If your kids are off to college, or you’re the student in college and looking for car insurance, you’ll want to read further on the best auto insurance companies for college students.

Everyone who owns (or leases) a car has to have automobile liability insurance, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Of course, you need to know the requirements in the state where the vehicle is registered and driven, since the minimum amounts of coverage required vary greatly. And just having the minimum liability policy coverage may not protect the college student in an accident, whether he or she was at-fault or not.

Naturally, car insurance for college students is expensive. That’s because they’re still in the age bracket where the risk for insurers is higher. This generally continues until they reach the age of 25, but it is also affected by their driving history, the kind of car they drive, where they drive, how many miles they drive daily and other factors.

Finding the best auto insurance companies for college students means you have to do your research.  It also means looking for the company that not only offers competitive rates, but also offers discounts applicable to college students or safe drivers. Maybe what will work the best is to have the college student on the parents’ policy, to take advantage of multi-car, homeowners and other discounts. But it may also be that the college student needs to obtain his or her own policy separately. That’s where taking advantage of discounts available to good students and safe drivers makes a world of difference.

Where should you start? The best recommendation is to begin with national companies licensed to do business in the state where your college student lives and goes to school, and where the car is registered. Automobile insurance companies that are highly rated by A.M. Best (A, A+ and A++) are a good first start. These companies include Allstate, Amica, American Family, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, Safeco, State Farm, The Hartford, Travelers and others.

Of course, maintaining a safe driving record is probably the best thing your college student (or you) can do to ensure the lowest rates going forward. While insurance is necessary, not all policies are created equal. And that includes coverage from the best auto insurance companies for college students.

The key is to weigh and balance what each company offers in terms of coverage, rates, discounts, types of service, interaction with the customer, billing, payment options, resources, tools and other useful information.

Ask others you know who have auto insurance for their college students which company they use? Are they happy with the service the company provides? This is an excellent way to quickly separate the good from the better and the best. It also provides an easy way to get your search refined to a few choices.

So, get started early, do your research, ask any questions of the agent or company representative you need to finalize your choices. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be able to identify the best auto insurance companies for college students and secure the right policy.

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