Deciding Whether or Not to Keep Your College Child on Your Auto Policy
If your child is moving to college, one of the decisions you will have to make is whether to keep them on your auto insurance policy or let them have a separate coverage. This decision may not be entirely up to you; other factors will influence it. These four questions will help steer you in the right direction:
Is Your Child Taking the Car With Them?
Some college kids leave their cars at home for use during vacation. This is especially likely for kids who plan to live in college dorms and have no serious need for a constant car. If that is the case, then it makes no sense to buy separate coverage for the child. In fact, you may even benefit from reduced rates because the car will be mostly parked.
Where Will the Child Live?
The child's principal living place is crucial since it determines the level of risks they face with the car or even whether they will be driving at all. For example, if the child will be commuting from home, then the risks are almost the same as before, and there is no need to take them out of your policy. However, the risks will be different if the child will be moving to another city or town, and taking the car with them. In that case, it might make sense to get a separate policy for the child.
Is the College Instate or Out of State?
If the child is taking the car to an out-of-state, then another thing to consider is the minimum coverage required in that state. This is necessary since auto insurance minimum coverage is regulated at state level.
You don't have to worry much if the new state is in a state with lower coverage compared to your state. However, if the minimum coverage is higher than that in your home state, then you either have to increase your minimum coverage or get the child their own policy. Of course, you definitely have to buy a separate policy for the child if they go out of state and your current insurer doesn't serve that state.
What Does Your Insurance Clarify the Issue?
Lastly, your insurer may also have a say on the issue. Some policies require the child to have their own coverage once they move out of the house, especially if they are going out of state. This is one of the reasons you must notify an insurance agent before the child moves; don't make any assumptions.