Personal Finance Expert
Tyron Jones is a finance expert who has operated within the auto insurance business for more than 10 years. He has written many other finance related articles for a number of prominent publications.
Everyone knows that military servicemembers face unique challenges in their day to day lives. However, many people don’t think about the difficulties that come from being in the military and needing car insurance. After all, it’s not practical to sell your car or to cancel your insurance and registration whenever you’re deployed.
Thankfully, the insurance industry offers specialized products for members of the military. This article will cover everything you need to know about military insurance and how it works. We’ll explain what military car insurance is, what makes it different from civilian car insurance, explain what you need to understand about car insurance after you join the military, go over discounted rates for military members and finally we’ll cover the best military car insurance options. Use the information in this article to make an informed decision about what the best car insurance is for your needs and to get the best deal possible.
What is Military Car Insurance?
There’s a wide variety of insurance products described as military car insurance. There are some insurance companies like USAA that only provide coverage to military members and their families. Other companies offer specialized products for servicemembers. Whichever option you choose, it’s important that you carefully evaluate all of your options. Failure to do so could result in you paying much more than you need to for car insurance.
What Makes Military Car Insurance Different?
The biggest thing that makes military car insurance different from standard or civilian car insurance is that military members can be deployed to other parts of the world. Deployment could lead to you being sent to another state or even another country.
This is important because deployment can last a long time. That means you’ll be away from your car for a while. One of the most common solutions to this is to place your car into storage while you’re deployed. However, it’s no good to pay full price for car insurance while your car is in storage.
This situation can create a win-win for both you and the insurance company. Military insurance allows you to change your coverage to storage coverage. We’ll go over the details of storage coverage shortly. However, it’s important to know that switching your insurance status to storage coverage can cut almost 90% off your premium, making it a win for you. It’s also a win for the insurance company because there’s almost no chance they’ll need to pay out on a claim while your vehicle is securely stored. That’s why they’re happy to cut your rate.
Understanding Car Insurance After You Join the Military
There are a few things that you need to keep in mind and watch out for when you’re in the military and shopping for car insurance. This section covers two of the biggest items.
The first thing you need to understand is how storage works. When you’re deployed you can’t bring your car with you. That means you’ll need to do something with it. The most common solution is storage. However, it’s no good to be paying regular car insurance rates while your car is in storage. That’s basically giving free money to your insurance company.
However, military car insurance comes with the option to use storage coverage. The way storage coverage works is pretty simple. You lose all coverage except the comprehensive coverage that protects your car if it’s vandalized, stolen, or somehow damaged while it’s stored.
This results in a couple of different benefits. The first and most important benefit of storage coverage is that it dramatically lowers your premium. You can see discounts of as much as 90%. The second benefit is that you still get continuous coverage discounts. That’s because your car is considered to be covered while you have storage coverage. As a result, there’s no lapse in your insurance policy.
The other consideration you need to take into account when you store your vehicle is registration. Insurance companies commonly recommend you file an affidavit of non-use with your state’s DMV. This allows you to keep your registration on a vehicle you’re not currently using and that isn’t currently insured for liability coverage. You’ll need to demonstrate to the DMV that your vehicle is securely stored to get this benefit, but that’s something you’ll need to do to transition your coverage to storage coverage anyway, so you’ll already have all of the paperwork you need.
Discounted Rates for Military Members
Car insurance companies use your profession to help set your rates. The good news is that military members see the biggest discount out of any other profession. The bad news is that this discount is only about 2% less than other professions.
However, this analysis only looks at the basic insurance price calculated using your profession. It doesn’t include other discounts that many companies offer for people in the military. We’ll cover some of the best discounts and programs for military members in the next section when we talk about specific insurance companies.
Best Military Car Insurance Options
Now that you understand what makes military car insurance different, you’ll want to know the best companies to use for military car insurance. This section will provide a brief review of some of the biggest and most popular military car insurance companies. We’ll look at the discounts they give as well as any other perks or benefits offered.
USAA is one of, if not the, most popular car insurance providers for members of the armed services. The company exclusively serves current and former military members and their families. They also work with adult children and surviving spouses of USAA members. The company rates second overall in terms of customer satisfaction according to the 2017 JD Power Insurance Shopping Rating Survey.
Another benefit of USAA is that they’re available nationwide. That means you can access their insurance no matter what state you’re stationed in. USAA also has some of the best discount structures for military servicemembers. For example, if you garage your vehicle on a secure military base you get an automatic 15% deduction to your premium. You can also receive up to 90% off your rate if you’re deployed and you choose to store your vehicle in a secured location. That means you could be paying as little as $250 per year during deployment.
Geico is another great option for military members and their families. Most people don’t know that Geico was originally formed to work exclusively with government employees. They’ve broadened to the public market since then, but they do have a lot of experience when it comes to helping people who work for the government.
You’ll find many of the same discounts at Geico as you’ll find at the other insurance company options. They offer storage coverage, giving you up to 75% off the cost of your premium. Geico also gives the biggest career discount to military personnel. That means you can expect a lower rate than most people pay with the company.
There are other benefits with Geico as well. You’ll get a customized military ID card, worldwide coverage, and a discount of up to 15% for your military service. Geico also offers emergency service discounts and discounts for people in certain military-related organizations.
State Farm is the largest auto insurance company in the US with 18.14% of the market. Military members and members of the public alike enjoy how easy it is to file a claim with State Farm. Unfortunately, State Farm does not offer a universal military discount. However, State Farm does offer a military discount on a state-to-state basis. For example, military servicemembers stationed in Louisiana are eligible for a service discount.
There are lots of other discounts that military members can take advantage of at State Farm though. They offer discounts for things like driver training courses, defensive driving classes, good grades, and more.
There are also discounts you can qualify for based on your car. These include a Vehicle Safety discount for cars model year 1994 and newer. They also offer a passive restrain discount for cars that are older than 1994. Vehicles that are equipped with an anti-theft device get an additional discount.
Progressive is also an extremely popular car insurance company. Like State Farm, they offer military discounts on a state to state basis. These discounts can range up to 15%. However, there’s no standard military discount for members with Progressive.
The company does have several other discount programs you can take advantage of while in the military. You can get vehicle discounts depending on the different safety features in your car. Things like passive restraints or other safety features can wind up saving you a pretty penny on your car insurance.
There are more ways to save money on your car insurance with Progressive. One of the things that their customers like best is the safe driving program they offer. The program is called Snapshot. It uses a device to track how you drive. The safer you drive, the better the savings you’ll get on your car insurance. If you combine this discount with things like a defensive driving course or other discounts, you can get an incredibly low rate from Progressive.
Like many other auto insurance providers, Liberty Mutual offers military discounts on a state-by-state basis. The company has been one of the most trusted names in the insurance industry for decades. One of the best ways for military members to save using Liberty Mutual is to bundle other insurance options with their car insurance. That’s easy to do at Liberty Mutual because they have so many insurance products.
Another way for military members to take advantage of savings opportunities is to look for other Liberty Mutual discount programs you can qualify for. While Liberty Mutual does have vehicle-based discounts, the greatest amount of savings comes from taking advantage of things like driver training classes.
Driver training classes, good grade discounts, and bundling discounts can be combined to produce a surprisingly low rate for car insurance for many military members. If you have a lot of different possessions you want to insure, then Liberty Mutual can be a great choice for you.
Nationwide does not offer a universal military discount. However, you are still able to get discounts for being in the military on a state-to-state or even an agency-to-agency basis. That means you should be sure to check with your local Nationwide agents to see what kind of discounts apply to your specific situation.
Nationwide is one of the number one insurance companies in the country when it comes to customer service. Most of the customers say they plan to renew their policy when asked in a recent survey. Another thing that can benefit members of the military is the different discount programs the company offers.
Nationwide has a safe driving program. They also offer things like accident forgiveness after a certain number of years with accident free driving. You can also get discounts for things like driver training classes, good grades, safe car, and more.
Esurance isn’t a common choice for military members and their families. However, they are a common choice for military members that have a less than perfect driving record or people with a low credit score. That means they’re a good option for some people.
You don’t get a universal military discount with Esurance, but you can get a discount on a state-by-state basis. You can also qualify for several other discount programs that Esurance offers. They have a safe driver program that checks how you drive. You plug a device into your car and Esurance tracks how hard you brake, accelerate, turn, and so on. The safer you drive, the better the discount you can get.
You can also improve your discount by combining the safe driving program with things like driver training classes. This combination is particularly effective, as the classes teach you how to drive safer, improving your safe driving discount while at the same time getting a discount just for passing the class.
General Military Car Insurance Questions
This section covers general questions about car insurance when you’re in the military.
How to apply military car insurance?
The best way to apply for military car insurance is to find an insurer like USAA or Geico that offers a military discount. Related: What if I can't afford car insurance?
What to do about car insurance when joining the military?
You should let your car insurance company know you’re joining the military and see what their options are for storage coverage.
What kind of auto insurance should you get if in the military?
You should get an auto insurance that offers storage coverage. That way you don’t pay full price for insurance when you’re on deployment. Related: Compare liability auto insurance quotes.
Who has the cheapest car insurance for military?
USAA has the best discounts and rates for military members. This does not mean you can't find the least expensive auto insurance with another company depending on a variety of factors and special deals being offered.
How does an active military on base get car insurance?
You can get auto insurance just like anyone else. We recommend USAA, as you’ll get a discount for storing your car on base.
What the best car insurance for young veteran?
USAA generally has the best rates for veterans, and they offer substantial discounts you can take advantage of. This may include car insurance for bad driving record.
How does car insurance work for military?
Car insurance in the military works very similar to when you’re not in the military. The main difference is that you want a storage coverage option so you don’t have to pay full price when you’re deployed. Also remember that leasing car insurance requirements may require higher coverages.
What is military auto insurance?
Military auto insurance is a specialized insurance product that takes into account the difficulties that military members face when it comes to insurance. Related: What is the best used auto insurance?
Do I have to have insurance when car stored by the military?
It’s a good idea to have your car insured when it’s stored by the military so you don’t lose continuous coverage on your vehicle.
What information needed to get into auto insurance for military?
You’ll need to standard information to get car insurance. That includes your drivers license number, VIN for your car, make, model and year, and similar information.
What to look for when choosing car insurance if you're in the military?
When you’re looking for car insurance while in the military you should look for discounts for military members. USAA and Geico are good choices.
Military Relative Car Insurance Questions
We’ll answer questions about car insurance for military relatives in this section.
What happens to my auto insurance when my son joins military?
Nothing. Military-specific insurance doesn’t offer products to the parents of military service members. The best way to lower car insurance in your case is to regularly comparison shop to make sure you're not currently overpaying.
How to prove my father was in military to qualify for USAA car insurance?
You’ll need to contact USAA to see what kind of documentation they accept as proof of your father’s service.
How to get better car insurance if your child is in the military?
Your child being in the military doesn’t affect your car insurance rate in any way. Related: What is the difference between liability vs full coverage cost?
Military Car Insurance and Discounts
This section covers common questions people have about military insurance discounts.
What car insurance companies offer military discounts?
USAA and Geico are the two main insurance companies that offer military discounts. There may be other smaller car insurance providers that do the same thing though.
How much is military car insurance discount?
It depends on several factors. Generally, you can get as much as 50% off your insurance. This is why you want to compare a number of companies when you shop car insurance online or locally.
How much do military personnel pay for car insurance?
The rate military personnel pay for car insurance depends on the state where they’re stationed and their individual driving record. Related: Why did my car insurance go up?
Location and Military Car Insurance
We’ll answer questions about your location for car insurance when you’re in the military in this section.
When getting a car insurance quote what zip code do I use if in military?
You should use the zip code of the base where you’re stationed for your car insurance. If you're low on funds check out car insurance now pay later options if they're offered in your area.
How to determine where to insurance car while on active military duty?
You’ll insure your car where you’re stationed. You should use a US base zip code. Using a car insurance comparison tool can make the process a bit easier.
What state should a Florida military resident get auto insurance?
You should get auto insurance from Florida if you’re stationed there. Take a look at the least expensive car insurance options we found in Florida.
If I live in Florida but park my car on a military base in North Carolina how does insurance work?
You’ll need to get insurance from the state where you’re registered in order to be properly insured.
Do I have to change my car insurance address when I’m in the military?
Yes, you should change your address to whatever state you’re based in.
Active duty military getting car insurance what address do I use as physical address?
You should use the address of your home base for your physical address when getting car insurance.
Where can military members get SR22 insurance nearby?
Military members get insurance the same way anyone else does. Depending on where you are stationed just go a local search. In fact I just searched for cheap sr22 insurance near me and there were plenty of options. We talk about the best car insurance for high risk drivers in another more in depth article.
Get cheap car insurance in your location
Other Military Insurance Questions
This section covers questions that don’t fit into our other categories. Check here if you can’t find your question elsewhere.
Why can't people in the military buy gap insurance on their car?
Changes to the Military Lending Act make it impossible for most insurers to offer gap insurance on vehicles.
How much is car insurance for 18-year-old military boy?
The price for car insurance depends on your personal driving record and the type of car you drive, as well as where you live and other factors.
Do you pay car insurance when you go to basic military training?
You should. This will ensure your car has continuous coverage, which is important for getting the best deal.
I’m in military what can I decline in auto insurance?
You can’t decline anything from your auto insurance for being in the military. You’ll still need to meet your state’s minimum legal limits for coverage.
What car insurance do the military use?
The military doesn’t use any insurance company. Individual members can choose which insurance company they use.
What are car and home insurance prices when in the military?
The price for car and home insurance when you’re in the military depend on lots of factors. You’ll need to talk to an agent to get specific information about your situation.
What type of car insurance benefits comes for military servicemen and their spouses?
It depends on the company. USAA and Geico offer discounts for military servicemembers and their spouses, but some companies don’t.
What is the military car insurance called?
Military car insurance is called car insurance. You should look for insurance companies that offer a military discount.
What are ways military can save on car insurance when deployed?
You can save on coverage when deployed by putting your car in storage and notifying your insurance company that you want storage coverage.
Can I suspend my insurance on a car lease when I’m away for military?
You can’t suspend your insurance, but you can put your car into storage and get storage coverage to save money on your insurance while you’re away.