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Best car insurance discounts for students
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In most states, car insurance companies can use age and driving experience to calculate premiums. Since young people are at statistically greater risk for accidents, higher rates for students may make sense. However, that doesn’t mean these rates are always easy to pay. Knowing this, most carriers offer car insurance discounts for students, and the savings they offer may be substantial. Bankrate has compiled a list of common (and less common) discounts that may help young people and their parents find car insurance that fits their budget.
Educational discounts for students
Nearly all major car insurance companies offer some form of discount for students. The discount options may vary depending on whether the student has their own policy or is listed on someone else’s policy. Discount eligibility and amount may also vary greatly between providers.
Good student discount
Students who earn good grades might qualify for cheaper car insurance through a good student discount. This is one of the more common student discounts and typically applies to both students listed on their own policies and those listed as additional drivers on their parents'. Typically, drivers must be full-time students who earn a 3.0 GPA or higher — or the equivalent to a "B" average — and be under a certain age to qualify. Students may need to periodically send a report card or transcript to their insurance company to maintain eligibility.
Driver's training discount
In addition to the good student discount, many insurers offer a driver’s training discount. If you took an approved driver’s training course while getting your license, you might want to let your insurance company know for a possible savings opportunity. Some carriers may offer a driver’s training discount if you take an approved course even after getting your license. Contacting your insurance company directly is likely the fastest way to determine if you may be eligible for these savings.
Distant student discount
Students in college who are living away from home may be eligible for extra savings depending on where they are living and if they have access to a vehicle. Students away at college without their vehicle may earn a distant student discount, considering that their risk of an accident is likely much lower without regular access to a car. Sometimes also known as a “student away at school” discount, many carriers will not offer the distant student discount unless the student is insured on someone else’s policy, at least 100 miles away at school and does not have regular access to a vehicle.
Affiliation discounts for students
As students head out into the world and become members of organizations and workplaces, they may have more opportunities to save money on their car insurance premiums. An affiliation discount is usually negotiated by a college, business or organization on behalf of its members or employees. Affiliation discounts are typically exclusive and may include special insurance features and perks on top of the discount. Below are some of the more common types of affiliation discounts.
University and alumni
Many larger organizations, including universities, have their own discount with select insurance carriers. These discounts may be extended only to staff, or they may be more widely available to alumni associations and enrolled students. Check with your university to see what partnerships and student discounts they may have with car insurance companies.
Sorority, fraternity and honors societies
Larger sororities, fraternities or societies sometimes have their own negotiated discounts. While Liberty Mutual, Geico and Travelers seem to offer the most of these types of potential discounts, they may be available from other carriers as well.
Students who are also in the military may earn additional discounts. Some auto insurers recognize military members by offering a military discount on their car insurance. Even if a military discount is not offered, reduced coverage and additional savings might be available for vehicles in storage while military members are away from home for extended periods. Some insurers also offer an extra discount for policyholders who are deployed or for those who garage their vehicle on base.
Telematics discounts for students
Telematics programs are becoming increasingly popular with many insurers. These programs use an app or in-car device to monitor your driving habits in real-time. You may earn discounts for demonstrating safe driving habits, but note that some carriers may penalize you for poor driving habits with increased premiums. One popular telematics program is State Farm's Steer Clear, which is designed specifically for drivers under the age of 25. It includes a training course that young drivers take to improve their driving skills, and driving hours can be recorded on the mobile app.
How much can I save with student discounts?
Discounts for car insurance can vary by company in both discount type and amount. That being said, student discounts may be significant. For instance, Geico advertises up to 15 percent savings with its good student discount.
Young drivers also usually pay cheaper rates when listed as a driver on their parents’ policy instead of as the named insured on their own. However, drivers typically need to still live at home to be eligible for inclusion on their parents' policy.
To give you a point of comparison, we’ve compiled average full coverage rate data from Quadrant Information Services for students listed on their parents' policy with good student and driver's training discounts applied. Note that your rates may vary based on your location, carrier and other personal rating factors.
|Average full coverage premium on parents’ policy with discounts||$4,392||$3,837||$3,345||$2,763|
|Average minimum coverage premium on parents’ policy with discounts||$1,470||$1,261||$1,070||$868|
Cheapest car insurance companies for students
As each company sets its own premiums using proprietary rating algorithms, each also offers its own suite of available discounts with different savings opportunities. Although some companies might have higher overall base rates, they could still be competitive if they provide more young driver discounts than other carriers.
The table below showcases some of the cheapest companies for students listed on their parents’ policy. Although these average full coverage premiums include the good student and driver’s training discounts, it’s important to note that discount availability may vary by state. For a complete list of student discounts from various insurers, you should get in touch with the company directly.
|Company||16-year-old||18-year-old||21-year-old||Advertised student discounts|
Average student savings by state
Each state sets its own car insurance minimum requirements and has its own risk factors, so rates may vary considerably based on where you live. For instance, drivers in states that require no-fault insurance tend to pay higher premiums. Additionally, states that are at higher risk for weather-related disasters or have a higher population density (leading to heavier traffic and more accidents) may have higher-than-average rates.
In the table below, you’ll find average full coverage premiums in each state for students of various age groups listed on their parents' policy with student discounts applied.
*Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.
Other discounts for students
Along with discounts tailored for students, young drivers may save money by taking advantage of more general discounts. Some of the most popular policy and vehicle discounts available are:
- Bundling: Having both auto and renters or homeowners insurance with the same insurer typically yields a potential multi-policy or bundling discount.
- Safe driver: Many carriers reward drivers who avoid accidents and moving violations. This may also be referred to as a "claims-free" discount.
- Safety equipment: Newer vehicles with airbags, anti-lock brakes, driver’s assistance and crash prevention systems may earn a discount.
- Anti-theft device: Some companies will give you a discount on your comprehensive coverage if your vehicle is equipped with an anti-theft or vehicle tracking device.
- Low-mileage discounts: If you don't drive very often or only drive locally, you may be able to earn a discount based on the amount of miles you drive annually.
Frequently asked questions
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2023 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2021 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 16-21 (base: 40 years) applied. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.
Rates for young drivers were determined by adding drivers ages 16-21 to a 40-year-old married parent’s policy. The rates displayed reflect the total cost of a driver this age added to their parents’ policy.