It’s common for young adults attending college to live far from home. Some high school pupils also reside at campuses many miles from their primary ZIP code. If you or someone else on your policy live at a school far from home, you could be rewarded by your car insurance company. Most providers offer a wide range of methods drivers can use to lower their rates. A common one is the “student away at school discount.”
These savings are for anyone with a family member on their policy residing at a school a long distance from home. Some insurance companies have a different name for it. For example, Allstate calls it the “resident student,” while Progressive refers to it as the “distant student”
Each insurer has its own rules. Some may even include it as part of safe driver programs. Your savings will vary depending on which insurance carrier you use.
This article will explore the basics of the student away at school discount. We describe how it works and who qualifies. We also show how much it lowers rates and which insurance companies offer this reward. We also look at other ways families can save with a kid in college before answering frequently asked questions.
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How Student Away at School Discounts Work
Insurers offer policyholders many discounts to lower rates. Just about every insurer offers several. Often, you can qualify for more than one to save even more money.
Insurers offer savings to collegiate families, teen drivers, and young drivers. The student away at school discount is one example. It’s for when a family member attends college or university 100 miles from home without bringing their vehicle to campus. Insurance companies reduce costs because the car will be at home and won’t be in as much danger of getting into an accident.
Who Does It Apply To?
The student may be the one living away at college, but it’s the parents who reap the financial rewards. If the car is in your name, then you’ll be the one saving money. This is because the vehicle, assumedly, won’t be seeing much action during a school term.
How You Can Qualify
To qualify, you must meet several requirements. First, a student on your policy must attend college or university away from home without their car. Most insurance companies have a set distance in miles to qualify. Then, you must meet your insurer’s age requirement. Each provider will have its own set of rules, but most of them are consistent.
Whether or not you qualify will come down to how far the college is from your permanent residence. Per the Insurance Information Institute (III), here’s how you can qualify:
- Your school’s campus is 100 or more miles from your permanent address
- No family car goes to campus
- Someone attends college full-time
- The student going away is 22 years old or younger
Note: the requirements above are from the III and may not reflect your car insurance provider’s rules. How you can qualify will depend on your insurer’s requirements.
How Much It Saves You
How much the college student away discount saves you depends first on which insurer covers your vehicle. After that, savings vary by state and personal situation. Most families will save 5% to 10%, which isn’t a lot. But when a family member attends a distant university, every little bit helps.
Companies Offering the Student Away Discount
Most of the national auto insurers offer some form of savings when a student on the policy goes away to college and leaves the car at home. But their programs aren’t all the same. Each provider may offer a different amount of savings and have its own rules to qualify.
Below is a list of the major companies offering away-from-home student savings when your young scholar lives at school, as well as details about their programs:
Allstate offers a discount called resident student that reduces insurance rates for families with a dependent living away at school. Your savings will vary depending on many factors. To qualify, the college must be at least 100 miles home.
Progressive offers a similar reward called the distant student discount for families with a child residing away at school without access to a car. How much it lowers insurance rates varies by customer. Progressive does not offer this perk in California. To qualify, the driver must be:
- Attending a school that’s at least 100 miles away from home
- 22 years old or younger
- Without a vehicle at school
Travelers offers a student away at school discount to families with a driver in college. Savings vary depending on the driver and the state that they live in. To qualify, Travelers requires that:
- The student on your policy attends a school 100 miles away from home or further
- Family member attending college is 25 years of age or younger
- The car remains at home and is hardly used
Travelers also mentions that savings continue during breaks or holidays throughout the year.
American Family offers an away at school discount to policyholders that:
- Have a a driver on your policy who’s 25 years or younger
- Have a driver attending college 100 miles away from their primary residence
- Leave the car at home when the student is away at school
AmFam doesn’t disclose the exact amount of money that you can save. This number will likely depend on your record, the car you’re insuring, and the state you live in.
Liberty Mutual offers the student away discount to qualifying policyholders with a family member living at a college or university a long distance away from home. It doesn’t publish how much it lowers auto insurance premiums on the website. This will likely vary depending on your policy and the car you’re insuring.
Liberty Mutual doesn’t name any requirements on its website, except that the school must be a long distance from their primary residence. In general, you should expect a 100+ distance requirement with the car remaining at home. Be sure to speak with your agent about specific qualification requirements to get more information.
State Farm offers a student away at school discount to families with at least one driver under the age of 25 attending college many miles from home. They can only use the car on holidays or breaks to be eligible. How much it reduces auto insurance premiums varies. Ask your agent for more information.
The Drive Safe & Save program is another way for collegiate families to lower rates. Check the website for more information.
AAA offers a student away discount to families with a driver living at school many miles from home. You can save up to 46.7% on select coverages. To qualify, someone must live on campus 100 miles from their primary residence without access to a car. Keep in mind that this isn’t available in every state. AAA membership may also be required. Check with your agent to see what’s available.
The Erie college student discount brings financial relief to families with one or more family members living at school. The insurer doesn’t spell out exactly how much it lowers premiums, however. If your kid is living at a university without access to a car, ask an agent or go call Erie for more information.
Auto-Owners offers several ways families of teen and young drivers to save on their insurance. One of them is the student away at school discount. Auto-Owners reduces rates of policyholders with a family member living at school a minimum of 100 miles from home without access to a vehicle
Mercury provides several “driver status” rewards to help lower insurance rates. One of these is the distant student discount. It applies if you have a family member living at least 100 miles away from home. Qualifying drivers must also be under the age of 23 and have no access to the insured vehicle.
Amica offers a student away at school discount for families with a child living at a college or university. You can qualify when you have a family member living at school full-time without access to a car. There’s no mention of how far drivers must live from their primary residence. You’ll need to speak with an Amica agent to learn more.
The Hanover offers a student away at school discount for families with kids in college, but doesn’t provide many details. It likely involves savings when your child lives far from your residence without access to the family vehicle. But you need to contact The Hanover directly for more details.
Student Away Discount by Insurance Company
|Insurance Company||Qualifying Ages||Max Savings|
|Allstate||16 and 24||Varies|
|American Family||Under 26||Varies|
|Liberty Mutual||Under 26||5-10%|
|State Farm||Under 25||Varies|
|The Hanover||Under 22||Varies|
Other Ways Families of College Students Can Save Money
There are plenty of ways to save money on car insurance if you or your child are students in school. This includes taking advantage of other rewards or alternative ways, such as getting a new policy or considering a telematics program. Here are common ways that families can lower costs:
Qualify for Other Student Discounts
Opportunities like these are great if you or your child are in school. Below are a few more ways to lower auto insurance rates:
- Good student. To qualify, insurers want to see good grades. Most insurance companies require that pupils maintain a “B” average and be below the age of 25. Students with good grades save up to 25%, however, exact savings vary by provider.
- Safe driver. Staying out of trouble and not getting into accidents always leads to lower rates, even for students. Insurers reward the safest drivers with the lowest premiums. With this, you can save anywhere from 10 to 40%.
- Telematics or usage-based. By installing a telematics device in your vehicle to track your driving habits, you could receive lower rates. Some insurers even award savings just for signing up.
- Defensive driving course. If take a defensive driving course, either online or in-person, you may qualify for savings. However, some insurance companies only reduce rates of drivers above the age of 55. Be sure to ask your provider for more details.
Be sure to read our article that ranks the car insurance companies with the best savings opportunities. It can help you find the insurer with the best discounts for families with a student in school.
Get a Separate Policy
Students can save money by getting their own car insurance policy. This is especially true if they’re around 25 years old. If the parents have tickets and accidents on their record, a separate policy is a smart idea. Before taking action, you should consult an agent or your insurer to see how it would change your rates.
If your car insurance costs are too high when you’re in school, it’s never a bad idea to shop around and find the best deal. This is especially the case if you’re looking to get your own policy. By comparing rates from several insurers, you can find the most student-friendly policy out there.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you prove the school is 100 miles from home to qualify?
Before rewarding policyholders with the student away at school discount, Insurers verify that your kid lives at least 100 miles from home. They will ask you to prove it. The form this takes will likely depend on your insurer. The college address is the most obvious option. Your auto insurance provider can always verify the address on its own to ensure the mileage is correct.
Be prepared to prove your kid’s age. Some insurers place age limits on who qualifies. The most common ages are under 22/25 years of age. Check your insurance carrier’s rules to see if there’s an age limit.
What is the maximum age allowed for student away bat school discounts?
This depends on your car insurance company Some insurers, such as State Farm, require that dependents be under the age of 25 to qualify for the student away discount. Progressive requires them to be under the age of 22 to be eligible. Each carrier has its own rules and requirements. So, read the details with care and don’t hesitate to ask your agent if you have any questions regarding eligibility.
How much can you save with the student away discount?
The student away at school discount knocks a certain percentage off of your car insurance premium. The exact amount will vary based on a few factors. Most families save 5% to 10%, but precisely how much will ultimately depend on your provider. Another factor might be your state’s rules. Other factors might be your driving record, age, gender, and type of car you drive. Speak with your agent to get a rough estimate of how much you can save.