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What are the insurance implications when a child takes a parent's car to college?

By Insurance.com Posted : 01/01/2011

Make sure your child is listed on your policy, and notify the insurance company that he or she will be taking the car to school. Car insurance rates are based on a variety of factors, including where vehicles are garaged. Your rates may go up or down, depending on where your child goes to school.

Before the child leaves, take the car in for a tuneup to ensure everything is in working order. Pack an emergency car kit, including a blanket, first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, flares, jumper cables, emergency contact phone numbers and insurance information. Consider purchasing roadside assistance if you don't already have it.

Car insurance rules of the road

Talk to your college student about basic rules, such as not drinking and driving. Remind the child not to leave valuables in the car (such as a laptop, phone or mp3 player) and to park in well-lit, secure areas.

Most car insurance companies offer a discount for students who earn good grades, typically a B average or better. This will save you money and serve as another incentive for your student to hit the books.

Besides having implications for auto insurance, going away to college also raises questions about home insurance and health insurance. Check whether your child's school offers a health insurance plan if your student moves out of reach of your plan's network. Your home insurance will cover your child's belongings if he or she lives on campus. If your child lives off campus in an apartment, he or she will need a renters insurance policy to cover possessions.

For more, see "Driving tips for college-bound students."

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