San Francisco — Here's a break for families whose children attend college at least 100 miles from home. Lower long-distance phone rates? Reduced postage? Free textbooks?
No, it's reduced car-insurance rates. Most insurance companies have what they refer to as a ''youthful operator surcharge,'' which applies normally to family cars. The idea behind lowering the surcharge is based on the premise that college students away from home will have a chance to drive the family vehicle only on extended vacations. If the insurance company is duly notified that children are being educated at least 100 miles from home - and without any car of their own at school - a family can get reduced insurance rates.