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As a Marine, medical and life insurance for you and your family are already covered. What you may not know is that your service can lead to significant car insurance benefits. Understanding the potential discounts and the details of auto insurance policies for Marines is crucial. Let's clear things up and explore auto insurance for Marines.
It’s important to understand that you’re not locked into a contract and can cancel your policy if you find a better rate elsewhere. Many companies value your time served and offer discounts as a way of showing their gratitude. We created a user profile to survey some top insurance options offering the lowest rates for Marines. Methodology here.
|6-month Premium for Marines||6-month Premium for Other Occupation|
Your service as a Marine can save you approximately $25 per 6-month policy (the greatest occupation discount available). While Nationwide has the smallest premium difference between Marine and another occupation, the company's premium remains the cheapest for Marines. That’s an important consideration while looking for the cheapest insurance as a Marine: although a company might offer a larger discount, their high premium might offset the discount. In other words, don't choose a company specifically because of the discount.
The nature of deployment can create some unique situations for your auto insurance. If you’re deployed and no one will be using your vehicle, you might not want to pay for car insurance at all. Let’s break down your vehicle and auto insurance options during deployment.
Whether you’re being deployed or simply moving to a place where you will not need your vehicle, you should consider two things: your vehicle registration and your auto insurance. While it makes sense to cancel your auto insurance because you won’t be driving, you may actually run the risk of having your registration suspended.
If you’re going to be deployed for a long period of time and want to cancel your car insurance, you either need to cancel your registration or, if your state allows, “pause” it. Pausing insurance involves submitting an Affidavit of Non-Use or a Planned Non-Operation (PNO) to your state’s DMV. The former states the vehicle will not be driven on public roadways and that its insurance has been canceled. The latter means you will not be using your vehicle during the next renewal year. For more information on this, see your state's DMV.
If you don’t want to totally void your insurance coverage, consider storage coverage. Let’s explore.
If your insurance company allows it, you can change your insurance coverage to "storage." Storage coverage drops your insurance to comprehensive only. This will typically protect your vehicle against vandalism, theft, and weather-related incidents (like flooding). While you would need to follow the same registration guidelines listed above, this is a good idea if you still want to protect your vehicle. Since the vehicle does not have any collision or liability insurance, it’s a good idea to keep this vehicle stored in a garage or a similar environment.
Bear in mind, this practice varies considerably between companies. Most companies require you to keep one vehicle with at least liability in order for another vehicle to have storage protection. For example, on a multi-person and multi-vehicle policy. If the vehicle is driven primarily by a deployed individual but another vehicle is still used (husband or wife, for example), this coverage option might work for you.
A thing to keep in mind with this option is whether your state monitors vehicle registration. Texas, for example, actively monitors registration by running regular reports to ensure all vehicles that are registered are insured. Because storage coverage isn't registration compliant, you run the risk of having your registration suspended — even if your auto insurance company allows it.
There are a lot of insurance companies that offer special accommodations for Marines and their families. Some have programs built entirely around past and present military members, and others recognize your Marine status and reward these customers with a discounted rate.
Probably the most notable provider of car insurance for military members is USAA. The company's clientele consists of active or retired military members, as well adult children or surviving spouses of USAA members. USAA is ranked fairly high in customer satisfaction, placing second in overall satisfaction rate in the 2017 JP Power Insurance Shopping Rating Survey. Available nationwide, USAA offers a few auto insurance discounts for Marines. If you garage your vehicle on a secured military base, USAA offers 15% off your premium. If you’re currently deployed and you store your vehicle in a secured location, you can receive up to 90% off your rate.
GEICO was originally created as an insurer for government employees, and it still offers discounts for military service members through its Military Center. GEICO groups active, retired, and National Guard or Reserve members into a general umbrella of military personnel, and gives this group a discount of up to 15%. GEICO also offers an Emergency Deployment Discount for deployed military personnel.
Here are some additional ways to save and some additional resources to consider when looking for cheap auto insurance.
Any claim you make will impact your premium for 3 to 5 years. If you've damaged your vehicle in an at-fault collision accident, consider our steps before speaking with your insurance company.
In 2018, the average collision claim raised premiums $309 per 6-months — $619 per year. Over 3 years (the total time you will be charged), this amounts to $2,061 in premium increases — meaning, only what you pay because of the accident and does not include your monthly premium. If you have a $500 deductible, the total additional cost of this accident would be $2,561. In this example, you should not file a claim unless the estimate is over this amount.
If your vehicle is over 10 years old or worth less than $4,000, you should consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage. Because these coverage options are not required by state law and only protect the physical integrity of your vehicle, they are often not encouraged for an older vehicle. Mainly, the payout you would receive is not worth the premium it costs to insure. If you're unsure of the value of your vehicle, use NADA online and Kelley Blue Book.
Keep all your insurance policies within one company! By bundling your home or renters insurance and your auto insurance, you could save hundreds on both policies.
Some auto insurers offer life insurance either directly or through a subsidiary. If they do, this will usually give you multi-policy as well.
The very best way to make sure you're getting the cheapest rate is to double-check for these types of discounts, but also to shop around every six months. Use The Zebra to shop hundreds of companies at once to find the best rate and coverage for you.