1. Take your car in for regular maintenance checks. Many students have a long ride from their hometown to their college town so it’s important to change the oil regularly and check for other required maintenance to avoid breaking down on the road.
2. Let your insurance agent know you’re taking the car to school. One factor used to determine car insurance rates is location, so your insurance company needs to know where it’s being driven and garaged. If you fail to let your insurer know about the location change, you risk having a denied claim down the road.
3. Know what to do in case of an accident.
- Exchange information with the other party including name, phone number and insurance information. Sharing driver’s license numbers and home addresses can put you and your property at risk.
- Take pictures of the damage and write down details about the accident. This is important because you may forget details later.
- Always call the police in the event of an accident, even if it’s minor. The police are your best resources in a confusing situation. Filing a police report can help facilitate the insurance claims process.
- If you have a smartphone, download the WreckCheck App. It walks drivers through what to do after a car accident and how to collect the right information.
4. Know what to do if your friend wrecks your car. Car insurance follows the car, not the driver, for most coverages. So if you let your friend Bob drive your car and he gets into an accident, your car insurance will pay out for any claims. Keep in mind that you need collision coverage to pay for damage to the car.
5. Ask about insurance discounts. Many insurance companies offer “away at school” discounts when students are attending a college more than 100 miles away from home. Some companies also offer a “good student discount” for good grades.