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Student car insurance is for drivers who are either in high school or a post-secondary institution such as a college or university. Generally speaking, insurance companies consider a “student” to be any driver age 25 or younger. In the eyes of the insurer, anyone under 25 is still learning the rules of the road, therefore riskier to insure, and so, it costs more.
But there are ways you can save. Keep reading to discover all the ways to get cheap student car insurance.
The same types of coverage are mandatory, including:
- Third-party liability (mandatory in all provinces): Protects you in the event that you are responsible for injuring someone on the road or for damaging their property.
- Accident benefits: Gives you medical and rehabilitation expense coverage if you’re in an accident. Depending on the policy, a loss of income benefit may also be available if you cannot work due to the collision. (Funeral costs are also available, if needed.)
- Uninsured motorist: Covers you if you are hit either by a driver without insurance or a driver who cannot be identified (hit and run).
- Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD): In no-fault provinces, you will only ever deal with your insurance company for damage to your vehicle or someone else's.
Not surprisingly, the one significant difference between student car insurance and regular car insurance is the cost. It is more expensive for students to get insurance than it is for experienced drivers. Since students have less experience and a shorter track record of safe driving, insurance companies deem them more likely to get into an accident. This means the chance of claims is higher, which insurers account for by charging higher premiums.
Below, we compare a student car insurance quote against the average car insurance rate in privately operated provinces. As you can see, student car insurance in Ontario is the most expensive, which may make New Brunswick the ideal place to go to university, since it’s the cheapest. The average percentage increase for student car insurance is 142%, ranging between 126% and 210% on the high end.
Average price of car insurance
Average student car insurance cost
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How to get cheap car insurance for students
As with all drivers, insurance companies offer various ways for students to save money on car insurance. These include:
Earning your full driver's license
Insurance companies favour drivers who hold a full, unrestricted license. For example, in Ontario, an accident and ticket-free driver with a full G license will save 10% over an identical driver with a G2 learner's permit. Earning your full licence is a signal to an insurance company that you are a good driver.
Get listed as a secondary driver on your parents' policy
The sooner you begin building your driving history, the better your insurance rates. Ask your parents to be listed as a secondary driver on their policy to leverage their history and get a multi-car discount.
Successfully completing a driver training course
Enrolling in and passing a recognized training program shows an insurer you're likely going to be a safe driver.
Discounts for being a student
Simply being enrolled in a secondary or post-secondary educational institution is enough to receive a discount on your premiums from some insurance companies.
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Many young drivers enlist themselves with the same company as their parents, which can be a good idea because it shows loyalty, and you may get discounts for having more policies. Still, shop around to compare quotes to see if you can find a lower price elsewhere.
Contact your financial aid office
Many insurance companies partner with groups, affiliations, and unions to offer their members discounts. Ask your office for financial assistance if your institution has any associations.
Improve your credit score
Once you're 18, apply for a credit card and pay off your balance in full every month. Though hotly debated, car insurance companies still view a good credit score as a reason to lower the cost of car insurance.
Usage-based insurance, or telematics, is an app you can download to your phone. It measures your driving behaviour, things like acceleration, braking, and how you handle a turn. You can save 15%-20% for good driving.
Get good grades
Some car insurance companies reward high GPA students with discounts. Depending on your provider, you can save up to 25%.
Are you thinking about attending higher education in another province? Here's what you need to know about your insurance.
Suppose you're taking the car to school. In that case, you may be able to remain on your parent's insurance policy so long as your permanent address remains the same. However, speak with your provider about where your car will be parked. Parking in a small rural university town could result in cheaper rates. In contrast, parking in a densely populated neighbourhood known for thefts and crime may increase your rates. Either way, keep your insurer informed because failing to do so and they can deny any resulting claims.
If you're not taking your car to school, consider reducing your coverage to the bare minimum while you're away. Before you return and start using the car again, update your insurer to get full coverage.
Some provinces have government-run auto insurance plans. Students who have insurance through the government may still be insured if they're studying out-of-province. However, speak with your provider and confirm your coverage because loopholes may exist. For example, suppose you're from BC but attending school in Alberta. In that case, you need a vehicle inspection to make sure it passes Alberta's emissions regulations. If you skip the test and get in an accident in Alberta, you may not be covered by ICBC.
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Matt Hands, Business Director of Insurance
With 6+ years of experience at Ratehub.ca, Matt’s focus has been on growing its newest business unit, Insurance. He is a thought leader and a valuable resource to respected publications across Canada. read full bio
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