3 auto insurance tips for your grad that make the grade

Graduation season is upon us. It's an exciting time of year for parents and youth alike as teenagers who have completed 12 years of schooling transition to college life and the adjustments that are coming their way. The biggest of all will be living away from home for the first time.

Being on their own brings with it new financial responsibilities as well, like financing a vehicle, paying for room and board, as well as tuition-related expenses. Many parents do their best to help, but even with this assistance, student debt levels are skyrocketing. According to the latest numbers from the The Institute for College Access & Success, the average debt for seniors upon graduation from college is roughly $28,400, and even more than that among specific states.

With this in mind, you may want to help your son or daughter with some of the expenses they've forgotten about, like auto insurance. However, because they're students, the good news is that they may be able to take advantage of some much-needed cost savings.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when helping them secure an insurance policy.

Good grades pay off

Maintaining a high grade point average does wonders not only for co-ed's chances of future success in the working world, but also for their wallets in the here and now. Ask your insurer about what incentives they have for students who have a high GPA. The discount could save you hundreds.

Choose comprehensive protection

Auto insurance is required by law, but the only coverage you have to have is liability. Comprehensive is optional, but highly recommended because it pays for damage unrelated to collisions, like if there's a fire or the car is stolen. Campus life is normally safe, but every year, it seems there's always at least one report in the news of a university where parties get out of hand and property is destroyed. Comprehensive protection can ensure that your son or daughter will be able to pay for any repairs that are needed due to theft or vandalism.

Take note of how far college is from home

In order to be near family, college students often attend a university that's in their home state. But whether out of state or not, it can still be a good distance away from what's considered their neck of the woods. If your son or daughter goes to school at a college that is 100 miles or more from home, they may be able to take advantage of discounted rates, as noted by the Insurance Information Institute. Make sure you mention this to your insurer to see if it applies. It's also important to make note of where the insured vehicle will be residing – i.e. at home or on campus – as location plays a role in premium establishment. How frequently the car will be driven is something else to mention to your insurer.

With these often overlooked college expenses accounted for, your son or daughter will be well on their way down a road that's paved with potential!