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What car insurance benefits are available to military personnel?


Car insurance coverage for military personnel can vary by company and type of coverage. Some companies, like usaa, cater solely to military personnel and their families. More broadly, other companies will simply offer you a discount for your service. Either way, if you’re a military member, you should consider the wide range of auto insurance options that are specifically designed for you.


Auto insurance discounts for veterans and military personnel — table of contents:



Car insurance rates by military branch


Members of each branch of the United States military may receive different discounts and benefits from car insurance companies.

Learn more about specific discounts by military branch via the below links:



Why do car insurance companies offer military discounts?


The nature of deployment

In addition to car insurance companies wanting to serve those who have served their country via military service, the circumstances surrounding military members and their driving habits present unique insurance considerations. During extended deployments, the lengthy period of time during which a driver might not use a car may result in the long-term storage of the vehicle or the suspension or cancellation of coverage.

With an insurance company that offers military service discounts and terms, any necessary policy changes can be fairly straightforward.



Car insurance after joining the military: 



If you're deployed and unsure about how to handle your car insurance policy, consider storage coverage. Car storage insurance removes all coverage except your comprehensive coverage which would protect your vehicle in the event it's vandalized, stolen, or damaged by weather.

Here are the benefits of storage coverage:

  • Lowered premium: storage coverage can lower your premium by as much as 90%.
  • Continuous coverage: because you technically still have car insurance, you avoid having a lapse or gap in your insurance policy.

The exact requirements and savings for storage options vary by insurers, so if you’re planning on putting your vehicle into storage for a reduction of coverage, you should speak with your local agent for details. The other consideration for storage coverage has to do with your registration, which we will explain below.



If you are going to store your vehicle long-term, you should also consider the registration implications. Most insurance companies will recommend filing an affidavit of non-use with your state department of motor vehicles. This affidavit allows you to maintain registration on a vehicle that is both not in use and not currently insured for liability coverage. Like your insurance company, the DMV will require you to securely store this vehicle in order for you to qualify for the affidavit. Check with your state DMV department for details.



Car insurance discounts for members of the military

If you are an active duty service member or veteran, you may qualify for special military auto insurance discounts. Special discounts apply to military families from many carriers. Also, you may benefit from general discounts offered to all drivers. Things such as bundling home and auto policies, having a good credit score, and keeping a clean driving record could help you find additional savings. Below you'll find a rundown of common car insurance discounts for U.S. military members and veterans. 


Discounted insurance rates for military personnel

In our 2017 analysis of the State of Insurance, we discovered that out of every occupation, military members receive the biggest discount — but not by much. On average, those in the military pay 2% less than other professions. This doesn't include military-specific discounts, however. This is simply using your profession as a rating factor.

For special discounts tied specifically to your status in the military, have a look at the average premiums that service men and women may encounter below.


Company 6-month premium (military) 6-month premium (other occupation)
Allstate $766 $787
Farmers $667 $679
Nationwide $623 $643
Progressive $701 $728
State Farm $707 $748
USAA $713 $740



Where to buy car insurance for military personnel

There are a lot of insurance companies that offer special accommodations for military members and their families. Some have programs built entirely around past and present military members, and others that recognize drivers' military status and reward these customers with discounted insurance rates.



The most notable provider of car insurance for military members is USAA. The company's clientele is comprised of active duty or retired military members (as well as adult children or surviving spouses of USAA members). USAA ranks highly for customer satisfaction, coming in first in customer satisfaction in JD Power's most recent industry study. Available nationwide, USAA offers a few types of discounts. If you garage your vehicle on a secured military base, USAA offers 15% off insurance premiums. Moreover, if you’re currently deployed and you store your vehicle in a secured location, you can receive up to 90% off your rate.



While GEICO was originally created as an insurer for government employees, it offers discounts for military service members through the company's Military Center. GEICO groups active, retired, and National Guard or Reserve members into a general umbrella of military personnel as well as an accompanying discount of up to 15%. GEICO offers more options through its Emergency Deployment Discount when members are deployed.


Other companies with military discounts



Car insurance coverage for veterans


A number of car insurance discounts for veterans become available after your military service is complete. Let’s explore the ins and outs of car insurance for veterans and assess company-specific rates to see how much you could save after you serve.


How is car insurance different for veterans?

The primary way in which car insurance changes for military veterans is the availability of discounts. As a veteran, you and your family may earn eligibility for discounted premiums. While the amount of these discounts may vary by state and provider, you can expect to save between 3% and 7% for your service.

Another car insurance benefit for veterans occurs upon cancellation of current coverage. Although standard car insurance pricing practices stipulate an insurer could charge a driver for a lapse in coverage that might occur during military deployment, many insurance companies will make an exception for veterans or active-duty military personnel. If you can show proof-of-deployment for the period during which your car insurance lapsed, you could receive preferential rates. You’ll most likely need to show proof of your military affiliation to receive any military or veteran car insurance discounts. You should expect to show evidence of deployment, corresponding with any lapse in coverage.


What are the best car insurance companies for veterans?

It’s important to consider the big picture when shopping for insurance. Even though an insurer might offer the best veteran discounts, you should evaluate the policy and its overall price against similar options. If a company offers a 15% discount but its overall premium is still higher than another company's rate, you should consider the cheaper option.

Because car insurance is priced based on your personal driving history and profile, it's important to shop around often and explore as many insurance companies as possible — even those not catering to military personnel or veterans specifically.


Military car insurance discounts: how to save


If you're an active-duty military member, you should search for the wide range of products that are available and cater specifically to you. The nature of your deployment in terms of storage and registration predicaments can complicate your policy. It is your company's job to help guide you through these cumbersome details.

But, you should consider that even if your auto insurance premium reflects a military discount, you could still get a better rate elsewhere. Here are some of our quick tips on getting auto insurance as a military member:

  • Double-check for multi-policy discounts: make sure all your insurance policies are through one company. By bundling homeowners insurance and auto insurance (or renters) you could save hundreds of dollars on your insurance policies.
  • Get life insurance: Some auto insurers offer life insurance either through them or a subsidiary. If your carrier offers this option, you could be eligible for a multi-policy discount.
  • Shop around: The very best way to make sure you're getting the cheapest rate is to double-check for these types of special discounts and to compare auto insurance quotes every six months. 
  • Check out our auto insurance guide for other ways to save: this comprehensive guide offers ways to save on your next auto insurance policy.

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Our son-in-law is a USAA member (Navy). Can we join also?

Parents are not eligible for USAA. I believe USAA eligibility flows "downstream" — so descendants, i.e.
Sep 8, 2019 Greenville, CA

Can I get USAA insurance from son in law

Although I am not a licensed agent for USAA, it is my understanding that you need to be a child or spouse of an established members to get a policy. Meaning, you wouldn't be eligible to get your own policy away from your son-in-law.
Jun 20, 2018 Santa Rosa, CA

Do I need PIP?

First of all, thank you for your service! It sounds like you have outstanding health insurance for yourself, and potentially your family as well. It may not be necessary in your current situation to carry PIP, but here are a few reasons why it may make sense to add it to your policy: Your health coverage has a high deductible - PIP coverage on Texas auto policies does not have a deductible so, if you are injured in an accident that is your fault, this coverage kicks in immediately.
Jun 23, 2016 San Antonio, TX

My son is 19 and is in the service and will be overseas the next month. Is this covered by the definition of exclusion?

As long as you can provide proof of a separate address, you should be able to remove your son from your policy completely. Every company is different so you will need to check with your specific company.
Jul 1, 2019 Murrieta, CA

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Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver, and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

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