If you have a son or a daughter who is away at college - or who soon will be - it is possible that they are also young enough to still be listed on your master auto insurance policy. However, with them being away at school and without having full-time access to the car, you may be able to save some money on your auto insurance premium.

The good news is that there is a way to save some premium dollars while your child is away at school, yet still allow them access to the vehicle - and auto insurance coverage - while they are home for visits during school breaks and summer vacation. This is commonly referred to as having the distant student discount. 

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How the Distant Student Discount Works

While not all insurance companies offer a distant student discount, there are many that do. In most cases, in order for your child to qualify for the distant student discount, he or she will typically need to meet certain criteria. These may include the following:

  • Your child / student must be at least 100 miles away at their college or university (some auto insurance companies may require a further distance)
  • Your child / student must be under age 23
  • Your child / student must not have access to a covered vehicle while he or she is away at school
  • Your child / student must be attending the college or university on a full-time basis

There are some cases where in lieu of a distant student discount, a student driver may simply be taken off of your master policy completely while he or she is away at college. This is oftentimes referred to as being a deferred driver. While this can save you money on your premium as well, it is important to remember to add your child back on to the policy when they return home from school and resume driving any vehicles.

If your child does qualify for the distant student discount on your auto insurance policy, it is a good idea to also inquire as to any other additional discounts that you may qualify for as well. This may bring your total premium cost down even lower - saving you a substantial amount of money each year. 

Photo credits (top image): audiolucistore, Kevin Dooley