Laura Berry is a former State Farm insurance producer and insurance expert.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 18, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • If you’ve served in the military, you will qualify for discounts through some major auto insurance companies
  • Both Geico and USAA are popular insurance companies with low-cost rates for military families and veterans
  • It’s crucial to look for sufficient coverage that will protect assets that you’ve accrued while serving your country
  • Not many companies have military insurance programs but several standard companies do give military discounts
  • Your occupation as a civilian can be used to set your rates and give you more discounts off of the base rate

Serving your country is an honorable and noble thing to do. You’re putting your life on the line every time that you report to duty to fight for the freedom of all civilians.

While there’s no way to adequately thank veterans for their sacrifices, many insurance companies attempt to express gratitude by offering all veterans sizable auto insurance discounts.

If you’re shopping for auto insurance on a budget, you can find cheap auto insurance for veterans by taking the time to shop around. Enter your zip code into our free rate comparison tool to find the company that offers you the best deal.

Since you qualify for a discount that many civilians don’t qualify for, you should never take the first quote that you’re given.

As you shop around, you can look for favorable rates and a whole list of discounts. Here’s a guide to help you make the best decision:

What is a military auto insurance program?

One of the first places that all veterans should look for auto insurance is a provider with a military auto insurance program where insurance is exclusively offered to people who qualify for membership.

In this case, you’d have to be one of the following to qualify for coverage:

  • active military
  • a veteran
  • a military spouse

The base rates offered through providers with a military program are lower than the average rates offered by standard and preferred providers.

Civilians who haven’t served or who don’t have a family member who has served aren’t eligible to get the low-cost rates offered through a military auto insurance program.

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Which providers have military auto insurance programs?

If you ask any of your fellow veterans about military insurance programs, they’ll likely give you recommendations on the insurers that you should contact first.

The money-saving programs are often the best option for veterans, reservists, and active duty personnel but you have to be sure there’s a program that serves your area.

Two of the most popular auto insurance programs that are exclusively for military families are run by Geico and USAA.

While USAA only serves members of the armed forces and their families, Geico does have a branch dedicated to insurance for all. You want to be sure you’re directed to an agent selling insurance through the military division when you speak to a Geico rep.

If you do business through either company’s military division, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that you’ll be talking to someone who served as well.

All employees are veterans just like yourself. They understand the challenges that you’ve faced in the past and the code you’ve lived by. Here are some other things that stand out about USAA and Geico:

  • USAA is member-owned and policyholders will receive dividends when there are relatively few claims paid
  • USAA offers discounts of up to 90 percent when the policyholder is deployed
  • USAA has received a 5-star rating from JD Power for customer service and claims satisfaction
  • Geico offers low rates for active duty and retired military and often beats USAA’s pricing
  • Geico offers flexible servicing options online to make updating your insurance convenient
  • Geico offers additional discounts for members of the AUSA, FRA, and NIA on top of already low pricing

Not All Veterans Qualify for Military Insurance

All companies have underwriting guidelines that they must follow when issuing any type of new business. The guidelines are stricter through some carriers.

When it comes to military programs, carriers generally want to insure drivers who pose a small amount of risk. You should be familiar with underwriting criteria before applying.

Not all veterans will qualify for the low base rates offered by carriers like USAA and Geico. If you’re classified as a high-risk driver, there’s a good chance that you won’t qualify for military discounts. Some things that will land you in a high-risk class include:

  • A conviction for driving under the influence
  • Multiple driving infractions within the last three years
  • A serious moving violation in combination with an accident
  • Multiple at-fault accidents
  • Three or more non-fault claims within a three-year period
  • Lapses in auto insurance and no-insurance convictions

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Can you qualify for discounts with standard companies?

Veterans have more options than the average person. Not only can you buy coverage through exclusive military providers, you can also buy coverage through standard and preferred.

Some of these providers that sell to civilians also offer discounts to military personnel but they don’t have any type of exclusive program.

If you can’t find coverage through a military insurer or you want to compare rates for the whole family through a standard insurer, be sure to ask the company if they have discounts for retired military personnel.

Not all companies have these discounts but it can’t hurt to ask.

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Know How Other Factors Will Affect Your Coverage

Serving in the military can earn you the right to receive a veteran’s discount for life, but that’s not the only factor that will affect your rates.

As you’re shopping for coverage, you’ll notice that you and your brothers who also served pay extraordinarily different rates because your personal rating factors will never be exactly like theirs. Here are the main factors that will affect your personal auto insurance premiums:

Driving Record

Having tickets and accidents can cost you an insurance surcharge. The surcharge is a penalty for having blemishes on your driving record in the last three years.

If you have multiple blemishes, your driving record could land you in a high-risk rating class that costs substantially more.

Driving Experience

Veterans come in all ages. About 21 percent of the population is under 45 and another 41 percent of the veteran population is between 45 and 62. Your driving experience has a lot to do with your rates.

Since most veterans are experienced drivers, this is a factor that plays to your advantage.

Age, Gender, and Marital Status

Age, gender, and marital status are all related to one another. Each of these factors is used to assign an individual driver into a risk class.

If you have a younger, unmarried male on your policy, you’ll pay more than someone who doesn’t have a young male on their plan.

Younger males who are married are believed to be less of a risk.

Vehicle Type and Rating

What you drive matters. If you’re driving a luxury sports car cable of going zero to 60 in the blink of an eye, your premiums are going to be higher than they would be for a compact car.

It’s the car’s size, value, repair cost, and safety rating that’s taken into account when assigning a vehicle an ISO classification code.

State and Zip Code

It’s not just what you drive that matters, it’s where you drive also. The state that the car is registered will impact your rates. Some states have higher requirements than others.

Some zip codes have higher premiums than others. If you’re in an area with a high claim rate, you could pay substantially more than someone in a less populated area.

Credit Rating

Credit can be used as a loss predictor in most states. If you have a low credit score, it could affect your insurance score altogether. Check to see what your insurance score looks like through LexisNexis to see if it’s poor, good, or excellent.

Veterans pay for insurance just like civilians do. You can’t get away with driving uninsured but you can save money on the mandatory insurance you’re expected to buy. To find the best rates for veterans, you can easily use our auto insurance rate comparison tool.