Do auto insurance companies check grades?

Do auto insurance companies check student grades? While insurers can only check public records available at the DMV, they also may request proof of grades in order to prove that the driver in question qualifies for a good student discount.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 8, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • Many car insurance companies offer discounts to good students 
  • In a general sense, a GPA of 3.5 or above is considered a “good” grade
  • Proof of grade generally has to be provided to qualify

We understand how hard it can be to find affordable insurance for teen drivers. The good news is that most companies also offer a student discount on car insurance, provided the student has a GPA of 3.5 or higher. To read about three companies with the cheapest teen auto insurance, click here.

Some auto insurance companies go even further. These companies honor students with B’s or higher with even lower rates. Insurance providers require proof of good grades and do check these grades. 

The principle is that good grades demonstrate a teen’s sense of responsibility, and the good grade discount can be an incentive for young drivers to remain diligent at the study desk as well as behind the wheel.  

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How do auto insurance companies check grades?

Insurance companies can only access public information that is available to the DMV, and grades aren’t part of that. So most companies will request proof of good grades before offering the discount, and then again at each renewal period. The necessary documentation may be provided by fax, email, or online portal, depending on the company you insure with. Even if you initially qualify for the discount, since proof is also required before renewal, there are three scenarios that can take place:

  • Grades stay the same or go up. Maintaining a good grade means that you’ll likely continue to qualify for the discount upon renewal.
  • Grades go down. Most companies will withhold the discount if the student’s grades have gone down. Make sure to ask about the details of the discount when purchasing the policy.
  • Teen is no longer a student. If the teen drops out of school or graduates, the good student discount will no longer apply. At this point, you’ll want to explore car insurance discounts.

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What is a good student discount?

According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, because of the risks associated with young drivers, insurance providers charge higher rates for policies for teenage drivers or families who list teens as drivers on their family policy. However, many companies help customers to reduce their rates by providing a good student discount. 

The GPA is calculated based on a student’s letter grades, so for a GPA of 3.5 or higher, students would need to be getting all As and Bs on their report cards. An agent may not offer it up front, but feel free to ask if it’s available and if your teen qualifies. This discount is based on certain principles:

Proof of Responsibility

Good grades indicate a student’s focus and level of responsibility. So while teens, in general, present a greater risk as drivers, not all teens present the same risk. The more focused and responsible they are at school, the most focused and responsible they’re likely to be on the road.

The Power of Incentive

Parents and insurance companies alike want to motivate teens to excel, whether at school or on the road. A good student discount can be a powerful incentive. Having good goals at school can translate into other positive life goals, safe driving included.

Assistance for Parents

In these difficult economic times, parents may struggle to meet the rising cost of living, transportation, and education. Insurance companies that offer a good student discount are helping parents meet these demands safely and successfully. Make sure you ask your agent about the availability of good student discounts. To learn more about good student discounts, read our article here.  

Why is insurance more expensive for teen drivers? 

According to recent studies by the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, the ages of 16-19 present the highest risk for traffic accidents, and the figures are even higher for males. The annual cost of the results of such accidents was estimated at almost $5 billion. It’s no wonder auto insurance companies charge a higher premium for teen drivers. 

Teen drivers have the least amount of driving experience compared to all other demographics of drivers. It makes sense that the premiums would be higher for inexperienced drivers, as they are prone to more mishaps when navigating the road.

Getting the Good Student Discount 

Remember to ask if the good student discount is available and if your teen qualifies. Not all agents will mention this provision upfront. Exploring available discounts is just as important as shopping for good rates and coverage. Encourage your teen drivers to maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher to continue to qualify for this rate-reducing discount.

Regardless of if you qualify for a discount with Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, or you go with GEICO’s good student discount, bringing proof of your grades is necessary.

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