Car insurance for Marines
As a Marine, health insurance and life insurance for you and your family members are already covered. What you may not know is that your service can lead to significant car insurance benefits. Understanding potential military discounts and the details of auto insurance policies for Marines is crucial when seeking out quotes. Let's clear things up and explore auto insurance for Marines.
Who has the cheapest auto insurance for Marines?
It’s important to understand that you’re not locked into a contract; you can cancel your policy if you find a better insurance rate elsewhere. Many companies value time served by active-duty military members 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.
Your service as a Marine can save you approximately $27 per annual policy — the greatest occupation discount available. While not every insurer offered a cheaper rate for Marines, this is made up for by discounts provided at other insurance companies. Progressive had the steepest discount for service members, with an average discount of about $69 per six-month policy. GEICO came in second, with an annual savings of $62.
Another 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 — instead, go by the full sum of your insurance premium after all discounts are applied.
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Handling your auto insurance while you’re deployed
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 this next.
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 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.
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Where to buy cheap car insurance for Marines
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 and military families — like adult children or surviving spouses of USAA members. USAA is ranked fairly high in customer satisfaction, placing second in overall satisfaction rate in the 2019 J.D. 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. It's worth noting that USAA is the highest-rated car insurer according to The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey.
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.
How to save on auto insurance
Here are some additional ways to save and some additional resources to consider when looking for cheap auto insurance.
Avoid unnecessary claims
Any claim you make will impact your premium for three to five years. If you've damaged your vehicle in an at-fault collision accident, consider our steps before speaking with your insurance company.
- Get an estimate for the repairs at a local mechanic shop.
- Use our State of Insurance analysis to see how much an at-fault accident would raise rates in your state. Consider this surcharge for over three years.
- Compare the surcharge plus your deductible to the out-of-pocket costs. If it is cheaper to file a claim, do that.
In 2019, the average collision claim raised premiums $384 per six-months — or $767 per year. Over three years (the total time you will be charged), this amounts to $2,301 in premium increases — meaning, what you pay in excess premium solely due to the accident, without accounting for your monthly premium.
Evaluate your coverage
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.
Get life insurance
Some auto insurers offer life insurance either directly or through a subsidiary. If they do, this will usually give you multi-policy discount 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 for car insurance quotes every six months. Use The Zebra to shop hundreds of companies at once to find the best rate and coverage for you. Enter your ZIP code below to get started.
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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.
- The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
- The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
- The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
- The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.