Key takeaways

  • For military members and veterans, USAA may offer some of the lowest annual average rates.
  • Both Armed Forces Insurance and USAA specialize in coverage for military members and veterans.
  • Farmers, Geico and Liberty Mutual offer military discounts on policies.

Most drivers in the U.S. are required to have car insurance to drive on public roads legally, but no one wants to pay more than they have to for the best coverage. For military members and veterans, it can be a good idea to shop around to find the policy that best fits your individual needs. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team dove into data from Quadrant Information Services to find the companies that offer some of the best deals for military and veteran drivers. In some cases, such as with USAA, we were able to highlight a company focused specifically on the unique needs of a military audience.

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What are the cheapest car insurance companies for veterans?

When searching for the cheapest car insurance for military members, you may want to start your search by getting auto quotes from Farmers, Geico and USAA. Armed Forces Insurance (AFI) and Liberty Mutual may be worth looking into, as well — both have historically offered good rates to veterans; however, average premiums are not available for 2024.

Cheapest auto insurance for veterans by coverage level

For many people, price is a consideration when shopping for most things. While the average cost of car insurance is $2,542 per year for full coverage and $740 per year for minimum coverage, several companies offer far lower average rates. Even better, some providers offer a military discount to help you save that much more.

Below, we showcase some of the best car insurance companies for active-duty military and veterans. Both USAA and Geico offer average rates that are below the national averages, while Farmers is slightly higher.

Average annual full coverage rates

Insurance company Bankrate Score Average monthly premium Average annual premium Difference from national annual average*
USAA 4.2 $139 $1,673 -$869
Geico 4.4 $144 $1,732 -$810
Farmers 3.8 $222 $2,668 +$126

*Based on full coverage premiums using our base profile

Average annual minimum coverage rates

Insurance company Bankrate Score Average monthly premium Average annual premium Difference from national annual average*
USAA 4.2 $36 $433 -$307
Geico 4.4 $39 $463 -$277
Farmers 3.8 $75 $898 +$158

*Based on minimum coverage premiums using our base profile

Cheapest auto insurance for military members by status

The cost of car insurance for military members remains relatively consistent across different military statuses. Below, we compare 2021 car insurance rates (the latest year rate data were available) for six different military statuses, including active duty, active/inactive reserve and retired. The numbers don’t vary much, but knowing the averages could help you determine if your quoted premium from any given company is competitive.

Military status Average annual full coverage premium Average annual minimum coverage premium
Active $1,719 $514
Active reserve $1,719 $513
Inactive reserve $1,719 $513
Pre-commissioned officer $1,719 $513
Retired $1,719 $513
Separated $1,727 $509

*Rates reflect 2021 premium data.

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Bankrate insights
Military status generally does not have much of an influence on car insurance rates. Your status could, however, determine if you qualify for a company’s military discount or for coverage from a company that specializes in military coverage. Many companies will not extend a discount to those with a dishonorable discharge, for example.

Factors that impact cheap rates for veterans

While your status within the military may not directly affect rates, there are other factors that can impact your ability to get cheap auto insurance for military members:

  • Discharge status: According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, a veteran is someone who “served in the active military, naval or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.” If you were dishonorably discharged, you are not considered a veteran and likely will not qualify for military-focused insurance or military discounts.
  • Rank: Some insurers may consider your military rank in the underwriting process. Certain ranks may qualify for different discount levels or have access to different rating profiles.
  • Choice of insurer: Not all insurance companies cater specifically to military members, as USAA and AFI do. Among the companies that are also open to civilians, only some offer a discount for veterans and military members. Rates vary by insurance company, but finding a company that offers a military discount or works specifically with military families may help you find the cheapest car insurance for veterans and military members.
  • Age: While veterans can span a wide range of ages, it’s helpful to keep in mind that age is one of the biggest rating factors when it comes to car insurance. Younger drivers typically pay higher premiums in most states, but rates tend to drop as you age and gain experience behind the wheel (assuming you keep a clean driving record). This means that older veterans may pay less for coverage than younger veterans.

How veterans can save on auto insurance

Finding cheap auto insurance for military veterans and active-duty service members may involve some time and research. Here are some tips to lower your car insurance premium if you are a veteran:

  • Shop around: Even if you get quotes from a company that specializes in military insurance or has a military discount, it may help to shop around and compare quotes from other companies. Rates vary based on a number of factors, so you could find cheap car insurance for military veterans even from a company with no veteran-specific perks.
  • Ask about military discounts: Even if you’re getting quotes from a company that doesn’t advertise a military discount on its website, ask if one is available. Companies don’t always advertise every discount they offer, so you might find savings that you didn’t know were available.
  • Utilize other discounts: Veterans can still take advantage of non-military-focused discounts, like paperless policies, telematics programs and student discounts for young drivers listed on their policies. You could also consider bundling your home insurance or renters insurance with your car insurance to earn savings.
  • Maintain an active policy: While you’re an active service member, you may not be driving your vehicle, especially if you are in training or deployed. As long as you still own the vehicle, though, you’re required to have an active insurance policy. You can usually put your vehicle in “storage mode” — which removes all coverage except comprehensive — while you aren’t driving it. However, you should check with your financial institution before making changes if you have a loan or lease.
  • Keep a clean driving record: This tip benefits all drivers. Your driving record is one of the most important factors for an insurer when determining your premium. Driving safely and avoiding incidents like tickets and at-fault accidents can help you avoid costly surcharges and might even earn you a safe driver discount.

Common car insurance discounts for veterans

Car insurance discounts are one of the easiest ways to save on your premium. Here are some common discounts that veterans may be able to take advantage of:

  • Military discounts: Some companies offer discounts specifically for veterans and military members. For example, Geico offers a discount of up to 15 percent if you are on active duty, retired from the military or a member of the National Guard or Reserves. Military members can also get an emergency deployment discount from Geico if they are deployed into imminent danger locations.
  • Low-mileage discounts: If you don’t drive often, you may qualify for a low-mileage discount. This might be especially appealing if you’re fully retired or work from home. To qualify, you need to drive fewer than a set number of miles, typically 7,500 or 10,000 per year. If you are deployed, there’s a good chance you can qualify for this because you’ll be away from your car and unable to drive. You may also qualify for special deployment discounts.
  • Organization and affinity discounts: If you belong to certain organizations, like alumni or professional groups, you might save money on your car insurance. The group doesn’t have to be military-related, but there might be savings for some military-related organizations. For example, Geico offers discounts to members of the Association of the United States Army, Armed Forces Benefit Association and Navy League of the United States.
  • Bundling discounts: Buying multiple insurance products, such as homeowners and auto insurance, from the same company has a lot of perks, including easier policy management and often substantial discounts.

Frequently asked questions

    • The best car insurance for any individual may be different for someone else. However, two companies that offer benefits to military members and veterans are USAA and Geico. These carriers offer potential discounts to those with a military connection as well as competitive average rates and robust coverage options. Since your own rate is based largely on factors unique to you and your situation, it will likely differ from the average rates presented. Maintaining a clean driving record and excellent credit are two of the factors that may earn you a cheaper rate for your car insurance. When looking for the cheapest policy, it can be helpful to ask for quotes from several companies to see who offers you the best rate.
    • Yes. If you are a veteran with a disability or injury sustained while you were deployed, you may have a modified vehicle to accommodate your needs. In almost all states, vehicles require some level of car insurance to be driven legally — even those modified with wheelchair ramps, hand controls or other adjustments. Most companies will have options to insure these vehicles, although you may need to submit photos of the modifications and provide an estimate of their value so the insurer can properly account for it during underwriting.
    • If you’re requesting a military discount or seeking coverage from a company that only does business with military service members, you’ll likely need to show proof of your veteran status. This might include providing your discharge documents, DD-214 form or other documentation to show that you were honorably discharged and qualify for the status of “veteran.”
    • USAA only offers car and home insurance to active-duty military, veterans and their qualifying family members. The company does, however, offer life insurance policies to individuals with no military connection. To find out if you’re eligible for membership and which discounts may be available to you, it’s best to reach out to a licensed insurance agent or broker.
    • The extent of military discounts on car insurance can differ significantly from one insurer to another. For instance, Geico highlights an offering of up to 15 percent off for those in the military community, which includes active duty, retirees and members of the National Guard or Reserves. On the other hand, Farmers Insurance also extends discounts to military personnel, though the specifics of the savings are not broadly advertised.

      When exploring military discounts, it’s advisable to engage with insurance agents or brokers who can provide tailored information based on your unique profile. They can help clarify eligibility criteria, potential savings and how these discounts interact with other offers. This personalized guidance ensures you receive the most accurate and beneficial information relevant to your situation.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2024 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2022 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Military status: To determine rates by military status, we applied the following statuses to our 2021 base profile: active, active reserve, inactive reserve, pre-commissioned officer, retired, separated.

Bankrate Score

Our 2024 Bankrate Score considers variables our insurance editorial team determined impacts policyholders’ experiences with an insurance company. These rating factors include a robust assessment of each company’s product availability, financial strength ratings, online capabilities and customer and claims support accessibility. Each factor was added to a category, and these categories were weighted in a tiered approach to analyze how companies perform in key customer-impacting categories.

Each category was assigned a metric to determine performance, and the weighted sum adds up to a company’s total Bankrate Score — out of 5 points. Our scoring model provides a comprehensive view, indicating when companies excel across several key areas and highlighting where they fall short.

  • Tier 1 (Cost & ratings): To determine how well auto and home insurance companies satisfy these priorities, average quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services (if available), as well as any of the latest third-party agency ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best, Demotech and the NAIC, were analyzed.
  • Tier 2 (Coverage & savings): We assessed companies’ coverage options and availability to help policyholders find a provider that balances cost with coverage. Additionally, we evaluated each company’s discount options listed on its website.
  • Tier 3 (Support): To encompass the many ways an auto insurance company can support policyholders, we analyzed avenues of customer accessibility along with community support. This analysis incorporated additional financial strength ratings from S&P and Moody’s and factored a company’s corporate sustainability efforts.