Adding a College Student in Another State to My Car Insurance Policy

It can be expensive to add a college student in another state to your car insurance policy, but you can save up to 10% on your rates by taking advantage of discounts for good school grades.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Car insurance requirements vary from state to state so make sure you are aware of what you coverage levels you need
  • If your child is a student with a good academic record, you may be eligible for additional discounts
  • Insuring your out-of-state college student may initially cost you more money on your policy but can save you money in the event of an auto accident

You can add your college student in another state to your car insurance policy, but you will likely do so at an increased rate.

Every parent knows that allowing his or her child to leave the state with an automobile is a decision that carries a certain element of risk. However, careful planning and a thorough review of your car insurance policy and options will help you resolve the situation in the safest and most cost-effective manner possible.

Be sure to enter your ZIP code above for FREE car insurance quotes!

What are the car insurance requirements for your out-of-state college student?

One thing you will need to determine is the minimum insurance levels required in the state where your child attends college.

If you carry just enough car insurance to meet your own state’s requirements, you may find that those levels are actually insufficient in your child’s new environment.

Since each state has different car insurance liability minimums, you will want to work with your car insurance company to make sure you and your child are both adequately protected.

Virtually every state requires all drivers to have liability coverage (bodily injury liability and property damage liability), but some states also require personal injury protection, medical payments coverage, and/or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Make sure you know the minimum coverage requirements in your child’s new state of residence.

As you probably know, you will also need to add collision coverage and comprehensive coverage to your auto insurance policy if you want your college student’s car repairs (or injuries) to be covered after an at-fault accident. If you’re not sure what types of insurance coverage you need for your student, talk it over with an insurance agent.

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How much will it cost to insure your college student driving in another state?

Your original car insurance policy was created by evaluating a host of variables including the following aspects:

  • Gender and age (as well as the gender and ages of those in your household)
  • Location
  • Driving record (and, again, the records of the other people in your household)
  • Make and model of your car(s)
  • Credit score

Adding another state’s requirements to the mix will change the variables as your car insurance company assesses the altered level of risk you present to them.

There are several things you can do to tip the balance in your favor and make sure your get affordable auto insurance rates.

  1. Make the car insurance company aware of any academic honors held by your child that may qualify him or her for discounts.
  2. Provide your child with a practical car to drive that costs less to insure. Practical cars are usually cheaper to repair and come with better safety records which can lower car insurance premiums.
  3. You will also want to pay attention to any safety devices in your college student’s car that may qualify for additional discounts.

Mechanisms such as the following can save you money yearly on premiums:

  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Anti-theft devices
  • Vehicle locating systems
  • Window etchings

Some auto insurance providers also offer a school discount if your child attends a university they are affiliated with, as well as auto insurance discounts for taking a defensive driving or other driver education course and being a safe driver.

If your student is living in an apartment off-campus, your insurer might offer a discount for bundling auto insurance with renters insurance.

Finding the cheapest car insurance often comes down to which company has the most discounts. Ask an agent specifically about discounts for college students and their eligibility requirements to see if there are additional savings opportunities you’re not aware of.

If your college student will rarely be driving, ask your insurance provider about pay-per-mile insurance.

Another option is a usage-based insurance program. These programs monitor your driving habits with a telematics device or mobile app and issue you a discount for driving safely. Most major insurers offer a program like this, and in addition to saving you money, it encourages your college student to adopt safe driving habits.

How can you save money on car insurance for college students?

If the college student that you are adding to the policy is considered a good student and has a clean driving record, you may be eligible for a discount on your car insurance rates.

Many car insurance companies offer a good student discount. This discount ranges from 5 percent to 10 percent off of your total car insurance policy premium.

In order to be eligible for the good student discount, your must have a college student on your policy, and they must be enrolled in a two or four-year college either full- or part-time.

The college student must maintain the equivalent of an 85, or 3.0 grade point average and have a clean driving record free of accidents and moving violations. Some insurers also offer discounts based on certain standardized test scores.

The reason that the discount is made available by car insurance companies is because college students who have good grades are generally considered to be more responsible and mature than students who have poor grades.

A good student usually is a conscientious driver and someone who is less of a risk on the road.

Be sure to contact your insurance company directly to inquire about the good student discount as well as any other discounts you may be eligible to receive when adding a college student to your policy.

What are the risks of not insuring your college student?

While adding your out-of-state college student to your insurance is likely to cost you more money than you would otherwise be spending on insurance, it would cost your child a whole lot more if he were to purchase his own policy on a car bought in his own name.

The level of risk for a single young adult who is new to the driving world is high.

However, when you are able to leverage your child’s risk level against your own established record, the cost is much lower. You will likely have to be either the owner or co-owner of the vehicle he or she will be driving at school in order to add him or her to your policy.

When you are the owner of the car your child will be taking to school, the truth of the matter is that failure to alert your car insurance company could be a financially disastrous decision. If you do not list your child on your policy and he is found liable for an accident while driving that car, he may not be covered by the policy.

Suddenly, you are personally and financially responsible for what could be very significant damages. Adding your college student to your car insurance policy is another significant demonstration of parental devotion.

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How can you find the best policy for you and your college student?

It’s strongly recommended that you keep your college student on the family policy, as an individual policy will have considerably higher auto insurance premiums.

Even if you weren’t looking for a new car insurance company when you first asked the question about adding your college student child in another state to your policy, the fact remains that getting new car insurance quotes every six months is a financially prudent thing to do.

Comparing rates from different auto insurance companies with a convenient online car insurance quote tool makes the process quick and easy. Don’t choose an auto policy until you’ve reviewed all of your options.

Compare quotes today before your college student heads out on their next great adventure!

Simply enter your ZIP code into the FREE tool below.

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