How to save money on auto insurance when children leave for college

Written by Ryan Lowell on January 14, 2011 & Posted in Insurance

Dear Ryan: My daughter is attending college, and doesn't have a car with her at school. Can I take her off of my car insurance policy?

Jay Davies, Portland, Oregon

Hello Jay,

As long as your daughter is a part of your household, and doesn't have a car and insurance policy of her own, she should remain as an insured on your policy. In most states, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) provides limited medical coverage to an insured on your policy if they are injured while using or occupying a car, or are struck by a motor vehicle while walking. If you take her off your policy your daughter loses this protection.

By keeping your daughter on your policy, she has insurance coverage if she has to rent or borrow a car. Finally, keeping her on your policy means she is continuously insured, which could result in lower premiums when she does leave the nest and gets her own policy.

If she's not driving, you can save money. Many auto insurers recognize that a child away at college does not have regular access to a car, and will reduce your premiums. The driver must be away at school, and a minimum distance from home; typically 120 miles or more. If she takes a car to school with her, you need to notify your auto insurance company and you are likely to lose the discount.

Make sure your daughter keeps her grades up! Good student discounts are usually the single biggest discount available to young drivers.

Ryan Lowell


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