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The Best Car Insurance for Veterans and Military Members
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
|Company||Military Insurance Discount|
|USAA||Family discounts, reduced interest rates on credit cards, military installation|
|Geico||Up 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|
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or questions.