What is the Distant Student Auto Insurance Discount?

The distant student auto insurance discount allows qualifying children to remain on their parents' policies while they're away at college. This can help keep auto insurance rates low for teen drivers who usually have the most expensive car insurance premiums. Drivers must qualify for distant student car insurance discounts by being under the age of 23 and by attending full-time university at least 100 miles away from their parents' address.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2022

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Some car insurance companies offer distant student discounts. You may qualify for this discount if you are a student living away from home with no regular access to a vehicle.

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about the distant student auto insurance discount, including how much you can save and whether or not you qualify for the discount.

How a Distant Student Auto Insurance Discount Works

The distant student auto insurance discount allows qualifying children to remain on their parents’ policies while they’re away at school.

Let’s say you’ve been covered under your parents’ auto insurance policy all through high school. Now, you’re moving away from home to go to college. You still plan, however, on returning home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and certain weekends. With the distant student auto insurance discount, you can remain covered by your parents’ car insurance policy while still saving money on car insurance.

For many families, this is an ideal solution. Parents don’t need to remove their child from the car insurance policy while the child is away at college. Parents can also save a lot of money on car insurance while still having their child covered when he or she returns home for weekends or breaks.

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How to Qualify for a Distant Student Auto Insurance Discount

Typically, the following requirements are needed to qualify for a distant student auto insurance discount:

  • Your child is living away from home during the school year
  • Your child is attending a university full-time more than 100 miles away from your home address
  • Your child is under 23 years old

If your family meets the above requirements, then you could qualify for a distant student auto insurance discount, which can instantly drop car insurance premiums by hundreds of dollars per year.

Specific requirements vary between insurance companies. Contact your insurance company to verify you meet the requirements.

Should You Keep or Remove a Student on Your Policy?

The distant student auto insurance discount is ideal for certain situations – but it’s not the right choice for every family.

Should you keep or remove a student on your policy? Here are some of the things to consider:

Costs Versus Benefits: The distant student auto insurance discount lowers the price of insurance slightly. However, you’re still paying significantly higher rates to have a young driver on your insurance policy. Is it worth it to spend a few hundred (or thousand) dollars more per year just so your child can drive on Thanksgiving and Christmas break? For some families, the costs outweigh the benefits.

How Often Does your Student Drive? If your student plans to come home for multiple weekends during the school year, then the distant student auto insurance discount can be a great way to save money – assuming your student drives during those weekends. If your student doesn’t drive, then why are you paying for continuous insurance coverage?

Does Your Child Need a Car at School? Many students can benefit from having their own car at school. A car makes it easier to hold a part time job, for example. Would your student benefit from having full time access to a car while at school? In that case, the distant student auto insurance discount may not apply.

Maintaining Continuous Insurance Coverage History: Maintaining continuous insurance coverage history is important. If your child goes away for school for four years without being insured, then your child might not have any insured driving history, which could cause them to be treated like a new driver when they get insurance after graduation. the distant student auto insurance discount lets your student build continuous insured driving history while minimizing costs.

Is Your Friend Driving Someone Else’s Car While Away? Insurance isn’t just for your own vehicle. Insurance can also cover you when driving someone else’s vehicle. If your child plans to occasionally drive a friend’s vehicle while at school, then your auto insurance could act as secondary coverage, providing an extra layer of protection to your teen driver.

Does Your Child Maintain Good Grades at School? Many insurance companies offer good grade discounts to high school and college students. If your child maintains an average of B or higher, then your child could qualify for a good student insurance discount, dropping the cost of car insurance even further.

Some Insurers Don’t Let You Temporarily Exclude a Student Driver: One final thing to consider is that some insurance companies don’t let you temporarily exclude a driver when that driver is living at your address. Your son or daughter may be away at college for eight months a year, but their home address is still your home. In that case, temporarily excluding a driver from a policy may be impossible.

Final Word

Based on the unique needs of your family, you may wish to take advantage of the distant student auto insurance discount. It can help families save money while still allowing college-age children to be covered by car insurance.

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