Car insurance for college students

Navigating the cost of car insurance for college students

Car insurance for college students

College can be a young person’s first real taste of independence. Suddenly, adulting gets real and costs can get high. And if a student has a car on campus, there’s an extra level of cost to consider.

Car insurance premiums for young drivers are almost always higher — sometimes a lot higher — than those paid by older adults. That’s not so hard to understand, though, once you’re acquainted with a few data points.

Create good driving habits

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving led to the deaths of well over 13,000 people in 2021, a jump of 14 percent from the year before. Another NHTSA study from 2020 found that drug-impaired drivers were involved in 56 percent of crashes that led to severe injury or death.

Drivers who get behind the wheel while impaired by drugs or alcohol are often young. The NHTSA analysis found that 27 percent of drivers from 15 to 20 years old who died in crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) which significantly affected their judgment.

If these stats aren’t enough to persuade young drivers that driving under the influence of any substance is a bad idea, this might: a citation for impaired driving can mean an astronomical jump in insurance premiums, if not outright policy cancellation. Once someone has been dropped from coverage, it can be difficult to get insured by another carrier.

Nor is substance misuse the only bad behavior young drivers should avoid when they’re behind the wheel. According to another NHTSA report, the most common causes of accidents between 2020 and 2021 besides impairment are speeding and passengers not using seatbelts. Distracted driving — in which drivers’ attention is diverted from the road by eating, drinking, talking, messing with the stereo, or texting — is also a concern. It led to the deaths of over 3,500 people in 2021.

Beside avoiding obvious risk factors, there are a few ways to help find the most reasonable rates available.

First, a little homework

Start by choosing a trustworthy insurance agent who can help put together a policy that offers the right coverage without breaking the piggy bank. Grinnell Mutual’s glossary of car insurance terms can help.

Check into discounts

Taking advantage of incentives and discounts most insurance companies offer is a great way to keep premium costs down. For instance, many companies will discount your premiums if you maintain good grades. And some companies have devices they can put in your car to confirm your safe driving habits that can lead to reduced rates. When you’re getting quotes from various companies — as you should — be sure to ask about what discount programs they have that might apply.


The information included here was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company and its employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with any training, materials, suggestions, or information provided. It is the user’s responsibility to confirm compliance with any applicable local, state, or federal regulations. Information obtained from or via Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company should not be used as the basis for legal advice and should be confirmed with alternative sources.