Is your teen still covered under your car policy when they leave the state for college?

I remember throughout my childhood and teenage years that my parents would jokingly say they could not wait until they have the house to themselves again. My mother, specifically, would gloat to her siblings and friends over every accomplishment, award, and scholarship I earned throughout my journey towards college. 

They were just as excited as me about it all, especially because I was experiencing something neither of them had before. Their excitement lasted only up until the moment it was time for them to head back home as I stayed hundreds of miles away in my dorm hall. 

Once reality set in that they were leaving me behind, tears swarmed down, and our goodbyes ended with hugs and pictures.

Now, I have graduated from college and have started my own family. As a mother, I can imagine that the process is usually the same for all parents when it comes to being excited and equally scared over your child growing up and leaving your home. 

On the bright side, dropping your kid off at school is only the first step in adulthood and you will still have a little more time with them as they transition into full functioning adults. 

Before this transition is complete though, you may still be responsible for their finances such as college tuition, clothing, food, and different types of insurance. Most insurance agencies, like auto insurance companies, even make it possible to insure college students away from home

Car Insurance Requirements for Your College Student

Each state has a minimum insurance level requirement for people operating motor vehicles. The state that you live in may have different requirements for insurance in comparison to the state your child attends college. 

If you have insurance that meets only the minimum requirements for your specific state, you may find that other states’ levels are higher or lower than what your current insurance policy is operating under. 

The minimum insurance level is often called liability insurance or liability minimums. This type of insurance level is the car insurance that protects you financially if you are in a car accident that you caused. 

Liability insurance will not cover any other incidents that may happen to your car outside of an accident, and in most cases, it will not cover your property during accidents. Liability coverage is intended to cover you financially when you damage someone else`s property. 

After looking into the minimum requirements in your child`s college state, you can negotiate with your insurance company to ensure your child is protected on the road while away at school. 

What does it cost to insure your college student while they`re driving in another state?

Each state has different requirements which means that insurance agencies operate differently in each state. The procedures and variables they take into consideration when deciphering rates and premiums for one state will vary from other states. 

A few variables that may be taken into consideration by insurance agencies are age, gender, location, driving record, and the make and model of your car. Not only do they consider these factors for specific drivers, but they consider them for anyone else that lives in the household.

Once you add another state`s requirements into the equation, the variables will contribute greatly as the insurance company assesses the level of risk you and the other members in your household present. 

With all of this in mind, the insurance companies may be compelled to significantly increase your rate and premiums.

To avoid this happening you can make sure your insurance agency is aware of your child`s academic background, like scholarships, honor roll, and other good accomplishments. It also helps to send your child away with a car that is reliable and inexpensive to repair. 

If your child does not have many academic accomplishments, you can help them apply for scholarships and provide any other evidence to prove that your household is not at greater risk to keep your insurance premium low. 

Discounts and Savings for having a College Student on Your Policy

Before I even went away to college, my parents were able to apply discounts to their insurance premiums because I took certain driving courses. In Georgia, there is a decent amount of virtual classes for new drivers so they can learn to drive defensively and safely. 

Taking courses like this may prove to these auto insurance companies that people in your household are reliable drivers, so you may be offered discounts if you can provide proof of taking such classes.

Outside of taking virtual driving classes, several insurance companies offer a good student discount. This type of discount can knock off anywhere from five to ten percent of your premium. To qualify for this discount, your child has to be a college student enrolled in a two or four-year college, and they also have to be attending full-time or part-time. 

The exact qualifications for this type of discount vary depending on the car insurance company. 

After qualifying for the good student discount, your college student has to keep a 3.0 grade point average or higher in order to maintain eligibility for the discount. Companies provide this type of discount because having a 3.0 grade point average is another form of proof that your student is not high risk.

There are a lot of opportunities for college students to mess up and fall behind in school, but keeping up a decent GPA proves that the child is reliable, trustworthy, and responsible. Auto insurance agencies provide more premium leniency for drivers that demonstrate those three attributes. 

Why Your College Student Needs You to Insure Them

In Georgia there is a law called Joshua`s Law, where the objective “was to ensure that new teenage drivers have a greater understanding of driving on the State roads together with all of the hazards that it incurs.” Despite this law being in place, teen accidents still readily occur. 

No matter how good of a driver your child or any other household member is, they can still be involved in a car accident. The risk of your college student getting into an accident is even higher with them being around other young, often foolish drivers. 

Most importantly though, having auto insurance is a requirement in every state, and your out-of-state college student will pay an arm and a leg to purchase their own policy. You can keep them on your insurance policy at first, and you can find discounts to make sure the bill is not too steep.

Imani Francies writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media and specializes in various forms of media marketing.