How To Find the Best Car Insurance While Serving in the Military
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Based on our analysis, USAA and GEICO stand at the pinnacle among car insurance providers for military families and veterans due to their customer satisfaction and military-centric benefits and savings. Read our detailed examination of these military car insurance carriers and the offerings they extend to our servicemen, servicewomen and their families.
What Is Military Car Insurance?
When we say military car insurance, we’re referring to an auto insurance policy that not only meets your state’s insurance requirements but also has added perks or car insurance discounts exclusive to our veterans and active duty members. These bonuses might include a discount on your premium while deployed or even special deals on entertainment and travel.
How Do I Qualify for Military Car Insurance?
Eligibility for qualifying for military car insurance or a discount can vary by company but will typically require you to be serving or have served in one of the U.S. military branches. Active or retired Department of Defense (DoD) employees, service academy students, officer candidates nearing commissioning and honorably discharged or retired veterans are all examples of who may qualify for military car insurance. Qualifying family members, such as spouses, children, widows, widowers or unmarried former spouses, may also be eligible for coverage.
Which Companies Provide Car Insurance for Military Members?
Service members have a couple of car insurance companies to choose from that provide unique coverage for military members.
USAA stands as a leading provider of car insurance for veterans, active duty personnel and their families. In fact, USAA serves only military families and unless you’re an active duty personnel, a veteran or married to or the child of one, you cannot buy a USAA auto policy.
USAA’s diversified offerings encompass basic car insurance, roadside assistance and rideshare protection, along with specialized plans for motorcycles, boats and RVs. For those stationed on base, a 15% discount on comprehensive coverage is available when vehicles are housed at a military facility. Active duty personnel can also receive a 60% car insurance discount if they are storing their vehicle long-term, such as while they are deployed. In addition, some auto policies will insure personal belongings inside your car for up to $250 — this type of coverage is usually excluded by other carriers.
Members also enjoy exclusive deals on entertainment, retail and car maintenance, positioning USAA above the competition. The legacy discount extends veteran advantages to family as well, affording a 10% price cut for drivers below 25, ensuring the support transfers to the next generation.
Most impressively, USAA excels in customer satisfaction, clinching top accolades from J.D. Power in 2023 across all surveyed regions. Scoring included their SafePilot telematics program, emerging as a prime choice for safety-conscious drivers aiming for further rate reductions, underlining USAA’s commitment to rewarding safe driving practices.
Earning the second spot for providing the best car insurance for military members is GEICO, a company with a commitment to serving our U.S. military members that traces back to 1936. The company adopts a tailored approach for its military clientele, offering a diverse range of auto insurance products and services. At the heart of this personalized service is the GEICO Military Center, a dedicated team that includes veterans who are on hand to respond to inquiries, formulate discounts and provide service options that resonate with the distinct needs of U.S. troops, whether stationed domestically or abroad.
Central to the military program is the base military discount of 15% and the emergency deployment discount of up to 25%, extended to military members venturing into imminent danger pay areas as designated by the DoD. In instances where military duties call for long-term vehicle storage, GEICO exhibits flexibility by potentially suspending coverage for the duration of deployment. Additionally, many states offer discounts to members affiliated with professional military associations such as the Association of the United States Army, Fleet Reserve Association and Armed Forces Benefit Association.
A focal point of military-centric service is the military center situated in Virginia Beach, Virginia, dedicated to catering to the needs of active duty, guard, reserve and retired military personnel as well as their families. Extending its reach globally, GEICO has established offices worldwide to ensure military and government personnel stationed abroad receive the necessary assistance and support, reflecting GEICO's unwavering commitment to serving the military community.
Though not on par with USAA when it comes to overall customer satisfaction, GEICO had a solid showing in the 2023 J.D. Power study, scoring above average in five out of 11 regions. Notably, GEICO is the highest-rated auto insurance carrier in the New England region, which includes Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island and tied for the highest rating in its division for usage-based insurance (UBI).
Kemper, Liberty Mutual and Farmers
We wanted to highlight Kemper, Liberty Mutual and Farmers because these three companies offer a car insurance discount to military personnel, although the exact discount amount is not specified on their websites.
What Should I Do With My Car Insurance if I’m Deployed?
It is imperative to communicate with your insurance provider about your deployment to explore options such as reducing coverage to the minimum required or opting for a military deployment discount like the ones offered by USAA and GEICO, thereby preserving a continuous coverage history and avoiding lapses.
You may also consider suspending your policy to avoid monthly premiums on an unused car, provided the car is securely parked. As we discussed earlier, GEICO does have this as an option for military members. The ability to suspend coverage may depend on your place of residence, so it’s essential to confirm this with your insurer.
How To Get Insurance Reinstated When You’re Back From Deployment
Contacting your insurance company promptly upon return and updating them about your change in status is crucial. Review your coverage options, adjust your policy as needed and ensure that all the necessary documentation is updated and accurate. This proactive approach will facilitate a smooth transition and reinstate optimal coverage swiftly. Remember: driving without insurance is illegal in most states and can result in fines, the suspension of your license and even jail time.
How To Get Military Car Insurance
If you're seeking cheap car insurance, SmartFinancial recommends collecting quotes from at least three to five insurers, as qualifying for a military discount does not guarantee the cheapest policy. Another car insurance company may offer a more affordable policy even without applying a military discount. SmartFinancial eases the shopping process by having you fill out one form with your coverage needs and budget so you can quickly obtain a personalized policy. Enter your zip code below for your FREE military member car insurance quote.