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Veterans and current service members have plenty of insurance companies to choose from to meet their home insurance needs. There are a few companies that serve only active-duty military members, veterans, and their families. And there are also other homeowners insurance companies that offer varying discounts for veterans. In this expert review, we'll break down the best home insurance for veterans.
USAA is a highly-rated financial institution that offers a wide range of financial products and services to service members, veterans, and their family members. In addition to the typical homeowners insurance coverages, USAA also covers replacement of your belongings at the current cost with no depreciation. Many other companies will give you the amount after the depreciation of the property. USAA also offers coverage if you rent out a room or your whole house, protecting you and your guests. Members can customize their coverage to help fit their budget, and uniforms are covered in the event of a loss for active duty or deployed members. USAA offers other membership benefits such as discounts on shopping. USAA has a limited number of branches but offers more products and services than many other financial institutions. USAA also is financially strong, ranked No. 3 in the nation in terms of premiums written.
Armed Forces Insurance (AFI) is an option for active duty, retired service members, or those veterans with general discharge under honorable conditions of all branches of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reserves, and Coast Guard, DOD civilian employees and retirees, family members, and those associated with military organizations. There are more opportunities to become a member of AFI than USAA. AFI has additional coverage options such as equipment breakdown coverage, golf cart coverage, animal liability coverage, earthquake coverage, flood coverage, identity theft coverage, and more. AFI also offers a number of discounts to help lower your premium, such as security and fire alarm discounts, gated community discounts, building code grading credits, new roof credits, and more.
While not exclusive to the military, Geico is a national insurer that offers healthy discounts for service members and members of military associations such as AUSA, AFBA, and many more. In addition, they offer 24/7 customer service, while USAA and AFI do not. Geico also offers emergency deployment discounts for deployed service members. Geico is located in all 50 states with accessible insurance agents. In addition to its military discounts, Geico offers discounts for bundling policies and safety features installed in your home. Geico is most well-known for its auto insurance policies, and in 1996 the company became a subsidiary of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.
Farmers is another national insurer not exclusive to the military. It offers discounts to the military, occupational groups, and other professional associations. It also offers 13 homeowners discounts, including Multiline, ePolicy, UL-approved Roofing Materials, New Home, Protective Devices, Home Safety, and many more. Farmers even has state-specific home insurance discounts for those in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Alabama. Farmers is one of the largest insurers offering homeowners insurance and has thousands of agents you can work with nationwide.
USAA is one of the most well-known financial institutions and offers financial products and services to current and former military and their spouses. Children of USAA members can join, too. USAA is based out of San Antonio, Texas with a few branches in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Luxembourg.
Founded in 1922, USAA was started by 25 Army officers and has now become one of the largest financial institutions in the country. USAA allows members to customize their homeowners coverage to create an affordable rate. A USAA homeowners insurance policy covers fire, theft, vandalism, most weather-related events, liability, and identity theft. USAA offers protection for your home, living expenses if your home is not livable (loss of use), personal liability, and other structures such as detached garages and storage sheds.
Since many service members have to deploy, USAA will cover your home if you rent it out during your time overseas. In addition to covering your home, USAA also covers military uniforms. Its policies will also cover your personal belongings at today's replacement cost, with no depreciation. USAA is the third largest homeowners insurance company in the country, with $7.98 billion in direct premiums written in 2021.
AFI was founded in 1887 to provide military homeowners insurance, military renters insurance, military auto insurance, and much more to their members. AFI serves active, retired, and former military personnel, their families, and civilian Department of Defense employees.
Unlike many other insurance companies, AFI is a reciprocal exchange. This means that the policyholders of AFI essentially pool their money together to self-insure and exchange insurance contracts with one another. The policyholders own AFI policies, but a separate entity manages the insurance company. This lowers the risk for its members.
An AFI homeowners insurance policy covers your home, other structures on the property, loss of use, personal property, liability, and medical coverage. AFI also offers additional coverage such as earthquake, flood, animal liability coverage, identity theft, and water backup. It offers discounts based on where you live, the type of property you have, and more.
Geico is a national insurer that offers special military discounts on insurance for service members. In addition, Geico offers Emergency Deployment Discounts for service members that deploy into Department of Defense (DOD) designated danger areas. Founder Leo Goodwin first catered to U.S. government employees and military personnel in 1936, hence the name Geico, which stands for Government Employees Insurance Company. While it has expanded its customer base to anyone, it still has a special program for military service members.
If you are on active duty, a retiree, or a member of the National Guard or Reserves, Geico offers a discount of up to 15% on your total insurance premium. Geico also offers insurance discounts to members of certain military-related organizations, including AUSA, AFBA, and more. Geico covers property damage, personal property, limited coverage for jewelry, personal liability, medical bills, and additional expenses you may incur when experiencing a loss.
Farmers is another national insurer that offers affinity discounts for veterans and those in the military. Farmers offers discounts for certain occupational groups or professional associations. Founded in 1928 for the purpose of insuring the vehicles of rural farmers, it is the fifth-largest home insurance company with $7.6 billion in written premiums. Farmers covers your home, personal property, liability, and additional living expenses.
Insurers that are specifically geared towards veterans and members of the military do not offer discounts for being in the military, as policies are already catering to these customers. For other insurers, eligibility for military discounts may differ. The most common eligibility requirements are:
Some will extend discounts to family members of veterans and service members. Others will also include civilian Department of Defense (DOD) employees. Since discount criteria can vary, contact different insurers to confirm what you may qualify for.
Veterans and active-duty service members can qualify for a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) home loan. VA loans do not require a down payment and offer competitive interest rates and loan terms. Borrowers are required to have homeowners insurance. Lenders who service VA loans may be able to recommend reputable homeowners insurance companies.
While the VA does not offer homeowners insurance, it does offer Veterans' Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI). VMLI offers mortgage protection insurance service to disabled veterans and their families. Those who qualify can get up to $200,000 in mortgage life insurance. VMLI is a decreasing-term insurance. This means your coverage amount goes down as your mortgage balance goes down. After you pay off your mortgage, your VMLI coverage will end.
Active duty, National Guard, and Reserve members can be deployed to a combat zone or be activated on orders. This status may require a different type of homeowners insurance policy as compared to what a typical homeowner will need. Here are two clauses to take into consideration when choosing a homeowners insurance policy.
Homeowners insurance policies cover your primary dwelling. If you are activated on orders or have to deploy, then your policy may no longer be in effect if your home is vacant for a certain period of time. You can either purchase additional coverage to ensure your home is covered or look for a policy that does not have this clause.
Homeowners policies typically cover the policyholder's personal belongings wherever they are. If a policyholder is deployed to a combat danger zone, however, their personal belongings may not be covered. Insurers like USAA and AFI typically will not have this exclusion. It is important to verify whether the home insurance company you're considering has this exclusion or not.
Homeowners insurance can provide financial peace of mind. Even without a military discount, there are many other ways to save. Here are common discounts that the best homeowners insurance companies offer.
Many homeowners companies offer auto, life, and other types of insurance. You can save by purchasing and bundling other insurance products. USAA offers a 10% discount if you bundle home and auto.
You can save money by installing fire alarms, security systems, internal sprinklers, and by having windows, walls, a roof, or a foundation that are fortified against natural disasters. These measures can make your home secure, which reduces your chances of a break-in or sustaining damage from disasters that can result in serious injury. Some insurance companies also offer discounts for making home improvements such as upgrading to a new electrical, heating, or plumbing system if you live in an older home.
Some companies offer discounts if you pay through an automatic recurring funds transfer.
Some smart home devices, like smart thermostats, smart lighting, and smart security systems can get you a discount.
Some companies will lower your policy rates the longer you stay with them as a customer.
Just like many auto insurance policies, if you don't have any claims and are considered a low-risk homeowner, then a company may give you a discount. Each company is different, but the time limit can range from three to five years. For USAA, you can get 10% off if you have no claims in five or more years.
A higher deductible can lead to a lower premium and vice versa. It is important, however, that you have the cash on hand to cover the deductible amount in case you need to file a claim.
Homeowners insurance is an important way to protect one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make: your home. If you are a veteran, service member, or family member of one, you are eligible to join companies such as USAA or AFI. Other companies offer discounts for military service members. Get quotes from multiple companies to help you find the best value, and consider switching homeowners insurance companies if you find a better deal.
|Offer||Best For||Next Steps|
|Great For: Best for overall membership benefits for veterans and service members|
|Great For: Best for homeowners policy discounts and additional coverages|
|Great For: Best for military and veterans' associations|
|Great For: Best for discounts|
The average annual homeowners insurance policy cost is $1,725. The premiums will change based on where you live, the type of home you have, your deductible, and discounts you qualify for.
If disaster strikes, you will want enough homeowners insurance coverage to rebuild the structure of your home, to replace your belongings, to pay for additional costs if you're unable to live in your home, and to protect your financial assets in the event of liability to others
USAA has teamed up with Foremost Insurance to offer policies specializing in homes that are vacant. Foremost is a member of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies. It has developed specialized insurance options to meet the needs of deployed homeowners.
USAA membership is open to active, retired, and separated veterans with a discharge type of "Honorable" and "General Under Honorable Conditions" from the U.S. military and their eligible family members.
The data found on this page is a combination of publicly available quote data obtained directly from the carrier as well as insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from the top ten (10) to fifteen (15) carrier markets, within each state, based on annual written premium and should be used for comparative purposes only -- your own quotes may be different.
Insurance products are then rated on a scale of one to five stars, primarily focusing on:
With so many options for insurance across the board these days, it's easiest, and quite effective, to first look at the bottom line. Do single out competitive prices across insurance categories it's important to focus on:
Insurance provides coverage for unexpected financial burdens and piece of mind. But it's important to check your policies and see how you can lower your premium. Insurance companies offer discounts for all sorts of things now from safety devices to good grades to automatic bill pay. Pay attention to:
The benefits of insurance these days have gone far beyond just what your policy covers. Most companies and policies come with perks -- some of which may be completely unrelated to your insurance policy. Take a look at:
Policy research and coverage options are great, but how is the process when you have to actually use your insurance policy? The best coverage doesn't hold much value if it's a hassle to get paid out. Pay special attention to:
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