Veteran Discounts: What You Need to Know

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After serving in the National Guard or other armed forces, discounts on something as mundane as auto insurance seems like the least those you’ve helped protect can do in exchange. Yet, for many military veterans and current military personnel, taking advantage of the resources and discounts offered to them is something done sheepishly, if at all.

For expenses like insurance coverage, though, it can be worth letting the country give back to you for a change—if only so you can continue supporting your fellow citizens through other means rather than worrying about the cost of your insurance policy.

Most major insurance companies offer discounts for vets. 

With a quick search, you’ll find that major insurance providers like Geico and Progressive offer some sort of military retiree or veterans discounts for car insurance and other such policies. Like most benefits, your eligibility for this discount requires that you weren’t dishonorably discharged and you’ll need to show verification of your service (such as a military ID) to take advantage of these savings.

Beyond the most basic requirements, though, one company’s particular discount or prerequisites for discounted coverage may vary. Because of this variance, it’s crucial that you compare potential insurers carefully rather than simply choosing the first auto insurance plan that offers a military discount.

You’ll still want to compare insurance quotes.

In particular, you want to be sure you compare your specific insurance quotes between companies. Some insurers will inevitably offer a better rate than others, while one may have a higher premium and lower deductibles or vice versa.

Like with any insurance policy, it’s vital that you compare each detail and read any terms and conditions carefully—this is one area of your life in which you want to be absolutely certain you’ve made the right decision. Fortunately, the military should have trained you well for making informed, important choices. 

Disabled veterans may need to do some extra research. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), 27.9% of non-institutionalized civilian veterans aged 21 through 64 reported a service-connected disability in 2018, the most recent year for which this data is available. Despite the prevalence of disabled vets, there may still be additional costs when these former service members apply for car insurance.

While a veteran’s discount can still apply, a disabled veteran who requires mobility adaptations for their vehicle will typically find themself with a higher rate than an able-bodied counterpart. Still, it’s important that you disclose this equipment to your insurance agent—otherwise, your coverage will not apply to these necessary parts of your automobile. 

Other factors unrelated to your service will still impact your rates.

Like with any customer, there are plenty of factors an insurance company will consider when determining rates for an active duty or retired military member. As a veteran, your service can lower that number—however, other factors like your age, location, vehicle make and model, and other demographic factors can increase or decrease your rate accordingly. Therefore, one veteran may pay more for their insurance coverage than another, even if they have identical coverage from the same company. 

After serving in the military, expending time and effort on something as routine as car insurance might seem silly. Yet, by comparing your coverage options carefully and thoroughly, you’ll not only be making it safer to drive—you’ll be receiving a small sort of gratitude for your service.

For former military personnel, it can be difficult to let yourself take advantage of special offers and offered because of your military status. However, you’ve certainly earned the right to take advantage of special pricing. In some cases, a special discount might apply to your spouse, dependents, or another immediate family member—if not for yourself, take advantage of these exclusive discounts for the people you love most.

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