UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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So you’re applying for car insurance as a college student. You get to the address field and you start to wonder: should you use your home address or your school’s address on your car insurance form?
Today, we’re getting to the bottom of this issue and explaining why this decision can make a big difference in the price of your auto insurance quote.
You Should Almost Always Use your Home Address
When applying for auto insurance quotes, you should almost always use your home address. Why? Well, for legal purposes, you’re not technically living at school as a permanent resident. Unless you’re living at your school year-round, or renting accommodations in the city year-round, you’re not considered a permanent resident of your college’s city.
Instead, you’re a permanent resident of your home address. You technically still live at that address when you’re going to college. Your home address is wherever you go when you’re not in school.
This may seem like a trivial point – but it can have a significant impact on the price you pay for car insurance.
You’re Still Covered By your Parents’ Car Insurance When Living at Home
This is why the address question is important: when you live at home, you’re typically still covered under your parents’ car insurance. As long as you live at that same address (when not in school), the insurance company still considers you as a permanent resident of your home address.
That means you can get coverage under your parents’ car insurance plan, which is something that can save you a significant amount of money.
In general, you can remain on your parents’ policy if one or more of the following conditions apply to you:
- You don’t own or have a title for the vehicle you’re driving (i.e. it’s in your parents’ name)
- You still live with your parents
- You are a full-time college student and your parents’ address is still considered your primary residence
If you moved out and have purchased your own vehicle, then you may have to get your own insurance.
When shopping for car insurance quotes, you can continue putting your home address. However, car insurance quotes will not take your parents’ insurance plan into account. Apply for a few quotes and get a few prices. Then, talk to your parents and see how much more car insurance would cost if bundled under their plan.
In almost every case, you’re going to pay less for car insurance when bundled under your parents’ plan. As long as you live at home when you’re not at school, you can get covered under your parents’ car insurance. This can save you a significant amount of money.
Should You Ever List your College Address as your Home Address on Auto Insurance Forms?
Requesting an auto insurance quote doesn’t cost you anything. If you’re comparing quotes from multiple providers, then try inputting your university’s address as your home address to see if that changes the price of auto insurance.
As long as you can receive mail at your university address, it doesn’t really matter.
In most cases, the cheapest option is to bundle your auto insurance under your parents’ plan. However, you may find that auto insurance is cheaper when you use your college address – especially if you’ve moved to a different state for college. Different states have vastly different laws and insurance plans. You may have moved from an expensive state to a cheap state.
Or, rural insurance is cheaper than city insurance. If your home is in a big city, but you’re going to school in a small town, then there could be a major difference in the price of car insurance.
In any case, it doesn’t hurt to request a quote using your university address. If you’re going to move at the end of the year, then consider renting a post office box in your college city. You can list that address on your auto insurance to take advantage of cheaper auto insurance in that state.
However, you should be aware that this is a bit of a grey area – especially if you spend most of your time at home when away from college. Your insurance company gives you a quote under the assumption that you’re driving your vehicle in that city. You should really only use this option when you plan to live in your college town or state during your summers, and you don’t plan on returning home.
Talk to your Insurance Provider for the Best Information
Ultimately, major nationwide insurance providers have offices in every state. They can tell you whether it’s cheaper to get an independent insurance plan in your college’s location, or if you’re better off in your home state.
In most cases, the cheapest option will be bundling your insurance under your parents’ plan. This is totally legal as long as you still live at home when you’re away from school. From a legal standpoint, you’re a temporary resident of your college and a permanent resident of your home address – so it’s acceptable to save money by using your parents’ car insurance and listing your home address as your primary residence.