Car Insurance for kids going to college

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Car Insurance for kids going to college
By Theirish (Theirish) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 01:54 pm: Edit

I was wondering if anyone had any input on how their car insurance rates are affected when their son/daughter goes away to school and will not have a car at school.

Our insurance company, Farmers, said there will be no decrease in insurance, even though she will be home only for holidays and will not have a car of her own. They said the only way the rate would decrease was if she turned in her Texas drivers license. This is obviously not an option.

I'm interested in what others' experiences have been.


By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 01:55 pm: Edit

There is a separate thread on this below somewhere. Our insurance co (Geico) is not charging us anything additional for D, and she is covered for driving during holidays (including summer).

If they are charging a significant amt for her, I'd shop around a bit. Those who posted on the other thread seemed to be getting at least some reduction.

By Theirish (Theirish) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 01:58 pm: Edit

I was looking for that thread - I knew I had read it earlier but couldn't find it, even with a search.

By Theirish (Theirish) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 02:04 pm: Edit

I found a couple of posts but I need more info to show Farmers. If you have any experience, please post. Thanks! :)

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 02:10 pm: Edit

Look up the thread:

Auto Insurance While In College, that ran in June.

FWIW, we have insurance with Commerce, in MA. When our son was away in college, we got a reduction on our insurance. We signed him in when he came home (holidays, summer vacation) and dropped him when he went back to college. Each time, we signed a form for the purpose.

It may depend on individual state laws, but this is a quite common practice.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 02:26 pm: Edit

Marite: Is it because your son was over 100 miles away? My sis and I went to college in MA and Commerce did not give deductions for either one of us. My parents kept us on, paying the full amount, because that was less expensive than dropping us and adding us back on during summer vacations. (Just a side note: I've been very dissatisfied with Commerce since I've handled my insurance. I average about a phone call a month to clear up a billing error, such as not counting my safe driver points or sending a bill to my stepmom for the same car. How has your experience been?)

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 02:49 pm: Edit

Aries -- I think you are right about the distance factor. I belive Geico asked us whether D would be more than 100 miles away.

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 02:54 pm: Edit


I think that's right. We've been fine. We use an agent, though.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 03:51 pm: Edit

Auto insurance is completely state specific. Each state regulates auto insurance in different ways. Some, like Massachusetts, set rates. Others have complete competition. Many are in between.

Bottom line: It pays to shop around if you are in a competitive state. Just be aware that cost is not the only insurance consideration. If you have a low cost company that makes you miserable when you have a claim, you may have made a bad choice.

Any insurance agents or experts want to comment further?

By Amethyst213 (Amethyst213) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 05:21 pm: Edit

I recently asked my state farm agent, and she told me that they do not take college students off the parent's policy while they are away at college (no matter how far). It seems that it would be a hassle to keep taking them off/putting them on if they will be home over Thanksgiving , Christmas, other breaks and will want to drive then. Also, she said my kids would still be covered if they borrowed someone else's car while at college.

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 05:32 pm: Edit

It may or may not save much. But our agent did not complain about putting on and taking off our S. He came home for fall semester break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring break and summer. But with so many students in our area, agents are probably more used to this "hassle."

By Calmom (Calmom) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 12:32 am: Edit

How far away is your daughter going to school?

I have Farmers, too - I'm in California - and I took my son OFF the insurance the day he left for college, in New York. He kept his license, but he did not have a car at college.

My daughter, age 16, will be going overseas for 4 months on a foreign exchange. My insurance agent told me that I should notify him of when she will be gone, and they will drop her from the insurance for that period.

I'm wondering if your problem is that your daughter will be attending college in state?? If not, there might be different rules for insurance in Texas than California -- but I think it would be worth checking again. At the time my son left, I was paying $1800/year for his coverage - so it was obviously a big help to be able to drop him from the policy.

By Patient (Patient) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 12:40 am: Edit

Phooey. Son is going 2 miles away but freshmen aren't allowed to have cars on campus freshman year, so it will just sit. Wish we could sign a declaration or something that he really isn't driving....

By Sillystring7 (Sillystring7) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 12:50 am: Edit

My Texas-based insurer won't remove our daughter from our policy (even though her school is 19 hours away by car and does not allow freshmen to have cars). My understanding is that insurance is regulated by each state. I believe the Texas Insurance Commission sets the rules, not the insurers.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 11:24 am: Edit

Just another thought: when I switched insurance companies (as I'm moving to VA), Geico asked how long I had continuously been insured. It was nice (and I think it reduced my premiums) to say "six years." There could be a small advantage to keeping your kid on your policy.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 01:07 pm: Edit

Again, as Sillystring7 said, insurance practices will vary by state. Some states, for instance switch policies into a short rating category if they've been in effect for less than a year.

It all depends. You CANNOT generalize from one state to another.

By Theirish (Theirish) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 03:18 pm: Edit

Calmon, she's going out of state. We're in Texas, she's going to Notre Dame and will not have a car. She'll only be driving during breaks and summertime when she is home. We've had insurance with this particular Farmers agent for over 15 years so we were surprised by their lack of any help at first. However, my husband kept at them and they finally agreed to lower the premiums by reworking something. Our insurance basics are not changing - they discovered they were overcharging us $362 every 6 months and are refunding that money. So we'll save $600 by whatever error they made - or so they say. I think it's more due to my husband's persistence in dealing with them and the length we have been with that particular agent/company. They are sending the new policy so we'll see if anything changes.

By Dadofsam (Dadofsam) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 07:10 pm: Edit

Our son is going across the country but State Farm will only drop the cost of coverage by about $ 100.

By Sc_Dad (Sc_Dad) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 07:22 pm: Edit

Adding my daughter increased auto insurance cost by an additional $1235.

They suggest we drop her off the coverage while she is away at college and add her when home for break/holidays/summer.

By Outwest5 (Outwest5) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 01:56 am: Edit

In SoCal with AAA we take my DD off the insurance and the rate drops dramatically (!!!!!) and then when she comes home to visit I put her back on for two weeks and I am only charged for the time she is here.When she leaves I call and take her off again. No biggy. It generates a lot of paper work, but I save a heck of a lot of money. Why should I pay for auto insurance when she isn't even here! That's ridiculous and I recommend that you check AAA insurance in your state. I will say that she is excluded when I take her off, but that doesn't matter because she isnt even here!

By Outwest5 (Outwest5) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 02:03 am: Edit

The agent who said she is covered driving someone elses car that way is telling you something that is not necessary!If your DD is driving someone elses insured car she is covered by that cars insurance unless it excludes her specifically. The agent is just giving you a BS line.

I WOULD recommend all college students have a AAA card, though. The card is good for any car she is in and can be used by her for any car issue. Example: If she is stuck without gas in her friends car they will come and give her gas. Flat tire on the friends car? They will come change it. I recommend a AAA card for any student whether they have a car or not.

By Patient (Patient) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 03:24 am: Edit

So in other words, we can take him off the insurance regardless of the distance as long as he isn't the driving the car? I like this news!

By Debelli (Debelli) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 05:04 pm: Edit

Called my insurance co. to see if my son got his regular license instead of keeping his restricted with being away from college and having no car what the rate would be.

$384 for 6 months - forget that! For the 3 weeks he'll be home for Xmas - it's just not worth it.

Once they have their reg. license here, they HAVE to have insurance from there on.

By Anxiousmom (Anxiousmom) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 11:53 pm: Edit

DD is 18 and still doesn't have a license because of insurance cost. Geico told me that because we live in Texas daughter would still cost full amount (minus a miniscule amount) away at school with no car - even though she wouldn't be driving. We've decided just to teach the kids to drive with a learners permit, and have them get their licenses when they are older. I don't have 1500. dollars extra a year to spend on something like insurance! Has anyone in Texas been successsful in fighting this rule???

By Sleeplessmom (Sleeplessmom) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 08:01 am: Edit

I'm from Texas and I started the original string on this because I found out that in Texas the insurance premiums are not lowered for a child away at school, even if you prove they're away - with transcripts or whatever. I spoke with my ins co - Geico - and they wouldn't budge. I called the Texas State Board of Insurance and they verified that in the State of Texas you have to carry full coverage on the student, period. No discounts. They only way around this is to drop the child entirely (they have a special form to do this) and if you do, they make it difficult to put the child back on the policy. Horrible, ridiculous and yet another total insurance rip-off!

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