Student Car Insurance
Every experienced driver started off as a new driver – and it’s highly likely that you first started driving when you were a student. Perhaps not surprisingly, student car insurance (or regular car insurance for anyone under the age of 25) is slightly different and often more expensive than what you get and pay for as an experienced driver. Here’s how it works.
What is Student Car Insurance?
Student car insurance is designed for drivers who are either enrolled 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 this age is still learning the rules of the road and is, therefore, riskier to insure.
How Does Student Car Insurance Work?
Student car insurance coverage is identical to the car insurance policies for older and more experienced drivers. The same types of coverage are mandatory and/or offered, 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.)
- Collision: Covers the repair cost of any physical damage done to your car, as a result of an accident or a collision with an object on the road.
- Comprehensive: Protects you in the event that your car is stolen or damaged by things like falling objects, vandalism or heavy wind.
- Uninsured motorist: Covers you if you are hit either by a driver without insurance or a driver who cannot be identified (hit and run).
How Much Does Student Car Insurance Cost?
Not surprisingly, the one major 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.
Student Car Insurance Discounts
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 license. Earning your full licence quickly is a signal to an insurance company that you are a good driver.
- Successfully completing a driver training course: Enrolling in and passing a recognized training program shows an insurer that you are likely 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.
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, it’s important to double-check that you are covered. For example, if you are from BC but want to take your car to Alberta while you’re in school there, you would need to have your vehicle inspected 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.
Students May Be Covered By Parents’ Insurance
One thing to note is that student drivers may be covered by a parent’s car insurance policy if they live at the same address. Before purchasing separate insurance, it’s wise to check with the parents’ insurer to find out if this is the case.
Where to Buy Student Car Insurance
Student car insurance is widely available. The provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan all have government-run insurance systems, though optional coverage is still available from private insurance companies. In all other provinces, private insurers sell student car insurance policies.
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