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Best military car insurance

USAA: Our top choice all around for active military and veterans. But don’t overlook Geico's perks.

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If you’re a member of the US armed forces, the reserves or are a veteran, several insurance companies offer rewards for your service with discounts and perks — for life. But the best car insurance companies cater to the military with discounted rates, customizable payment plans, coverage options during deployment and customer support that’s versed in military members’ needs.

We reviewed the top military-friendly companies for their discount, payment plans and customer support, choosing insurers with perks for active and veteran military members.

Best overall



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USAA is our top choice because of its highly rated customer service and perks that cater to military members as well as its competitive rates. USAA also offers a separate support team dedicated to deployed members, and it doesn't consider your coverage lapsed if you cancel your policy during deployment.

Eligible military members include: Active, retired or honorably discharged members of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, Navy and Reserves.

Best for veterans



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Geico offers one of the highest discounts for both active military and veterans, plus a discount for cadets in service academy. You'll also get a dedicated military support team manned by veterans as well as low rates competitive with USAA.

Eligible military members include: Active or retired members of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, Navy and Reserves.

Best military discount and flexible payments



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Direct Auto's 25% military discount is one of the highest available, and it lets you opt for a higher first payment to lower your monthly cost. It also specializes in insuring drivers with an imperfect record — including if you're considered high risk because you canceled your policy while deployed.

Eligible military members include: Active members of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, Navy and Reserves.

Best military support in Japan



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Chubb offers car insurance to USAA members, helping those deployed in Japan meet the country's strict car insurance requirements. You also get access to a long list of English-speaking agents who can offer advice and answer your insurance questions.

Eligible military members include: Only USAA military members deployed in Japan.

Military car insurance discounts and perks

While USAA and Geico tend to have the best rates and perks for military members, check out a few alternative companies that offer military discounts.

CompanyMilitary discountInternational car insuranceStorage insuranceMilitary payment plans24/7 phone support
USAA15% for cars on base

60% for car storage

Yes, in 15 countriesYesYesYes, 877-233-7569
Geico15% military discount

25% in danger zone pay areas

Yes. in Mexico and EuropeYes, 30 days storage for members on military dutyYesYes, 800-645-4827
Direct Auto25% military discount in AL, FL and LANoNoNoNo
Liberty MutualYesNoYesNoYes, 800-225-8285
ProgressiveNoYes, in Canada and territoriesYesNoYes, 800-776-4737
The GeneralYes, in LANoNoYesNo

Different insurers have different requirements for their military discount. You may qualify if you’re on active duty, in the National Guard or Reserves or are a veteran.

How to compare car insurance as a military member

Buying car insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all, especially if you serve or have served in the military. Consider the coverage and options that best fit your needs:

1. Consider your current military role when choosing coverage.

Before you get quotes from different companies, decide whether you need basic or wide car insurance protection — your military role may play into your decision. So if you’re stationed on base in the US and don’t drive much, you might not want many car insurance add-ons, or you might choose a pay-per-mile policy to reward your low mileage.

2. Compare military-friendly companies to standard companies.

Get quotes from a variety of insurance companies, even if they don’t offer a military discount or other convenient features. Despite a company offering a military discount, you could find the coverage you need at a lower price with a standard car insurance company.

3. Look for perks designed for the military.

Consider whether you need features like customizable payment plans or overseas support. If you typically serve in the States, these features may not matter to you, while a local agent’s support might be essential if you’re deployed overseas.

    • Military discounts. Ask about discounts for active or past military service or garaging your car when getting quotes.
    • Emergency deployment. If you’re given last-minute deployment orders, you could qualify for a deployment discount for comprehensive coverage.
    • Flexible policy management. Deployed troops could see extra flexibility in suspending, canceling and reinstating auto insurance.
    • Flexible payment schedule. Many companies let you choose when to pay monthly premiums based on your pay schedule, which might not fall on a standard employer schedule.
    • Car buying support. Programs like USAA’s Overseas Vehicle Purchase Program help military members get a car if they’re stationed overseas for over 30 days, with car purchase discounts and delivery to duty stations.

    Get car insurance quotes for military members

    Compare coverage from a variety of insurance companies, whether you’re on active duty or a veteran. Then, select Get quotes to see your customized rates.

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    Get your most compatible insurance options via a "smart matching" method aimed at finding you value.
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    Affordable car insurance with highly rated customer service. Only available to military members and veterans and their family.
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    Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
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    Should I cancel my insurance while deployed?

    Canceling car insurance during deployment isn’t usually the best option since dropping all coverage leaves your car vulnerable to damage from weather, theft and animals.

    Plus, canceling will show up on your insurance history as a lapse in car insurance coverage. Most insurers consider lapsed coverage a sign of a risky driver, though some may keep your rates low if you explain about your deployment.

    If you drop coverage without filing the proper registration forms with your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you could get your registration suspended.

    To drop coverage or cancel your policy, you may need to file an Affidavit of Non-Use or Planned Non-Operational Affidavit with your state’s DMV. Also, your local DMV may help you file special forms or find programs to keep your car registration while you’re deployed.

    4 ways to save on car insurance while deployed

    You have a few options to save if you’re not using your car while you’re on base or deployed.

    1. Drop to the minimum coverage required.

    Dropping to state-minimum car insurance is the easiest way to save money without filing extra paperwork to prove that you’re not driving while deployed. You’ll also avoid showing a gap in your car insurance coverage.

    Most states require you to buy at least property damage and bodily injury liability coverage to pay for car damage or injuries that you cause to other drivers and passengers. Some states also require uninsured motorist to pay for damage caused by an uninsured driver or personal injury protection to pay for your own medical bills and lost income if you get injured.

    2. Get storage insurance.

    Some companies let you drop your coverage down to only comprehensive coverage while your car is sitting in a garage or on base. Comprehensive coverage keeps your car protected against theft, weather damage and vandalism, and you drastically reduce your premium.

    Storage insurance also avoids a lapse in car insurance coverage, but you may have to send a copy of your military orders to qualify.

    Storage insurance doesn’t meet your state’s insurance requirements, so you’ll need to raise your coverage before driving again.

    3. Suspend or cancel your policy.

    To suspend or cancel your policy, explain to your car insurance company that you’re getting deployed overseas. Your insurer may want proof of your military orders and canceled car registration before canceling since insurance is required to drive in most states.

    4. Buy nonowner car insurance, if you’re selling your car.

    If you’re selling your car because of deployment, look into nonowner insurance coverage to avoid showing a lapse in your car insurance history. This type of policy protects you against liability if you damage someone else’s car or injure others in an accident.

    Bottom line

    While USAA’s strong commitment to members of the military make it a strong choice among competitors, consider comparing car insurance companies before deciding on the best fit for you.

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