As a grad student, you’re investing in your education, but your car insurance knowledge can pay dividends today.

You might have coffee pumping through your veins, a mountain of books to study, and yet another paper that’s due sooner than you’d like. And now, car insurance research is just one more thing to read.

But this quick study could put cold, hard cash in your pocket. Parents or guardians might help a little here and there, but mostly, you’re on your own. You’re juggling rent, groceries, and now car insurance, too.

Adulting is fun. 

Today’s homework is your guide to best grad student car insurance deals, or you can start by comparing car insurance quotes at Insurify.

Best Car Insurance Companies for Graduate Students

Here are the top nine companies for graduate college students (listed alphabetically): 

Allstate

Allstate offers a Good Grade discount for those grad students who are full-time, unmarried, and under age 25. If you get your money disbursed, you may look into the FullPay discount, which gives a 10 percent discount when you pay the premium in full upfront. 

Allstate ranks 3 out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction from J.D. Power & Associates survey, with “about average” ratings for its policy offerings, price, local agents (availability), call center, and website.

American Family

American Family has a Good Student discount for full-time grad students that keep a 3.0 GPA or better and are under age 25. It also adds a Young Volunteer discount if you complete 40 hours of volunteer work per year for a non-profit. And if your mom and dad are customers, you can get a generational discount, too.

American Family ranks 4 out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction from J.D. Power, with “better than most” ratings for its policy offerings, price, and local agents. 

Esurance

Esurance wants grad students to focus on two key savings:

  • The Good Student discount is for students under age 25 who have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • The Good Driver discount could save you up to 40 percent off of your premium when you have no more than one point on your driving record in the last three years.

Esurance ranks 4 out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction fromJ.D. Power, with “better than most” ratings for its policy offerings, price, call center, and website.

Farmers

Farmers offers a Paid-In-Full discount when you pay the entire premium upfront. Plus, you’ll get the Good Student discount if you’re under 25 with 3.0 or better. The auto/renters discount helps if you’ll also insure your place.

Farmers ranks 3 out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction fromJ.D. Power, with “about average” ratings for its policy offerings, price, and local agents.

GEICO

Geico has four savings strategies to help a grad student out:

  • The Good Student discount gives up to 15 percent savings to those under age 25 with a 3.0 GPA.
  • The Good Driver discount. Have you been accident-free for the last five years? Then you could save up to 26 percent on most coverages.
  • Fraternity, Sorority, and Honor Society Member discounts. Even if you haven’t tattooed those Greek letters on your arm, you might save some green. 
  • College and University Alumni Association and Student Organization discounts. Now that you have that expensive piece of paper, you can join the alumni association and save big. Check the website to see if your school is on the list.

Geico ranks 3 out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction fromJ.D. Power, with “about average” ratings for its policy offerings, price, local agents, call center, and website.

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual gives grad students with a 3.0 GPA or higher a good student discount if they’re under age 25. And slash up to 10 percent more for your alumni or professional association membership. Maybe that internship can pay off in more than one way.

Liberty Mutual ranks 3 out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction from J.D. Power, with “about average” ratings for its policy offerings, price, local agents, and website.

Metromile

Metromile would be the correct answer for “which one of these things is not like the others?” The company sells usage-based car insurance where you pay per mile. While some of the traditional insurance companies have similar offerings, Metromile only does it this way. 

For example, suppose you have a base rate of $29 and a per-mile rate of 6 cents. So, if you stayed on campus, used public transportation where possible, and only drove 250 miles in a month, your rate would be:

$29 base rate + (250 miles x $0.06) = $44 for that month.

You could drive less or more and pick your monthly price based on your driving habits. The more you drive, the more the cost approaches that of traditional car insurers. 

J.D. Power does not rank Metromile, but it has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Progressive

Progressive’s Good Student discount is only for students under age 23 with a 3.0 GPA or better. But it’s still worth mentioning because of its Snapshot device, which checks driving behavior. Since grad students usually drive much less than the public, you might save big on what could already be competitive rates.

Progressive ranks 3 out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction fromJ.D. Power, with “about average” ratings for its policy offerings, price, local agents, and website.

State Farm

State Farm’s Good Student discount saves you up to 25 percent for if you’re under age 25 with a 3.0 GPA or better. Couple those savings with the Good Driving discount if you haven’t had an accident or moving violation in the last three years. Save up to 17 percent more when you get a renters insurance policy for your pad.

State Farm ranks 3 out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction from J.D. Power, with “about average” ratings for its policy offerings, price, local agents, call center, and website.

Cheapest Auto Insurance Quotes for Graduate Students

While your friends are bragging on social media about new jobs, cars, and houses, you could sum up your budget in one word: BROKE. And even if you have a few bucks to spare, it’ll be on a meal that didn’t come pre-packaged or deep-fried. 

Put some of these companies on your list to see how much you could save:

Insurance CompanyLowest Rate
Mercury$25/month
MetLife$27/month
Bristol West$28/month
Bristol West$30/month
Kemper$31/month

Best Auto Insurance Discounts for Graduate Students

Driver discounts usually fit into six categories:

  • Affiliations. These are memberships in groups like alumni associations, fraternities, and sororities, or student organizations.
  • Carrier Loyalty. Insurance providers love when you bundle, so adding a renters policy can add huge savings. 
  • Driving Habits and History. Accident-free or good driver discounts are classic examples.
  • Driving Education. Grad students will be happy to know that a 3.0 GPA or higher for those under 25 will save big bucks.
  • Telematics. Use a device or app to track driver behavior, how much you drive, and general safety. Grad students can save a lot because they spend more time in books than behind the wheel.
  • Vehicle Features. Advanced safety features such as passive restraint (automatic seatbelts) or daytime running lights, anti-theft systems, and even the newness of the vehicle can all give you discounts.

Grad Students vs. Other U.S. Drivers: Who Pays More? 

As you advance towards higher degrees, you’ll usually pay less for insurance for two reasons. The first you’re getting older, and insurers see young drivers, especially those under 25, as risky. And many insurers give education discounts at each level as you go from bachelor’s to master’s to doctorate.

Car Insurance Tips for Graduate Students

Commuting and Driving as a Grad Student

  • Stay on your parent’s policy while their home is still your permanent address. There’s no need to get a separate policy unless your parent has so many moving violations, accidents, or claims that your part of a joint policy would be more expensive.
  • If you live close to or on campus and rarely drive, then you should tell your insurance company about your low mileage to reduce your premium. Or you can even try usage-based insurance.
  • If you use public transportation, a bike, or your car as a last resort, you could qualify for low-mileage discounts.
  • Figure out the highest bodily injury liability insurance coverage and property damage coverage you can afford. As a recent college graduate and now advancing through grad school, your savings are probably a lot less than you’d like (sometimes non-existent). State minimum coverage might make you legal, but you could end up financially devastated if you’re at fault and must pay someone’s medical bills out of pocket.
  • Higher deductibles for your comprehensive and collision coverage do reduce your premium. But that doesn’t mean you should choose the top amount. Make sure you could afford to pay the deductible if something happened to your car.
  • If your car is the only way you get to class, then you might want to add rental car coverage in case you’re involved in an accident.

Navigating Your Living Situation as a Grad Student 

  • Review the location of your new apartment, dorm, or house. Insurers factor in crime and traffic rates when they set your premium. For this reason, it’s sometimes better to keep your parent’s house as your permanent residence. You can even get quotes with both addresses to see the difference. Your comprehensive coverage will protect your vehicle from theft or vandalism, and discounts may be available for alarm systems and anti-theft or tracking devices.
  • Can you carpool with roommates, friends, or classmates? It might be a challenge to coordinate schedules. But if you can make it work, you might come out ahead by chipping in on gas and saving money on your car insurance.
  • Public transit can turn your commute to study time and biking could be your only chance at a workout. Reducing your driving could qualify you for lower rates.

Buying a Car:

  • Most used cars have airbags and antilock brakes, but you also save for advanced safety features like passive restraints on newer vehicles.
  • Consider the comprehensive and collision coverage “10 percent” rule of thumb. If the yearly insurance premium costs over 10 percent of the value of the car, then you might think about buying liability only. For example, paying more than $500 a year in extra premium to protect a $5,000 car may not be worth it. If you could easily replace the vehicle, then pocket the cash.

Graduate Student Car Insurance FAQs

What age do I no longer qualify for the Good Student discount?

Most insurance providers will give you the Good Student discount if you’re under age 25.

When should I stay on my parent’s policy?

If your permanent address is still your parent’s home, your car is titled in your parent’s name, or your car is jointly titled in your name and your parent’s name.

When should I get my own policy?

1) If you’ve moved out and have a different permanent address from your parents. 2) If your car is titled in your name alone. 3) If you're attending out of state, and you can’t stay on your parent’s policy (it differs for each state and insurance company). 4) If your parent has a bad driving history, and it would be cheaper alone.

Where can I compare car insurance quotes online?

The best way to find the cheapest car insurance for grad students is to compare quotes from the auto insurance companies available in your area. Find a car insurance quote comparison site like Insurify to compare up to 10+ real quotes for your driver profile and unlock savings and car insurance discounts. Rates can vary based on your driving history and personal profile, but you should be able to find a competitive price. Insurify provides the cheapest car insurance quotes and companies in your area in just a few minutes.

Conclusion: The best way to save on car insurance

There’s one precious commodity that might be even more important than money. SLEEP. After saving some serious cash on car insurance, you may have earned the right to get a few winks.

We let you compare the best grad student car insurance rates, coverage options, and companies personalized for your price point. Get free, cheap car insurance quotes today on America’s best-rated auto insurance comparison site, Insurify.

Browse, Compare, Discover with Insurify today!

Score savings on car insurance with Insurify

Compare Quotes

Updated March 27, 2020

Courtney Roy is a financial and technology copywriter. He creates content that makes an actionable difference in the life of his readers. In addition to years of experience across multiple industries, Courtney has insurance licenses, a real estate license, and a degree in electrical engineering. He and his wife chase their five kids in the Phoenix, Arizona sun. You can learn more at thecopyprophet.com.