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Many changes come when kids move away to college for the first time. Before you start worrying about the feelings that come with an empty nest, you’ll want to review your auto insurance options.

Most parents have teens on their insurance policies until they are 18. When they move to college, you might decide to continue coverage to limit out-of-pocket expenses for their travel needs. Depending on your provider, your adult children can stay on until after graduation or longer.

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Since you can have direct family members on your insurance anytime, adult children can be insured indefinitely.

With the kids not under your direct supervision, it might be time to look at adjusting your insurance rates. This need is especially prevalent for those who have motorcyclists in the family.

Can I Stay on My Parent’s Policy If I’m in College?

College students can stay on a parent’s insurance policy, even while away at college. Since the vehicle is likely kept at home, a couple of changes to the coverage structure can help to limit expenses.

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If a college student is not a full-time driver, they should not be listed that way on the insurance policy. You can contact your insurer to discuss which family members should receive the most coverage.

When a vehicle goes with your student to college, they’ll be the full-time driver. This change can affect how much you pay monthly, especially since the car will likely be parked in an unprotected lot or street instead of your home address.

Auto insurance for college students away from home is still more affordable than for independent coverage. The highest rates are assigned to drivers under the age of 25, so the discounts found in a parent’s policy for good grades and multiple policies can help to manage expenses.

How to Get Affordable Insurance for College Students

The easiest way to have affordable insurance for college students is to have adult children stay on their parent’s policy. You’re using your safe driving history and other factors to lower risk factors, which creates a cheaper monthly premium.

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College students must keep their legal addresses the same to obtain this benefit. This benefit is no longer possible if an adult child establishes a new residence.

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Here are other ways insurance costs can stay affordable for college students, including those that ride motorcycles instead of driving cars.

1. Use Good Student Discounts

Some insurance companies offer 5% or more discounts for college students who earn a 3.0 GPA or higher. Eligibility varies by state and provider, but some offer promotions that provide a better deal for those that make the Dean’s List.

Additional insurance discounts could be available if a college student belongs to a specific fraternity, sorority, or honor society.

2. Keep the Car or Motorcycle Off-Campus

College students moving more than 100 miles from home can save significantly if the vehicle is kept at the legal address. If you must have wheels while attending classes, consider having a safe storage place to use when you’re not riding or driving.

Any storage area that isn’t out in the open is better than the dorm parking lot. If you drive less, the risk of accidents or tickets is also lower, which can give college students a better rate as they age.

3. Consider Using Per-Mile Insurance

Although per-mile insurance isn’t available in every state, it is an option for many college students who work to reduce costs. Since everything on campus is relatively close, you won’t need to ride or drive long distances to manage your daily routine.

The savings can be significant when you don’t put many miles on a car or motorcycle. Even a few hundred dollars per year can give college students the extra cash they need for textbooks or other learning essentials.

4. Driving Purposes

If a college student needs a car or motorcycle to drive to class and work, it makes sense to have insurance that covers those requirements. If they go home each weekend to visit with family, it might be time to consider how often they’re on the road.

Whenever you can mitigate risk factors for an insurance company, you’re more likely to save some money on your policy.

Instead of having your child drive back for the weekend, could they ride a train or take a bus? What about carpooling?

Although you want them to establish a history of being a safe driver, putting less time behind the wheel can keep your current insurance costs low.

5. Change the Vehicle Type

Some vehicles cost more to insure than others. If your college student is moving away from home, sending them with the cheapest car in the driveway instead of the most expensive one makes sense.

A Corvette or a Harley-Davidson motorcycle is more expensive to insure than a moped or a Prius because of several factors, including cost.

Vehicles with a high safety reputation are often cheaper to insure than those that are seen as sports cars or bikes. Even students with high grades and a safe driving history pay more for their coverage when operating them.

When you take a strategic approach to your college student’s insurance needs and make appropriate adjustments, you’ll find it is easier to save without compromising your protection. Each situation is different, so it helps to converse with your agent or broker to know what to expect.

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Mike Navarette has more than a decade of experience in the auto insurance industry, but that's not his true passion. He loves getting on a motorcycle to explore roads he's never traveled. You'll find Mike in the garage working on something when he isn't helping clients or leaning into curves. It's sometimes a side hustle, more often a favor, but it keeps his hands busy doing something productive. Since the first time his father strapped on his helmet and took him for a ride, Mike has loved bikes. That passion, along with a desire to help others through a deep understanding of insurance policies, led to the creation of Motorcycle Ride Coverage.

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