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College Student Insurance Discounts?

My son has just gone off to college and will live on-campus a couple hours from home. The insurance adder (not the full cost) to have him on the policy for my 2007 Highlander is about $1,700 here in Mass. He will only use the car a handful of times until May. Has anyone in the group been successful getting a substantial discount on the cost to insure a dependent in this situation? If so, name the insurer please. Thanks
ps - I will explore removing him from the policy, but my understanding is the kids come home every month and a half or so for a day or two. So that may not be practical.

We have American Family, 3 cars in a 3 person household, maybe only 2 cars. Our daughter went off to college, we got a discount, but I do not recall the particulars

"Away at School
_If your child is a student who is under the age of 25 and more than 100 miles away at college, and they haven’t taken a car with them to school, you save. Or, if you’re the student, over 100 miles away from your parked car back at home, you save as well."
From American Family website,"

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I’ve always had State Farm and never really got hit terribly hard with youth driving costs. In college we got a good student discount if you kept your grades up. I don’t know how you would drop a driver from a family policy though. They are going to be driving one of your cars sometime, whether its on campus or home so the risk is still there. Cars weren’t allowed on campus so the car was stored in a parking area but didn’t matter. Also risk is still there. At the same college, my nephew’s car was destroyed by baseball sized hail just sitting there. Once they are 25 or married, life will be simpler.

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I have always had State Farm. I just recently finished having young dependent drivers. Both my kids have flown the coop and are on their own now and my car insurance premiums have dropped (and health insurance and Umbrella, etcetera).

I feel for you. Pssss… raising kids is expensive. Both my children had cars at college, all 4 or 5 years they were under our roof. They both received discounts for Good Driver (based on driving record) & Good Student (we sent full-time student transcript/grade reports annually).

I don’t know that I’d call the discounts substantial, but it certainly helped and was worth doing. I don’t think there’s a magic bullet. Having young drivers as dependents, whether they operate a vehicle or not, raises insurance premiums. Feel the magic.

High insurance costs are just a fact of life. They will pass, sooner than you think. The important thing is to raise happy, successful children. That can last a lifetime.

Oh, I should mention that if you don’t have a substantial Umbrella Policy then this would be the time to consider adding that expense to your insurance expenses. Sorry!

Maybe find an agent who’s an insurance broker who can throw several companies up on the computer screen and crunch numbers for you to see if you’re getting a fair shake.

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Good advice, thanks to all who replied. I spoke to my Safety Insurance agent, who I have worked with for about 15 years. My situation qualified for $900 in savings from the discounts you all listed out. So the adder to carry this away-student is now reduced from $1400 pr year to just $500. Biggest lesson I learned is that nobody will alert a parent in this situation, so I will do a story to try to get the word out.

It seems that would have been the first thing to do.

I usually like to educate myself BEFORE I make these kind of calls. Helps me to direct the conversation and spot BS. YMMV.

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Yes, I was doing some self-education. I’ve done a lot of research on it over the long weekend and realize I may have missed out on the good student discount over the past year or more. One reason I reached out to the CarTalk Community in addition to my own other research was to find out the dollar amount others in this situation may have saved, something that turns out is very tricky to determine any other way. Thank you all.

and never be afraid to shop around for other insurance.

I had Farmers before I got married, and to get my wife and I on the same policy was going to raise our premiums massively. So we shopped. GEICO ended up being cheaper than everyone. A couple years later, my stepson started driving, and GEICO wanted an outrageous amount to add him to our policy, and even more to get him his own. So we went shopping.

AAA got him on his own policy for the cheapest of anyone, and he has pretty good coverage.

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Ask your insurance agent if you can get a discount for having your son take a defensive driving course. Sometimes people take the course just for a discount, and not to get points taken off their license.

Another option is to choose a company that offers a “disappearing deductible” and start with a high deductible. Progressive and Allstate offer this.

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Our company offered a discount for a monitor thing, Never followed up on it due to fear of

“At first, Progressive used the program to incentivize good driving habits by offering discounts to safe drivers, but in 2013, the company started using collected data to penalize bad drivers.”

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What kind of idiot volunteers for a monitoring device from Progressive and then drives aggressively or over the speed limit? What did these people think would happen? I always figured aggressive drivers would opt out, and the monitoring program would be biased by self-selection.

I guess common sense isn’t very common. At least you had the sense to opt out if you didn’t intend to drive conservatively.

Keeping up with the flow of traffic doing 10 over,is not aggressive, but yeah another example of big brother? Sorry dude your rates go up because you are consistently driving over the speed limit? Sorry I was just being safe, not a hazard to traffic flow probably would not cut it.

I’m giving you credit for knowing your limits, and if you read Orwell’s 1984, you’d know Big Brother wasn’t something characters from the story opted for, it was forced upon them.

I’m not perfect either. I too exceed the speed limit. I just don’t try to rationalize my selfish decision to get where I’m going a little faster, I own it. My decision to break the law isn’t some peer pressure I give in to, because it’s just as easy to go with the flow of traffic in the slow lane as it is to go with the flow of traffic in the fast lane.

We’re all adults here and we know our choices have consequences.

That excuse that “everyone else is doing it” didn’t fly with my parents and it doesn’t fly with me, because I know the company owned commercial trucks that share the road with you are governed at 70 MPH or less.

Yeah State Farm made the same offer for something like 5%. I didn’t think anyone but me needed to know where I went, when, for how long, or how fast. Not about to join the zombies for a lousy 5% or even 100%.


It wasn’t as expensive to add me to the policy but we use Pemco which only serves Washington and Oregon at the moment. My parents have used them since 1970