Best veterans and military car insurance of 2021

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Everyone wants the best car insurance for their needs and wallet. Luckily, if you’re an active duty, veteran or reserve member of the U.S. Military, you might be able to qualify for special military discounts on your car insurance premium.

If you’re associated with the U.S. Military, there are several auto insurers that may prove to offer the best coverage. USAA and Geico are some of the best car insurance companies available for military service members, according to Bankrate’s research. However, plenty of options exist. Bankrate identified the following top companies by thoroughly analyzing the latest average car insurance premiums, customer satisfaction, available military discounts and specialized coverage.

Cost of car insurance for military drivers

For veteran or military drivers shopping for car insurance, rating factors do not depend much on specific military status. Active-duty, retired and reserve military members all pay about the same for auto insurance, give or take a few dollars, according to rates from Quadrant Information Services. 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 annual minimum coverage premium Average annual full coverage premium
Active $514 $1,719
Active Reserve $513 $1,719
Inactive Reserve $513 $1,719
Pre-Commissioned Officer $513 $1,719
Retired $513 $1,719
Separated $509 $1,727

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. Interestingly, military drivers tend to pay more on average for full coverage annually when compared to the national full coverage average of $1,674 per year. However, civilian drivers pay more for minimum coverage on average than military drivers, at $565 per year. With several discounts available, it’s possible for military members and veterans to find cheaper rates by shopping around.

National average rates for military and non-military drivers

Minimum coverage Full coverage
Non-military (national average) $565 $1,674
Active military $514 $1,719

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 auto insurance, and even some of the best car insurance companies may not be the best fit for all drivers.

We found that some auto insurers provide better discounts, lifestyle support and policy coverage for the unpredictable nature of military life.

Best car insurance companies for military personnel and veterans

USAA

Specializing in products and services exclusively for retired and active-duty military personnel and their families, USAA auto insurance is a top option for anyone shopping for the best military auto insurance discounts and coverage. The company consistently receives some of the highest J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings and maintains some of the lowest average premiums.

Depending on the state you live in, USAA offers up to a 15% discount on optional comprehensive coverage for a car or truck garaged on a military base. If you are deployed, you could earn up to 60% off your car insurance while your car is in storage. The company offers additional discounts for safe driving and being a good student.

Although USAA generally offers affordable car insurance policies, specific rates vary by state, and a number of personal factors. If you are eligible for USAA discounts, you will save even more money. Note that to qualify for coverage, you will have to submit information about your military service history, which may cause a lengthier quote process if you do not have your documentation prepared.

Learn more: USAA Insurance review

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Geico

Geico doesn’t have the most robust policies, but its discounts are plentiful. Geico offers up to a 15% discount to veterans and military personnel. To qualify for Geico’s veterans auto insurance discounts, you need to be a member of one of the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA), Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) or 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. Among the many options, drivers could get a discount for having certain vehicle safety features, taking a defensive driving course, being a good driver, bundling policies and insuring more than one vehicle.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Other insurance companies that offer military discounts

Arbella

Arbella is a small auto insurer that is available for Massachusetts and Connecticut residents who are deployed more than 100 miles away from their vehicle. It offers a 10% discount for eligible active-duty military members.

Learn more: Arbella Insurance review

The General

The General offers auto insurance to everyone, regardless of their military status. However, the company offers a military discount to active-duty 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

Learn more: The General Insurance review

Armed Forces Insurance Exchange

Similar to USAA, Armed Forces Insurance Exchange (AFI) is a military-focused insurance company. Prices and services are very competitive between the two military auto insurance companies.

The main differences between AFI and USAA auto insurance are:

  • AFI has a financial rating of B+ (Good) while USAA has a rating of A++ (Superior) from global credit rating agency AM Best.
  • You can join USAA if you are active duty or retired military or if someone in your family is. AFI membership extends membership to include military service academies, ROTC, Officer Candidate School (OCS)/Officer Training School (OTS) candidates and active or retired Department of Defense.

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual is well known for offering a wide range of coverage options and discounts. Notably, the company offers a discount for active duty, retired or reserved members of the military. You may also qualify for another of the company’s plentiful discounts, such as the advanced safety features discount or the accident-free discount.

Learn more: Liberty Mutual Insurance review

Farmers

With an average annual premium of $1,124 for full coverage, Farmers is an affordable auto insurance provider that offers a variety of discounts. The company offers their Affinity discount to active duty military members, reserves and veterans. You may also qualify for one of the company’s many other discounts, such as multi-vehicle and loyalty.

Learn more: Farmers Insurance review

Canceling your car insurance for an upcoming deployment

If you are preparing for deployment, it’s important to make some changes to your car insurance policy. The best option may be 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 driver’s 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 could also qualify for a discount based on the number of miles you drive in a year. If you are a Geico customer, you can suspend or reduce your insurance coverage if you are deployed and store your car for more than 30 days.

How to reinstate your car insurance after deployment

Upon returning home from deployment, you will need to reinstate your auto insurance policy. Fortunately, this is a quick and easy process. Assuming you still have an active car insurance policy, simply contact your insurance professional 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 coverage types before you start driving. Keep in mind that you must reinstate your insurance before you hit the road if insurance is required in your state. 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 has some of the best active-duty military and veteran auto insurance discounts. Not only could you save considerably on your car insurance, but USAA rates high in customer satisfaction as well. However, it’s helpful to shop based on your needs, as another carrier may offer a better discount for a circumstance that applies to you, such as storing your vehicle while deployed.

How do I get my military discount on car insurance?

Depending on the insurance company, you usually need to be active duty or retired military, or a close family member of military personnel, such as a spouse or child, to qualify.

Are there other ways to save on your car insurance policy?

You can typically save more money on your 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 will likely need to submit a photo ID (driver’s license, state ID card or passport), as well as one or more of the following military documents:

  • DD-214
  • Discharge certificate
  • Leave and Earnings statement (LES)
  • Military orders if you are on active-duty
  • NGB-22
  • Academy appointment letter or ROTC contract

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 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 coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 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.

Written by
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth has two years of experience writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, The Simple Dollar, Coverage.com and NextAdvisor, among others. In addition to auto insurance, Elizabeth regularly writes about home insurance, renters insurance and life insurance. She also covers industry trends and general insurance education.
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Insurance Editor
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Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute