Finding a car insurance plan that offers the level of coverage you need for a price that’s within your budget can take some time. This is especially true for military members searching for car insurance, as they may have some special circumstances that need to be taken into account when choosing a plan. Read on to learn more about military car insurance.
What To Know About Military Car Insurance
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One of the benefits of being a member of the military is that you can save some money on your car insurance bills. Many car insurance companies offer discounts for active, veteran, and reserve military members. Some companies — such as USAA — only sell insurance policies to members of the military and their families, often for more affordable rates than other companies.
You should keep in mind any special circumstances you might have due to your military status when you’re shopping for military car insurance. For example, if you’re storing your vehicle during your deployment or shipping your car overseas, some insurance companies can pause your insurance or provide a discount. Keep your own special circumstances in mind and ask insurance agents if they offer some sort of assistance to help curb any extra costs.
Military members should take advantage of discounts if they want to get the lowest rates for car insurance. However, these members should also be looking for other non-military discounts as well. Depending on which insurance company they choose, drivers may get discounts for being accident-free for certain lengths of time, being a low-mileage driver, taking a defensive driving course, and even getting good grades in school. As you shop for your military car insurance, be sure to inquire about any discounts you might be eligible for.
How To Shop for Military Car Insurance
Many aspects of a driver’s life are factored in when an insurance company decides how much to charge the driver for their premium. Generally, your status as a military member — whether veteran, active, or reserve — does not have much effect on your premium. The aspects that bear more weight when an insurance company decides what they’re going to quote you include, but are not limited to:
- Credit history
- Vehicle year, make, and model
- Driving history
With all these factors at play, it can be difficult to offer a one-size-fits-all insurance plan for service members. One of the best ways to get the most affordable rate is to get quotes from multiple car insurance companies. With multiple quotes, you can find what range of prices are available to you and your particular situations and needs.
Be sure to compare not only the quoted price of different car insurance plans but also any differences in the benefits offered. One plan may charge you less per year for car insurance but offer fewer benefits you might be looking for. Think about what you need from your military car insurance plan and know what you are willing to pay for your coverage before you start shopping.
Though car insurance companies look at your credit score to decide what your quote will look like, they are only performing soft inquiries. This means that you can get as many car insurance quotes as you want without worrying about affecting your credit score.
Before you start shopping for military car insurance, you should have a general idea of what type of coverage you’re looking for. Most states require a minimum liability insurance, which covers other people and their property when you’re involved in a collision. This is generally the least expensive type of insurance, but it’s risky to purchase only this type of coverage. If you only have minimum liability insurance, you won’t have coverage if your own vehicle is totaled.
If you want more protection, look for comprehensive and collision insurance. Drivers who want to protect their property from environmental factors like fire, hitting an animal, hail, and other damage not caused by a vehicular collision should opt for comprehensive coverage. Collision insurance, on the other hand, is what it sounds like: It covers the damage done to your vehicle and any injuries suffered by you and your passengers in the event of a collision.
If you have all three types of car insurance — liability, comprehensive, and collision — you have what is known as full-coverage insurance. This collection of insurance plans can protect you in a wider range of situations but has the highest annual costs.
Who Has the Cheapest Military Car Insurance?
As we mentioned, there is no one-size-fits-all insurance plan for military members and veterans, but USAA typically offers the best packages for our nation’s service members.
If you’re in the military, you’re probably already aware of USAA insurance. USAA only offers insurance to those affiliated with the military. On average, USAA offers the most affordable car insurance rates for veteran, active, and reserve military members. However, premium costs can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors, so make sure you’re still getting quotes from other companies before accepting USAA’s rates.
According to ValuePenguin, USAA’s average annual premium is $1,053. GEICO and State Farm follow closely behind, and all three are below the national average of $1,500 per year. These average rates drop substantially if you choose a minimum liability coverage plan. USAA is also highly and positively reviewed for its customer service.
Most immediate family members of service men and women are eligible for USAA insurance. Biological children and step-children are always able to get coverage. Spouses, widows, widowers, and divorcees are also eligible if the military member signed up for USAA before or during the marriage and the partner hasn’t remarried.
If you’re paying for home insurance or insurance on another vehicle, you could potentially save some money by bundling your policies, whether you purchase a policy through USAA or another insurance company. Many insurance companies incentivize their customers to rely on them for all of their insurance needs by offering lower rates to customers who purchase multiple policies.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.