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The United States is home to more than 20 million active-duty military personnel and veterans. They make up a sizeable chunk of the population and when it comes to insurance, they can take advantage of certain benefits not offered to everyone else.Here is a list of the very best car insurance companies for veterans and military personnel.
The Best Car Insurance for the Military: USAA
The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) traces its history back over 100 years when it was founded by a group of army officers. It has consistently been one of the best options for active and former military personnel, and its homepage proudly states that members have saved an average of $725 after switching to USAA.Car insurance coverage through USAA is often significantly less than similar coverage from non-specialist providers. It also has high customer satisfaction ratings, and most policyholders are content with the claims process.
What benefits does the USAA provide?
In addition to its low-cost auto insurance policies, the USAA gives members 24/7 access through its website and mobile app, allowing them to make policy changes and file claims any time of day.It also operates the USAA SafePilot® program. Upon registering, SafePilot® provides its members with a 10% discount on their auto insurance premiums. From there, they can download the SafePilot® App for iOS or Android and it will track their trips. When it’s time to renew, the program will display a driving score and tell the policyholder how much they have saved.USAA also offers a range of discounts and freebies on travel essentials, car care, shopping, and more. They include:
- Up to 35% off car rentals
- 25% off applicable hotel stays
- 25% off Goodyear tires
- Up to 50% off nationwide water parks
- Up to 60% off cruises
How much does USAA car insurance cost?
Car insurance rates vary considerably based on a number of factors, including the applicant’s driving record, age, location, and the type of car they drive.On average, full coverage auto insurance costs between $1,000 and $1,500 a year, but you could be charged a lot more based on the aforementioned factors.
Who qualifies for USAA membership?
The following people can apply for USAA insurance:
- U.S. military members and veterans
- Pre-commissioned officers
- Spouses of active duty military members
- Former spouses and widows
- Children of USAA members (including biological and stepchildren)
Siblings and parents of USAA members will not be granted the right to membership and must qualify on their own or via their spouses/parents.
Is USAA cheaper for veterans?
Technically, there is no military discount for USAA members, as it’s a military-only insurer, so all members have a military connection. However, when you compare the cost of USAA auto insurance to similar insurance plans with military discounts, USAA usually comes out on top.
Is USAA the best car insurance for the military?
It is certainly up there. In our research, we found it to consistently have the lowest price, as well as some of the best customer service and an easy claims process.
Is USAA auto insurance only for veterans?
You can get USAA car insurance if you are an active duty military member or child/spouse. It is not exclusively available to veterans.
The Best Providers Offering Car Insurance Coverage for Military Personnel
The following three insurance companies also rank highly for affordable car insurance for veterans and active duty personnel.
Geico regularly ranks as one of the best car insurance providers, and that applies regardless of your military association. It has a fast claims process, excellent customer satisfaction ratings, and a host of discounts.The military discount offers up to 15% off and you can also save by paying upfront, bundling multiple insurance policies, and completing a safe driving course.
State Farm has a discount for active duty service members, as well as generally low costs. You can save money with a good driver discount, defensive driving discount, and a Drive Safe & Save program that works in a similar way to USAA’s SafePilot®.
Active and retired military personnel can save with Liberty Mutual. It has discounts for homeowners too, as well as big savings for policyholders with a clean driving record.
More Car Insurance Discounts for Military Members
The more car insurance companies you include in your search, the more likely you are to get the best price. So, in addition to the above, make sure you check the following, all of which offer a military discount:Alfa: Provides a military discount and also offers discounts for first responders, teachers, and farmers. The Alfa Insurance Group is based in Alabama and its products are available across 11 states.American Family: An insurance company that offers a number of discounts across a variety of insurance products.Arabella: A 10% discount is available for drivers who are deployed over 100 miles from where their car is stored.Direct Auto: Active duty personnel in Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama can save up to 25% on certain car insurance products.Esurance: Offers a range of benefits and discounts to military members and their families.Farm Bureau – Kentucky: Members of the United States Armed Forces can secure a discount if they complete a defensive driving course.Farmers: Military discounts are available for car insurance, home insurance, and more.Freeway: Discounts are available for military members and veterans, as well as their families. This also applies to the National Guard and Reserves.
How to Save on Car Insurance for Military Members
Military discounts can make a big difference to your insurance premiums, but there are other considerations. You should not assume that military-only insurers are always going to be the cheapest, nor should you assume that the biggest military discounts lead to the cheapest premiums.Some insurers are naturally cheaper, and depending on your age, car, location, and circumstances, you might find much cheaper options than USAA. Keep the following in mind when shopping for armed forces insurance:
Drive a cheap car
When underwriting your policy, car insurance companies will pay close attention to the type of car that you drive. For collision and comprehensive insurance, they’ll consider how often it’s stolen and how much it costs to repair.Your car will also impact your decisions. If it’s a brand-new sports car, you’ll be keen to protect it with a full coverage policy. If it’s a cheap run-around, however, basic coverage will be more than enough as you can just scrap the car if it’s ever involved in a major accident.
Compare rates from multiple car insurance companies
Check with multiple car insurance providers to see which one offers the lowest prices for the coverage you need. Rates can differ considerably, so it’s always worth checking with multiple providers.
Get the coverage you need
Full coverage is great…if you need it. There’s no point paying all that extra cash if you’re driving a cheap car that you don’t really care about. The same is true for optional extras like roadside assistance.In most states, you’re required to have a basic amount of car insurance coverage, and this is often limited to body injury liability and property damage liability. Beyond that, it’s purely optional, and you could save yourself a lot of cash by leaving expensive extras off your policy.
Look for auto insurance discounts
In addition to military-specific discounts, insurers offer a host of other discounts. You can qualify for multiple discounts, stacking up the savings and shaving a sizeable chunk off your premiums. The available discounts differ by provider, but they typically include:
- Good student discount: Student drivers who maintain a high-grade point average.
- Good driver discount: Drivers who keep a clean driving record.
- Auto-pay: Offered for setting up automatic payments.
- Upfront Payments: A small discount for drivers who pay for their premiums upfront.
- Defensive driving courses: Drivers who complete a defensive driving course to prove they are safe and responsible drivers.
- Membership discounts: Offered to members of certain clubs, including automotive organizations.
- Multi-car discount: Adding multiple cars to the same policy reduces the overall cost.
- Bundling: If you get homeowners insurance or renters insurance with the same provider, you could get a discount on your auto insurance.
Increase the deductible
The deductible is the amount that you pay before the insurance company takes over. You can save a lot of money on collision and comprehensive insurance by adjusting this amount, but it means you’ll pay more if you ever make a claim.
Keep your driving record clean
Your driving record is everything when it comes to car insurance. Keep it clean, and the amount you pay will get less and less as you renew. It only takes a couple of tickets or a single DUI to send those premiums skyrocketing.
Summary: What is the Best Insurance Company for Military and Veterans?
USAA is easily one of the best auto insurance companies for military members, veterans, and family members. It consistently has the cheapest prices and best customer support, and also provides a variety of perks.However, you should also consider some other providers when shopping for cheap car insurance, including Geico, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, and other providers highlighted above. It only takes a few seconds to get a quote, and it could save you tens and even hundreds of dollars a year, so it’s always worth it.