Car Insurance for Veterans

Those who volunteer to serve and protect our country deserve our thanks. In the case of insurance, that thanks often comes in the form of discounts on car insurance policies. Active duty, full-time, reservists, and veterans can all qualify for discounts on car insurance. And their direct family members can often apply for these discounts too. Coverage includes cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, and other forms of transportation. The level of coverage and discounts will vary depending on the type of vehicle, its age, and even the experience of the driver, so it’s best to shop around and find the best rate for the items you want to insure.

How Does Military Service Affect Your Car Insurance?

Insurance is like most bills: if you don’t pay the premium, you’ll lose the coverage. Insurance companies offer several ways to pay (monthly, every six months, every nine months, and annually are the most popular) but sometimes, even with the flexibility, things fall through the cracks.

Just as military service can pull you away from your family, or in the case of being in the reserves, your job and other duties you have. But it also takes you away from handling financial responsibilities, though the popularity of auto-payments and direct deposit helps. sometimes some bills fall through the cracks, and car insurance could be one of those things. Luckily, many insurance companies take into account that lapses in coverage could be because a service member was not available to pay the premium. As long as the service member can prove he or she was deployed at the time the coverage lapsed, they usually won’t be penalized for not having insurance for a period of time.

Type of Military Discounts on Car Insurance

  • Active Duty Discount

    To qualify for the active duty discount for most insurance companies, the military member must be deployed and serving in one of the US military branches. Service can be in the US or abroad and includes the reserve branches of the military as well as the US Coast Guard and the Army National Guard.
  • Military Family Discount

    Family members of those who are currently serving in the military can also share in the discounts as part of a military family discount. Those included are spouses, children, and other family members in the household. Each insurance company will determine who is covered and how much the discount will be.
  • Car Storage Discounts

    If a service person is called to active duty and his car will not be driven while the servicemember is deployed, insurance companies offer a discount for car storage. The amount and availability of the discount varies by state and whether or not the servicemember lives on a base.

What are the Best Car Insurance Companies for Veterans?

Almost all insurance companies offer some sort of discount for service members and veterans, but certain companies offer a bit more. Service members often have specific needs and circumstances that differ from civilians, some of which could lead to lapses in coverage and higher rates due to the time spent serving their country. The companies listed below recognize the sacrifice military men and women make for their country and offer services and discounts to these people and their families.

The following companies offer discounts and special services for those serving in the military:

  • USAA
  • Esurance
  • Farmers

USAA offers the most for current military members and veterans because they are specifically in the business to serve military members. You must be either active military, a veteran, or a family member of a service member or veteran to apply for coverage through USAA. Along with lower rates compared to other major insurance companies, USAA also offers a 15% discount on coverage for cars and trucks garaged on military bases, and if the covered member is deployed, they get a 60% discount for vehicles that are in storage while they are on active duty.

Geico also offers discounts to military personnel who belong to certain organizations such as the Association of the US Army, Fleet Reserve Association, National Infantry Association, Armed Forces Benefits Association, or the Navy League of the US. Service members get 15% off their premiums and an additional 15% off if they are deployed. Esurance offers its military customers the option of suspending coverage and reinstating coverage with a phone call when the customer is deployed.

Farmers offers military discounts, but they vary from state to state so it’s best to talk to an agent to see what the actual discounts and benefits for service members actually are.

Lapsing on Your Car Insurance

Insurance is a requirement in the United States, so it’s in the best interest of all involved that a lapse in coverage not occur. If you’re in an accident and you are found to not have coverage, along with possible financial responsibility for damages, you could also face fines and possibly even criminal charges. Even if you weren’t at fault for the accident, you could lose any payouts from the at-fault party because, technically, you should not have been on the road when the accident occurred. Another issue is that, when you do try to get coverage, an insurance company will discover a lapse in coverage and deem you a risk, which in turn will equate to higher insurance premiums and deductibles.

This is why it’s important to go with an insurance company that understands that, if you are deployed, there’s a chance your coverage will lapse. These companies do not hold this against you and therefore you continue to pay a lower premium.

Who Might not Qualify?

Not everyone will qualify for premium discounts, even if they served in the military. For example, if a person was dishonorably discharged, they won’t qualify for military discounts. Also, discounts apply to immediate family members, so a son or daughter might qualify, but a niece or cousin probably won’t. And, unless required to by a court of law, divorced spouses of military personnel don’t have the military benefit either.

Don’t Only Consider the Discount

Discounts are great, but they shouldn’t be the primary factor in choosing car insurance. Getting a 15% discount on a policy that was 25% higher than the others isn’t really a savings. The best approach is to choose a policy from a company that offers everything you need and apply any available discount to that policy.

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