Best Car Insurance for Military Members

Find the best car insurance aligning with military member needs

Two women in military uniforms laugh in the front seat of a car

Servicemembers and their families require flexible car insurance policies for reasons like overseas deployment. To find the best car insurance for military members, we considered a company’s coverages, discounts, tools that might be helpful for military personnel, customer service, and financial stability. 

Best Car Insurance for Military Members

  • USAA: Best overall for the military community
  • GEICO: Best for active and deployed military

USAA: Best Overall for the Military Community

USAA is one of the few insurance companies focusing exclusively on service personnel and their families. USAA wins first place on our list because military members have unique coverage options, discounts, and services (including a program to help you buy a vehicle if you’re stationed overseas). That’s all coupled with strong customer service and satisfaction ratings. 

Pros
  • On-base garaging discount for active duty servicemembers

  • International auto policy covers cars during shipment, assists with registering internationally

  • USAA’s U.S. Touring Auto Policy provides coverage if you’re renting while temporarily stateside, or you’ve sold your car before deployment

  • Overseas vehicle purchase program helps you buy and receive a car while deployed abroad

  • Authorized to provide auto insurance in select overseas destinations, and has dedicated international support phone numbers

  • Members may receive annual dividends

  • Liability coverage for government-owned vehicles

Cons
  • Only available to former/current military and their immediate families

  • Can’t get a quote without being a member or qualifying for membership

  • Storage discounts not available in Hawaii, North Carolina, and Virginia

Availability

USAA is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and is open to:

  • Active duty, Guard, or U.S. military reserve members
  • Separated or retired veterans with an honorable discharge
  • Cadets, midshipmen, and officer candidates
  • Spouses, children, stepchildren, and in-laws of those currently serving or of an honorably-discharged veteran
  • Widows and unmarried former spouses who joined before or during the marriage

Discounts

USAA offers new vehicle discounts and up to 25% off car rentals. Otherwise, “discounts” on vehicle storage or military installation storage are actually reductions of your coverage, and therefore your monthly premium—which can still save you money. 

Customer Satisfaction

If ranked, USAA would take first place in J.D. Power’s Auto Claims Satisfaction and Insurance Digital Experience (Service Ranking) studies. It also would have scored the top spot in most regions of the Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study. Unfortunately, military-only membership restrictions limit its ability to be ranked against other insurers. 

USAA has the highest possible financial strength rating of A++ from AM Best, showing it has an elite ability to pay out large claims and finance its operations.

GEICO: Best for Active and Deployed Military

GEICO (or Government Employees Insurance Company) was founded to serve U.S. government employees and military personnel. Today, GEICO has a special arm dedicated to helping servicemembers navigate car insurance, including providing discounted storage plans, custom payment agreements, overseas policies, and marine auto transport insurance. That’s why GEICO is our pick for active and deployed military members.

Pros
  • Dedicated GEICO military specialists

  • Five overseas locations to assist military members

  • 12-month overseas auto insurance options

  • Multiple discounts geared toward servicemembers

Cons
  • Discounts and benefits not extended to immediate family

Availability

GEICO is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Its military offerings and discounts are for active-duty personnel, military retirees, or National Guard or Reserves members. 

Discounts

GEICO has several types of military discounts that may be available: 

  • Up to 15% off premiums for former/current service members 
  • Emergency Deployment Discounts (25%) for those deployed to imminent danger pay areas
  • Discounts for members of six professional associations, including the Armed Forces Benefit Association and Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Auto storage while deployed for 30+ days provides beneficial suspended or reduced coverage 

Customer Satisfaction

Geico is a three-year consecutive winner of the customer service segment of J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study. Its world-class web and mobile functionality are extra handy for deployed military. GEICO is also the highest-ranked insurer in an overall customer satisfaction survey in the U.S. Northwest and North Central regions.

Moreover, AM Best’s A++ rating confirms the company’s superior financial ability to maintain its operations.  

How Is Car Insurance Different for Military Members?

Military members sometimes only have a moment’s notice before being deployed or leaving for a tour of duty overseas. Many need a flexible payment plan while away or want to save money on premiums for stored cars. 

If stationed overseas, active-duty military may wish to ship autos using marine insurance. Or they might want to insure a car they buy abroad. They may need to rent cars while in the U.S. on leave. Discounts and insurance for rentals in Canada, Mexico, or in international destinations are important, too. 

Unfortunately, Louisiana is the only state with a mandated discount on the liability portion of auto policies for active armed forces members. 

Despite the lack of regulatory requirements to provide special offerings for servicemembers, some companies like USAA and GEICO step in to offer unique payment arrangements that can reduce your coverage and therefore, your premiums. Reducing rather than pausing insurance lets you keep your car’s comprehensive coverage, protecting it if it’s stolen or damaged while in storage. Your lender or state might also require you to maintain certain coverages and minimum limits.

Carefully consider before dropping your insurance or using an international insurer. Forgoing U.S.-based auto insurance while stationed abroad may appear as a gap in your coverage, and lead to higher rates or more difficulty in finding insurance. 

What Should I Look for When Choosing a Provider?

Everyone should get competing quotes to determine the best value for their desired coverage. But Military members especially should consider a provider’s customer satisfaction, military discounts and perks, and available tools and resources designed for military members. 

Which Car Insurance Companies Offer Military Discounts?

Some companies offering military or veteran discounts include:

  • Allstate
  • Farmers Insurance
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Nationwide

Insurers may only offer military discounts in a limited number of states, so speak to a local agent about availability.

Article Sources

  1. USAA. "Join USAA." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.

  2. USAA. "Join USAA," see "Membership Discounts and Savings." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.

  3. USAA. "USAA International Insurance," see footnotes 5 and 6. Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.

  4. J.D. Power. “Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Climbs to Record High as Carriers Refine Customer Experience During Pandemic, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.

  5. J.D. Power. "Property & Casualty Insurers Raise Digital Games as COVID-19 Elevates Customer Expectations, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.

  6. USAA. "Financial Performance." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.

  7. GEICO. "Military Car Insurance." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.

  8. GEICO. "Military Discounts For Your Insurance Needs." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.

  9. J.D. Power. "Auto Insurance Websites Surpass Agents in Importance to Customer Interaction, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.

  10. GEICO. "GEICO's Financial Strength." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.