The Exclusive Guide to Auto Insurance for Veterans

The Exclusive Guide to Auto Insurance for Veterans

Finding the right veteran auto insurance is easier than you think. This is especially true if you do it online where you can compare rates and even get online quotes.

The question becomes how to choose the right one from the countless options available.

With this complete guide to shopping for auto insurance, you can ensure you will be covered the next time you get behind the wheel.

Understanding Auto Insurance: The Basics

Before you get your online quote, let’s take a look at auto insurance and how it works.

Auto insurance is a policy that provides financial protection against the liabilities incurred due to an accident in the vehicle or to cover up the physical damages incurred by the car.

It can help you pay for repairs, rental fees, and medical expenses.

Here’s a breakdown of the coverage provided by the best auto insurance for veterans:

  • Property damage or car theft
  • Liability to others in case of bodily or property damage
  • Cost of injuries, lost wages, or funeral expenses

When you get a vehicle insured, you get to choose the deductible and coverage limits. This deductible is paid before you receive coverage from your policy and can range from $250-$1000.

Choosing a high deductible would mean lower rates but higher out-of-pocket claim costs.

How Is Auto Insurance for Veterans Different?

There are a number of auto insurance companies that offer comprehensive insurance for veterans. However, there are a few things to keep in mind as you begin your search.

For starters, military members have some additional factors to consider.

Military members face unique problems, like PCS moves (Permanent Change of Station). It is important to check if your vehicle is covered in case of a PCS move.

As a civilian, you can get some significant discounts for being a non-smoker, using anti-theft devices, or having a good credit score. Additionally, as a military person, you might qualify for military discounts.

Some companies provide a percentage off if the vehicle is located on a military base. You can get even bigger discounts if your car is stored while you are deployed overseas.

Is Auto Insurance Coverage Required?

Veteran auto insurance requirements are different in every state.

However, almost every state requires owners to cover the following:

  • Liability for Property Damage – The policy must cover the liability that you or another person driving the vehicle caused to another vehicle or property.
  • Liability for Bodily Injury – The policy must also cover the cost associated with injuries, rehabilitation, or funeral expenses incurred by you or the person operating the vehicle.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – A majority of states require the policy to provide reimbursement for medical treatment or lost wages if the insured vehicle driver is involved in an accident.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage – Accidents caused by drivers without auto insurance must be covered as well.

While PIP and uninsured motorist coverage may not be required in every state, it is always better to invest in policies that include both coverages.

How Veteran Auto Insurance Works?

While there are several companies that offer military-friendly insurances, some organizations like USAA are open only to military members.

A military-friendly auto insurance policy might be available to the following people:

  • Active military members
  • Veterans who were honorably discharged
  • Applicants involved in commissioning programs
  • 18+ applicants of USAA members, in some cases
  • USAA members who are widows/widowers, in some cases

In case of receiving a PCS, you should immediately consult with your insurance provider to extend the coverage overseas.

It is important to know your policy well. Depending on your policy, you may be covered while shipping your vehicle, and other times you may be covered if you buy a car in the host country.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the discounts for which military families might be eligible:

  • Discounts on auto insurance based on military status
  • Additional discounts for signing up for auto insurance near an army base
  • Discounts for PCS or deployment
  • Price breaks for storing a vehicle while on duty
  • Discounts for being a local guard or reservist

Who Is Covered by Auto Insurance for Veterans?

There are several auto insurance companies that provide exclusive discounts to military members and provide coverage to their family members as well.

USAA insurance, for instance, is available to members enlisted in the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Coast Guard, National Guard, Reserves, Veterans with an honorable discharge, and family members.

Moreover, most insurance policies cover damages incurred while using the vehicle for personal use. They do not reimburse for damages incurred while using the car for commercial use, like doing deliveries.

Types of Car Insurance Available for Veterans

Here is a list of veteran auto insurance options.

Personal Liability Property Damage (PLPD) Insurance

PLPD insurance is a fundamental policy that covers minimum types of coverage mandated by most states. This policy mainly includes liability coverage, property damage coverage, and personal injury protection insurance.

Here is an overview of those coverages.

Liability Coverage

This coverage comes with a two-fold purpose. First, if you cause an accident that harms another person, it will cover their medical bills. The coverage also provides reimbursements for any property damage caused by you in an accident.

Personal Damage Coverage

This provides coverage for the damage caused to someone else’s property when the insured is at fault.

Property Protection Insurance

This insurance provides reimbursements in case you damage someone else’s property, excluding vehicles.

Personal Injury Protection Coverage

This type covers your medical bills or accounts for lost wages if you end up in an auto accident.

PLPD insurance does not include collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, or mini-tort coverage.

Collision Insurance

In the event of a collision, collision insurance helps you cover the costs of repairs or vehicle replacement.

Here is what collision insurance covers:

  • A collision with another vehicle
  • A collision with an object like a tree
  • Single car accident that involves rolling or falling

Here is what collision coverage does not cover:

  • Car theft
  • Damage to another person’s vehicle
  • Medical expenses

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage is auto insurance that provides coverage if your vehicle went through an accident not involving a collision.

Comprehensive insurance provides coverage for the following damages:

  • Contact with animals
  • Fire
  • Riots
  • Natural Disaster
  • Vehicle theft
  • Broken windshields
  • Fallen objects like rocks or hail storms

Glass Coverage

If your windshield or any other car glass is damaged, glass insurance provides coverage for that.

Typically, there are two types of glass coverage available to veterans.

  • Comprehensive Glass Coverage – covers damages not related to collisions, including accidents or events like theft or natural disasters. This coverage does not require you to pay a deductible if the glass needs a repair. However, in case of replacement, you will be required to pay the deductible.
  • Full Glass Coverage – covers the damages caused to a vehicle’s glass. This coverage does not require you to pay a deductible for repair or replacement.
Coverage Type What It Does
Bodily injury liability It covers the cost associated with injuries, rehabilitation or funeral expenses incurred by you or the person operating the vehicle.
Property damage liability It provides coverage the liability that you or another person driving the vehicle caused to another vehicle or property.
Personal injury protection (PIP) It provides reimbursement for medical treatment or lost wages if the driver of the insured vehicle is involved in an accident.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist It covers accidents caused by drivers without auto insurance.
Comprehensive Comprehensive coverage covers the cost of damage to the vehicle after an accident that is not caused by collision.
Collision It covers the cost of the damage to the vehicle after an accident with another vehicle or object.
Full coverage Policies with full coverage provides comprehensive, collision and liability coverages.

What Is Full Coverage Car Insurance?

As the name suggests, full coverage car insurance includes a combination of coverages required to protect you and your vehicle.

However, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to veteran auto insurance. It depends on you what you want the insurance policy to look like. You should always customize the plan according to your individual circumstances.

Additional Coverage Options for Veterans

Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance is an additional coverage option for when your vehicle gets a flat tire, breaks down, runs out of gas, or gets stranded.

While it might seem unnecessary, it can be considered a good investment, given your vehicle can break down at any point in time.

Typically, most insurance policies do not include roadside insurance automatically. You would have to get in touch with your insurance provider to get the coverage.

In most cases, roadside insurance will cover the following situations:

  • Towing
  • Changing a flat tire
  • Jump starting the battery
  • Delivering gas or battery
  • Retrieving keys locked inside the car

New Car Replacement

In case of an accident where your car is declared a total loss, new car replacement insurance can reimburse the exact value of the brand new vehicle of the same model minus the deductibles. This coverage generally costs a little extra, is available only for new vehicles, and can only be obtained if you have collision and comprehensive coverage.

While this coverage can be pretty beneficial in case of a theft or an accident, it is not available in all 50 states. Moreover, this veteran auto insurance type is not provided by organizations like USAA, State Farm or GEICO.

Rental Reimbursement

In general, rental reimbursement is a benefit that pays for your rental car charges while your vehicle is being repaired or until your coverage expires.

If your vehicle has been declared a total loss, it is recommended to find a replacement before the coverage runs out.

Gap Insurance

The typical insurance policy covers the car’s current market value at the time of a claim. Gap insurance, however, covers the gap between what your vehicle is worth and the amount you owe on it.

Opting for gap insurance might be a good idea if:

  • You are making a downpayment of less than 20%.
  • You bought a vehicle that is predicted to depreciate faster.
  • You have financed the vehicle for 60 months or more.
  • You purchased the vehicle on lease.

Ride-Sharing Coverage

Are you using your vehicle for commercial use or work for companies like Uber or Lyft? Ride-sharing coverage will cover the gap between the commercial policy of the company and your personal auto insurance policy.

Sound System Coverage

Sound system coverage is an insurance add-on that provides coverage to modified sound systems. If you haven’t altered or replaced your sound systems, it is likely covered under basic insurance, comprehensive coverage, or collision coverage.

However, when you install a modified sound system with additional costs, you need additional coverage.

The cost of insurance depends upon the sound system. The more expensive the system, the more insurance will cost.

Classic Car Insurance

Are you the proud owner of a vintage car? Classic car insurance might be an option worth considering.

Like regular veteran auto insurance, classic car insurance provides liability coverage, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist coverage, and medical payment coverage for vintage cars.

What Does Auto Insurance Not Cover?

You know what is covered under a general auto insurance policy. But what about what is not covered?

When buying auto insurance, you must carefully review all the terms included in the policy.

Here’s an overview of things that are not covered under a general auto insurance policy:

Other People Driving Your Car

Many policies provide coverage to other people driving your vehicle, although some only offer protection to the person specified under the policy. In most cases, an uninsured family member or friend is covered by your insurance.

Ridesharing

Ridesharing is when you use your vehicle for commercial use and offer rides to passengers through companies like Uber.

Any damages incurred to you, the vehicle, or the passenger would not be covered under your basic insurance policy. You would have to get additional coverage for that: ride-sharing coverage.

Maintenance and Repairs

Regular repairs like fixing the brakes, tuning up the engine, replacing the tires, or changing oil will not be covered under a standard auto insurance policy.

However, if you have comprehensive coverage, you will most likely be covered for the following:

  • Glass damage
  • Hail
  • Fire
  • Damage from riots, fire, or falling objects
  • Collision repair

Exotic and performance cars

Performance or exotic cars are simply too expensive to be covered under a typical insurance plan. For that, you would need to get an additional coverage plan that would protect vehicles like these.

Can You Suspend or Reduce Coverage?

If you’re planning to store your vehicle for an extended period of time, you can legally put your insurance on hold. While you can also cancel your insurance at any time, it is recommended to hold your policy.

However, you would only be able to suspend a portion of your policy, i.e., liability insurance. You will still be protected through comprehensive coverage.

Why Is Reducing Your Coverage Better Than Canceling the Policy?

Reducing your coverage or putting the policy on hold offers benefits like the following:

  • Your car is still protected against damages incurred due to non-accidental causes.
  • You can maintain your discounts.
  • It limits your cost while the vehicle remains in storage.
  • You can reinstate insurance coverage at any time.
  • You can avoid a coverage gap.

However, reducing your coverage to comprehensive coverage might come with disadvantages like the following:

  • You could be in legal trouble if you drive without liability insurance.
  • You might not be able to put the policy on hold if the vehicle is on lease.
  • You would be required to cover all the damages if you decide to drive while the policy remains on hold.

Putting the policy on hold or reducing the coverage to comprehensive would still protect your vehicle against the following:

  • Car theft
  • Hail storm
  • Vandalism
  • Fallen objects
  • Fire
  • Natural disasters

When Should I Put My Policy on Hold?

As a military member, you might be required to put your vehicle in storage many times. And, while reducing the coverage can lower your premium costs, it can also be pretty helpful in the following circumstances:

  • You are on deployment.
  • You are recovering from an injury that prevents you from driving.
  • Your vehicle needs long-term repairs.
  • Your license is suspended.
  • The car will be stored long-term.

How to Reinstate Auto Insurance

Reinstating auto-insurance depends upon the policy and insurance provider. If you stay in constant touch with the policy provider, they might be able to reinstate your policy after a quick call.

However, if you have purchased the policy online, go to their official website and select the contact us option. Write a message or connect with the team over the phone to reinstate your policy.

While reinstating, you might need to keep the following information handy:

  • Policy number
  • Date of last payment
  • Date when you missed the payment
  • Notice of policy cancellation
  • Vehicle information

Cost of Car Insurance for Veterans

As a Veteran, you might be able to get additional discounts on the cost of car insurance. Several companies consider other factors like your driving record, credit, coverage selection, age, driving experience, and even gender.

Here is an overview of the factors that impact your car insurance cost.

Driving Record

Your driving record is one of the major determinants when it comes to paying premiums. The provider will check your record from the last three to five years. If you have a history of tickets or fines, expect to pay more.

Fortunately, adapting safe driving habits and avoiding transgressions can help you improve your driving record.

Credit Score

While deciding insurance premiums on credit score is banned in states like Michigan, California, and Hawaii, many states still compute your premiums based on your credit score.

Coverage Selection

The coverages you choose have a large impact on your insurance premium. If you choose a basic plan, which is mandated in most states, you would have to pay less compared to a person choosing additional coverage options like glass coverage or collision coverage.

Deductibles

What is a deductible?A deductible is an out-of-pocket cost you’ll pay if you file for car repair. A higher deductible means a lower premium cost.

Deductibles can range from $250 to $2,500.

Your Car

If you drive a classic or a vintage car, you would have to pay extra—the same stands for an expensive car.

Rates for Military Drivers vs. Civilian Drivers

According to the latest data, your military status doesn’t affect premium rates. As a veteran, you could be eligible for the same benefits as an active military member.

However, compared to civilian drivers, military drivers could save up to thousands by paying lower premium costs.

On average, the estimated minimum coverage for a military driver is $514, while for a civilian, it is $565. Moreover, maximum coverage for military members is $1,674, and for civilians, it is $1,719.

How Do I Get a Veterans Discount on Car Insurance?

Best Auto Insurance Discounts for Veterans

To get the best insurance discounts for Veterans, try Armed Forces Insurance. With its outstanding history of competitive coverage, you can get substantial deals ranging from 5% to 15%. These discounts are available nationwide.

If getting the best quote with the biggest discount is your goal, you can also get a policy from GEICO. The organization offers military discounts up to 15% to active military and veterans.

Military Discounts

Companies like GEICO and USAA offer up to 15% off auto insurance to veterans and active military members. As a military member, you can even qualify for state discounts. The state of Louisiana, for instance, offers special military discounts to eligible service members and their families.

Moreover, you can get additional discounts if your vehicle is in storage while deployed somewhere else. You might also qualify for other discounts if you store your car on or near a military base.

Non-military Discounts

Are you a non-smoker or someone with a good credit score? Check with your insurance agents to get discounts on that too!

You can even get discounts if you have a good driving record, a fair credit history, or are driving your vehicle accident-free for an extended period of time.

Deployments and Auto Insurance

If you are getting deployed, you might want to make changes to your insurance policy. Typically, you have three options:

  • You reduce your coverage.
  • You pause your policy.
  • You cancel the policy.

Rather than canceling your policy, putting it on hold or pausing is likely a better option. You may have to pay more if you get the insurance again after cancelling your policy.

If you are considering canceling your policy, you can file an affidavit of non-use with the state’s DMV so that you don’t get fined for owning an uninsured vehicle.

When you come back from deployment, you need to reinstate your policy. Just get in touch with your agent to get started. Alternatively, if you have canceled your policy, try comparing at least three quotes to get better rates.

International Auto Insurance Coverage

Though international auto insurance is a bit more expensive than a standard coverage option, you know your interests are covered while being deployed overseas.

Make sure to check with your insurance provider before getting deployed. Some companies even provide policies that cover your vehicle while being shipped overseas.

Bundling Insurance

The best way to get the most discounts is to purchase multiple insurances from a single company. Many companies offer bundling options for home, auto, and other insurance that provide savings on your overall insurance costs.

What Proof Do I Have to Show for USAA or Other Military Auto Discounts?

Most companies follow essential eligibility criteria to qualify for military discounts.

USAA, for example, requires you to be a member of the organization to qualify for military benefits.

Here is a list of the needed documents that are required as proof:

  • Your name
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Contact information
  • Info on military service
  • Permanent resident card if you are a non-citizen member
Company Discount Details
USAA 30% cheaper than average cost of insurance
Geico 15% off on total insurance premium
Arbella 10% military discount
Farmers Initial discount of 5% and 15% off when policy renews
Liberty Mutual 12% off on auto coverages

How to Find the Best Coverage at the Best Price

Former or current military members can qualify for the cheapest car insurance through several methods:

Shop Around and Compare Quotes

It is recommended to shop for at least two quotes from different insurance companies so that you can compare the rates and choose the best price for the coverage you need.

Ask for Discounts

As a military member or veteran, you can ask for additional discounts that might not be available to civilians. Besides USAA and GEICO, there are numerous private companies offering veteran discounts as well.

Insurance Discounts Within One Company

Did you know that you could save up to 25% if you shop for different policies within one company? You can even insure a home and a vehicle with the same discount, which can add up to some significant savings.

In addition to homeowner insurance, you can also shop other policies like:

  • Boat insurance
  • RV insurance
  • Motorcycle insurance
  • Life insurance

Review Your Coverage Regularly

As your life changes, so do your needs. That’s why you need to review your coverages regularly, so you know what is protected and what is not. Reviewing coverages might also help you qualify for more significant discounts. For example, you may be able to increase your deductible to lower premium costs.

Use a Checklist

While looking for the best insurance, make sure to use a checklist that includes all your insurance requirements and quotes offered by different companies. This will help you stay organized and covered for everything you need while price shopping.

Best Auto Insurance for Veterans and Their Families

Typically, seven elements make for a good auto insurance company.

  • Outstanding customer service
  • A rating of “A”, “A+” or “A++” by AM Best Standard and Poors’ or Weiss Research
  • Willingness to provide cheap policies, especially to military members and their families
  • A higher level of customer satisfaction (You can check BBB for reviews or customer complaints.)
  • A quick and efficient claim processing procedure
  • Lower prices and discounts
  • Customizable services

Here is a review of some of the more well-known auto insurance providers.

USAA Auto Insurance

USAA is a one-stop for all your banking and insurance needs. With outstanding customer discounts and inclusive discounts, USAA offers nationwide services and provides some coverage options.

However, it is strictly restricted to the active military, veterans, and their families.

USAA offers the following coverage options:

  • Property damage liability
  • Bodily injury liability
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage
  • Uninsured motorist insurance
  • Personal injury protection
  • Roadside assistance
  • Rental car coverage
  • Extended benefits coverage

Moreover, the company covers motorcycles, RVs, boats, and commercial vehicles. USAA members can also get additional insurance options like extended health benefits insurance and even pet insurance.

The organization offers a 15% discount for storing your vehicle on a military base, a 60% discount on monthly premiums, and a 10% discount for children of USAA members.

Their services are available in all states. However, you must meet any ONE of the following to become a member of USAA:

  • You’re currently enlisted in the army, coast guard, marine, navy, or national guard.
  • You are a veteran with an honorable discharge.
  • You are in the US service academy.
  • You are a family member, widow, widower, unremarried former spouse, or child of USAA members.

JD Power awarded USAA for having outstanding customer service. The organization also received an “A++” rating from AM Best for providing financial strength to service members.

GEICO

Government Employees Insurance Company, more popularly known as GEICO, offers some of the best policies with some amazing discounts. The company provides insurance services in all 50 states and offers extensive coverage and discount options.

GEICO offers the following coverage options:

  • Property damage and bodily injury liability coverage
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage
  • Personal injury protection
  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Rental car coverage
  • Breakdown assistance

The organization offers these coverage options for cars, RVs, ATVs, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, vintage cars, and boats.

GEICO offers 15% off to all current/former service members. The company also offers additional discounts if you store your vehicle near a military base. Besides, it also provides around 20 discount coupons, including loyalty to GEICO, credit history, and driving history.

GEICO has received an “A++” rating from AM Best.

Armed Forces Insurance (AFI)

Established in 1887, Armed Forces Insurance is an option worth considering, especially if you are a retired service member.

AFI provides competitive coverage options in all 50 states and also offers services to civilians working for the military.

AFI offers the following coverage options:

  • Personal protection insurance
  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability
  • Rental car reimbursements
  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Roadside assistance

However, the company does not display its list of discounts clearly. You would have to get in touch with an agent to learn more about your potential savings.

AFI has been rated as “A+” by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Esurance

Esurance is an insurance provider known for having the most convenient online features with a user-friendly interface and interactive tools.

The company offers auto insurance in 43 states and homeowners insurance in 31 states.

Esurance provides the following coverage options:

  • Property damage liability
  • Bodily injury liability
  • Roadside assistance
  • Gap coverage
  • Rental coverage

Discounts may vary from state to state.

5 Tips for Buying Car Insurance as a Veteran

These are the top five tips you need to consider while buying car insurance as a veteran:

  • Determine your state’s minimum insurance requirements.
  • Look for quotes from a variety of insurance companies and ask about discounts for veterans.
  • Gather proof of your identity and military service (or a family member’s military ID and proof of relationship).
  • Submit appropriate documents and then wait for final approval.
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