College Advice Blog

Jan 28, 2012

Saving Money on Car Insurance

College students, on the whole, don’t tend to have a lot of disposable income.  With most of your money tied up in tuition, books, and living expenses, it can definitely be difficult to carry extras like the costs associated with owning a car.  Even if you’ve got your vehicle paid off and the registration is pretty reasonable, you still have to contend with the high cost of auto insurance.  But with so many students opting to stay home rather than paying room and board on campus, having reliable transportation (and adequate insurance) is a must.  Luckily, there are lots of ways that responsible students can cut back on the cost of insuring a vehicle, and here are a few that you might want to angle for.

The easiest way to save, of course, is to non-op your car, park it in the garage, and take public transportation, but for most students (who juggle a job with the classes they attend) this simply isn’t an option.  So start by considering the car you drive.  Although no kid is going to complain when their parents hand them the keys to a brand new Beamer following high-school graduation, the minute you have to take over the insurance payment you’re going to wish you had cheaper car.  Yes, insurance premiums are based not only on your demographic and personal driving record, but also on how much it will cost to repair or replace your vehicle.  Plus, cars that are considered less safe (like 2-door sports cars) are going to lead to higher premiums, as well.  So trading your folks for the family van could save you enough money to make the humiliation worthwhile.
But you should begin by talking to your insurance provider about discounts you might be eligible for.  For starters, most companies offer an incredible discount (up to 20%) to students under the age of 25 that maintain a high GPA (the number may vary).  So if you can keep your grades up you stand to see a significant reduction in the annual cost of your car insurance.  And if you’ve been driving for a while with nearly an accident or moving violation you may find that you now qualify for a safe driver discount.  You can also inquire about rebates for added safety features (such as additional airbags or anti-theft devices like LoJack).  And don’t forget about the possibility of changing your policy.  A higher deductible or less coverage can save you a ton over time, provided you don’t have any accidents.
Of course, your best bet for savings may be to jump ship and seek out another insurance provider.  You could find far better rates (and incentives to join) with a different company, especially if you’re not happy with the service you currently pay for.  And even if you do like the carrier you’re with, you can probably use alternative bids to see what they’re willing to offer you in order to keep your business.  Either way you’re bound to find the best policy for your particular needs at a price you can afford.
About The Author
Evan Fischer is a contributing writer for Used GeoEngines, where used GEO engines are shipped nationwide daily.                  

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