There's No Need to Break the Bank for Auto Insurance
As it turns out, college will be one of the largest investments you make in life. Higher education is not cheap, and while premiums for car insurance for college students are peanuts compared to tuition, housing, and books, every penny saved is a penny that can be spent on other student debt. Getting the best deal on auto insurance for college students is something of an art.
Automobile insurance is not a commodity. There are too many variables (age, domicile, type of vehicle, etc.) impacting coverage and cost to suggest there are "best companies" that fit every college student.
In 2021, WalletHub surveyed insurance companies looking for the best deals and came up with a list of ten. We will share that list as it represents trends and is a good starting point. However, you must do your due diligence and research to get the "best" deal for your specific situation.
Tips and Strategies for Finding the Best Auto Insurance for College Students
Back in the day, people used to go to independent insurance agencies to get their insurance policies. The agencies represented several companies, and the agent understood the underwriting guidelines for each. In theory, the agent, who wanted to keep you as a client, would seek out the best policy that met your needs. In theory, you had a friend in the business doing your insurance shopping.
Insurance agencies still exist, but they are not on every street corner like they used to be. Today you are more likely to shop online and may never speak to a human, meaning you have to be your own "friend in the business."
Frequently, the best deal is by driving a vehicle registered to your parents and staying on their insurance policy. That can get tricky, and not all companies will do it. The Hartford and Travelers have decent programs for keeping you on a policy. On the other hand, if you are attending school in an area with lower rates, it may be better to get your own policy.
Know Your Coverages. Every state has minimum car insurance requirements, but most are woefully insufficient to protect you from the liability you will face in an injury accident. Don't make the mistake of getting quotes for minimum state coverage.
Think of the thousands you are investing in your education. Don't put that investment at risk with insufficient coverage. Do get uninsured motorist coverage. It is not that expensive, and in college towns, your odds of being hit by an uninsured driver are higher than most. If you are not driving a clunker and opt for collision, look for policies with disappearing deductibles that potentially eliminate any deductible.
Know Your Discounts. As a college student, you may have discounts not available to your peers who are not students.
Good Student Discount. The top 10 insurance companies all offer this discount. Typically you need to be under 25, unmarried, and have a B average or better.
Student Away From Home. This one is for the parents. If the student is on the parent's policy and only drives the car occasionally because they are away at school, a discount may be applied to the parent's policy. State Farm offers this as well as a few others.
Associations. Some universities, fraternities, and sororities are associated with certain insurance companies and offer discounts to members.
Check for Other Discounts. Remember to check non-college-related discounts as well.
It goes without saying that you want to compare quotes based on similar coverages, but it is also essential to understand the value. Price is important, but so are claims service and reputation. Check out the company before committing.
As promised, here's the list of ten companies WalletHub considers the best for college students based on price and service. The rates shown are based on a 22-year-old with $50,000 per person bodily injury and $100,000 per occurrence, $25,000 property damage, $50,000 per person, and $100,000 uninsured, underinsured coverage.
- AAA – $792.
- Geico – $973.
- Travelers – $879.
- USAA – $879.
- Esurance – $987.
- Progressive – $1,004.
- State Farm – $1,251.
- Allstate – $1,268.
- Liberty Mutual – $1,228.
- The Hartford – $1,293.
Finding the best policy can be confusing and time-consuming, but the effort pays off when you save hundreds on your premium.