Car insurance discounts for students

Car insurance discounts are offered directly by the car insurance company to students who can demonstrate that they pose less risk.

Zack SigelKara McGinley

Zack Sigel & Kara McGinley

Published March 24, 2020

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Car insurance rates are higher for young and inexperienced drivers because insurance companies consider them to be high-risk drivers

  • That said, most insurance companies offer discounts for students who get good grades or complete driver’s education courses

  • Students can also get car insurance discounts if they are part of certain organizations, like specific fraternities, sororities, or honors societies

  • There also discounts for bundling policies and for vehicle safety features

Car insurance protects you financially if you injure someone with your vehicle, or damage their property in a car accident. Your auto insurance policy can also cover damage to your car from both accidents and other potential threats, like falling objects, vandalism, theft or fire.

Car insurance can be expensive, but you can qualify for discounts to lower your auto insurance premium. Whether you are a new or old driver, every state but two requires you to have at least a minimum amount of car insurance coverage.

However, if you are a young driver your auto insurance premiums may be more expensive than average — new and young drivers are typically charged higher rates than older and more experienced drivers. That’s because drivers with less experience are more likely to get into an accident and file a car insurance claim.

Luckily, students can get discounts on their car insurance premiums. Discounts are offered directly by the car insurance company to students who can demonstrate that they pose less risk. These discounts can reduce your premiums and help make your car insurance more affordable. An independent broker can help students and parents compare companies and find the best savings.

In this article:

Educational discounts for students

Most insurance companies offer policy discounts to students based on education. For example, you might get a discount for getting good grades in high school or college, or passing a driver's education course. With many insurance companies, in order to qualify for discounts as a college student you must be a full-time student, not part-time.

Good student discount

Every major car insurance company offers a good student discount. This discount is for around 10% to 15% off your premiums, and is given to student drivers who can demonstrate that they do well in school. Both high schoolers and full-time college students below age 25 are eligible.

You’ll need to show proof of your achievements to get the discount. Car insurance companies may consider you a good student if you can show one of the following:

  • Good grades: Depending on your insurance company, you may need a grade average of B or a GPA of 3.0.
  • Good standardized test scores: You’ll have to show your insurance company your test scores on the SAT, ACT, or PSAT.
  • A letter signed by an administrator testifying to your academic achievements
  • Have a class ranking in the top 20% of your class
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Dean’s list or honor roll

Read our guide on the best car insurance for college students

Driver’s education and training programs discount

Completing a driver’s education class can help reduce premiums for new and teenage drivers. Check with your high school or other participating organizations to see how to sign up for classes. You may also be able to get a discount for completing additional driver’s education, like a defensive driving course.

Many insurers, like State Farm and GEICO, offer their own driver training programs for young drivers. State Farm’s is called “Steer Clear” and is offered to students under age 25 — it tracks your driving, includes informational quizzes and videos and offers a discount upon completion.

Distant college student discount

This isn’t actually a discount for a student, but a discount for the parents or guardians of that student. If you attend college that is significantly distant from your parents’ home, like if you go to school out of state, your parents can get a discount on their car insurance.

This is called the distant college student discount or the student away at school discount. It applies when you’re attending and living at a college or university away from home and you don't have your own vehicle, meaning you’re only likely to drive your family car when you’re at your parents’ home over school breaks. Your parents can only qualify for this discount if you are away at college and do not have a car with you.

Whether your parents can claim the distant college student discount may also depend on your age. Progressive, for example, limits the discount to students aged 22 and younger, but other insurance companies may be more lenient.

Affiliation discounts for students

Many students are affiliated with other groups or organizations. Depending on your insurance company, your group affiliations may result in car insurance discounts.

Sorority, fraternity, and honors society discounts

Some insurers, like GEICO, offer discounts to members of certain fraternities, sororities, and honors societies. GEICO lists dozens of such organizations as eligible for the discount. Check with your carrier to see if they also offer a discount, and your respective frat or sorority may have additional information.

University and alumni discounts

In addition to discounts for belonging to a sorority, fraternity, or honors society, you may get a discount simply for going to certain universities or for being an alumni of one. Not every university participates in this program, so you should check with your insurance company or university administrative office for more information.

Military discount

Some insurance providers offer discounts to active and reserve members of the military. Many members of the armed forces enroll in college or university after serving, and you may be eligible for car insurance discounts once you come back from deployment. If you’re deployed now, you may be able to get lower rates simply because you’re not driving your usual car.

If your car is in long-term storage, you can ask your insurance company to reduce your coverage to comprehensive coverage only, which will protect your car from theft, vandalism, and the elements. That said, you cannot legally drive in all but two states with only comprehensive coverage, so you will need to reinstate your auto policy before getting on the road again.

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Policy and vehicle discounts for students

Insurance companies also offer policy-based discounts, like if you bundle your auto policy with your homeowners or renters insurance. You can also get discounts based on your vehicle, like if your car has extra safety features installed. These discounts aren’t specific to students, but young drivers can take advantage of them too.

Safety equipment discount

Car insurance discounts for students are available to those who install certain safety features on their car. You can get a discount simply for having one of the following:

  • Anti-theft systems discount
  • Tracking device discount
  • Safety tech discounts, like electronic stability control

Bundling discount

Depending on the insurance company, if you bundle your policy with another insurance policy you can get a discount on your premiums. For example, if your parents bundle their homeowners insurance with their auto policy the insurance company likely offer a discount.

Your parents can also combine this discount with the good student discount for additional savings. If you're a college student with your own policy and you live off campus, you can bundle your auto and renters insurance for savings on both.

How students can keep their car insurance premiums low

Discounts are not available in every case or from every insurance company. If you’re a student, be prepared for higher rates than the average adult until you get more driving experience. Car insurance rates stay high until around age 25, after which they start dropping.

The best way to make sure you benefit from those rate drops – and get the good driver discount – is to practice safe driving while you’re young. You should practice driving within the speed limit and always wear a seat belt, which could net you a discount in itself.

Avoid driving an expensive car when you’re young. You’ll want to show the car insurance company that you’re a safe, responsible driver, and expensive cars are often more expensive and difficult to insure.

One of the most important ways to keep your auto insurance low isn’t a discount at all, however. If you have your own policy and you think you’re paying too much, shop around. Getting quotes from other insurers will let you know if there are cheaper options out there, you may be able to get the exact same coverage for less than you’re paying now.

About the authors

Managing Editor

Zack Sigel

Managing Editor

Zack Sigel is a SEO managing editor at Policygenius. He covers personal finance, comprising mortgages, investing, deposit accounts, and more. His previous work included writing about film and music.

Insurance Editor

Kara McGinley

Insurance Editor

Kara McGinley is an Insurance Editor at Policygenius. She previously worked as a freelance writer and a copywriter for various startups. Her work can be found in Teen Vogue, The Culture Crush, Mask Magazine, and more.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

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