As a “Navy brat” who spent my childhood moving around the U.S. and even living overseas, I know the lifestyle and insurance needs of veterans and military personnel can be different than those of civilians. When it comes to car insurance, this standard also holds true.
Whether you’re active duty or a veteran, it pays to look into the various car insurance options available to you as you make the sacrifice to serve our country. The following article will guide you through your best options for auto insurance as a veteran or active duty member of the military.
Find an auto insurance company that understands the military lifestyle
It’s easier to get your needs met if the auto insurance company you choose has an understanding of the various requirements of military personnel and their families. For instance, deployment and temporary duty assignments are often facts of life that bring their own challenges when it comes to car insurance.
If you’re deployed, yet your family is not, you’ll need car insurance that covers the needs of your loved ones while you’re away. On the other hand, your requirements will change if your entire family is stationed overseas.
Though it may seem like a good idea to cancel your auto insurance while you and your family are living out of the country, according to Military.com, this usually isn’t advisable. Your car won’t be covered during storage. An insurer that is used to handling military customers will be able to explain the various options to ensure you and your vehicle are protected and you save as much money as possible in the process.
Look for auto insurance companies offering military discounts
There are insurance companies that offer discounts for military service. These include Geico and USAA. As a matter of fact, USAA only services members of the armed forces and their family members, not the general public.
Since the company opened in 1936, Geico has served military members, including members of the National Guard and reserves. They even have a Military Center staffed by veterans that is dedicated to overseeing military insurance policies.
Active duty or retired members of the military can be eligible for up to a 15% discount on their total insurance premium at Geico. The company also offers emergency deployment discounts, as well as discounts to members of various military related organizations.
Founded in 1922 by a group of Army officers who couldn’t find insurance for their vehicles, USAA consistently ranks high on customer service and company stability. A.M. Best, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s always give the company high ratings.
USAA is dedicated to serving only members of the armed forces and their families, providing comprehensive auto and motorcycle insurance policies. The company features a whole host of discounts for members, including a new vehicle discount, multi-vehicle discount, annual mileage discount, family discount, loyalty savings and bundle discount.
USAA also offers a discount of up to 60% off when the vehicle is stored during deployment or temporary assignment, and up to 15% discount for those who house their vehicle on a military base.
Ask about additional discounts and savings
When you find an insurer that understands the military life and offers you discounts in this area, don’t stop there. Seek out further discounts. Ask the insurance company what other cost savings the company can offer you, such as good student and safe driver discounts.
Is there a safe-driving course you can take that will lower your premium? Bundling your auto and home and life insurance under one company umbrella can also save you a substantial amount on your auto insurance.
Become a member
Membership in an association for military members will often help you save money on car insurance. It can also mean that you benefit financially when it comes to how the company does financially. For instance, when you are a USAA customer, members receive dividends at the end of the year based on how well the company did over that year.
Do your due diligence
As you would when making other financial decisions, it’s important to check an auto insurance company out thoroughly before signing up for coverage. You can find out if a company offers good value and is reliable by checking its ratings on Moody’s, Standard & Poors and AM Best. These are all companies that monitor insurance companies and provide unbiased ratings based on customer satisfaction and how the company reacts to claims. An A++ from A.M. Best, for instance, is considered superior.
Serving our country is an honorable sacrifice that deserves to be rewarded. Keep in mind these various tips for purchasing auto insurance for veterans and military personnel, and you can feel proud to take advantage of your military status and find the ideal car insurance.
Check out our Auto Insurance Reviews page for plan comparisons and insurance company reviews.