A great way to make the transition to college life easier on your child is to spring for car insurance so they don't have to worry about coming up with the funds to pay the monthly bill. But that doesn't mean that you have to set up a special savings account just to afford the venture. Here are a few effective ways to save some money on your kid's car and insurance policy rates while you're footing the bill:
Look for Cost-Saving Car Features
If you are involved in the process of buying a car for your kid to use at college, encourage them to choose one with features that have a positive impact on the insurance rates you'll be paying. Here are some options to look for:
- Antilock Brakes
- Automatic Seatbelts
Vehicles with a high crash test rating may be eligible for insurance discounts, depending on the company you're working with and the type of vehicle your college kid is driving.
Get a Multi-Car Family Policy
Most insurance companies offer discounts for putting multiple vehicles under the same policy. You simply need to include each vehicle your family owns to receive a small discount on the overall cost of each vehicle's rates. As long as your child plans to live at home at least part of the year, their vehicle may qualify for a discount when it is added to your policy. If you can't put your college kid's vehicle on your policy, find out if your family qualifies for a multi-policy discount. Age and living restrictions may apply, depending on which company you're working with.
Combine all Your Policy Types
Another great way to save some money on insurance costs overall is to combine all of your insurance policy types into one package. Getting your home, renters, boat, RV, motorcycle, life, accident, and vehicle insurance from the same company can save you a noticeable chunk of money on a yearly basis. The savings you experience from combining your own personal policies into one package may even pay for your child's car insurance altogether.
Encourage Good Grades at School
Good student car insurance discounts are real, even for college kids, as long as they're under 25 years of age and enrolled in classes full time. They'll also need to maintain a B grade average and be able to prove it through report cards, so it's a good idea to encourage those good grades through a performance-based compensation plan.
If your child maintains B averages you may want to foot the whole insurance bill, but if the averages fall, maybe your college kid should pay out of pocket for a percentage of the insurance bill. For example, you can charge your child twenty percent of the insurance bill for maintaining a C average, and even more if the grades get worse. This is a great way to continue helping out with your child's bills while teaching them a sense of responsibility at the same time.
Insist on a Clean Driving Record
Insurance companies place some importance on a clean driving record when determining rates for their customers. After all, someone who is prone to accidents or speeding tickets is more likely to make claims than someone who has a clean driving record. Accidents and tickets on your college kid's record is likely to deem them a risky driver to insurance companies, which almost always results in higher insurance rate quotes.
You can't be with your grown child all the time, especially when they are away at college, but you can insist on them maintaining a clean driving record as long as you are paying for their vehicle insurance premiums. Consider asking your child to attend a defensive driving class in exchange for making the insurance payments so they're prepared for safe driving on the road. You can even go with them to make it a team effort.
Financially helping your college-bound kid as they start their new life as a young adult is a rewarding experience, and it's even better when you can save yourself a little money along the way. For more information, contact a local insurance company like Wyatt Insurance Agency.