Paying for college can cause enough of a drain on your bank account—but having to pay for auto insurance on top of that can make your finances even more of a struggle. If you're shopping for auto insurance for the first time as a college student, there are some important considerations you'll want to keep in mind that could save you money and make sure you have the right coverage for your needs.
Will You Have Your Car On Campus?
If you're living on campus, check to see whether your college permits personal vehicles on its property. Some schools don't allow students to bring cars for their first year or two of attendance in an effort to cut down on parking issues. If you won't be able to have your car on campus, you may want to look into a policy that will allow you to suspend some of your coverage while you leave it parked at your parents' house or another location. This can save you money during the school year.
Do You Qualify For a Student Discount?
If you will have your car on campus (or if you're living off campus or commuting), make sure you're taking advantage of all the discount options available to you. Many insurance carriers these days offer a "good student" discount (or similar) to policy holders who maintain a certain grade-point average. Keep in mind that this discount is sometimes restricted to those who are enrolled full time, so you may not be eligible if you're only taking part-time credit hours.
Should You Use Student Loans to Cover Insurance?
If you have a refund coming back to you after your student loans are disbursed and your school is paid for, consider whether it would make sense to use the leftover money to pay for your auto insurance. Of course, this isn't the best option for everyone—but it can help to lessen the financial burden of paying for auto insurance while in school. Some auto insurance carriers also offer a discount if you pay for your premium in full rather than in monthly installments, so this could save you some money.
What Kind of Deductible Are You Comfortable With?
Finally, make sure the deductible you choose for your insurance plan is one you can comfortably afford if needed. A higher deductible will mean lower monthly payments, but that won't do you any good if you can't afford your deductible when needed.