Summer auto insurance tips for students
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Students who go to school and use public transportation to get around usually do not have a car on campus for cost reasons. Most often, these students do not need auto insurance during the school year.
That said, when these students return home for the summer, they may have a car (family or personal) waiting for them at home to get around. If you fall into this category, you may need to consider updating your policy to make sure you’re covered, but only while you get home because you don’t want to spend more money than you need to. For this reason, here are some summer auto insurance tips to keep in mind!
1. If you don’t come home often or for a long time
Some students spend the majority of the year, including summer, on the university campus, whether for summer courses, work or internships. Whatever the reason, if you are on campus most of the time and only come home sparingly – that is, for occasional weekends – you don’t need to have your own auto insurance.
When you use a family member’s or friend’s car when you get home, you fall into the “guest” category because you rarely, if ever, drive their vehicle.
2. If you borrow a family car during the summer
That said, if you are a student going home all summer, you will likely need an insurance policy. That said, you won’t need your own insurance policy, as long as it’s a family member’s car you are using.
Basically, whoever owns the car is the one who is responsible for the insurance. Nonetheless, you will likely need to be added as an occasional driver, which means you would pay less since you only drive the vehicle occasionally.
3. If you live nearby and use a station wagon every time you get home
However, there are stipulations for the category of occasional drivers. For example, if you are only coming back for the summer, you will be driving less than 25% of the time. However, if you live near campus, insurance companies will assume that you come back on weekends, in which case you would exceed that 25% threshold.
For this reason, if you use a family member’s car every time you return home (so if you live within 100 miles of campus), you will simply need to be added to the insurance policy of that person as a full-time driver.
4. You own a car, but only use it when you get home.
What if you own a car, but don’t take it around campus with you? Ultimately, as a car owner, you need to be insured. That said, if you only get home during the summer, you can update your policy to pay less monthly when your car is parked in the garage.
Basically, if your car is parked in the garage and you don’t drive it, you shouldn’t be paying as much as if you were driving it to work every day.
5. You are a car owner who lives in a different state
While the same rules apply to out-of-state students who leave their cars at home, it’s important to note that out-of-state policies may differ slightly, so if your address principal is an out-of-state location, note that your insurance requirements may change.
If you leave your car at home with family members, it is in your best interest to insure that car at the family member’s address, rather than out-of-state address to avoid all that is legal.
6. You are a car owner who lives in a different state and brings the car with you
While the same rules apply to international students who leave their cars at home, it’s important to note that when you bring your car with you, the insurance rules change.
You must be insured in the state in which you live. So, if you live in a new state with your car, your car should be insured in that state. Make sure you look at all the legal hoops you will need to go through, especially if you are driving the car back and forth between states. Just do your research and you will be fine!
Just because auto insurance isn’t necessary when you’re away from school, doesn’t mean it’s not necessary when you get home. Especially if you plan on driving a bit, adding to a family member’s policy, or purchasing a short term policy, it’s in your best interest.
Make sure to use these tips to make sure that you don’t spend more money than you need to, but that you are also fully covered until you return to school for the next semester.
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