February 10, 2010

How College Drivers Can Find Better Auto Insurance Rates

College students don’t generally have a lot of money, and budgeting is very important throughout a collegiate career. This is particularly true where vehicle costs are concerned. Auto insurance rates tend to be fairly high for college students, as many students are in high-risk age groups. However, there are a number of ways that college students can find low auto insurance quotes, and the potential savings can be quite significant.

Before getting an auto insurance quote, it’s helpful to look at a college student’s driving habits to determine an appropriate amount of coverage. For instance, if the student doesn’t drive very often and usually stays on campus, it doesn’t make much sense to pay for unnecessary levels of comprehensive coverage or medical liability coverage. Cutting these amounts can lead to some serious savings. Many car insurance companies also offer low mileage discounts for infrequent drivers, which also helps to lower premiums, though drivers may be required to prove their infrequent driving habits (typically through odometer checks). Don’t cut coverage across the board, though; the state minimums for auto insurance are often low enough that a serious accident could bankrupt a driver. Drivers should take care when changing their coverage rates and deductibles–you still want to be protected if an accident occurs, as otherwise there’s not much of a point in buying an auto insurance policy. College drivers should also consider purchasing a vehicle with a good safety record, as this can greatly cut insurance premiums.

Many other insurance programs offer great discounts. For example, taking a quick defensive driving courses can greatly improve your rates, as most insurance companies offer a discount for drivers of any age group that complete such a program. They’re low cost or free, and your insurance agent can tell you where to sign up and what you’ll need to do to get a discount. Some insurers offer discounts for good grades, too, though this is more common with high school-aged drivers.

Perhaps the most important step that a college driver can take when looking for a good rate is to find as many auto insurance quotes as possible. Using online cost comparison websites can help drivers find some amazing deals, and can help when negotiating with a particular insurer for a lower auto insurance quote. It’s important to re-assess your premiums every six months or so, as costs change in the insurance industry very often. Always ask insurers about discounts, and read your car insurance policy’s fine print. This sort of active approach to auto insurance can lead to some tremendous savings.