Parents Need to Consider Protecting College Drivers With These Tips

August 21, 2012

As college students head back to campus, Frank N. Darras, America's top insurance lawyer, urges parents to review their child's automobile insurance plans. Drivers under the age of 22 account for 13.4% of the driving population. However, that same age group accounted for 30% of all car accidents that occurred in the United States last year.

"It's not always that our kids are texting - it's not that they are distracted - sometimes it's just that they don't have tenure and the driving experience that the rest of us who have been driving for years have. It's not that I'm a better driver, I've just got a bit more experience," says Darras.

Driving on or around a college campus presents a new set of potential risks for drivers. Parents aren't around to monitor who is driving the car that belongs to them. There are 30,000 other students that may or may not be insured or are under-insured. Depending on location, the chance of the car being broken into or stolen may be increased.

Comprehensive automobile insurance provides the best protection for both the driver and the property. It will protect the computer or the bicycle in the car if it's broken into. It will protect the driver in case of injury caused by an accident with an uninsured or under-insured motorist.

"I always like parents to take a look at their own uninsured or under-insured insurance they are carrying in case someone hits us that has no insurance, or a very small amount. It can be as small as $15,000 for one person injured in the car or $30,000 for the whole car. Or you can purchase up to $500,000 of single limit coverage, that way you and those in your kid's car are protected," says Darras.

Those statistics sound expensive, but now, Insurance companies are testing out services that allow younger drivers to save money. That includes a variety of GPS tracking systems to rate their children's driving experiences.

"These can be great programs to explore for drivers who are driving a small amount of miles per year-like a kid on campus. These students may use their car to get to the store twice a week or to drive across campus when it's cold outside. If your student is not driving day to day, the GPS option can be a great way to save," says Darras.

Whether sending a child off to college for the first time or the last, parents should ensure they are protected with enough automobile insurance. Insurance premiums are expensive, but there are options out there that provide enough protection while still allowing savings for safe-driving habits.

"Now is the time to sit down with the insurance agent or broker to ensure we are really getting our money's worth. We can all be better insurance shoppers by being smart consumers," says Darras.