A car to a college student is like treasure to a pirate. Having a car at college is a luxury that not many students get to have.
Most students ride their bikes or walk to class, but if you are one of the few who gets to drive to campus and take long trips on the weekend, then you have to be prepared for the responsibility of owning a car. And that means you have to be covered with student car insurance.
Besides tuition and books, car insurance for students is one of the biggest expenses a student will pay in college. But if you are careful about choosing your student auto insurance, you will be able to work the payments into your student budget and still manage to save money in your savings account.
The Basics of Student Car Insurance
Finding cheap car insurance for students can be difficult since younger drivers usually have higher premium payments to make. It has nothing to do with you personally, but young drivers just tend to make more insurance claims than older drivers, so insurance companies will charge you more so they can make more money.
There are also other factors that can affect the amount a student will pay for student car insurance, such as:
- Driving record
- Location of vehicle
- Damage history of vehicle
- Distance driven daily
You can’t avoid these factors when you are applying for student auto insurance, but there are many ways that you can lower your premium payments. You just need to take the right steps towards choosing your student insurance.
Tips for Choosing Your Student Car Insurance
You can’t avoid being young and in college, but there are steps you can take to lower your student car insurance payments. And even though you want to find an insurance company that offers car insurance specifically for students, not all of them do, so if you can’t get student car insurance, then follow these tips to get a cheaper car insurance plan:
Shop Around for Options
Find out as much information as you can for at least 3 different insurance companies. Compare their premium quotes and see who has the best benefits for your money.
Know Plan Basics
Knowing the basics of a student car insurance plan is very important in choosing the right kind of plan for your needs. Not all car insurance for students is the same, but the parts that make up the plan usually cover the same areas.
Here are the six basic parts of a student car insurance plan:
1) Bodily Injury – Covers you for bodily injury you might have caused to another person.
2) Personal Property Liability – Covers damage or injury you might have caused to another person’s property.
3) Collision – Covers you for any type of accident with another car or with an object like a parking meter or a utility pole.
4) Comprehensive – Covers you in case someone steals your car or something in it, or the weather damages your car. It is best to get both of these types of student car insurance coverage.
5) Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – Covers medical costs and any lost wages from a job for the policy holder and any injured passengers.
6) Uninsured Motorist – Covers you for accidents with motorists who do not have car insurance. Also covers you for hit-and-run accidents.
Maintain Good Grades
Many insurance companies offer discounts to students who maintain a B average or higher. Make sure you bring proof of your grades when you apply for your car insurance.
Apply for all Discounts
Even if you get a student discount, always apply for any discount that the insurance company is offering. Most insurance companies will offer you a great deal if you purchase multiple insurance plans together, like car and renter’s insurance, and they might even offer you a family discount if you sign up for the same insurance as your family members.
Buy the Right Car
Before you even get student car insurance, you need to get a car that is right for you. Car insurance is often based on a car’s safety probability, so high speed sports cars and smaller cars have a greater risk of damage. They are also more likely to be targeted by thieves, so you should buy a more practical car with good gas mileage and reliability rather than a car that costs more than your entire student budget.
Walk or Bike More, Drive Less
Even if you have a car, that doesn’t mean you have to use it everyday. If you live on campus and you’re close to class, either walk or ride a bike and save on gas money. Some insurance companies will give you a low-mileage car insurance deduction if you drive below a certain number of miles each year, so save your long-distance car driving for the weekends.
Increase Your Deductible
If you increase your deductible – the amount you pay towards a claim before your insurance company pays – then you can save from 15% to 40% on your student car insurance premium.
Install Secure/Anti-Theft Devices
If your car’s seat belts and airbags don’t’ work, you should get them fixed as soon as possible. Also, if you don’t have an alarm system, get one installed. The safer you are against accidents and burglaries, then the less your car insurance company will have to pay and the less you’ll have to pay to them.
Be a Safe Driver
The most important step you can take towards lowering your student auto insurance is to be a safe driver. The fewer driving violations and auto accidents that you have the more money you will save with your car insurance. That means you should never drink and drive, you should park your car in a safe area or in a garage and you should always maintain the proper speed limit.
College should be both a fun and safe experience, so if you have a car and use it as part of your daily routine, always have student car insurance for protection.