Car insurance for veterans and military members
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Military members need car insurance coverage, whether they live on or off base, are deployed overseas or are retired veterans. Because of their affiliation, many service members and veterans of the military get special discounts on car insurance policies. In this article, we’re going to highlight several companies that offer auto insurance for veterans and explain how you can find the best military insurance company for you and your family.
The best car insurance companies for veterans and military members
- USAA: Best for discounts
- Geico: Best for online and mobile tools
- Erie: Best for affordable coverage
|Company||Average annual rate||J.D. Power claims satisfaction rating||AM Best||Standout quality|
|USAA||$1,484||5/5||A++ (Superior)||Easy claims handling|
|GEICO||$1,260||3/5||A++ (Superior)||Highly-rated mobile app|
|Erie||$1,141||3/5||A+ (Superior)||Erie Rate Lock program|
USAA: Best for discounts
USAA is known as the go-to insurance company for active duty service members and veterans because they only sell coverage to eligible military families. USAA understands the needs of individuals in the military, so whether you’re preparing for deployment or getting ready to retire, the company can help you through the process. In addition to affordable rates, USAA offers a variety of discounts that can help drivers save even more money on their car insurance. Many of the discounts are military-specific and you won’t find them at other insurance companies.
USAA doesn’t offer any discounts for simply being affiliated with the military. That’s because you have to meet certain military criteria in order to buy a policy. However, USAA does offer many different discounts that can lower your premium.
- Military installation discount: Military members who garage their vehicle on base can save up to 15 percent on a comprehensive insurance policy.
- Family discount: If your parents have a USAA membership, you can save up to 10 percent when you buy your own policy.
- New vehicle: You’ll qualify for savings if you purchase insurance for a car that’s no more than three years old.
- Vehicle storage: If you store a vehicle that’s not being used, you can get a discount of up to 60% on your car insurance.
- Annual mileage: USAA offers savings based on the number of miles you drive in a given year.
GEICO: Best for online and mobile tools
Geico is our top pick for best online and mobile tools. If you’re not sure how much car insurance coverage you need, you can use Geico’s free online coverage calculator to find out. Veterans who have questions about the car insurance buying process can likely find the answer on Geico’s website. You can learn about the different types of insurance, what you’ll need to get a quote and even how much insurance is required in your state. If you need to file a claim, request roadside assistance or get your ID card on the fly, just open the Geico mobile app on your smartphone.
Geico is known for its discounts, and most drivers will be able to take advantage of at least one. Here are some of the discounts that Geico offers:
- Military: Active duty military members can save 15 percent on their car insurance with Geico.
- Emergency deployment: If you have to go on emergency military deployment, Geico will lower your premium by up to 25 percent while you’re away.
- Car safety features: Geico offers tons of discounts for having certain safety features in your car. You can save up to 25 percent for having an anti-theft device, up to 40 percent for having full-front seat airbags and up to 5 percent for having anti-lock brakes.
- Good driver: With Geico, good drivers who have been accident-free for at least five years can save up to 25 percent on their insurance premium.
- Federal employee: If you’re a federal employee, you can save up to 8 percent on your car insurance with Geico.
Erie: Best for affordable coverage
We compared average insurance rates among the top providers, and Erie had the most affordable premiums. The average premium for full coverage insurance from Erie is just $1,141, which breaks down to about $95 per month. In addition to low rates, Erie stands out for its exceptional discounts and savings programs. With Erie’s free rate lock program, your premium won’t change until you make updates to your insurance policy. Erie also has a diminishing deductible program which lowers your premium by $100 for each consecutive claims-free policy period, up to $500.
Erie doesn’t offer any military-specific discounts, but there are a few discounts that could be beneficial to military members or veterans. Here are some of the discounts that Erie has:
- Vehicle storage: Drivers who don’t use their car for at least 90 consecutive days during their policy period can get a discount if they store the vehicle.
- Pay in full: If you can afford to pay your annual premium in full, it will save you some money.
- Safe driver: Drivers who have a spotless driving record can save money on their policy from Erie.
- Policy bundling: When you buy an auto and home insurance policy from Erie, you could save anywhere from 16 percent to 25 percent on your combined policies.
Military car insurance considerations
People in the military often move around frequently, whether they get restationed or are called up for deployment. If you’re not monitoring your policy, you could end up with a lapse in coverage, which can lead to more expensive premiums in the future. Remember that it’s never a good idea to drop your insurance coverage altogether.
When shopping for car insurance, look for companies that offer the flexibility you need to make changes to your policy on the fly. Make sure that you have the option to downgrade your coverage or at least get a discount if you plan to be without your car for an extended period of time. Companies like Geico and USAA offer emergency deployment savings.
How to find the cheapest insurance for your military family
Finding an affordable car insurance policy for your military family is pretty simple if you follow the right steps. Here’s a quick look at how you can find the cheapest policy for your needs:
- Search for providers: The first step is to shop around and look for providers. You can search for providers that offer military-specific coverages and savings, as well as companies that have good reviews and ratings. Make sure these companies offer the type and amount of coverage you’re looking for.
- Talk to an agent: If you find a company that doesn’t offer military discounts, call up an agent and ask if they can accommodate certain needs, like emergency deployment. Some companies have unadvertised discounts that you might be able to take advantage of.
- Get multiple quotes: Once you’ve found a few insurance companies you like, get a quote from each one. You can either use an online quote tool or contact an agent to get a more accurate price quote. Then, compare the rates to see which company can give you the best deal for the amount of coverage you want.
- Sign a policy: The last step is to sign a policy and start your coverage. If you’re switching from another insurance company, have your policy start date overlap several days with the old policy’s end date so you have continuous coverage.
Other insurance companies that offer military discounts
Besides USAA, Geico and Erie, there are a handful of other insurance companies that are good choices for veterans. Here are a few we recommend:
Armed Forces Insurance
Armed Forces Insurance is similar to USAA, in that they only sell coverage to active duty military members and their immediate family. They offer similar coverage to USAA, but USAA has better discounts. But if you’re looking for a company that is experienced in serving military members, Armed Forces insurance is a good option to look into.
The General specializes in car insurance for high-risk drivers, like those with a lengthy claims history or a bad credit score. The General is also one of the few companies that sells SR-22 insurance which is needed to reinstate your license if it gets suspended. Additionally, The General offers a military discount, but it’s only available to drivers in Louisiana.
Arbella Insurance is a little-known insurance company because it only serves drivers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. However, active duty military members and veterans can save 10 percent on their car insurance if they are eligible for a policy through Arbella.
Coverage Utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyse quoted rates from thousands of zip codes across all 50 states, using the top 15 carriers by premiums written by state. Quoted rates are based around the profiles of a 30 year male and female with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage details:
- $100k bodily injury liability per person
- $300k bodily injury liability coverage per crash
- $100k property damage liability coverage per crash
- $500 collision coverage deductible
- $500 comprehensive coverage deductible
Minimum coverages were applied to match state requirements. Both drivers used a new, financed 2018 Toyota Camry, commuting 5 days a week and driving 12,000 miles per year.