If you’re an active member of the military or a veteran, you and your family might qualify for some of the best car insurance rates in the United States.
But that doesn’t mean you should go with the first car insurance quote you see.
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What is the best insurance company for military families and veterans?
Since USAA specializes in military insurance, its unique policies, prices, and military-geared discounts are hard to beat.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider other insurers altogether.
In particular, GEICO offers a military discount that may actually come in at a lower price point than a policy with USAA if you are a retired veteran.
Here are the nitty-gritty details of the top contenders for military car insurance:
USAA exclusively serves military members so they understand the ins and outs of the military lifestyle, from unexpected deployments to PCS and TDY.
The company’s low yearly rates—whether deployed or at home—make it the cheapest car insurance for military members. It’s far more affordable for service members to get car insurance with USAA than with virtually any other company.
Additionally, USAA has excellent customer service and high satisfaction ratings. Although they don’t have very many in-person locations, they make it easy to speak with a representative by phone and suspend or reinstate your auto policy on short notice.
Remember, your USAA rate applies all the time, not only when you or the service member is deployed or living on a military base.
GEICO offers the best military car insurance options for a company that doesn’t exclusively cater to military members.
GEICO offers a 15% annual discount for military members of any status and a 25% discount for vehicle storage. However, vehicle storage discounts only apply if the deployment is to an “imminent danger pay” area.
If you’re retired and don’t need this type of discount, then GEICO car insurance might work for you.
Remember, your individual premium will depend upon your personal driving record, age, and location. Don’t stop looking for cheap car insurance just because you are already receiving a military discount.
USAA: Cheapest military car insurance
USAA is the cheapest car insurance option for most families across the board. Its annual rate beats out competitors like Allstate and State Farm by hundreds of dollars. USAA’s rates are especially good for younger and older drivers who have an accident on their record. In fact, they pay approximately 29% below average for their car insurance premiums.
If you are an unmarried 35-year-old on deployment and your vehicle is in storage, you could pay USAA as little as $250 per year for coverage. If you are home and driving actively, you could pay just $635 per year.
USAA is the only company that offers a discounted premium for storing your vehicle on a military base. Plus, USAA will give you nearly 60% off your annual premium if you’re deployed, versus only 25% if you have GEICO insurance.
Here are some examples of cost comparisons between USAA and its top competitors:
GEICO vs. USAA
GEICO offers good rates with a 15% discount for retired or active duty service members, but it’s still a bit more expensive than USAA. Texas policyholders might pay around $643 per year for GEICO, but you could get a similar policy from USAA for $496 per year. GEICO received a lower percentage of customer complaints than USAA, but it scored lower on overall customer satisfaction.
Allstate vs. USAA
No matter your driving profile, you’ll pay more for Allstate’s coverage than USAA’s. For example, a single person in their 30s living in Delaware could expect to pay a whopping $2,918 per year for Allstate. With USAA, that rate drops to $953.
State Farm vs. USAA
There are rare driver profiles where State Farm triumphs over USAA. But generally speaking, State Farm’s rates are way higher than USAA’s. State Farm customers in Kansas pay $1,302 annually for coverage, whereas USAA customers in Kansas pay only $678.
Progressive vs. USAA
Single drivers will pay slightly more for a Progressive policy than one from USAA. However, multi-driver households might find more affordable rates with Progressive. A family of three will pay about $3,870 per year for Progressive coverage versus $4,736 for a comparable policy from USAA.
Arbella vs. USAA
Arbella is a small company that offers a 10% discount to Massachusetts customers who are deployed more than 100 miles from their vehicle. If you live outside of MA, you aren’t eligible for auto insurance with Arbella.
Esurance vs. USAA
Esurance does not offer a military discount, but the company does make another valuable promise to service members.
Military members can cancel and reinstate their Esurance auto policy at any time without it being considered a lapse. This is important because service members are particularly vulnerable to rate increases if they let coverage lapse during deployment.
USAA’s special discounts
USAA offers many classic discounts, such as defensive driver discounts, student discounts, and low mileage discounts. However, they also offer a few special discounts unique to USAA:
Storing Your Vehicle
USAA offers up to 60% off your annual premium if you store your vehicle while deployed (excluding California, Hawaii, North Carolina, and Virginia). Even better, you can access the “Military Installation” discount and save up to 15% off comprehensive coverage if your vehicle is stored on a military base (except in New York State). This is exclusive to USAA.
Driving Research Discount
USAA will give you a 5% discount in exchange for installing a small device in your vehicle that gathers research on driving habits.
Taking a Vehicle Overseas
If you plan to drive internationally, or take your vehicle along to PCS abroad, USAA can help you navigate this process.
Children Get a Discount
Children of USAA members get a 10% discount on their insurance policies.
USAA also has industry-leading customer satisfaction ratings
USAA got a perfect 5/5 score on a J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey, and top ratings from A.M. Best (A++) and Standard & Poor’s (AA+).
The company was ranked “among the best” in the following categories:
- Call Center Representative
- Policy Offerings
- Insurer Website
- Repair Process
- Overall Satisfaction
A majority of customers appreciate how easy it is to file a claim with USAA and use their website. Policyholders also reported high satisfaction with the settlement amounts and other perks provided by USAA.
GEICO: Best military car insurance discount
Among companies that offer a discount for military car insurance, GEICO offers the best rates if you are not deployed or if you are retired.
You can get 15% off your GEICO premium if you are in the military or a veteran. GEICO offers an emergency deployment discount, but it’s not as high as USAA’s—only 25% off your premium.
Plus, you only qualify if you are deployed to an “imminent danger pay” area.
That being said, GEICO has some major perks for military members and veterans.
The perks of choosing GEICO for military car insurance
Fewer customer complaints than USAA
GEICO works very hard to accommodate the needs of service members. The company receives fewer complaints than USAA, even though its benefits are not as extensive.
GEICO’s military center is staffed by veterans
When you reach out to GEICO’s Military Center, you will be connected with a veteran that will be uniquely equipped to handle your military-member specific insurance needs.
Supports other service members
GEICO donates to TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. TAPS is a nonprofit that employs and serves people who have lost a loved one on active duty.
If you want an insurance company that gives back to service members, GEICO stands out.
Helps keep the lines open between deployed service members and their families
GEICO understands how difficult it is to stay in touch with family members back home. So, the company works with the Red Cross to provide families with a secure phone line that will immediately alert deployed members if there’s a family emergency or birth.
Unique considerations for military members
Military members have to navigate unique car insurance considerations that the average driver doesn’t. Here are a few to keep in mind:
Preventing a policy lapse
Even if you won’t be driving, it’s still important to keep your policy active. If you don’t, the lapse in coverage could cause insurance companies to label you a high-risk driver and increase your premiums.
Avoiding overpaying during deployment
You also need to make sure you’re not overpaying for coverage while away. USAA’s Storage Protection Plan lets you maintain coverage at a reduced rate while your vehicle is in storage.
Military members are able to suspend or reinstate coverage as needed.
Deployments and PCS can happen at any time. It’s very helpful to have a flexible and understanding insurance company to support you and your family’s needs when the call comes.
Securing international coverage
Finally, service members may require international coverage if they plan to drive while abroad.
If you’re a military member that needs to rent a car or ship an existing vehicle internationally, make sure to select an insurance company that can help you with registration, paperwork, and other concerns related to international driving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have to pay for car insurance when I’m deployed?
If your car insurance coverage lapses, insurance companies could label you a high-risk driver and increase your premiums, even if you’re deployed.
USAA allows you to pay a significantly reduced premium during deployment so you are not at risk of an insurance lapse.
What are some other insurance companies that offer military discounts?
In addition to GEICO and USAA, you can get a discount on military car insurance with these car insurance companies: Arbella (only in MA), the General (only in LA), Armed Forces Insurance, Farmers, Direct General, Esurance, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, and Progressive.
Finding the cheapest military car insurance
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