
- Named to Dean's list or honor roll or other comparable designation.
- Rank in upper 20% of the class.
- Rank in upper 20% on a nationally recognized standardized achievement test taken within the past 12 months.
The Farmers good student discount can be combined with both a youthful driver discount and a distant student discount.
Farmers Insurance distant student discount
This discount is for any driver who is single and under age 23, who is a child of the primary policyholder. The student must not have regular access to a vehicle that's covered by the Farmers Insurance policy while away at school. The student must reside at a school more than 100 miles from the nearest garaging ZIP code of the policy.
You can't get the discount if the policy has had certain losses (claims against it) in the past three years.
Liberty Mutual good student discount
This Liberty Mutual discount is for students under age 26 who are full-time high school, college or university students. The student must:
- Rank among the upper 20% of the class scholastically.
- Or have a grade average of B or its equivalent. If the system of letter grading cannot be averaged, no grade can be below B.
- Or have an average of at least 3 points for all subjects combined in schools using numerical grade points, such as 4, 3, 2 and 1 points.
- Or is on the Dean's list, honor roll or comparable list for scholastic achievement.
Students in home schooling must have one of these:
- A standardized form certified by an approved third-party organization showing evidence of at least a B average or 3.0 GPA.
- Or evidence of scoring in the upper 20% on an annual, national, standardized exam.
Liberty Mutual student away at school discount
Liberty Mutual offers this discount for drivers who are single, under age 26 and not the owner of a vehicle. The student must reside at a school, college or educational institution over 100 road miles from the residential address on the insurance policy. The student can't have regular access to a vehicle.
The discount continues until the student no longer meets the above rules.
Nationwide Insurance good student discount
This Nationwide Insurance discount is for drivers under age 25 who are full-time high school or college students (including all home school equivalents). Nationwide may require documentation showing that the student has met one of the following requirements, either cumulatively or for the immediately preceding school semester or quarter (or comparable period):
- Rank in the upper 20% of the class scholastically.
- Or have a grade average of B or its equivalent. If the system of letter grading cannot be averaged, no grade is below B.
- Or have a grade point of at least 3 points on a 4-point scale (or its equivalent) for all subjects combined.
- Or was on the Dean's list, honor roll or comparable list for scholastic achievement.
The Nationwide Insurance good student discount will continue for drivers who have completed undergraduate work provided that they have:
- Graduated from a college, university or technical college.
- And met the qualification requirements shown above for their cumulative or last semester or quarter scholastic record.
- And have been insured with Nationwide for at least one year prior to the policy's renewal date following graduation.
Nationwide Insurance customers can add the good student discount once a household member notifies Nationwide that a driver qualifies. You can add the discount mid-term.
If a driver no longer qualifies for the good student discount, it will be removed at the next policy renewal.
Nationwide Insurance student away discount
Nationwide Insurance offers this discount if an unmarried driver is under age 25 and is a student residing at school over 100 road miles from the garaging location of the vehicles. The student must not have access to any of the vehicles insured by the policy while away at school.
Progressive good student discount
For this Progressive Insurance discount a driver must be under age 23, a full-time student and in good academic standing. The student must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Rank in the upper 20th percentile.
- Or maintain an overall grade average of at least a B.
- Or have a GPA of at least 3.
- Or be on the Dean's list, honor roll or comparable listing.
- Or in the upper 20% for one of the following standardized tests: PSAT, PACT, SAT, ACT, IA test, CA achievement or TAP.
Proof of the student's academic standing may be required and the discount will end if proof is not received. The discount does not apply to a primary policyholder or their spouse.
Progressive distant student discount
Progressive Insurance offers this discount for drivers under age 23 who live away from home and are full-time students enrolled at an educational institution located where the student lives.
These requirements must be met:
- The student may not have regular access to a vehicle covered by the policy while at school.
- The school must be more than 100 miles away from the garaging ZIP code of the vehicle on the policy that is nearest to the student's residence at school.
The discount does not apply to a primary policyholder or their spouse.
State Farm good student discount
For this State Farm discount a driver must be under age 25, enrolled full-time in a high school, college or university, and meet one of the these academic requirements:
- Rank scholastically among the upper 20% of their class.
- Or in schools designating grades by letter (such as A, B, C, D and F), have a grade average of at least a B or its equivalent. If the system of grading by letter is not averaged then no grade can be below a B or its equivalent.
- Or in schools where numbers are used to designate grade points (such as 4, 3, 2 and 1), had at least a 3.0 average on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent for all subjects combined.
- Or be on the school's Dean's list, honor roll or comparable list for scholastic achievement.
The policyholder must submit scholastic records for the immediately preceding school semester, or comparable segment, or a statement certified by a responsible official of the school, showing that the driver was a full-time student.
State Farm's good student discount for students enrolled in home study: To get the State Farm good student discount, a driver who is enrolled as a full-time student in an academic home study program must submit evidence that they ranked in the upper 20% on one of the following national standardized tests, administered within the past 12 months: PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test); PLAN (Preliminary American College Test); SAT-I (Scholastic Aptitude Test-I); ACT (American College Test); TAP (Tests of Achievement and Proficiency); ITED (Iowa Tests for Educational Development); or California Achievement Test, including TerraNova.
The State Farm good student discount is also available to young drivers who have earned an Associate's or Bachelor's degree and met academic requirements. The discount ends when the driver reaches age 25.
State Farm student away at school discount
To get this State Farm discount, a driver must be under age 25 and:
- Reside at school more than 100 miles from home.
- Only drive the vehicle while home during the school vacation or holiday periods.
The car must remain at home while the student is away at school.
This State Farm discount applies to the full term of the policy and is not removed when the student returns home on a temporary basis, such as the holidays and summer break. The discount ends when the driver has completed schooling, does not intend to return to school or reaches age 25.
USAA good student discount
This USAA discount is available if a driver is a full-time high school, college or university student under age 25 and has met one of the following requirements during the school term immediately preceding the policy or renewal effective date:
- Ranked in the upper 20% of the class scholastically
- Or maintained a "B" average. In a numerical system, maintained a 3 average on a 4-point scale.
- Or was on a Dean's list or honor roll for scholastic achievement.
USAA away at school discount
USAA offers this discount for drivers under age 30 who are full-time students residing at an educational institution without a vehicle over 100 miles from home.
The best car insurance for college students
In general, it's cheaper to keep a college student on a parent's auto insurance rather than put them on a separate policy.
If the student is taking a car to school, it's a good time to review your policy to make sure you have coverage types you may need or want.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Do you have a sufficient level of liability insurance? Drivers under age 25 are more likely to cause car accidents because of their inexperience on the road. Liability car insurance pays out for these accidents, so it's smart to have more than just the minimum required by state law. Consider having liability limits of at least 100/300/50, which means:
- $100,000 for injuries per person.
- $300,000 for injuries per accident.
- $50,000 for property damage per accident.
Remember, liability insurance pays others for injuries and damage you cause. It does not cover your own car damage or your own injuries.
Do you want car repairs to be covered if the student hits a pole, guardrail or another car? If yes, consider collision insurance.
Is the student taking the car to a city with a high rate of car theft or vandalism? If yes, consider comprehensive insurance.
Do you want coverage in case the student has a flat tire or gets locked out? If yes, consider roadside assistance coverage.
There's a lot to keep track of when you're sending a child off to college. Making sure you've got the right car insurance and getting discounts is a good item for the "to do" list.
Don't forget renters insurance for off-campus housing
Also consider the student's belongings. If the student will be living in a dorm room, your homeowners insurance policy typically covers their belongings. If they're in an off-campus apartment, they likely need renters insurance in order to cover their possessions for problems such as theft and fire.