Best veterans and military car insurance of 2021

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If you have served in a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, you and your family are eligible for special military auto 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 auto insurers are also great options for veterans and military drivers.

Geico is another major provider of military car insurance in the U.S. 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:

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 specific military status. Active-duty, retired and reserve military members all pay about the same for auto 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
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. 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
Non-military $565 $1,674
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.

The 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 the top value when you are shopping for the best military auto insurance discounts. According to its website, members save an average of $725 per year when switching to USAA.

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 will 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 are eligible for USAA discounts, you will 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 history. 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.

Learn more: USAA Insurance review

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Geico

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 auto insurance discounts, you need to be a member of one of these three organizations:

  • 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 auto insurance, you will 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.

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 active-duty military.

Learn more: Arbella Insurance review

The General

The General Automotive Insurance Services Inc. — a subsidiary of PGC Holdings Corp. — 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 the USAA if you are 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.

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 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 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 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

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 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 has 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.

What factors will impact my monthly car insurance premium?

Your monthly or annual premium is dependent on more than a dozen rating factors — according to the Insurance Information Institute — including your age, geographic location, credit history, motor vehicle record, type of vehicle, occupation, miles driven per year 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 is eligible for USAA auto insurance, according to the company’s 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 either have or previously had a USAA auto or property insurance policy
  • Spouses, former spouses, widows and widowers of USAA members who either have or previously had a USAA auto or property insurance policy

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

Both USAA and Geico offer additional discounts unrelated to military involvement. You can 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 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 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 status 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.

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.
Edited by
Insurance Editor
Reviewed by
Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute