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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 for military and veterans, this standard also holds.
Whether you’re active duty or a veteran, it pays to look into the various car insurance options available to you. 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 you choose understands the requirements of military personnel and their families. For instance, deployment and temporary duty assignments are often facts of life that bring their challenges when it comes to car insurance.
If you are on deployment without family overseas, you’ll need car insurance that covers the needs of your loved ones. On the other hand, your requirements will change if your entire family is stationed overseas.
According to Military.com, it is not recommended to cancel your auto insurance while you and your family are living out of the country. Your car won’t be covered during storage. An insurer that handles military customers will be able to explain the various options. The insurer can assure that 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. We cover a synopsis of the best car insurance for active military members and their families and veterans. These include Geico and USAA. 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. The staff at the Military Center strictly oversee military insurance policies.
Active duty can be eligible for up to a 15% discount on their total insurance premium. Also, the same goes for retired members of the military. The company also offers emergency deployment discounts, as well as cuts to members of various military-related organizations.
USAA was founded in 1922 by a group of Army officers who couldn’t find insurance for their vehicles. The company consistently ranks high on customer service and company stability. A.M. Best, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s always given the company high ratings.
USAA prides itself 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. For example, discounts include a new vehicle discount, multi-vehicle discount, annual mileage discount, family discount, loyalty savings, and bundle discount. These discounts can make car insurance cheap for military personnel and veterans.
USAA also offers a discount of up to 60% off when their members leave their vehicle in storage during deployment or temporary assignment. Also, the company includes up to 15% discount for those who house their car 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 provide you with, 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 typically helps you save money on car insurance. It can also mean that you benefit 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 essential to check an auto insurance company out thoroughly before signing up for coverage. You can find out if a company offers excellent 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 a great option.
Serving our country is a noble sacrifice that deserves to be rewarded. Keep in mind these various tips for purchasing auto insurance for veterans and military personnel. 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.
FAQ on Auto Insurance for the Military
What is the best auto insurance for veterans?
Both GEICO and USAA are great options for former or current members of the military and their dependents, but ultimately USAA has a slight advantage—especially if you are serving in active duty.
Is USAA membership is only for active/former military?
Even though USAA is marketing itself as proudly serving the U.S. military, they have actually widened the eligibility requirements to include regular civilians who are immediate family members of service members.
Can I get a discount for emergency deployment?
If you’re part of an emergency deployment, you could be eligible for a deployment discount of about 25% off comprehensive coverage, depending on the provider. Most of the providers offer a discount for deployments.
Can I get car insurance for a car I don’t use while deployed?
Yes, you have options for car insurance on a car you won’t use while you’re on base or deployed. You have 3 options.
Temporary car insurance
Storage or laid-up coverage
Borrowed car insurance.
Are retired military members eligible for auto insurance discount?
If you are on active duty, retired from the Military, or a member of the National Guard or Reserves, you may be eligible for a discount of up to 15 percent on your total insurance premium.
Julie Bawden-Davis is a widely published journalist specializing in personal finance and small business. She has written 10 books and more than 2,500 articles for a wide variety of national and international publications, including Parade.com, where she has a weekly column. In addition to contributing to SuperMoney, her work has appeared in publications such as American Express OPEN Forum, The Hartford and Forbes.