Gianetta Palmer is a writer for CarInsurance101.com, copywriter, and essayist. Her work has appeared in EverydayHealth.com, Healthline, and The Dyrt Magazine. She is the author of Scrunchie-Fried and writes a lot about car insurance in her spare time.

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert

UPDATED: Jul 18, 2021

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Things to Remember

  • USAA and GEICO cater to members of the military and offer the best overall rates through special discounts.
  • USAA caters exclusively to the military community, and it receives high ratings from its longtime members.
  • While GEICO is open to everyone, it has a military team that helps customers navigate its military discounts.

If you in the United States military and you want to save on your car insurance, USAA and GEICO will be your top choices. Not only do these insurers offer reasonable rates, but they also provide customers with quality care and additional ways to save money.

Of course, everyone can save on USAA and GEICO based on the basic discounts they offer, but both companies provide added benefits for veterans.

When you consider getting GEICO or USAA car insurance, first know that you are choosing between are two highly rated companies. USAA is known for its quality customer service, and GEICO is famous for its online platform.

In either case, longtime military veteran customers of both insurers appreciate the type of discounts available to them.

Read on to learn more about USAA and GEICO. Also, enter your ZIP code in our free quote tool to quickly get rates from both companies.

Who qualifies for USAA and GEICO’s military discounts?

GEICO offers some generous benefits for qualified military veterans. To receive GEICO discounts, veterans must be active duty, retired, in the Reserves, or part of the National Guard.

Also, GEICO offers military car insurance discounts for members of the following professional organizations:

  • Association of the United States Army (AUSA)
  • Armed Forces Benefit Association (AFBA)
  • Navy League of the United States (NLUS)
  • Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU)

USAA offers many of its members discounts based on their military service, along with their family members.

Veterans who qualify for USAA can be active duty, retired, part of the Reserves, or part of the National Guard. Cadets and midshipmen may also qualify for USAA membership.

Family members who qualify include spouses and un-remarried widows or widowers of USAA policyholders. Also, the children of members who held USAA membership may qualify.

Of course, every applicant must provide proof of their military connections.

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USAA vs. GEICO: Do both insurers offer the same military discounts?

USAA and GEICO offer discounts on customers’ insurance if they are good drivers, take driving courses, bundle coverages, or have good students. On top of those rate reductions, veterans can find extra savings, and there are two types of military discounts that USAA and GEICO offer.

Both USAA and GEICO offer up to 15% discounts to veterans who leave their autos on base. However, those discounts only apply if those automobiles are resting in secure locations, and those discounts might not apply in all states.

USAA and GEICO also offer discounts for deployed veterans. Veterans who have GEICO can also take advantage of an insurance pause during their deployments.

GEICO may pause or suspend insurance for automobiles for deployed veterans. However, those veterans must store their cars on base for 30 days or longer.

USAA’s Advantage Over GEICO for Veterans

Since USAA caters specifically to the military community, it is more accommodating to veterans. As such, USAA has the advantage over GEICO insurance in three areas.

First, USAA has better customer service. According to J.D. Power’s 2020 study, USAA received an Overall Customer Satisfaction Index rating of 891 out of 1000, which led all car insurance companies.

Secondly, USAA is especially open about the discounts it offers. Customers note that agents will tell them about USAA’s discounts unprompted. By comparison, GEICO does not openly advertise its 15% military discount. Veterans must ask an agent to get a reduction in their rates.

Third, USAA offers more discounts than GEICO does with its members.

With USAA, children of veterans may receive a discount because of their family connection and all members may receive savings for being members for an extended period. Also, members may enjoy up to a 60% reduction in their rates during employment.

Additionally, GEICO policyholders may only enjoy the deployment discount if they are in a place where they are in imminent danger. For example, the discount would not apply if a veteran were deployed to countries like Germany or Japan, which are not in war zones.

There is no such limit regarding deployment with USAA.

GEICO’s Advantage over USAA for Military Veterans

Although GEICO’s base rates might be more than USAA’s, veterans might be able to save more with GEICO military discounts, depending on which discounts apply to their situation.

Also, while Veterans can only receive a deployment discount from GEICO if they are in areas where they receive imminent danger pay, that discount is 25%. That is lower than the average deployment discount that USAA offers.

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Why is USAA insurance so well-equipped to cater to the military community?

In short, the USAA came to be because members of the United States military needed a company to fill their insurance needs. It has continued that mission for nearly 100 years.

In 1922, 25 army veterans came together in San Antonio, Texas, to create the United Services Automobile Association. Those army veterans all needed affordable car insurance. Since they were in the military, they had trouble finding companies that offered reasonable high-risk car insurance.

Of course, current USAA membership includes policyholders from all military branches, including the Air Force, Navy, Marines, and the State Department.

What makes GEICO well-equipped to cater to the military community?

Although GEICO is available to everyone regardless of their military connection, it has a unique approach to customer service.

USAA only markets to military veterans and their families, but not all its employees are required to have a military background. GEICO, on the other hand, has an exclusive military team made entirely of military veterans.

How good are GEICO’s financial strength and consumer ratings?

GEICO can boast about its financial strength and high consumer ratings.

A.M. Best recently gave GEICO an A++ rating (the highest) and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) gave the company an AA+ rating. GEICO, a Fortune 500 company, currently has assets totaling over $32 billion.

According to that same J.D. Power study cited above, GEICO ranked first in the Northwest and Northcentral regions. These ratings are due to its online platform, which makes it easier for customers to file claims.

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What about USAA’s Financial Strength?

USAA is also a Fortune 500 company that enjoys strong finances.

  • A.M. Best has given USAA an A++ Superior rating, the best of 16 ratings.
  • Moody’s Investor Service gave the association an Aaa rating, the highest of 21 possible ratings.
  • S&P gave USAA an AA+ rating, S&P’s second-highest rating.

Today, USAA is worth over $35.3 billion in assets. It managed to give $2.4 billion back to customers in 2019.

Should You Choose USAA or GEICO Insurance?

Ultimately, you will have to decide whether to go with GEICO or USAA insurance based on the cost-to-benefit ratio.

Both insurers offer numerous discounts for military veterans, even during times when veterans are overseas. However, USAA also offers benefits for military family members.

Both companies have strong finances. That means that they can fulfill most claims.

Also, both companies are relatively cheap compared to other top insurers. Depending on the state where you live, you may be able to use discounts that either USAA or GEICO offers.

Whichever you choose, these are the top two car insurance options for members of the military. If you would like to get a USAA or GEICO quote before you make your final decision, enter your ZIP code into our free online tool below.