Learn about insurance discounts and benefits for homeowners who have served in the military.
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Veteran or active-duty military status comes with some potential homeowners insurance benefits and considerations. You may be eligible for discounts, and you'll want to keep in mind the potential impact of deployment on your insurance policy.
This article explores the best insurance options for active-duty military and veterans and the questions you should ask when comparing homeowners insurance.
While all insurance companies offer coverage to service members, a few cater specifically to the needs of military personnel: Armed Forces Insurance (AFI) and USAA. These companies offer insurance coverage solely to current and former service members.
Let’s look at AFI's and USAA's coverage options and discounts.
Founded in 1887 by Army personnel, AFI offers home, auto, life, and even flood insurance. The company offers the same tiers of insurance coverage as most companies — personal property, dwelling protection, liability coverage, and more.
If you’re a customer, you automatically qualify for AFI's Theft Advocacy Services and MyHomeWorks add-ons. Theft Advocacy Services is a fraud education and prevention tool powered by CyberScout. MyHomeWorks is a smart home tool.
AFI doesn’t advertise military-specific discounts or how its policies specifically cater to service members on a day-to-day basis.
USAA is the best-known company for military members and their families. Like AFI, USAA offers an array of insurance options — including homeowners insurance. USAA also offers investment, financial, and mortgage solutions for its members and their families. Below are some of the military-specific coverage benefits that come with a USAA policy.
In addition to the above policies, USAA offers all the basic coverage you need to protect your home. Like AFI, you have to qualify for a USAA policy. Below are the requirements.
In addition to the benefits we’ve touched on with AFI and USAA, military personnel also enjoy the option of a VA Loan. A VA loan helps homebuyers complete their home purchase via a purchase loan, provide lower interest rates (Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan), and may offer tax deductions to certain qualifying veterans.
VA loans do not require mortgage insurance. However, you’re still required to carry homeowners insurance. You’ll need to carry the basic coverage any lender would require — dwelling, personal property, and liability.
Military deployment can impact homeowners insurance in one of two ways: if your home is empty, or if your belongings are in a war zone. Let’s examine these circumstances.
Insurance companies view abandoned or empty homes as major liabilities. Without anyone living there, the likelihood of a claim makes a property uninsurably risky. A workaround for this exists in military-friendly policies. USAA and AFI do not specifically list these as coverage options, but they likely offer some type of coverage for uninhabited structures during deployment.
Another option is to have someone live in your home while you’re deployed — whether that be a friend or tenant. However, failing to take any steps and leaving your home vacant for 30 to 60 days may result in a voided policy.
Acts of war are excluded as perils in the vast majority of insurance policies. If the personal belongings you take to a war zone are damaged and you lack a specific endorsement to cover this scenario, it’s unlikely you will be covered. Military-specific insurers like USAA and AFI offer specific coverage for this.
There are many reasons to consider a military homeowners insurance policy — but it's worth comparing quotes from a number of non-military-specific companies. The Zebra works directly with Hippo, Liberty Mutual, and other home insurance providers across the US to gather quotes quickly and easily.