Car Insurance for Veterans

As a member of the military, you have enough to worry about without adding car insurance to the mix. That’s why both veteran and active-duty military personnel receive special perks and benefits from many large insurance providers in thanks for their service. These discounts can make a huge difference in your total auto premium. Whether you’re retired at home or active-duty and deployed abroad, this is what you need to know about military car insurance.

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      We looked to the experts to determine the best auto discounts for armed forces insurance and veterans insurance. Using ratings from top industry experts, we examined the 2019 J.D. Power Auto Satisfaction Study, as well as thousands of real customer reviews from the National Association of Insurance Commissions (NAIC), Consumer Reports and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

      The best car insurance companies for veterans and military members

      • Best Military Discounts: Geico
      • Best Military Products: USAA
      CompanyMilitary Insurance Discount
      USAAFamily discounts, reduced interest rates on credit cards, military installation
      GeicoUp to 15% off total insurance premium

      Best car insurance for veterans at a glance

      J.D. Power Rating AM Best Rating S&P Rating SimpleScore
      USAA 5/5 A++ AA+ 4.6
      GEICO 3/5 A++ AA+ 4.2

      Best Military Products – USAA

      USAA is like the AAA for military service members.

      J.D. Power Rating
      5/5
      AM Best Rating
      A++
      Standard & Poor’s
      AA+
      SimpleScore
      4.6 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore USAA 4.6
      Discounts 3
      Coverage Options 5
      Customer Satisfaction 5
      Support 5
      Accessibility 5

      You can get virtually any kind of insurance from USAA, allowing you to bundle everything under one roof. United Services Automobile Association (USAA) specializes in military car insurance. As such, USAA discounts will likely be the most attuned to your lifestyle and needs, offering not just the best rates, but also the best policy for your situation. USAA also offers insurance products like life insurance, banking and investment services for active-duty military personnel, veterans and their family members.

      Read our full USAA review.

      Best Military Discounts – GEICO

      Geico offers military car insurance discounts to members of many military associations and organizations, giving you tons of extra ways to save.

      J.D. Power Rating
      3/5
      AM Best Rating
      A++
      Standard & Poor’s
      AA+
      SimpleScore
      4.2 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore GEICO 4.2
      Discounts 4
      Coverage Options 4
      Customer Satisfaction 4
      Support 4
      Accessibility 5

      Geico offers a sizable armed forces insurance discount, comparable to offerings by USAA. With Geico, you can receive up to 15% off your total insurance premium if you’re currently in or retired from the military. There is also an emergency deployment discount if you’re deployed to imminent danger pay areas. You can receive this discount if you have received orders to one of the DOD designated areas or if your vehicle is stored under one of our approved storage protection plans.

      Read our full GEICO review.

      Why is car insurance for veterans different?

      Car insurance for military members is a far different matter than insurance for the average person. Active military service members, veterans and their families are all eligible for special pricing and discounts in gratitude for their service. You can usually receive discounts for periods when your car is garaged or lightly used due to military requirements.

      Military service members also receive great flexibility with their policies. Many insurance providers will make special allowances for members who are deployed, even if your insurance lapsed during that period. It’s an extra consideration most drivers do not receive.

      Other car insurance companies offering a military discount

      While Geico and USAA offer excellent military insurance options, they aren’t the only possibilities:

      • Armed Forces Insurance: AFI offers similar coverage to USAA, covering active-duty and retired military and their families. Because this company is committed to covering military personnel, the discount is embedded in the membership. 

      International considerations

      If you plan to store your car during deployment, consider storage coverage. This removes all coverage except your comprehensive coverage, which will protect your vehicle if it’s vandalized, stolen or damaged by weather. Storage coverage can lower your car insurance premium by as much as 90%, depending on where you store your car. 

      Non-owner option

      Many active-duty military members forego car ownership in consideration of their busy travel schedules, instead opting to simply rent or borrow a car when they need one. Even if you don’t own a car, you will still need car insurance if you drive. Non-owner insurance is a great option for armed forces auto policies because it ensures you’re covered no matter what you drive.

      How much can I save with a military discount?

      These discounts can give you significant savings on your regular auto insurance premiums, with the average discount ranging anywhere from 3% to 15% for the average military discount. GEICO is one of the highest with its 15% military discount. You can also save up to 60% off your normal insurance premium with USAA if you garage your vehicle during deployment. Many providers will also offer the opportunity to suspend your coverage or charge a small premium instead of the full auto insurance premium that you would normally pay. This is because your car receives far less use and you drive fewer miles, creating less risk to your insurer. 

      How family members can benefit from military discounts

      Military discounts are not only for veterans. These are all of the parties who are eligible for military car insurance from USAA.

      • Active duty, guard, reserved, retired and honorably discharged officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military.
      • Contracted cadets, midshipman or officer candidates in commissioning programs (Academy, ROTC, OCS/OTS).
      • Adult children (18+) of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy.
      • Spouses, former spouses, widows and widowers of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy.

      Do active military and veterans get the same discounts? 

      Active military members and veterans receive many of the same discounts for their service, but active service members have some other needs that veterans do not have to worry about. Many military members do not have the luxury of living at home since most are stationed somewhere else. Many insurance providers will offer you additional discounts if you live on-base since you will probably drive less and are less likely to have theft or vandalism.  

      You also will need to follow instructions from your provider when registering your car. Many providers require you to register your car in the state you live in and not where you are stationed or deployed. This could make a major difference in your insurance rates, depending on where you live.

      How car insurance for veterans works

      When shopping for car insurance as a veteran, there are some things to consider before you commit to a new policy.

      Consider what coverage you need.

      There are multiple types of car insurance coverage that you should consider when looking for auto insurance.

      • Liability coverage Each state requires you to obtain a minimum amount of liability insurance, including both bodily injury liability and property damage liability protection.
      • Collision/comprehensive– When you are in an accident, this coverage will handle damages and bodily injury to you and your car, as well as other vehicles involved in the collision. 
      • Uninsured/underinsured motorist This coverage pays for your bodily injury and damages to your car when you are in an accident with an uninsured driver.
      • Medical payments and personal injury protection (PIP)– This special coverage will pay for any medical expenses, loss of income and other costs associated with injuries sustained during an accident. This is not required in all states, however. 

      Prepare your identification documents.

      Before you can receive a military discount, you first must prove that you are eligible for these savings. Each insurance company has its own requirements, but typically you must provide a copy of your photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport or ID card. 

      Additionally, you will need to provide proof of military service. This is usually done with one of these forms.

      • DD-214 form
      • Discharge certificate
      • Leaving and earning statement (LES)
      • Military orders for active-duty
      • NGB-22
      • Academy appointment letter or ROTC contract

      Once you have your documents ready, you can begin shopping for your options to see which military insurance provider is best for you.

      How to choose the best auto insurance for you

      When you begin to shop for the best auto insurance, you should consider a few different factors to help you find the right fit for you.

      1. Find military-friendly providers.

      Not all insurance providers are equipped to handle the sensitive and evolving needs of military life. When you begin to shop for a new car insurance provider, look for companies that have experience dealing with veterans and are familiar with the challenges that you face.

      1. Consider other insurance providers.

      Just because a company is not a military-specific provider does not mean that it is not worth your consideration. There could still be affordable or even cheaper coverage from an everyday provider that can deliver everything you need and at a price you can afford.  

      1. Ask about military discounts.

      Several providers offer a special military discount for your service. When you shop for a new insurance provider, be sure to ask what kinds of discounts are available for your policy. In addition to regular military discounts, you could receive extra savings depending on how and where you use and garage your vehicle.  

      1. Consider other discounts.

      Regardless of whether a provider gives you a military discount, there are many other types of discounts that you may be able to add to your policy. You could earn a great discount if you bundle multiple services, such as home insurance or life insurance. You can also receive discounts for things like a higher deductible, claims-free history and loyalty discounts.

      FAQs

      There are many different kinds of car insurance discounts available for veterans from providers like GEICO, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, Progressive and Farmers. There may also be additional discounts that you can qualify for to save yourself extra money.

      According to our research at The Simple Dollar, both USAA and GEICO offer the cheapest car insurance for veterans and military members. However, the cost of your car insurance depends on a number of different factors, including the kind of car you drive, where you live and your credit score.

      The cost of your auto insurance depends on several details, like how old you are, where you live, and the kind of car you drive. Your position within the military and whether you are married can also impact the cost of your car insurance.

      Last updated September 23, 2020 – Updated all data. 

      We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the car insurance providers we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

      Methodology

      SimpleScore

      The SimpleScore makes it easy to compare products and services featured here on The Simple Dollar in a transparent, open and honest way. We rate these products and services using five factors and average them to calculate a single SimpleScore. For auto insurance, we compare:

      • Discounts
      • Coverage options
      • Support
      • Customer satisfaction
      • Accessibility

      You can read more about each factor and the details of each score in our auto insurance methodology. Use our ratings and editorial recommendations as you shop for the best auto insurance that fits your coverage needs.

      Car insurance rates: We used insurance rates from Quadrant Information Services. This includes analyzing thousands of rates from all 50 states that were publicly sourced from 2019 insurer filings. Rates are based on a 30-year-old male or female that had a clean driving record. Full Coverage premiums assumed a $500 collision and comprehensive deductible, and we looked at those who had both good and poor credit. These rates should be used to inform your car insurance shopping process, but your own quote may differ.

      Why do some brands have different SimpleScores on different pages?

      To ensure the SimpleScore is as helpful and accurate as possible, we developed unique criteria for every category we compare at The Simple Dollar. Since most brands offer a variety of financial solutions, their products and services will score differently depending on what we’re scoring on a given page.
      However, it’s also possible for the same product from the same brand to have multiple SimpleScores. For instance, if we compare State Farm’s home insurance according to our criteria for the best home insurance, it scores a 3.8 out of 5. But when we compare State Farm according to the criteria for the best auto insurance, it scores higher, since the features the company offers can vary by the type of insurance.

      Discounts

      We looked at the number of discounts each company offers — more discounts mean a higher score.

      Coverage Options

      We awarded higher scores to the companies that have the most coverage options.

      Support

      We awarded higher scores to lenders with the most channels for customer support.

      Customer Satisfaction

      We leveraged the J.D. Power 2019 Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study℠ to see how customers rated their experience with each company. (If a company wasn’t included in J.D. Power’s study, we skipped this aspect and averaged the four remaining aspect scores.)

      Accessibility

      We looked at the level of accessibility of each company –– the more resources they have the higher their score.

      Lena Borrelli

      Contributing Writer

      Lena Borrelli is a Tampa-based freelance writer who has worked with leading industry titans, such as Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and Simon Corporation. Her work has most recently been published on sites like TIME, ADT, Fiscal Tiger, Bankrate and Home Advisor, as well as many other websites and blogs around the world.

      Reviewed by

      • Nashalie Addarich
        Nashalie Addarich
        Editor

        Nashalie Addarich is an editor for The Simple Dollar. She recently made a career switch from the legal field, where she was an attorney in Washington, DC. In her free time, she enjoys learning new languages. You can also find her editorial work on Reviews.com.