The National Safety Commission Alerts

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

College Freshmen Lower Their Family’s Auto Insurance

Parents of College-Bound Students Often Get Significant Discounts on Auto Insurance Rates

Sending a child off to his or her first year of college can be a bittersweet experience, but for many parents, there is a silver lining—a large cut in their car insurance premiums if they are able to remove their college-bound children from the family auto insurance policy while their students are away at college.

If your dependent child attends a college more than 100 miles away from the family home, you can take your dependent off the policy and be the recipient of significant savings, which can often be from ten to 50 percent, depending on factors such as where you reside, the make and age of your auto, your child’s driving history, etc.

Unfortunately, if your child is driving and maintaining a car at college registered under the parent’s policy, your young collegiate must stay on the policy and the insurance premiums will be decided by the zip code of the college campus. At an urban campus, such as Columbia or Berkeley, insurance rates can be extremely high, but at a school in the mid-west, affordable rates are the norm—sometimes even at a cheaper rate than at the family's zip code!

Significant student savings on auto insurance is still a possibility for the college student who attends school on a full-time basis and keeps a "B" average or better. Parents can anticipate a reduction of around 10 to 25 percent on average.

In a humorous twist, since schools only mail grades to students and not parents, an auto insurance policy might be a way for parents to stay on top of their kids’ grades. If rates go up, it could be because Junior’s grades went down!

Answer Financial, one of the largest insurance companies in the country, offers these insurance pointers for students off to their first year of college:

— Write out this checklist for what to do in case of an accident, and keep it in the glove compartment:

• Stay calm
• Be alert about traffic
• Make sure anyone involved is safe and out of harm’s way
• Call 911
• Obtain the other driver's auto insurance carrier and policy number
• Make sure to locate and speak to potential witnesses

— A good idea for parents is to purchase a disposable camera to be kept in your child’s glove compartment in case of an accident. Instruct your child to take pictures of the accident site, the approach of the vehicles involved, the roadways, and the damage. It will be more difficult to place blame on “the kid” when there is visual proof (i.e. photos) involved.

— Should your child’s premium rise due to a ticket, grades, or an accident, insurance companies will often offer discounts if the young driver completes an accident safety course.

Along with motor vehicle safety, driver education helps ensure the safety of young Americans. Whether they're getting their Learner's Permit or a Motorcycle License, America's Driver License Headquarters is TestQuestionsandAnswers.com.

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The National Safety Commission, Inc.
PO Box 3359
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-3359

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