A Guide To Homeowners Insurance For Veterans And Military
Many homeowners insurance companies offer a variety of benefits, discounts and policies suited for active-duty military service members and veterans. So, finding the right home insurance requires a clear understanding of the type of coverage you need to fit your lifestyle.
Since many VA mortgage loans require home insurance, we’ve narrowed down the best home insurance companies for veterans to help with your search and help you during your home buying journey.
Table of Contents:
- Homeowners Insurance Requirements For VA Loans
- Veterans Homeowner Insurance And Military Discounts
- Eligibility For Military Home Insurance Policies And Discounts
- 5 Ways Veterans Can Save On Homeowners Insurance
- What Happens To My Homeowners Insurance If I Am Deployed?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Finding The Right Homeowners Insurance For Veterans
Guide to VA Loans
Homeowners Insurance Requirements For VA Loans
Veterans who purchase a home with a VA loan from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) are required to obtain mortgage insurance with hazard insurance coverage.
While the VA doesn’t sell their own home insurance, they can help connect you with the right home insurance company for veterans and even help you choose the right coverage for your home and belongings.
Hazard insurance is a subsection of homeowners insurance that covers severe structural home damage from natural disasters. Some VA lenders may even require a separate flood insurance policy since flooding isn’t typically covered by standard policies.
Standard homeowners insurance policies typically include dwelling coverage, coverage for other structures on your property like a detached garage, personal property coverage for damaged or destroyed belongings and liability coverage in the cause of injury. Veteran home insurance policies should include everything in a standard home insurance policy.
Veteran loan lender sometimes s require insurance payments in escrow, which is when a third party holds large sums of money or a property until certain conditions have been met. In this circumstance, homeowners will be required to pay a number of months’ worth of home insurance premiums upfront and then continue their monthly payments to maintain the balance.
Fortunately, VA borrowers are not required to buy private mortgage insurance (PMI) since the federal government guarantees these loans and veterans are often exempt from making a down payment. There is a VA funding fee that is between 0.5% – 3.3% depending on the type of loan, down payment and whether it’s in first or subsequent use. It can be paid upfront or built into the loan.
Veterans Homeowners Insurance And Military Discounts
Active duty military should compare policies from military insurance companies since they accommodate deployment and other situations specific to active duty military.
The most common choice for active-duty military is USAA since they offer many financial services such as bundling home and auto insurance as well as benefits for military personnel.
USAA is highly rated because of its customer service, coverage options and low-cost policies, which include coverage for fire, theft, windstorms, earthquakes, home sharing and military uniform coverage.
USAA hires veterans and spouses through their Hiring Our Heroes (HoH) program and Military Spouse Fellowship Program (MSFP). They’ve also developed programs with the goal of skill development for successful transitions into civilian life. USAA employees also attend training where they learn about challenges in the military lifestyle to better understand their customers.
Their policies are noted as being affordable and customer reviews report them to be “attentive, thorough and quick in the insurance claims process”
- Pros: There are a handful of different discounts offered by USAA such as their bundling discount, claims-free discount, home security system discount, rental car discounts, new home discount and discounts for insuring your home for the full rebuilding cost.
- Cons: USAA eligibility is only given to military members and their families, and there are no local agents or insurance brokers available to USAA customers. There also might be fewer discounts than competitors.
Armed Forces Insurance
The Armed Forces Insurance (AFI) is another military-specific insurance company that includes coverage for your home and belongings, liability insurance, medical payments and loss of use coverage.
Veterans looking for a wide range of insurance riders will enjoy the fifteen options offered by AFI, including earthquake, flood coverage, equipment breakdown coverage, golf cart coverage, animal liability, earthquake, flood, identity theft and more.
They also have many discounts to help lower your premium, such as a new home discount, companion policy discount and a gated community discount.
AFI also provides service from a personal agent no matter what state you reside in and are proud to be military specialists and highlight their strong relationship with the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA.)
They offer coverage for condos with the AFI policy that protects the condo interior. They also provide renters insurance and their AFI renters insurance policy has personal liability coverage for military personnel.
- Pros: The Armed Forces Insurance is the best for endorsements, which are changes to your policy that adjust your coverage. They also offer more discounts compared to other providers like USAA and GEICO.
- Cons: Unfortunately, this insurance provider has fewer products than competitors such as Allstate and State Farm, and they don’t offer 24/7 customer service.
GEICO partners with military organizations to offer discounts on insurance including the Association of the United States Army, Navy League of the United States and the Armed Forces Benefit Association.
Those affiliated with any military branch may qualify for a 15% discount on their home insurance premium. Some may even be eligible for discounts from emergency deployment or through a professional military organization such as the Association of the U.S. Army.
One thing that sets GEICO apart is their Emergency Deployment Discount. Active duty military are eligible for this discount if they received orders to one of the Department of Defense designated areas and their vehicle is stored under their approved storage protection plan.
- Pros: Since GEICO partners with military organizations, they offer many discounts that their competitors may not have like discounts for bundling, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home as well as security system discounts.
- Cons: All insurance products purchased through GEICO are required to go through an insurance underwriter. To finish getting their quote, GEICO customers must speak with an insurance agent.
Farmers Insurance offers an affinity discount from 2 – 8% to military personnel and veterans of the armed forces depending on the state. Their standard homeowners insurance policy includes dwelling coverage, which covers damage from weather. It also includes coverage of damage to detached garages and other additional structures on your property.
- Pros: This insurance provider offers affinity or professional discounts where customers in professions like the military are able to claim discounts on their home insurance policy.
- Cons: Family members who are distantly related to military personnel are more likely to be ineligible for insurance military discounts.
Progressive is another insurance company that offers discounts for veterans. They offer homeowners insurance through a network of insurers called the Progressive Home Advantage network, which means insurers vary by state. Since they use third-party insurers, it can be difficult to file a claim depending on who your provider ends up being.
Like the USAA, Progressive has a commitment to hiring current and former military and their spouses so they understand the needs of the customers they serve. Progressive offers 100% differential pay to active-duty service members and reservists, continuing medical benefits for active-duty reservists and their dependents, and continuous vacation time accrual during military leave of absence.
- Pros: Progressive offers discounts for current and former military members through third-party insurance providers. Some other discounts they offer include those for signing up early, insuring a new home, paying in advance and going paperless. They also offer a HomeQuote tool that helps customers compare different home insurance rates.
- Cons: Since Progressive doesn’t offer their own home insurance, they partner customers with third-party providers. There are also better discounts for bundling home and auto insurance with competitors.
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Who Is Eligible For Military Home Insurance Policies And Discounts?
Eligibility for veteran policies and military discounts usually depends on the home insurance provider. However, there are several criteria that can impact eligibility, such as:
- Your length of service and type of discharge
- Whether you’re on active duty, currently deployed or a member of the National Guard or Reserve
- How closely you are related to the veteran if you are a family member
USAA is one of the most common providers with policies available to active personnel, National Guard or Reserve members, honorably discharged or retired veterans, U.S. Military Academy or ROTC students, and family members of former or current USAA members such as spouses or children.
5 Ways Veterans Can Save On Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance is crucial for preserving your home for years to come. If your home is damaged, a good home insurance policy can help cover the costs of repair or replacement. Veterans and military personnel have access to discounts that civilians may not, so to help, we sourced five tips to save veterans money on homeowners insurance.
1. Explore Your Options
Although it may be tempting to pick the first provider that’s presented to you, it’s important to explore your options as a veteran to see where you can get the best rate and coverage specific to your needs.
2. Raise Your Deductible
A deductible is the amount of money that the customer pays before an insurance company will give you the payout for a claim. If you raise your deductible, you have the potential to save on the premium. The more you increase your deductible, the lower your monthly home insurance premium may be.
3. Bundle Insurance Policies
Insurance providers are known to offer discounts for bundling different types of insurance from the same company. For example, bundling a home insurance and auto policy may help you save money in the long run while protecting multiple important assets.
4. Practice Company Loyalty
Staying with the same insurance provider for several years can earn customers discounts or special privileges due to customer loyalty. Some providers offer a 5% discount on customer premiums if they stay for 3 – 5 years, while 6 years can earn you up to 10% off your premium.
5. Consider Group Coverage
Military and alumni associations may help you get a good rate on your home insurance through your affiliation to their organization. This can even include large employers or business associations.
What Happens To My Homeowners Insurance If I Am Deployed?
Homeowners insurance contracts include two clauses that affect military personnel in the event that they are deployed: The occupancy clause and the war zone exemption.
Veteran homeowners should read through the clauses in the contract before signing so they understand the impact they will have on coverage should they be deployed.
The first important clause is about where you live. If a military personnel is deployed, the occupancy (or vacancy) clause states that someone must live in the home in order for it to be covered by a homeowners insurance policy.
If the home is vacant for a certain period of time specified by the provider, your policy may become void.
To avoid this, you should choose a policy without the occupancy clause or one that makes an exemption for active duty. Military insurance companies are more likely to offer this. This way, you can avoid buying an extra endorsement to protect a vacant home.
War Zone Exemption
The war zone exemption clause states that if you are in a war zone, the damage that occurred in the designated area will not be covered by your insurance policy.
To avoid this, readers should purchase a policy through military insurance companies so their belongings and home can be covered.
Veterans Homeowner Insurance FAQs
We have all the answers to your veteran home insurance questions, from the best insurance providers to military discount eligibility.
What is the best home insurance for veterans?
The best home insurance providers for military personnel and veterans may include USAA, Armed Forces Insurance and GEICO.
What homeowners insurance companies offer discounts for veterans?
USAA, Armed Forces Insurance, Geico, Farmers and Progressive insurance offer discounts for veterans.
Who is eligible for military home insurance policies and discounts?
Eligibility for military home insurance policies depends on the provider, but can be specific to time served, how they were discharged and relation to the veteran for family members.
How much does homeowners insurance cost?
Your homeowners insurance can depend on your zip code, state, age, credit score and claims history. While shopping for homeowners insurance, we recommend getting quotes from several different insurance companies to see where you can secure the best rate and policy.
How much home insurance do I need?
Dwelling coverage should be able to cover the cost of rebuilding your home to its original condition before the damage. You should also have enough personal property insurance to cover the value of your belongings should they be compromised.
Is there specific homeowners insurance for disabled veterans?
Some insurance companies may have discounts for disabled veterans, so be sure to check with your insurance provider since it can save you money in the long run.
The Bottom Line On Finding The Right Home Insurance For Veterans
When looking for the right homeowners insurance for military veterans, comparing insurance quotes from all of these companies can help guarantee the right coverage and savings for you.
During the home buying process, veterans should consider a VA loan for their home if they’re looking to buy a house with a low interest rate and flexible terms, in addition to finding the right homeowners insurance.
Apply online and start your mortgage process today.
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