The Best Car Insurance Options for Military Members
Military members make a lot of sacrifices during their service to the country. Moving frequently and deploying are a couple that impacts both families and finances. Taking the time to shop for the right car insurance as a military member can save not only a lot of money but a lot of hassle too.
What Insurance Carrier Is Best for Military Members?
It all starts with the insurance carrier. Not all insurance companies understand the special requirements of military members. For instance, often a member is stationed in one state but consider a resident of another state, their home state. It can be a problem for some carriers. Some insurance carriers may even perceive military members to be high risk due to regular relocations.
The United Services Automobile Association was founded in 1922. It was created to provide many services such as banking, investing, and auto insurance to the Armed Forces and their families. That is it! Nobody else is allowed to be insured through USAA. It is certainly a good place to start looking for insurance coverage.
USAA does not offer local agents to its members. All of the insurance processes are taken care of over the phone or online which is considered to be Direct Insurance. They are rated A++ which is the highest rating for the A.M. Best Company and AA+ which is the second highest rating for Standard Poor's rating system. Basically what that means is they have a healthy financial status, and there is a very good chance of a claim getting covered in case of a catastrophic event such as a tornado or hurricane.
Expect a lot of understanding and more importantly great discounts from USAA. It doesn't mean it is for everyone. Some people prefer the relationship of a great insurance agent. It never hurts to shop around.
Tips for Shopping Around
Shopping for car insurance as a military member is very similar to that of a civilian. Tell your prospective insurance company about your employment and always ask about potential discounts.
- Be Honest: Be forthcoming with your situation. Never try to hide any facts about your situation from a potential insurance agent. The truth will always come out in the end, and it will affect your price. Always disclose all drivers in the household and traffic violations.
- Look Beyond Discounts: Do not focus solely on discounts. Just because a carrier does not offer a military discount doesn't mean they cannot compete. Discounts are great, but the final price is the most important.
- Compare Apples to Apples: This can be tricky! Try to get quotes as similar as possible. Coverage matters! Make sure to get quotes as close to matching as possible. Same limits of liability. Same medical coverage. Same physical coverage deductibles. Not all companies offer the same coverage, so it is important to get it as close as possible.
The Right Car Insurance Coverage
Selecting the right car insurance coverage is important regardless of employment. Military members have special needs when it comes to deployment. Keeping an active car insurance policy is important even when a vehicle is not being used.
As a military member with a family of drivers, it is fairly easy to make coverage decisions. Maybe no changes need to be made if all the vehicles are going to be continued to be driven. If the deployed member's vehicle is not driven, then request for it to be put in storage (which is another way of saying to reduce all coverage and leave comprehensive coverage). That way the vehicle will be protected from any damage while being stored.
As a single military member, there might only be one vehicle on the policy. Make a special request to reduce coverage to comprehensive only. Sometimes this request can take special approval since it is not common to have no vehicles driven on an active car insurance policy.
Deductibles, if used properly, can save a lot of money. Raise them when there is a reduced chance of a claim. The higher the deductible, the lower the cost of insurance. When a vehicle is being driven frequently, lower deductibles reduce the out of pocket expense in case of an accident.
Insurance is meant to protect against a substantial financial loss. It is recommended to have a licensed agent review coverage options and for it to be reviewed again as situations change. New family members, new cars, and aging cars should all be reviewed every time a policy renews.