Cheapest Car Insurance for Graduate Students (2024)

Life as a graduate student doesn’t mean you have to deal with expensive car insurance as well.

Alani Asis
Written byAlani Asis
Alani Asis
Alani Asis
  • 3 years of content writing

  • Bylines with leading financial publications

Alani is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. She aims to make complex topics more approachable through fun, digestible content.

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Chris Schafer
Edited byChris Schafer
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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Updated May 23, 2024

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Drivers using Insurify have found quotes as cheap as $35/mo for liability only and $45/mo for full coverage.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 23, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 23, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 23, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 23, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

From tuition and books to housing arrangements, being a graduate student can be costly. And if you commute or own a vehicle, car insurance is just another expense you’re responsible for.

“As young drivers, students often have low or no credit scores and less experience on the road, which leads to paying higher insurance rates,” says Howard Goldberg, vice president of customer solutions at Plymouth Rock Assurance.

Fortunately, you can still find low rates when shopping for car insurance without sacrificing quality and coverage.

Quick Facts
  • Good student discount rates vary by insurer. For some, you need a GPA of 2.7 or higher to qualify. Others require a 3.0 GPA or better.

  • Every state except New Hampshire requires you to carry at least liability auto insurance coverage. 

  • Comparing quotes from multiple insurers is the best way to find a policy that meets your budget and coverage needs.

The cheapest car insurance companies for grad students

The table below features the average monthly car insurance rates from many top insurers. Auto-Owners, Travelers, and GEICO offer the most affordable rates to graduate students.

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Insurance Company Average Monthly Quote
Auto-Owners$134
Travelers$181
GEICO$200
Nationwide$200
State Farm$206
Erie$140
Certainty$147
USAA$173
Elephant$189
Clearcover$209
Safeco$209
American Family $218
Plymouth Rock$222
Sun Coast$233
Progressive$235
Allstate$239
Direct Auto$240
Mercury$260
Esurance$272
State Auto$282
Midvale Home & Auto$286
National General$290
Liberty Mutual$298
Farmers$335
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Which car insurance companies have discounts for students?

One of the best ways to save money on car insurance as a graduate student is by taking advantage of discounts. Many insurance companies offer student-based discounts that reward you for having good grades or leaving your car at home while you’re away at school.

Allstate

Compare personalized, real-time quotes
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
4.4
JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
833
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$62/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$136/mo

Founded by Sears department store executives in 1931, Allstate offers auto, home, motorcycle, ATV, renters, condo, and term life insurance. Operating in all 50 states, the company has superior ratings from A.M. Best for financial strength and credit. However, Allstate has many negative reviews on consumer websites, and a slightly higher-than-average complaint rating in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Consumer Complaint Index. Allstate offers many discounts, including for good students, multiple policies, bundling auto and home insurance, new vehicles, safe driving, and good payment history.

Pros
  • Well-established with superior ratings from A.M. Best

  • Pay-per-mile option available

Cons
  • Low customer satisfaction

  • Rates are merely average compared to other insurers

Read our Allstate review
Roberta - May 22, 2024
Verified

Good

Allstate is good, however, I was looking for cheaper insurance.

Mikayla - May 22, 2024
Verified

Allstate's Higher Renewal Prices

They are an insurance company like the rest of them. Just like other insurance providers, they offer lower rates to attract your business. However, as always, when it's time for renewal, the prices just get higher, regardless of your driving record.

Wilford - May 21, 2024
Verified

Disappointed

It's expensive, but the same as all others.

Allstate has been around for nearly a century and is a popular choice among car insurance shoppers. It offers a smart student discount, allowing you to save on your car insurance by maintaining a GPA of 2.7 or above.

If you’re a graduate student considering an Allstate car insurance policy, take a look at some of its other student discounts:

  • Multi-car and multi-policy

  • Drivewise safe driver

  • Milewise pay-per-mile

  • teenSMART driver education

  • Distant driver

  • Pay in full

Farmers

Compare personalized, real-time quotes
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
4.2
JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
815
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$110/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$247/mo

The seventh largest insurer in the U.S., Farmers has been in business for more than 100 years. The company offers about 30 different types of insurance, including auto, home, renters, flood, earthquake, life, and business insurance. Farmers offers numerous discounts, including for multiple cars, safe driving, anti-theft equipment, and bundling. Swiss insurer Zurich Insurance owns Farmers. With an A rating from A.M. Best for financial stability, Farmers has mixed online reviews from customers, and about four times as many complaints as expected in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Customer Complaint Index.

Pros
  • Many discounts

  • Robust roadside assistance program

Cons
  • Lower customer satisfaction

  • Tends to have higher premiums than some competitors

Read our Farmers review
Gerald - May 22, 2024
Verified

No Loyalty

There's no loyalty to longtime customers.

Don - May 21, 2024
Verified

Offered various options for all my insurable items. The best personal service I have ever had!

5-star service, but the prices are steep.

Donald - May 21, 2024
Verified

Too High Rates by Farmers Insurance

They keep increasing the rates on my policy for no apparent reason, which is terrible.

As a student, you want an insurance company that’s readily available and responsive in case of an accident. You also want one that’s easy to work with when trying to find the right coverage. Farmers insurance is known for its exceptional customer service, ranking sixth in J.D. Power’s 2022 claims satisfaction survey.[1]

You can qualify for Farmers’ good student discount if you’re a full-time student age 24 or younger and you have a 3.0 GPA or higher. If you’re older than 24, Farmers has many ways to save money while you’re at school.

Some of the discounts available from Farmers Insurance include:

  • Multi-car and multi-policy

  • Safe driver

  • Good student 

  • Pay in full

  • Vehicle safety feature

  • Anti-theft device

GEICO

Compare personalized, real-time quotes
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
4.4
JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
835
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$54/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$118/mo

A highly recognizable name in car insurance, GEICO is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. The company started out as the Government Employees Insurance Company, serving U.S. government workers and military personnel. In addition to auto insurance, GEICO also sells homeowner, flood insurance, life insurance, business insurance, and identity protection, among other products. A.M. Best gives GEICO its highest rating for financial stability and credit. However, GEICO has nearly twice as many complaints as expected in the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Consumer Complaints Index.

Pros
  • Good rates for good drivers, seniors, and young drivers

  • Accident forgiveness available

Cons
  • High rates for drivers with certain violations, like DUIs

  • No rideshare or new car replacement coverage available

Read our GEICO review
Kimberly - May 22, 2024
Verified

Never Again

They are horrible at handling claims and make you feel bad.

Anita - May 22, 2024
Verified

Excellent

Good customer service. Megan Burrell is very helpful and professional.

Charles - May 22, 2024
Verified

Good Insurance

Awesome.

For graduate students looking for a budget-friendly option without compromising quality coverage, GEICO may be the right fit. It offers a wide array of coverage options to protect your car, whether you commute to school or leave your car at home.

The company also offers a good student discount, which rewards you for maintaining a B average or better. You can also get discounts for being in the military, working as a federal employee, or being called for emergency deployment.

You can also save with these discounts from GEICO:

  • Good student

  • Driver training

  • Anti-lock brakes

  • Anti-theft systems

  • Good driver

Progressive

Compare personalized, real-time quotes
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
4.2
JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
819
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$80/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$137/mo

Although its founding in 1937 makes Progressive comparatively young, it is among the largest car insurers in the U.S. The company offers car, home, renters, commercial, and other types of insurance. Progressive customers can enjoy savings by bundling their car insurance with another type of Progressive policy – typically homeowners or renters. Available discounts range from multi-policy and multi-car discounts, to the Snapshot save driver discount. Progressive has an A.M. Best rating of A+ for financial stability. However, the company has a slightly higher-than-expected number of complaints in the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Consumer Complaints Index.

Pros
  • Rewards for good drivers

  • Numerous coverage options and discounts available

Cons
  • Higher-than-expected amount of complaints

  • Ranked 11 out of 15 companies in the J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking

Read our Progressive review
Randy - May 22, 2024
Verified

Difficult to Submit Forms Due to Backlogged Office

I would rate them 5 out of 5, or 10 out of 10, except for their backlogged office handling past Proof Of Insurance forms.

Dexter - May 22, 2024
Verified

No

They keep increasing the prices.

Patricia - May 22, 2024
Verified

They are ok

I probably would not recommend them. I have had no dealings with the agent. I only had a phone conversation to renew and received no help. I was only able to renew with what I had.

Progressive offers a highly acclaimed telematics program that can save you up to $156 annually for good driving. In addition, Progressive’s Name Your Price Tool allows you to choose how much you’d like to pay for your coverage, which may appeal to students on a tight budget.

While Progressive only offers its good student discount for students younger than 23 with a GPA of 3.0 or better, you can still save with its other discounts, including:

  • Multi-car and multi-policy

  • Continuous insurance

  • Distant student 

  • Online quote

  • Snapshot safe drive

State Farm

Compare personalized, real-time quotes
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
4.6
JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
842
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$53/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$115/mo

State Farm has been in business for more than 100 years, and today sells auto and other vehicle insurance, homeowners, life, health, pet, disability, and small business insurance. Available in all 50 states, State Farm car insurance policies offer multiple ways to save, from customizing coverage types, to a robust list of discounts. The company has far fewer complaints than expected for the industry, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Consumer Complaints Index. State Farm also ranks among the top 10 companies for customer satisfaction in every region on the J.D. Power Overall Customer Satisfaction Index.

Pros
  • High rates of customer satisfaction

  • Rideshare insurance available

Cons
  • No gap insurance offering

  • May not be the cheapest choice for drivers with violations

Read our State Farm review
Shirley - May 22, 2024
Verified

Excellent

I need a discount because I'm a good driver.

Dana - May 22, 2024
Verified

Not Good

I don't drive much, but they keep raising my rate.

George - May 21, 2024
Verified

Still Looking...

Find a company that's cheaper with better benefits.

State Farm has more than 100 years of experience in the insurance industry and stellar marks in customer satisfaction. 

Here are the State Farm discounts that can help you save on your car insurance:

  • Multi-car and multi-policy

  • Good student

  • Accident-free

  • Student away at school

  • Driver training

  • Drive Safe and safe driver

  • Anti-theft device

The importance of having car insurance as a graduate student

A post-baccalaureate degree is a major investment, and many graduate students take on debt to fund their education. In 2020, graduate students accounted for nearly 40% of the $37 billion in loans issued, according to the Center for American Progress.[2]

Naturally, you’ll want to avoid adding to any debt you’ve incurred by having to pay out of pocket for legal and liability costs stemming from an auto accident. The best way to protect yourself is by having insurance. Having adequate coverage will give you peace of mind and protect you from the financial burdens of an unexpected accident.

Important Information

Every state but New Hampshire requires drivers to carry at least a minimum amount of liability car insurance. Driving without it can lead to fines and other serious consequences.

Choosing the right car insurance coverage as a graduate student

Car insurance is an essential financial tool, but choosing the right coverage can often be overwhelming. Here are a few concepts you’ll want to understand when shopping for an insurance policy.

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Deductible

You’ll have to pay a deductible before your coverage kicks in and pays for damages. The higher your deductible is, the lower your premium cost. Remember that your insurer may deny your claim if your repair costs are lower than your deductible.

Coverage type

You can choose between liability-only coverage, which is required by law in most states, or a full-coverage policy including comprehensive, collision, and liability coverage.

Full-coverage will cost you more, but it’ll cover all your bases if you get in an accident. If you lease your car, many lenders will require you to have more than liability coverage.

Coverage limit

Coverage limit refers to the maximum amount your insurance company will pay to cover bodily and property damages if you’re at fault in an accident. You may have to pay out of pocket for damages if your coverage limits aren’t high enough.

When setting your coverage limits, consider an amount that’s high enough to protect your most valuable assets in case of a lawsuit.

Premium

A premium is the rate you pay your insurer in order to receive coverage. You can pay premiums monthly or in a six- or 12-month lump sum.

Learn More: What Is a Car Insurance Premium?

Learn More: What Is a Car Insurance Premium?

Endorsements, riders, and special coverages

You can add extra coverages outside your standard car insurance policy to upgrade your coverage. Some common endorsements include accident forgiveness, gap insurance, and rental car reimbursement. 

If you’re a high-risk driver, you may need an SR-22 or FR-44 certificate, which is a form that proves you meet the minimum coverage requirements in your state. Securing these forms will require extra steps and may increase your coverage costs.

What to consider when comparing car insurance companies

While policy affordability and customizability are vital when picking a quality insurer, you should also look at other factors, including:

  • Company history/reviews: Reputable companies provide reliable coverage, excellent customer service, and a solid track record for paying claims. You can use third-party rating agencies or check out reviews from other customers to get a sense of a company’s overall customer experience.

  • Extra perks: Insurers may include additional perks beyond the standard coverage at no extra charge. For instance, some insurance companies offer built-in accident forgiveness and roadside assistance in your policy. Many insurance companies also provide a telematics program that rewards safe driving and lowers costs.

  • Digital experience: A user-friendly mobile and web experience can increase customer satisfaction by making processes more efficient and convenient. Look for companies that offer online claims filing, bill pay, and policy management and are highly rated on the Google Play Store or the iOS store.

How to save money on your car insurance

Just one car accident can take a significant toll on your finances. Fortunately, insurance can provide a financial safety net if you’re responsible for bodily or property damages. As a graduate student, you want to balance having enough coverage, finding a quality insurer, and keeping your costs low.

Seeking insurance companies that offer a wealth of discounts for students can help you save hundreds of dollars per year on your policy. Insurers offer discounts for students who earn good grades or leave their vehicle at home while away at school.

While many insurers have age restrictions on student discounts, you can still minimize your policy’s costs. You may qualify for low-mileage discounts if you’re away at school and don’t drive often. Or, if you rent an apartment, you can bundle your renters insurance with your auto insurance policy for more savings.

Many insurance companies also reward drivers for completing a defensive driving course.

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How to save beyond your policy

Your insurance rates are susceptible to change, so to ensure you maintain low rates or get better long-term discounts, take the following steps: 

  • Maintain a good driving record. A clean record and a driving history littered with previous minor or serious moving violations could mean a difference of hundreds of dollars in monthly premiums. Keep your car insurance rates affordable by avoiding accidents and traffic offenses to keep your rates low over time.

  • Choose a safe car. A safe vehicle can mitigate the risk of accidents and injuries, resulting in lower premiums. Consider purchasing a car with features that have anti-lock brakes, airbags, and electronic stability control.

  • Utilize technology-based discounts. Insurers offer telematics programs that use devices or apps to track your driving. You may get a discount for signing up for this program, and the better you drive, the higher your insurer discounts your premiums.

  • Take advantage of affiliation-based discounts. Insurance companies may offer discounts to employees of network companies. Insurance companies may also offer discounts to participating alumni associations or professional group members.

Car insurance for grad students FAQs

Here’s some additional information that can help you find a policy that fits your needs as a grad student.

  • Can graduate students stay on their parents’ insurance policy?

    Yes. Unlike health insurance, you can stay on your parents’ car insurance policy indefinitely. 

    “As a young driver, you have the option to remain on your parents’ policy if you don’t hold the vehicle’s title or declare permanent residency outside of the home,” says Goldberg.

  • How do you know when it’s time for you to leave your parents’ policy?

    You must get your own car insurance policy when you move out and change your primary address. If you have a poor driving record or need more coverage than is available on your parents’ policy, consider purchasing your own auto insurance.

  • How do you get a good student or student-away-at-school discount?

    You can get student discounts by first looking at a company’s website to see if that insurer offers it. You must meet the discount requirements to qualify, which may mean showing proof of enrollment or a transcript of your grades.

  • Will having a bachelor’s or master’s degree lower your car insurance?

    It’s possible. Having a bachelor’s or master’s degree may reduce your insurance rates. Research conducted by Consumer Reports in 2021 found that drivers with higher educational attainment saw lower prices than those with lower educational backgrounds.[3]

  • How old do you have to be before your car insurance rates drop?

    Rates start to drop significantly at age 25. Keep in mind that other factors, like your driving history and location, also influence the cost of your premiums.

Sources

  1. J.D. Power. "Insurers Struggle to Manage Expectations in Auto Claims Process as Repair Times Increase, J.D. Power Finds."
  2. CAP. "Fixing Graduate School Debt."
  3. Consumer Reports. "CR investigates how auto insurers are using drivers’ education and occupation to set premiums."
Alani Asis
Alani Asis

Alani Asis is a personal finance freelance writer with nearly three years of experience in content creation. She has landed bylines with leading publications and brands like Insider, Fortune, LendingTree, and more. Alani aims to make personal finance approachable through fun, relatable, and digestible content.

Chris Schafer
Edited byChris SchaferSenior Editor
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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