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From homework to early classes to grueling tests, school comes with its fair share of pressure. With so much work on the average student’s plate, it can be difficult to earn enough income to survive—let alone afford car insurance.
But of course, driving without auto insurance is never a good idea. Besides being illegal in most parts of the country, it also puts the driver at risk of falling into debt if involved in a collision.
1. Get Good Grades
Besides helping you secure a successful future, getting good grades (usually a ‘B’ average or better) may qualify you for car insurance discounts. Contact your provider to find out if they offer discounts for good grades. You will need to submit your report card, transcript, or other proof, and you will likely have to be a full-time student and/or meet certain age restrictions.
2. Communicate with Your Insurance Company
Keep your insurer in the loop about where you’ll be and how much you’ll be driving. Car insurance is cheaper in certain locations, and low-mileage drivers tend to pay lower rates since they are less likely to be involved in collisions.
If you are away at school and you aren’t taking your car, you may be eligible for a “resident student discount.” Insurance companies will account for the fact that you won’t be driving most of the year, and thus won’t be getting into any accidents or committing any violations.
If you’re moving to a new area and taking your car, tell the insurance company that, too. Insurance rates vary by location, and if you will be spending most of the year in a more rural area or in a lower-risk state, you could see a nice price reduction.
3. Stay on Your Parents’ Plan
Most insurance companies will allow teens and young drivers to stay on their parents’ plan as long as they consider their parents’ address to be their permanent residence. Adding and keeping an additional driver will raise the premium, but the overall cost may be lower than if the student and parents purchased separate policies.
4. Drive Less
As a busy student and relatively new driver, you may not be on the road too much. The less you are on the road, the less risk you pose to your provider. This could lead to occasional driver discounts and/or discounts for being a low mileage driver.
5. Learn Your State’s Insurance Requirements
This is especially important if you move to another state for school. Each state has its own insurance laws, and if the coverage requirements are lower in your new state, you can reduce your limits and will most likely see a decline in your premiums.
6. Take a Driver’s Education and/or Defensive Driving Course
Passing classes like these proves to insurance companies that you’re up to date with all the rules of the road. Taking another class while maintaining a demanding school schedule may seem daunting, but it’s definitely worth it.
Most new drivers take driver’s education, but defensive driving can be just as valuable. Completing the course every couple of years (depending on your company’s requirements) could translate into significant discounts and may even help you get points off your license.