Best car insurance for veterans and members of the military

The best car insurance for veterans and people in the military is USAA, which has the lowest rates and highest rated customer service of any major company.

Andrew Hurst

By

Andrew Hurst

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

Updated|5 min read

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Whether you're an active-duty member of the armed forces or a veteran, USAA is the best military car insurance. USAA is the best car insurance for veterans and their families for its cheap rates, discount opportunities, and exceptional customer service.

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Besides USAA, other top companies for military car insurance are GEICO and Armed Forces Insurance. Because the cost and availability of auto insurance coverage depends on where you live, the surest way to get the best and cheapest car insurance for veterans is to compare quotes from multiple companies near you.

What is the best car insurance for military families?

The best car insurance for military families is USAA. Coverage from USAA costs 37% less than average (or nearly $700 less per year), making it the cheapest option for military car insurance. In addition to the affordable average cost of auto insurance from USAA, the insurer also has consistently strong customer service. 

If USAA isn't the most affordable car insurance company near you, GEICO, State Farm, and American Family also have cheap coverage for many veterans and military families.

Best military car insurance, companies - Graphic

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On the other hand, in our analysis we found that Progressive, Farmers, and Allstate tend to have more expensive military car insurance. However, Farmers does offer car insurance discounts for veterans and military families.

RankInsurerMinimum coverageFull coverage
1USAA$369$1,128
2GEICO$402$1,179
3State Farm$475$1,240
4American Family$676$1,515
5Nationwide$624$1,569
6Travelers$683$1,586
7National average$617$1,801
8Progressive$737$1,814
9Farmers$781$1,968
10Allstate$750$1,991

Insurers are ordered by the cost of a full-coverage car insurance policy.

Best military car insurance for most people: USAA

USAA

4.5

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

USAA logo

Best for most people

USAA's cheap rates and consistently highly ranked customer service make it the best insurance choice for most veterans and military families.

Pros

  • Lowest average rates for car insurance for military personnel

  • Reputation for excellent customer service

  • Offers lots of coverage lines besides auto insurance

Cons

  • Fewer discounts than competitors

Overview:

The best car insurance for most veterans, current military personnel, and their families comes from USAA. Compared to other insurers, USAA does the best at combining cheap car insurance and highly-rated customer service

According to the J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Survey [1] , USAA ranks ahead of 18 of its competitors for overall satisfaction. Additionally, data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners [2] shows that USAA gets relatively few complaints for its service.

Cost: 

USAA has the cheapest car insurance for most veterans and military families. We found that USAA offers the most affordable minimum and full coverage auto insurance of any major insurer. Car insurance from USAA is 40% cheaper than the national average for minimum coverage.

Our analysis also shows that USAA remains about $700 cheaper than other car insurance companies for veterans that want full coverage with even higher liability limits — $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per person and $300,000 per accident instead of $50,000/$100,000.

InsurerMinimumFull coverage (50/100)Full coverage (100/300)
Other companies$617$1,801$1,900
USAA$369$1,128$1,191
Difference-40%-37%-37%

Is USAA cheaper than GEICO?

USAA is cheaper than GEICO for most veterans and their families, though not by very much. On average, car insurance costs just $42 more per year at GEICO than USAA for both minimum and full coverage. Depending on where you live, USAA may be slightly more expensive than GEICO.

Discounts

While USAA is the best military car insurance company, the insurer offers relatively few discounts. However, veterans and military families can still lower their premiums with a handful of discounts, including:

  • Staying out of accidents

  • Bundling coverage

  • Owning a new vehicle

  • Renewing coverage

  • Storing their cars in a garage or on a base

In the places where USAA isn't already the cheapest option for coverage, drivers may have a harder time lowering their premiums than they would with competitors that offer more discounts.

→ Read about how USAA compares with the country's top insurers

Best military car insurance for discounts: GEICO

GEICO

4.4

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

GEICO logo

Best for discounts

GEICO's many discounts, including a 15% discount for veterans, could make it the best cheap alternative to USAA for military car insurance.

Pros

  • Cheap costs of car insurance, even without any discounts

  • 15% discount for military personnel and government workers

  • More than one dozen other opportunities for discounts

Cons

  • High rates for drivers with past accidents and tickets

Overview: 

While the average premium from USAA is most commonly the cheapest option among competitors, it's not always true that the insurer will always be the most affordable. In these moments, GEICO may be an affordable alternative to USAA for car insurance for most veterans and military families. 

Cost:

For a minimum coverage policy, the cost of car insurance from GEICO is 35% cheaper than average, and 34% more affordable for full coverage. While this makes the insurer slightly more expensive than USAA, GEICO's long list of discounts mean there's a good chance it could actually be cheaper than USAA for some drivers.

Discounts:

The most attractive auto insurance discount that GEICO offers is specially for members of the military. GEICO offers active-duty, retired, and reserve members of the armed forces a discount of up to 15%. Additionally, if you're deployed, GEICO may reduce the cost of your policy by 25% while your car is in storage. You could also save by:

  • Having air bags, anti-lock brakes, or a security system

  • Driving a car with daytime running lights

  • Insuring a new vehicle

  • Avoiding accidents and tickets

  • Using your seat belt

  • Completing a defensive driving course

  • Insuring more than one vehicle

  • Purchasing multiple policies

Drawbacks:

However, despite GEICO's low rates for most military families, drivers with a history of accidents or roadway violations may see higher than average costs of coverage from the insurer. While cost of car insurance at GEICO increases by an average of 104% after an accident, speeding ticket, and DUI citation, the cost of coverage rises by an average of 47% at USAA after the same violations.

Best small car insurance company for veterans: Armed Forces Insurance

Armed Forces Insurance

Armed Forces Insurance logo

Best among smaller companies

Compared to USAA and GEICO, Armed Forces Insurance is a smaller alternative for car insurance.

Pros

  • Available to members of the military and some civilian employees

  • Allows customers to pay bills and monitor claims online

Cons

  • No discounts listed by the insurer

  • Too small for reliable customer satisfaction rating

Overview:

Armed Forces Insurance could be the best car insurer for veterans who prefer to get coverage from a smaller company. As a company with fewer policyholders, Armed Forces Insurance stresses its commitment to reliable customer service — though the insurer is too small to have a rating from J.D. Power. 

Despite its size, Armed Forces Insurance does have a website where you can pay your bill electronically and monitor any open claims you have. 

Availability:

Like USAA, Armed Forces Insurance isn't available to the general public. While active, retired, and reserved members of the military are eligible for auto coverage from Armed Forces, the insurer also allows some civilian groups to get covered, too. You could be eligible for coverage if you were ever:

  • An employee of the U.S. Department of Defense

  • An employee of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

  • A member of the Service Academy or ROTC

  • A commissioned officer of NOAA or Public Health Services

  • A member of the Civil Air Patrol, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Merchant Marine, Military Auxiliary Radio System or Marine Corps Auxiliary forces

Drawbacks:

The main drawbacks to car insurance from Armed Forces Insurance is the company's apparent lack of discounts. Unlike other larger companies, Armed Forces Insurance doesn't list any discount opportunities on its website. Instead, the discounts you can get may depend on where you live.

Which insurance companies have a military discount for car insurance?

A few auto insurance companies besides USAA and GEICO offer discounts for veterans and members of the military, even those insurers whose coverage is available to both civilians and military personnel. We list some of the discounts you may qualify for below.

  • Liberty Mutual: Members of the military who are active, retired, or a part of the reserve forces of the U.S. army may get a discount from Liberty Mutual.

  • Farmers: Active duty, active reserves, retired, and honorably discharged members of the military may qualify for a discount from Farmers.

  • Arbella: You could save 10% on the cost of your policy if you're deployed on active duty at least 100 miles away from your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest military car insurance?

USAA is the cheapest military car insurance for most veterans, active-duty and reserved members of the armed forces, and their families. However, because car insurance rates depend on many factors, including location, it's possible that GEICO, State Farm, and others may be the most affordable option in your area.

What proof do you need to show I’m eligible for military auto insurance?

When you shop for car insurance coverage with USAA, or another provider that requires you to prove your eligibility, you need a bit more information on hand than a civilian. You will need to know the date that you started your service, along with the branch of the armed forces you're a part of. You will also need your discharge papers if you're no longer an active member of the military.

Do you need car insurance while you're deployed?

If you're deployed, you don't need car insurance if you won't be driving. However, it's best not to cancel your coverage. If insurers see a lapse in your car insurance records, you are more likely to experience much higher rates once you reinstate your policy. Instead, you could lower your premiums by reducing your coverage to the bare minimums, or to comp-only if your car is in storage. Depending on your insurance company, you may qualify for a deployment discount that reduces your premiums while you're overseas.

Can you get military car insurance if you're no longer in the military?

Yes, with USAA and Armed Forces Insurance you still get military car insurance as long as you were honorably discharged from service. Additionally, if you decide not to get coverage with either of these providers, you may still be eligible for discounts with many of the insurers that offer discounts to members of the military.

Methodology

Policygenius found the cheapest car insurance options for veterans and military families by calculating the premiums of drivers across every ZIP code in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Quadrant Information Services provided this public rate information. 

These rates reflect the cost of a full-coverage policy with the following limits:

  • Bodily injury liability: 50/100

  • Property damage liability: $50,000

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: 50/100

  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible

  • Collision: $500 deductible

Our sample driver was a 30-year-old male driver, driving a 2017 Toyota Camry LE driven 10,000 miles/year.

Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. Rates provided are a sample of costs. Your actual quotes may differ.