If you’ve served in the military, you and your family are eligible for special military car insurance discounts. USAA is typically the most recommended provider for active and retired military personnel, offering excellent pricing and top customer satisfaction ratings. In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, USAA received high customer satisfaction ratings in every region. However, several other providers are also great options for veterans and military drivers.
Geico is another major provider of military car insurance in the United States. Through Geico, active military members and those who go on emergency deployment are eligible for a discount. There are also several other insurers that offer military car insurance discounts:
- The General
- Armed Forces Insurance
Each military auto insurance company has their own guidelines and provides different veteran car insurance discounts. To evaluate these companies, we looked at coverage options, discounts, customer service ratings and average premiums for each provider.
Cost of car insurance for military drivers
For veteran or military drivers shopping for car insurance, rate factors do not depend much on your exact military status. Active-duty, retired, and reserve military members all pay about the same for car insurance, give or take a few dollars. Bankrate also found that rates are about the same for active and retired military, regardless of whether you choose minimum coverage or full coverage for your car insurance.
Average rates for military drivers by status
|Average minimum coverage premium||Average full coverage premium|
The average military premium for minimum coverage car insurance is less than $515 a year. If opting for full coverage, the average military driver will pay around $1,720 per year. Interesting to note, non-military drivers will actually pay slightly less for full coverage rates compared to military drivers. However, minimum coverage costs a bit more for non-military drivers.
National average rates for military and non-military drivers
|National average||Minimum coverage||Full coverage|
Military families have unique stressors and life impacts that are absent from a non-military family. That means military families also have special needs when it comes to their car insurance, and even some of the best car insurance companies may not be the best fit for all drivers.
We found that some car insurance companies provide better discounts, lifestyle support and policy coverage for the unpredictable nature of military life.
The best car insurance companies for military personnel and veterans
Specializing in products and services exclusively for retired and active-duty military personnel and their families, USAA auto insurance is the top value when you’re shopping for the best military auto insurance discounts. According to its website, members save an average of $707 per year when switching to USAA.
Depending on the state you live in, USAA offers up to a 15% discount on comprehensive coverage for a car or truck garaged on a military base. If you’re deployed, you’ll receive up to 60% off your car insurance while your car is in storage.
USAA offers additional discounts for safe driving, being a good student, insuring multiple vehicles, staying with the company for an extended period of time, bundling policies and taking an approved defensive driving course. If drivers have not had an at-fault accident in five years, they automatically get free accident forgiveness coverage on their policy.
Although USAA generally offers affordable car insurance policies, specific rates vary by state, and a number of personal factors. If you’re eligible for USAA discounts, you’ll save even more money. On its website, USAA explains how it calculates auto insurance rates.
In order to get a quote from USAA, you’ll need to verify your eligibility. Whether you apply online or over the phone, be prepared to submit information about your military service details. Your eligibility has to be verified before you can proceed with the quote process.
Besides being an affordable option for those eligible, USAA Auto Insurance earns top ratings for customer service and offers perks like flexible payment plans at no added cost.
Geico stands for Government Employees Insurance Company. Government employees or military and their families qualify for military auto insurance discounts. Geico offers up to a 15% discount to veterans and military personnel. Active duty military get an extra 15% off.
To qualify for Geico’s veterans car insurance discounts, you need to be a member of:
- Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA)
- Fleet Reserve Association (FRA)
- National Infantry Association (NIA)
Geico also offers military discounts for members of certain associations, including the Armed Forces Benefits Association (AFBA), Navy League of the United States (NLUS), Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) and American Society of Military Controllers (ASMC). If a customer is part of an emergency deployment to an imminent danger zone, they are eligible for a discount of up to 25%.
Aside from military discounts, Geico offers a variety of ways for customers to save money on their auto insurance premiums. Drivers can get a discount for having certain vehicle safety features, taking a defensive driving course, being a good driver, bundling policies, insuring more than one vehicle, being a good student and more.
To determine how much you’ll pay for Geico car insurance, you’ll have to get a personalized quote. However, Geico is known for its cheap rates for all types of drivers. Depending on where you live, a car insurance policy through Geico could be cheaper than USAA. In order to claim the military discount, be prepared to verify your military status with the correct documentation.
Other insurance companies that offer military discounts
Arbella is a small insurer that is available for Massachusetts and Connecticut residents who are deployed more than 100 miles away from their car. It offers a 10% discount for active-duty military.
The General Insurance is a subsidiary of PGC Holdings Corporation, that offers auto insurance to everyone, regardless of their military status. However, the company offers a military discount to active service members in Louisiana. And unlike the other providers on this list, The General is a great insurance option for people with poor credit scores or with a bad driving record.
Armed Forces Insurance
Similar to USAA auto insurance, Armed Forces Insurance is a military-focused insurance company. Prices and services are very competitive between the two military car insurance companies.
The main differences between AFI and USAA auto insurance are:
- AFI has a financial rating of B++ while USAA has a rating of A++ (Superior) from the global credit rating agency AM Best.
- You can join the USAA if you’re active duty or retired military or if someone in your family is. Former spouses are included. Academy, ROTC, OCS/OTS candidates are also eligible. AFI membership adds active or retired department of defense civilian employees or current and former commissioned officers of the NOAA or PHS as eligible.
Canceling your car insurance for an upcoming deployment
If you’re preparing for deployment, it’s important to make some changes to your car insurance policy. The best option is to pause your coverage, rather than cancel your policy altogether. Canceling your auto insurance causes a lapse in coverage, which has consequences, like higher rates and even license suspension.
If you have car insurance through USAA, you can save up to 60% on your insurance if you store your vehicle while deployed. You also qualify for a discount based on the number of miles you drive in a year. If you’re a Geico customer, you can suspend or reduce your insurance coverage if you’re deployed and store your car for more than 30 days.
How to reinstate your car insurance
Upon returning home from deployment, you’ll need to reinstate your car insurance policy. Fortunately, this is a quick and easy process. Assuming you still have an active car insurance policy, simply contact your provider and let them know that you would like to reinstate your coverage.
If you reduced your coverage to save money during deployment, consider increasing certain coverages before you start driving. Keep in mind that you must reinstate your insurance before you hit the road. Driving without insurance or proof of financial responsibility is illegal, and it comes with heavy consequences if you get caught.
Frequently asked questions
Which carrier has the best car insurance discounts for the military?
USAA auto insurance has the best military and veteran automobile insurance discounts. Not only could you save considerably on your car insurance, but USAA rates high in customer satisfaction as well.
What factors will impact my monthly car insurance premium?
Your monthly or annual premium is dependent on your age, location, credit score, driving history, type of car and marital status. These factors apply to both military and non-military auto insurance.
How do I get my military discount on car insurance?
Depending on the insurance company, you need to be active duty or retired military, or a close family member of military personnel such as spouse or child, to qualify.
Who is eligible for USAA insurance?
Here is who’s eligible for USAA car insurance, according to the USAA website:
- Active duty, guard, reserved, retired and honorably discharged officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military
- Contracted cadets, midshipman or officer candidates in commissioning programs (Academy, ROTC, OCS/OTS)
- Adult children (18+) of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy
- Spouses, former spouses, widows and widowers of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy
Are there other ways to save on your car insurance policy?
Yes. Both USAA and Geico offer additional discounts unrelated to military involvement. You can save more money on your monthly premiums by insuring a new vehicle, insuring multiple vehicles, bundling your insurance policies, being a good driver or student, taking a defensive driving course and more. Most insurance providers have a list of the discounts they offer on their website.
What proof can I use to show I’m eligible for military auto insurance?
The verification process is different for every insurance company, but you’ll likely need to submit a photo ID (driver’s license, state ID card or passport), as well as one of the following military documents:
- Discharge certificate
- Leaving and earning statement (LES)
- Military orders if you’re on active-duty
- Academy appointment letter or ROTC contract
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. 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 coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
Rates were also compared with military statuses applied, for the sake of comparison. These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.
Rates are determined based on 2021 Quadrant Information Services data.