If you serve in the military or have served in the past then you may be entitled to some reduced rates on your car insurance. In this guide we’ll look at the best and the worst; highlighting some of the things that other review sites are not telling you and giving you an honest rundown of what you need to know about car insurance for veterans.
What is Car Insurance for Veterans?
There are many benefits available to veterans and active personnel who need car insurance, including reduced rates, better offers, and more. But these policies also take other things into consideration, such as the fact that a serving member of the military may be called away on short notice, which means their vehicle could be stored for months at a time and they may need coverage in foreign countries.
Most veteran car insurance providers will offer a discount and will tag a few additional benefits onto the policies they offer, but they also come with stipulations and limited coverage areas.
Below we have focused on two of the best car insurance providers for veterans, while also highlighting one popular option that we would not recommend.
Recommended Car Insurance for Veterans: Geico
You can get a discount of 15% through Geico, who are one of the most well known and trusted insurers in the United States. There are a lot of bad reviews out there for Geico, but they are not disproportionate to the good reviews and a little negativity is always expected when dealing with insurance companies.
You can apply for Geico military/veteran car insurance in all 50 states providing you are:
An active serving member of the military
A military veteran
A member of the National Guard or Reserves
You may also be eligible for discounts if you are a member of other government organizations and Geico’s veteran car insurance has specific option to help military personnel with deployment orders.
Recommended Car Insurance for Active Members: Arbella Insurance
This is a much more limiting option than Geico. Not only does it only cover the state of Massachusetts, but to be eligible you need to be an active member of the military and your car needs to be stored more than 100 miles away from where you are deployed.
Of course, this deployment stipulation is unlikely going to be an issue unless your car is stored overseas, but the active personnel stipulation will certainly rule many potential customers out.
If you do qualify for military insurance with Arbella Insurance then you can get a 10% discount.
Not Recommended Car Insurance for Veterans: USAA
USAA is one of the only insurers that focuses 100% on military personnel and veterans and they have some pretty solid quotes. You can get discounts based on your history, your experience, your car, and more, and if you are a veteran then their policies can seem pretty appealing.
But only on the surface.
We have heard a lot of negative reports from USAA customers. As we prepared this review we noted that USAA featured highly on all lists of “Best car insurance for veterans”, but as we actually looked past the rates and other superficial stuff we found a company that we were surprised was being recommended so highly.
USAA Bad Reviews
It’s important to note that there will be a disproportionate number of bad reviews out there for all insurance companies. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, most customers will only think to leave a review when they have something negative to say. It’s really the only way that they can voice their displeasure to the world and feel like they are getting back at the company that wronged them.
Secondly, car insurance companies don't always rule in favor of their customers and are forced to make decisions that customers won’t like, which triggers a lot of hate.
Because of this, we can expect to see a lot of bad reviews out there for car insurance companies, but the bad reviews that exist for USAA seem to go deeper than that.
They are not simply voicing dissent at decisions made against them, but they are also complaining about rude and seemingly inexperienced customer support and a complete lack of assistance. The vast majority of customers we spoke to told us that everything was fine with USAA until they had an accident, at which point the problems began.
You can see a lot of these issues for yourself on ConsumerAffairs and other review sites, where there is a pattern of complaints about “bad customer service”, “unhelpful reps”, “terrible policies”, and other issues that you just don’t want to deal with when you have an accident.
USAA: Our Review / Opinion
It’s important to stress that our review is still only our opinion. It is also an opinion based not on personal experience, but on research and conversations with customers. There are, no doubt, thousands of happy customers and pleasant experiences, but we feel that there are better options out there for veterans who need car insurance.
More Car Insurance for Veterans
There are a couple other options that you may want to consider if non of the above appeal to you:
- Armed Forces Auto Insurance: Like USAA, this is another military-only provider, and one that has been going strong for over 100 years now. It can insure customers in 48 states and works with Progressive to help extend its reach.
- Esurance: This insurer is owned by Allstate and prides itself on offering “hassle-free” car insurance, as well as home and renters insurance. It is fast and easy to setup, but it lacks the comprehensive nature that many other insurers provide and it does not have the best reputation where customer support and claims satisfaction is concerned.
It’s also worth noting that being a veteran isn’t the only way you can save, nor should your discount end there. Whether you are signing up for veteran’s car insurance or not, there are still a number of things that you can do to bring the rates down.
We have discussed this in our guide to getting cheap car insurance, which you should read prior to doing your research and agreeing to sign on the dotted line.