Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • You may qualify for a distant student discount when your child is away at college
  • A distant student discount is offered by most car insurance companies, but the amount of the discount will vary
  • Usually, your child will have to attend a college more than 100 miles away, be under 23 years old, and not have access to your car

In the traditional sense, you cannot have full-time students in other states on your insurance policy. Insurance companies like the security of having all drivers at the same property address.

A distant student discount on car insurance turns this idea on its head. It saves you money while your child is off at college. Many car insurance companies offer a discount since the younger driver won’t have access to your vehicle. However, you will have to meet certain requirements in order to get the discount. When you consider the cost of a separate policy, it may be small, but you cannot tell without getting a quote.

Although car insurance for students is expensive, you can still find affordable car insurance with a distant driver discount to lower your rates. Compare rates from various companies to find the cheapest coverage for you.

Enter your ZIP code now to compare car insurance quotes with a distant student discount from multiple companies near you for free.

What is a distant student car insurance discount?

You can receive a distant student discount of up to 7% on your car insurance while your child is away at school. Car insurance companies offer a discount because your child will have limited access to a car and lower chances of being in an accident. This is assuming you’re not looking for full-time coverage discounts for your students.

However, you will have to meet certain requirements in order to receive the distant student discount. The most common requirements are:

  • The student must be under 23 years old
  • The student must not have access to a vehicle while at school
  • The student must attend college full-time at least 100 miles away from home

Age is one of the most important factors when it comes to determining car insurance rates. Young drivers lack experience and history. So their insurance will naturally cost more. They are more likely to be in an accident or injure others.

According to CDC statistics, 285,000 teens were injured in accidents in 2018.

Car insurance with a distant student discount can offer lower rates, while still allowing your student to have car insurance just in case they need to drive.

If you know that your student won’t be driving, it might be tempting to remove them from your car insurance altogether. However, that comes with its own set of problems.

If you remove car insurance for your student, they won’t be able to drive when they are home, like on breaks or for summer vacation. It can also be considered a lapse of coverage, making it harder and more expensive for your student to get car insurance when they do start driving again.

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What companies offer a distant student discount?

Many car insurance companies offer a distant student discount to help lower insurance premiums while the student isn’t driving.

This table shows you top insurance companies that offer the distant student discount. If the amount of the discount is known, it is listed.

Distant Student Car Insurance Discount Available By Company
CompanyDistant Student Discount Available
21st CenturyX
American FamilyX
Ameriprise (Connect)X
Safe AutoX
State FarmX
The HanoverX
The HartfordX
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Be sure to speak with your agent about adding a distant student discount to your policy when your child goes off to college. It can save you money while keeping continuous coverage for your student.

Distant Student Discount: The Bottom Line

A distant student discount will save up to 7% on car insurance if your student meets the requirements. Most companies will also let you bundle car insurance student discounts with others to save you the most money. Encouraging everybody in the household to be a safe driver is the best way to get your insurance company to lower your rates. Other discounts for students include school-based discounts and discounts for good grades on auto insurance policies.

Shop around before you buy car insurance with a distant student discount. This should not be your only consideration. Each company will offer different discount amounts and have different qualifications for the discount. You may get the best rate with your current insurance company making those adjustments for some degree of usage-based insurance. You may get better rates with safe driving if you get your college student a completely separate plan. You also have to consider eligibility requirements and where your student will live. If they don’t live in dorms, it may be cheaper to combine a full policy with renters insurance.

If you’re looking for better auto insurance premiums, don’t take anybody’s word for it if they say they offer the cheapest insurance costs. Always make sure you’re still getting the coverage you need in your auto policy. Sacrificing coverage could cost you on your insurance plan and out of pocket in the future.

Compare quotes to see who can offer you the cheapest auto insurance for college students.

Enter your ZIP code to compare car insurance rates with a distant student discount for free today.