September 25, 2020

Do I Need To Keep My Child On My Auto Insurance If They Go Away To College?

The weather is cooling down and the days are getting shorter. Fall is right around the corner, and your teenager has left home to start college. Now that all the chaos leading up to their departure has settled down, you might be wondering: if my child went away to college, do I need to keep them on my auto insurance policy?

The short answer is yes.

Why To Keep Them On

There are many good reasons to keep your college student on your family auto insurance policy.

If your child will be doing regular driving, keep them insured! This includes students who live at home or off-campus in an apartment and commute to college and students who are bringing a car with them to college. If their name is on the car title and they’re bringing the car out of state, it might be time to get them their own policy, so talk to your agent, but know that their premium will likely be higher.

If your child is living on campus without a car, it might seem like a good idea to take them off your insurance. After all, why pay to insure them when they aren’t driving? But if there’s a chance your teen will be driving at school, it might be best to keep them insured.

Even without a car on campus, they could still be driving. Plenty of campuses across the US have rideshare programs like ZipCar available for their students. Your child might borrow a car or do the responsible thing and drive someone’s car home if that person becomes intoxicated.

You might choose to keep your child on your policy if they might be borrowing cars, driving for emergency reasons, or even if they are a passenger in someone else’s vehicle. If they were to be involved in an accident as a passenger, your family’s auto insurance policy might offer them fuller coverage. Keeping them on your policy will also provide a record of uninterrupted coverage, which may help them get better rates in the future.

Even if your child is living on campus without a car and will not be driving at all, as long as they are a permanent resident of your household they must be listed on your auto insurance policy.

Possible Discounts

It makes sense that you would consider removing your child from your insurance, but it’s important to keep them insured and protected. It’s also important to have a conversation with your teen about expectations around driving when they’re away in college.

When you keep them on your policy, you may be eligible for discounts on your premium. Most major auto insurance companies offer discounts if your child gets and maintains good grades and a clean driving record.  There are also discounts available for college students who go away to school and leave the car at home.  In most states you’re eligible if the college is 100 miles or further from your permanent residence, but in some it’s even closer.  For example, in New York that applies to schools that are a minimum of only 10 miles away. Talk with your agent to see if you are eligible for any of these discounts.

This is an important decision that will impact your family’s safety.  You should definitely keep your child on your auto insurance policy now that they’re away at college.

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