September 29, 2009

Auto Coverage For College Goers

When a college student moves away from the home, auto insurance coverage might be the last thing on parents' minds, but it's an important consideration that's best made sooner rather than later. On one hand, if you're paying for too much insurance for the college student, you're wasting money; on the other hand, it's never a good idea to be uninsured, especially when young drivers are involved. Here's a look at how to determine how your insurance policy should change when a college student moves away from home, and how parents can keep their children properly insured.

If a college driver is taking a car to college, then your policy will likely need a few changes. Contact your insurance agent, as different insurance companies handle college drivers differently. You'll want to take your own name off of any vehicles that you won't be regularly driving, and consider adding coverage to your auto insurance policy–college drivers may be more likely to get into minor accidents, and it's always a good idea to set a low deductible if you can afford the difference in your monthly premiums. See if your insurance company offers lower rates for drivers that take defensive driving courses; college students who take these courses tend to be much safer drivers, which is a load off of parents' minds, and the lower premiums can allow you to adjust your deductibles.

If, on the other hand, a college driver isn't taking a car, now is a good time to remove them from your auto insurance coverage if they're going to school far away and won't use your car. Even if they're sticking close by, if they're not going to be driving your vehicle much, it doesn't make sense to pay for coverage that you won't be using. Most plans allow you to insure "temporary" drivers, which should be more than enough for occasional laundry visits, and will keep your premiums fairly low. Remember, most teen drivers are considered fairly risky by insurance companies, especially males, so removing them from your policy entirely will free up a lot of premium money. Further, if the student isn't driving, removing him or her from your policy is an obvious choice.

Most importantly, you'll want to talk to your auto insurance agent as soon as possible, as they'll be able to guide you to the best changes in your own policy to account for the college driver leaving the home. Make sure that the college driver is covered for serious situations, but don't pay for insurance that you don't need and your auto insurance budget will thank you.