If you’re an active duty member of the U.S. military, a veteran or a qualifying family member — your auto, life and home insurance may deserve special consideration. Several companies offer special deals and discounts to military personnel or even tailor their coverage to meet your unique needs.

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To help refine your search for the best military-tailored insurance, Bankrate’s editorial team analyzed auto, life and home insurance coverage options and carriers to find the best insurance options for your needs.

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Key takeaways
  • USAA, which only sells insurance policies to current and former military members and qualifying family members, is renowned for low average prices with excellent customer service.
  • Military members may want to look for the following discounts: mileage, on-base, vehicle storage and bunding.
  • Active duty military members can get low-cost life insurance through the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI).

Auto insurance for active military and veterans

Current and former military personnel are eligible for special coverage and discounts from several top car insurance companies. While many companies offer a military discount, companies may offer other ways to save on premiums, such as reducing coverage for stored vehicles while the owner is deployed.

USAA

USAA is one of the most well-known providers of auto insurance among military families. The company is widely praised for low rates and customer satisfaction, consistently earning top scores in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction index, even though it is not officially ranked because it is unavailable to everyone.

USAA only sells policies to current and former military members and their immediate family members, so coverage options are tailored to service members and their families. Flexible coverage options can be adjusted during deployment periods, and discounts are available for additional savings.

Learn more: USAA Insurance review

Geico

Another well-known choice for car insurance is Geico. It isn’t a military-specific insurance provider but offers substantial discounts and specialized coverage exclusively to military families. Current and former service members are eligible for an immediate discount of up to 15 percent off Geico’s civilian pricing.

Additional discount programs are available for specific situations, such as long-term vehicle storage during deployment. Geico also has a dedicated overseas department to assist you if you decide to take your car abroad.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual also offers a military discount if one of the drivers on your car insurance policy is military personnel. You’ll also qualify for this discount if the driver is a veteran or in the reserves. The company offers countless other discounts you may be eligible for – along with a full suite of coverage options.

Learn more: Liberty Mutual Insurance review

Car insurance options while you’re relocating

When you relocate, whether for a deployment, a temporary duty assignment or a permanent change of station, you have a few options regarding your vehicle. Whatever you decide will affect your auto insurance coverage and may raise or lower your premiums:

  • Long-term storage: If you intend to be away from your vehicle for a long period (usually at least a few months), vehicle storage may be the most straightforward option if no one else will drive your vehicle. Because stored vehicles aren’t driven, it may be possible to temporarily reduce your car insurance coverage for significant savings. Speak with your insurance agent to learn what options could be available to you.
  • Transport your car overseas: This may be an option if you relocate long-term, although shipping your car could be a significant expense. If you decide to go this route, USAA and Geico may offer car insurance options for military members stationed outside the U.S.

Military discounts to look for

Whether you’re on active duty or a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, there are many auto insurance discounts to keep an eye out for. Here are a few you should know about:

  • Military discount: Some auto insurers offer an instant discount for being in the military. For example, Geico reduces premiums up to 15 percent for service members. Similar discounts are also available from Farmers and Liberty Mutual.
  • Mileage discount: If you don’t use your vehicle often, you may pay less for driving fewer miles than average. USAA offers a mileage-based discount that varies depending on how much you drive. Geico’s usage-based DriveEasy program involves installing an app on your phone to track how far you drive, potentially earning discounts if it’s less than average.
  • On-base discount: In most states, USAA offers a unique discount that lets you save when you keep your vehicle in a garage on base. Theoretically, these garages offer better security than a residential street, so there’s a smaller chance of something happening to it.
  • Vehicle storage discount: Many insurers heavily reduce your premiums if your car is placed in storage for long periods – such as during deployment. USAA and Geico both offer this type of discount.
  • Bundles: You can often save money if you combine auto insurance with a homeowners or renters policy from the same company. This is one of the universal insurance discounts offered by most providers. USAA discounts up to 10 percent for bundled policies; Geico doesn’t give an exact number as percentages may vary by state.

Remember that just because you’re getting a discount doesn’t mean you have the best price. Always compare quotes from military-friendly insurance companies with other local competitors to make sure you’re not overpaying for coverage.

Home insurance coverage for active military and veterans

There are three primary types of home insurance coverage to be aware of if you’re in the military. The first is dwelling coverage, which covers your home’s structure if it is damaged or destroyed, as well as other structures coverage to financially protect you if detached structures on your property, like a separate garage, are damaged or destroyed. Personal property coverage is insurance for your home’s contents and any belongings you carry around with you daily. Finally, liability coverage financially protects you if a lawsuit were to be filed due to injuries or property damage you caused. These are part of most standard home insurance policies, but different coverage may be needed if you’re away from your home. Keep in mind that you may need vacant home insurance if you live away from your home for a long period or a dwelling fire policy if you relocate and rent your home out to others.

Many insurers offer reduced pricing or discounts to service members. USAA and Armed Forces Insurance offer competitive pricing exclusively to military families and veterans, and Geico’s military discount can be applied to home insurance premiums.

Home insurance while you are deployed

Before deploying, review your home insurance coverage to make sure everything will be taken care of while you’re away. Ask your home insurer if the belongings you take with you on deployment will still be eligible for personal property coverage; some policies have a war exclusion clause that would cause your claim to be denied. Your home insurance may also risk being canceled if your home is vacant, which is something you should talk over with your insurer. As noted above, many home insurance companies offer special insurance for homes in these situations.

Once you’ve made the necessary pre-deployment preparations, find a trusted financial decision-maker who can handle anything unexpected. This may be a family member, trusted friend or colleague who will remain on base while you’re away. Provide this person’s contact details to your home insurance company in case of an emergency.

Discounts to look for:

If you’re a military member looking for discounts on your home insurance, the following information may be valuable.

Home insurance discounts by company:

  • Liberty Mutual: Liberty Mutual’s exact discounts vary by state, but the company offers discounts to military members and veterans.
  • Farmers: If you’re a military member, veteran or in reserve, you may qualify for a home insurance discount.
  • Kemper Insurance: In addition to offering discounts to military members, Kemper Insurance offers home insurance discounts to junior and senior military academy cadets.

General home insurance discounts to look for:

  • Bundling: If you bundle your home and car insurance, you could qualify for a discount.
  • Smart home: If you have a smart home, you could save between 5 percent and 20 percent on your home insurance premium.
  • Claims-free: If you’ve never filed a claim or haven’t filed one within the last several years, you may qualify for a discounted rate on your homeowners insurance.
  • Loyalty: If you’ve been with your home insurance company for a certain amount of time, you may be able to get a discount on your premium.
  • Upgrades: If you add upgrades such as a new roof, you may get a homeowner insurance discount.
  • Monitoring: If you have an active fire alarm or security system that is monitored, you may earn a discount.

Life insurance coverage for active military and veterans

Life insurance for military members isn’t just for those with children — if you have a loved one you’d like to take care of or a charity you want to support, life insurance could provide some financial assistance if you were to pass away.

Anyone who’s tried to take out life insurance as an active duty military member knows firsthand how difficult it is to find the right coverage. Many standard life insurance policies include a war clause that prevents benefits from being paid if the policyholder is killed during combat. This effectively disqualifies many service members from civilian life insurance.

The good news is that service members automatically get life insurance upon enlistment and can retain coverage after leaving the military. But keep in mind that you aren’t limited to these policies. You can also supplement or replace service members’ and veterans’ life insurance with a policy from a company like USAA that understands military needs.

For active service members

Active duty military members can get low-cost life insurance through the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance program, or SGLI. In addition to standard coverage, SGLI also offers several extensions with injury-related benefits and coverage for your dependents.

  • Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI): Upon enlisting in the armed forces, you’ll automatically be signed up for the maximum of $400,000 in life insurance coverage through SGLI. Premiums are taken out of your base pay at a rate of six cents per $1,000 in coverage, which means you’ll pay $25 per month for a $400,000 policy. You can adjust or opt-out of coverage at any time. If you choose to keep your SGLI policy, name a beneficiary.
  • Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI): If you’re eligible for SGLI, you can enroll your spouse and dependent children in FSGLI. Spousal coverage has a maximum limit of $100,000; premiums are determined by age. Your children will get $10,000 in coverage free of charge until they are 18 or longer in certain circumstances.
  • Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance – Disability Extension (SGLI-DE): SGLI-DE is an extension you can apply for if you become totally disabled and leave the military while enrolled in SGLI coverage. If approved, you’ll keep your same SGLI coverage at no cost for two years following your date of separation.
  • Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI): Anyone with SGLI coverage will also get TSGLI, an extension that helps provide financial assistance to servicemembers and veterans who were severely injured.

For veterans

Once you leave active duty, you’ll only be covered by SGLI for a short time. At this point, you can elect to replace your coverage with Veterans’ Group Life Insurance, or VGLI. Like SGLI, there are several variants that you may want to take advantage of depending on your situation:

  • Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI): Former service members with SGLI coverage can keep their same benefits by changing over to VGLI up to a certain time. Premiums will increase and are calculated based on age.
  • Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI): If you were disabled while on duty and received a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant to make accessibility modifications to your home, you may be eligible for VMLI. This policy covers your remaining mortgage balance up to $200,000 and names your mortgage lender as the beneficiary if you pass away. Premiums are determined based on certain criteria, including your age and loan duration.
  • Service-Disabled Veterans’ Insurance (S-DVI): Veterans with a service-connected health condition who have received a disability rating from the VA can get up to $10,000 in life insurance through S-DVI coverage. Premiums are based on age, the amount of coverage elected and the insurance plan. If you’re totally disabled, you may be eligible to have these premiums waived. Note that there is a time limit; you’ll have to apply within two years of receiving your disability rating.
  • Supplemental Service-Disabled Veterans’ Insurance (Supplemental S-DVI): If you meet the eligibility requirements for S-DVI but are totally disabled, you’ll be able to apply for up to $30,000 in supplemental coverage. The application deadline is one year after your waiver for S-DVI premiums is approved. Unlike S-DVI coverage, however, you cannot apply to have supplemental S-DVI premiums waived.

The bottom line

Service members need to take special care when purchasing auto, home and life insurance as standard policies may not cover every aspect of military life, particularly when you’re away. Thankfully, there are many different discounts and special coverage options available exclusively to active duty members and veterans. These programs can help ease the burden of protecting your loved ones whether you’re at home or away serving your country.

Frequently asked questions

    • USAA and Geico are well-regarded for offering low prices and top-notch customer service. These companies offer unique insurance features to military members, as well as discounts for veterans. However, the best insurance company will vary for everyone based on what type of insurance you need and your personal characteristics and individual needs. Whether you’re looking for the cheapest car insurance companies, best home insurance companies or best life insurance companies, it may be helpful to compare quotes from multiple providers and talk with an independent insurance agent about your needs.
    • In general, car insurance works the same for military personnel as civilians, with a few other features and considerations. For instance, since military personnel often move around a lot, many states allow them to have car insurance and registration from their home state instead of wherever they are stationed. In addition, if you’re deployed, you’ll likely want to check with your car insurance provider to see what steps you can take and what deals may apply to you.