Steps to Acquiring the Military Discount Auto Insurance
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UPDATED: Apr 12, 2020
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You can find military discount auto insurance through many insurance companies across the nation. Car insurance companies offer discounts for dozens of reasons, and being in the military is often one of those reasons.
Check for military discounts by putting your ZIP in our FREE insurance tool now!
Just as important as a military discount, or perhaps even more important, is finding a car insurance company that understands what being in the military entails, according to assorted articles on Military.com.
Such companies are more likely to work with you to accommodate the unique circumstances that military members often face.
Many car insurance companies offer discounts for active military members. Some even extend the discounts to veterans and those in the military reserves.
The simplest way to find out about potential military discounts may be to ask the insurance company before you even apply.
Researching several auto insurance companies is typically the most effective way to ensure you are not only getting a military discount, but you are also getting the best coverage at the best price.
The Illinois Department of Insurance suggests researching companies on several levels.
One level is making sure the company is licensed in the state where you need the auto insurance. It’s also important to look at a company’s ratings, financial stability, and number and types of complaints that have been lodged against it.
Knowing the type of auto insurance the state requires is another must–that way you are aware of the minimum requirements. You can always add extra coverage and higher limits, but at least you’ll be covered by state law.
As a member of the military, you would probably do best with an auto insurance company that understands military life. While the company does not have to necessarily understand things like boot camp, it should understand you may be deployed at a moment’s notice.
If you are suddenly deployed and fail to make upcoming payments on your auto insurance, your policy could lapse due to non-payment. Military.com warns that such a predicament could result in your policy not being renewed by the insurance company with which it lapsed.
Other companies may be hesitant to take you on as a new customer with a lapsed policy in your past. The lapse may also impact negatively on your credit score and report.
Other Military Car Insurance Tips
Another consideration when buying car insurance is how often you are forced to move as part of your military duty. Miliary.com says working with an individual agent may backfire under such circumstances. Individual agents are tied to a particular company, as well as a particular location.
If you change either, it’s goodbye to the agent. Instead, if you establish a relationship with a direct writer, you don’t need the middleman agent at all.
Not only can this save a portion of your premium that typically goes to the agent, but you can retain coverage when you move to a new location if you need the coverage to come with you.
Military Auto Insurance Exemptions
Military auto insurance exemptions may be available, depending on where your move takes you and if it is a permanent or temporary move. These exemptions may come into play for military members who live in one state but are temporarily stationed in another.
Depending on each particular state, laws may dictate that you are exempt from having auto insurance in one of the states.
The exemption typically applies to your original state of residence, rather than the state to which you are assigned, notes the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department.
The state of Florida offers a military auto insurance exemption on vehicles owned by Florida residents and their spouses stationed outside the state, as long as the members meet the eligibility requirements.
These requirements include a mailing address outside the state of Florida, a Florida residential address, and a copy of the person’s military orders.
If a copy of the military orders is not available, members may instead submit an affidavit from their commanding officer. The signed affidavit must verify the dates of assignment and other information noted on the military orders.
One more requirement is an affidavit signed by the military member requesting the exemption. This affidavit needs to verify that the vehicle is being used in the state in which the member is stationed and not in the state of Florida.
The only Florida use permitted would be for visiting the home state for short periods during the assignment.
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Additional Military Auto-Related Exemptions
Additional car-related exemptions for military members can save you even more money. A couple of examples from Virginia are outlined by the State Department of Motor Vehicles.
If you live elsewhere and are assigned to Virginia, you and your spouse can save on driver’s license fees by being exempt from obtaining a Virginia license. This applies if you already have a valid license from your home state.
You are welcome to obtain a Virginia license if you want one, but it is not a requirement under state law. Other states may have similar provisions.
Saving money on car-related taxes may be possible.
Virginia offers a tax exemption for military members buying vehicles in Virginia if the members live in another state.
Only active military members who are sole owners of the vehicle are eligible for the tax break.
Another Virginia savings can come in the form of the vehicle decals usually required by the city or county of residence. Local government offices sell the decals, and you may be able to get an exemption if you can prove you are an active member of the military on an assignment out of your home state.
Personal property taxes are another related exemption you may be able to enjoy in Virginia and elsewhere.
Additional Military Insurance Savings
If you happen to move to a state that has ample public transportation or you no longer need to use a car, you could look into suspending your insurance to save additional money. Suspending your insurance coverage may be an option if you are deployed overseas and your car is going to remain behind and unused.
If someone will be driving your car while you’re away, you can keep your policy to cover the vehicle’s use. You could also request the driver get a policy in his or her own name to cover.
States require at least a minimum amount of insurance on vehicles on the road, even when the vehicle’s owner is away.
Suspending your insurance coverage may be wiser than outright canceling your policy for several reasons. Canceling a policy means you would probably have to go through the entire application process once again, subjecting you to additional paperwork and potential hassles.
Suspending a policy keeps all your pertinent information on file and easily accessible.
Your insurance company may also allow you to suspend specific types of coverage but keep other types active, according to the Oregon Insurance Division.
You may be able to get away with suspending liability coverage if no one is going to be using your car since there is no chance of you being liable for an accident if you aren’t even there to drive the vehicle. Again, this only applies if no one else will be driving the vehicle, either.
On the other hand, you may want to keep something like comprehensive coverage in place. This type of coverage generally reimburses you for damage done to your vehicle due to vandalism, arson, or acts of nature beyond your control.
It would be tough having much control over any of these aspects if you’re deployed overseas.
Additional Car Insurance Savings
In addition to a military discount, car insurance companies may offer a flurry of other discounts that also apply to your situation. These include discounts for having security features and devices on your vehicle, as well as for having safety features and devices.
The features can usually range from car alarms to anti-lock brakes, and from wheel locks to airbags. Many newer vehicles already have a number of security and safety devices installed, which means you may already be sitting on a discount.
Insurance companies may offer discounts for being married, passing advanced driver’s classes, and having a low annual mileage rate. Combine several policies or insure several vehicles with the same insurance carrier and you may be looking at even more savings.
The type of vehicle you drive can also play a role in the overall cost of your insurance. The lowest rates usually go to those that are dependable and not prone to theft.
Cars that are exceedingly expensive to fix or exceedingly popular to steal generally merit higher premiums to offset the potential payouts the insurance company may incur.
Also review the type of coverage, coverage limits, and deductible you are considering. While going above the state minimum requirements is not a bad idea, going overboard on a vehicle that is soon destined for the scrap heap may be.
Higher deductibles usually translate to lower premiums since you will be required to pay out a bigger chunk of your own money before the insurance company picks up the rest of the bill.
Price is not always the bottom line when it comes to auto insurance, especially when it’s insurance for military members with a host of special considerations.
An honest, financially sound and flexible company with an equally flexible policy can go to great lengths meeting your military and car insurance needs.
Enter your ZIP in our FREE tool to research car insurance that suits military members now!