Can I Stay on My Parents' Auto Insurance Policy If I Move Out?

Written by James Hirby | Fact checked by The Law Dictionary staff |  

Although the cost of car insurance is not rising nearly as quickly as the cost of health insurance, it's nevertheless becoming increasingly difficult to find generous auto insurance policies at reasonable rates. Young drivers are at a particular disadvantage in this regard. Insurance companies tend to penalize young drivers for their supposed lack of experience behind the wheel. Pristine driving records do little to alter this calculus: In the estimation of most mainline auto insurance providers, youths with excellent driving records simply haven't yet had the chance to cause trouble on the road.

On the other hand, auto insurance companies regard middle-aged drivers with solid driving records as prime policyholders. These drivers tend to be cautious and quick to react to changing road conditions. In addition, they tend to live in safe, affluent neighborhoods with low rates of property crimes like burglary and vehicle theft. High-school students and young adults who live with their parents and "piggyback" on their household's auto insurance policies typically pay less for car insurance than young people who live on their own and must obtain their own car insurance policies.

This is especially true for young people whose parents have "bundled" policies that include multiple types of insurance under the same umbrella. Each component of a "bundled" policy may cost significantly less as part of a package than it would on its own.

If your car is currently insured on your parents' policy and you're planning on moving out of your childhood home in the near future, you may be able to remain on your parents' policy. Most insurance companies encourage young people who move into separate residences to obtain their own car insurance policies. However, the definition of "separate residence" may vary between insurance providers.

If you're traveling across the state or country for college and plan on living in an on-campus dormitory, you'll be treated as though you're continuing to live at home. It's likely that you'll be able to stay on your parents' insurance even if you move into an off-campus apartment near your university. In fact, you may be able to save a substantial amount of money on car insurance by leaving your car at your parents' house while you're away. This is because your insurer will presume that you lack access to the car while you're attending classes. If you don't need your vehicle while you're at college, you should leave it at home and prohibit your friends and siblings from using it.

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