Choosing whether to add your college student to your car insurance policy is a tough decision. There are pros and cons to keeping your child as an insured driver on your auto insurance policy when he or she goes away to college.
It is generally less expensive for your children to be on your auto insurance policy than on their own because young adults are considered high risk drivers. Even if your child is not taking a vehicle to college, he or she may want to use your car when they come home to visit, and it’s difficult to remember to add them every time.
Many insurance companies offer discounts for students with good grades. They usually need an average of 3.0 or better, but each company has different rules. There are also insurance companies who offer discounts off insurance premiums for college students listed on the policy but don’t take a vehicle with them to school. If you decide to add your college student, be sure to compare auto insurance companies for the best discounts.
Continuing to insure your child after they leave for college also has drawbacks. Your auto insurance may not meet the standards for the state where they will be attending college. Another drawback is that you may not even be able to keep them on your policy if you don’t own the vehicle.
The biggest drawback is that your insurance premiums are likely to rise substantially if your child is involved in an accident while on your policy. Young adults are considered impulsive and usually have the highest insurance rates of any group of people. People under the age of 25 may be charged premiums that are more than double that of drivers who are 25 or over, even if they don’t have any accidents or tickets on their record. Some states require drivers who are at least 18 years old to maintain a separate auto insurance policy from their parents.
There are many things to consider when you’re deciding whether to keep insuring your child on your auto policy when they’re in college. Requiring your child to create and maintain their own car insurance policy is one way to teach them responsibility. They probably won’t be covered under your policy forever, so college may be a good time for them to take over the financial responsibility of having an auto insurance policy. Understand, however, that he or she will pay much more than you would.
The bottom line is that you know your child better than anyone else and should be able to assess the risk of keeping him or her listed as an insured driver on your policy. There are discounts available to parents who insure their college bound children, but the risks may outweigh the benefits for your family’s situation.
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