Is Your Student Ready to Hit the Road? Student Discounts May Be Available

Going away to school and leaving your car behind gives parents options, such as switching you over to an occasional driver; applying for a “resident student” discount (this generally applies to students at least 100 miles from home); or dropping you from their policy altogether (if you’re no longer driving).

If someone is paying a high auto insurance premium for their student, year-round, who lives away at school, they have choices that can save them money, such as policies that cover the student just on weekends and holidays instead of year-round. This saves the policy holder money and time. They don’t need to call their insurance agent every time their student comes around to drive the car, or when they leave.

“When I think about insurance, everything is about time and life events. Going back to school is a life event. People put off a lot of things during the summer. Come September, the kids are back in school and the focus is back on what has to be done for the next big life event,” says Joe DeOliveira, of DeOliveira Insurance Services, in Mashpee.

For those who are in college, a big selling point in the auto insurance industry is that there are student discounts available to help save you $300 to $700 or more on your policy for your student driver. “You don’t automatically get them,” he said. “You have to qualify for them and, in most cases, you usually have to pay for them. But it’s worth its weight in gold for what you have to pay.”

The big product for college students is the ‘Student Away’ discount. Not every company offers it, but that’s why we offer multiple providers for coverage. It’s a great opportunity to cut your insurance bill and have the security of knowing that when your student comes home on the weekend, and he wants to take the family car and see his friends, he or she is covered.

“And Monday, when he’s back at school, there are no worries,” DeOliveira says. “It’s a discounted program because they know he’s not here all the time. Some companies have restrictions on this, such as they might have to be 100 miles from home. Some don’t; it depends. The main one is that they’re not taking the car to school.”

If they are taking the car to school, he says, and they’re driving back and forth, or they’re a commuter and they live on campus, there’s another discount they can qualify for. “That’s the ‘Good Student’ discount, and this one is huge,” he says. “This one can save you anywhere from $300 to $500 or more. It depends on premium, location, etc. If they’re taking the car to school, sometimes the place they’re going is cheaper for car insurance, so it’s important to look into garaging. There are several opportunities to save money, so it’s definitely a conversation to have.”

The Good Student discount is also an important one to have for first-time drivers (a B-average, typically, but it varies with carriers). When they first get their permit, they do not have to be on your policy until they get their license. If they’re not on their parents policy, have no bells and whistles, have a legal, first-time driver’s clunker on the road, their policy can cost between $1,800 and $2,000. “With the Good Student discount, it could be more like $1,600 to $1,700. That’s a huge different to someone of that age,” says DeOliveira. “On that same note, if that person were on their parents’ policy and their parents have their homeowners’ policy with us as well as their other cars,’ that could now drop to $1,200 to $1,400.”

So, if your student is to head off to college, consider leaving your vehicle behind. Many insurance companies offer discounts on auto insurance if teens leave their vehicles at home while they take off for higher learning. If that’s not convenient, make sure they’re covered, and you’re getting the discounts that are available to you to keep them that way.

It’s important to notify your car insurance company once your student packs up for college. Failing to notify your provider could bring penalties. To get more information on student discounts, or to review your current insurance policies, call Joe DeOliveira at 508-477-3023 or visit MyCapeInsurance.com.

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About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo is the Marketing Writer and Lifestyle Reporter for CapeCod.com, and has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.



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