For many parents with high school grads heading off to college or university, this September will be a time to take out your wallet... and save.

Yes, you read that right.

Whether your child stays at home or goes to school out of town, fees and tuition can be expensive. But there are ways to save money - particularly on your car insurance premiums if your child is listed as an active driver on your policy.

School is out of town? Don't remove your child from your insurance policy

They may not have access to the car as often, however, you can ultimately help your new student save on car insurance by keeping them insured under your policy as a secondary driver. Keeping your child listed on your policy will help them build a clean insurance record and ensure they're covered should they use the car when they come home.

Reiterate the rules of the road

Reminding your child to maintain safe and defensive driving practices is always a good idea to keep them from making dangerous mistakes on the road. It's also important to reiterate these rules as even a small infraction on a young driver's record can cause premiums to increase significantly upon renewal.

Ask for discounts

You may be eligible for discounts on your child's portion of your current insurance premium. However, every insurer is different, so one of the best ways to save is to ask if you're eligible for any of the following:

  • "Living Away from Home" discount: If your child lives away from home during the school year and will only be using the car when they come home during summer vacation or Christmas break, ask your insurance professional if your child's portion of the premium can be reduced. Depending on how far away the school is, you could see a reduction up to 50 per cent.
  • "Good Student" discount: Some providers offer discounts to students who get high grades with the assumption that they apply the same intelligence to driving. This could potentially be a discount of five to 10 per cent.
  • Discounts for Driver Training: If your student is under 25 and completed an approved driver training course, you could receive a discount on your premium.
  • Multi-Vehicle discount: If your child owns their own car but has a separate policy, you should consider bundling your two policies into one for a reduced rate. Car insurance premiums for young drivers can be quite expensive, especially if they are the sole owner of the policy. Bundling can mean a discount of up to 10 per cent for each vehicle.

Shop around if you don't like your current premium. 

Age and experience factor greatly into your car insurance premium. If you have a young driver or student under your policy, there are still ways to keep your costs reasonable. Talk to your insurance representative to discuss your options, and shop your rate at to make sure that you and your child get the best rate available for the coverage you both need.

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