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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Multiple companies offer discounts to military personnel and veterans, and car insurance is no exception. Some car insurance companies specialize in coverage for military families while others just offer another discount to members of the military alongside your typical good driver, vehicle safety and other discounts. However you buy car insurance it’s important to obtain coverage that meets the unique needs of your military lifestyle.
Unique Military Insurance Needs
Military personnel have unique requirements that must be addressed by an auto insurance company. For example, many people on active duty or in the reserves may face deployment. This could lead to the vehicle being parked in storage for several months. During this time, the insured may need to suspend or temporarily reduce the insurance coverage.
While some people may be tempted to drop insurance coverage while the vehicle is in storage, this is not always the best choice. The vehicle may sustain damage while in storage, and purchasing another policy after the first has lapsed may be difficult. It’s much easier and safer to purchase an auto policy with limited coverage while the vehicle is in storage.
Alternatively, military members may wish to leave the vehicle in care of another person while they’re gone. In this case, it becomes necessary to add an additional driver to the policy. Be sure to discuss adding a driver to the policy to ensure that the company knows that the driver is authorized to use the vehicle and file claims as necessary.
Military personnel should also consider whether to purchase insurance through an agency or through direct sales. Insurance agents can build a relationship with the customer and help to provide guidance about policy questions, but insureds who move frequently will need to find a new agent in each new city.
For servicemen who move frequently from one base to the next, this can become a major inconvenience. Direct sales may be a better option. This enables the insured to purchase a policy directly from the Internet or over the phone, and policies are available across the country. Direct sales insurance policies are often less expensive than those purchased from insurance agents as well.
Getting a Military Discount on Car Insurance
When purchasing an auto insurance policy, the first step is to check if there are discounts available. Some companies, like USAA, cater specifically to military personnel and offer low premiums as a result of this. Other companies may offer a discount to military members who are in active service or to veterans. Be sure to ask exactly what the stipulations are of any discount received. For example, a company may provide benefits only to active members, not retired military personnel.
If you search for a car insurance company online, you can fill out a quote to reflect your military status. This will filter the results to present companies that offer discounts to members of the reserve, active forces or who are retired from the military. You can also search directly for companies that provide military discounts. Discounts vary from one company to the next, but could be as high as 15 percent off the total policy cost.
Once a driver has located a possible auto insurance company, the company will call to confirm the information and provide a personalized insurance quote. This quote will be tailored to the individual driver’s needs and driving history. At this point, the driver can choose the coverage required and discuss any budgetary concerns.
If you already have auto insurance, you may be able to obtain a discount from the existing insurance company. Simply call the agent or customer service phone number and see if any additional discount programs exist that can reduce the insurance rates. In addition to military discounts, most companies will provide a discount for safe drivers. Some also offer discounts to individuals who drive infrequently or who agree to install certain safety or anti-theft features into a vehicle.
Whether purchasing a new policy or simply searching for a discount on your current insurance, it’s always a good idea to contact the insurance company to see if you qualify for any discounts. By taking an active role in reducing your auto insurance premiums, you can be ensured that your auto policy will be the best possible fit for your needs and budget.