Students who leave their cars at home—or those who take them to campus while keeping the car’s permanent address at their parents’ home—can stay on their parents’ auto policy. (If the student garages it at home while away at school, ERIE will knock up to 25 percent off the premium.) Things change, however, when the car permanently moves with the young adult.
“When you go out on your own, you’ll need to purchase your own policy under the new address and change your driver’s license if you’re moving permanently out of state,” says Dave Freeman, ERIE’s vice president and regional underwriting officer. Like all ERIE auto Customers, less experienced drivers enjoy knowing they have additional extra protection coverages, such as pet coverage, along with their standard coverage at no additional charge or premium.
“Young people are more likely to take advantage of our lockout coverage that pays up to $75 off a locksmith’s fee if keys are accidentally locked in your covered vehicle. This extra protection is available when you purchase comprehensive or collision coverage,” says Freeman. “We’ll also pay for a rental car or a taxi if the car is out of commission due to a covered comprehensive loss. And we’ll even waive your deductible if a covered windshield chip is repaired rather than the entire windshield being replaced.” (Learn more about these and other built-in extras at ERIE’s website.)
Freeman adds that drivers should also consider optional coverages such as Roadside Assistance,* which provides reimbursement for towing, labor or transportation expenses; uninsured or underinsured coverage, in case the other driver involved in an accident doesn’t have auto insurance or enough of it; and medical payments to cover medical or death benefits in the event of an accident.
Tips to keep your car safe
Lower the odds of experiencing any of these unwanted situations by following a few smart pieces of advice. (They’ll also help lower your premiums and the chances you’ll have to shell out money to cover your deductible—an added bonus since, like most insurers, ERIE doesn’t offer drivers the more inexpensive adult rate until they turn 24.** ERIE will use the adult rating at the renewal date following a driver’s 24th birthday, while many other insurers don’t offer adult rates until a driver is well into his or her late 20s.)
- Be a conservative driver. You’ll not only keep yourself and other motorists safe, but you’ll also give your wallet a boost. “The biggest things that drive up premiums are accidents and tickets,” says Freeman. Obey posted speed limits, observe the rules of the road and, most important, avoid distracted driving.
- Stick to a maintenance schedule. Mom and Dad aren’t taking care of things anymore, so show your car some love by maintaining it. Check the air filter, automatic transmission fluid level, accessory belts, brake fluid, battery, power-steering fluid and coolant. Also check the windshield wipers and amount of windshield washer fluid, hoses, wiring and the oil level on the dipstick. And last, regularly check the tires and keep them properly inflated.
- Guard your key or key fob. More often than not, cars get stolen when owners leave keys out in the open or somewhere obvious like under the mat or visor.
- Take extra precautions with used cars. Some—like inexpensive reconstructed title cars that have been rebuilt after being damaged—may be unreliable. “For about $50, you can know for sure by having a mechanic look it over before you buy, or purchase a vehicle history report,” says Freeman.
- Keep an extra long distance from—or just avoid—certain vehicles. It’s common to see windshield damage that results from debris escaping from landscaping and dump trucks. If you’re in that situation, either safely pass the vehicle or pull over so you aren’t riding right behind the vehicle.
- Hide the high-value stuff. Experts say most thefts occur when items like GPS devices, computers and smart phones are left out in plain view of passersby. Reduce temptation by putting them in a bag or storing them in your trunk.
There’s no doubt about it—insurance can be as much of a head-scratcher as a trick question on a final exam.
While we can't make insurance any less complicated, we can help it make more sense. To understand how ERIE’s policies can safeguard you and give you peace of mind, check out these ERIE resources:
- ERIE’s website–You'll find lots of helpful information and insurance glossaries along with a free online auto quote tool, a life insurance calculator and plenty of FAQs.
- Eriesense blog–Here, you have access to hundreds of stories to help you live better and safer. For example, you can search on a variety of topics and find everything from the latest trends in cars and tech to interactive quizzes and videos.
- Your ERIE agent–Your knowledgeable agent is there to help you, so don’t hesitate to throw any questions his or her way. If you don’t have an ERIE agent, you can find an agent at erieinsurance.com.
- Your policy–For the final word, consult your individual policy. And if you still have questions, talk to your agent.
- Another great resource for insurance info is the Insurance Information Institute’s website.
Read about protecting your crammed dorm room or first apartment, too.
*Road service—see policy for details. Additional restrictions apply in North Carolina.
**Not applicable in North Carolina.
Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this article. For additional coverage questions, please refer to our disclaimer and talk to an ERIE agent for policy details. Coverage is not available in all states.