Complete Guide To Home Insurance For Veterans
Active duty military and veterans are lucky with homeowners insurance since many insurance companies offer reduced rates and discounts to their demographic. Military personnel and veterans have the same needs as civilians so selecting the right home insurance for veterans is of utmost importance. If you’re trying to find homeowners insurance for veterans, look no further.
Table of Contents:
- Home Insurance Companies For Veterans At A Glance
- Homeowners Insurance Requirements For VA Loans
- Homeowners Insurance Military Discount
- 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
Homeowners Insurance For Veterans At A Glance
Finding the right military home insurance requires a clear understanding of the type of coverage you need with the benefits that fit your lifestyle. Veterans and military personnel require the same protection as civilians through their home insurance policies.
In this post, we compiled a list of common insurance companies that offer military discounts or provide specialized training programs for employees working with military and veterans. The following short list for veteran home insurance provides a high-level look at some of these common providers.
- USAA: United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is highly regarded by its members for the membership perks provided. USAA provides current military personnel and their families benefits like financial services. Not only do they have affordable coverage, but they offer discounts on home security systems and car rentals.
- Highlight: USAA hires veterans and spouses through their Hiring Our Heroes (HoH) program and Military Spouse Fellowship Program (MSFP).1 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 and the military lifestyle to better understand their customers.
- Armed Forces Insurance: Armed Forces Insurance (AFI) is highly rated by members for its extensive list of endorsement offerings. They help current or past military members find affordable coverage for their homes and cars since they offer more discounts than their competitors.
- Highlight: Veterans looking for a wide range of endorsements will enjoy the 15 options offered by AFI, including earthquake and flood coverage. 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.)
- GEICO: GEICO isn’t a military-specific insurance provider, but it partners with many military professional networks that can give veterans additional discounts on their home insurance at up to 15%. Some of these networks include the Association of the U.S. Army, the Navy League of the U.S. and the Armed Forces Benefit Association.
- Highlight: 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.
Homeowners Insurance Requirements For VA Loans
Fortunately, veteran home loans don’t have a down payment requirement and typically have lower interest rates compared to loans for the general public. With that said, VA home loan borrowers must have home insurance.
VA lenders require borrowers to have sufficient homeowners insurance before the loan can be finalized, and different lenders may have their own criteria for veteran home insurance, which is also referred to as hazard insurance.
Hazard insurance is a subsection of homeowners insurance that covers severe structural home damage from natural disasters. Some VA lenders may even require a 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 lenders 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 15 months’ worth of home insurance premiums upfront and then continue their monthly payments to maintain the balance.
Veteran borrowers are not required to buy private mortgage insurance since the federal government guarantees veteran loans and therefore veterans are exempt.
VA Homeowners Insurance
Veterans who purchase a home with a VA loan from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs can work with the VA to obtain veteran mortgage insurance. While the VA doesn’t sell their home insurance, they may be able to connect you with the right home insurance company for veterans and even help you choose the right coverage for your home and belongings.
Homeowners Insurance Military Discounts
Below, we’ve listed home insurance companies for military personnel and veterans. 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.2
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.
Their policies are noted as being affordable and customer reviews report them to be “attentive, thorough and quick in the insurance claims process”.3
- Pros: There are a handful of different discounts offered by USAA such as their bundling discount, claims-free discount, home security system discount, 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 is another military-specific insurance company that includes coverage for your home and belongings, liability insurance, medical payments and loss of use coverage.
You can also add additional coverage options to your policy such as 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.
They offer coverage for condo with the AFI policy which protects the condo interior. Renters insurance is also something they provide 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, nor do they offer 24/7 customer service.
GEICO partners with military organizations to offer discounts on insurance. The covered associations include the Association of the United States Army, Navy League of the United States and the Armed Forces Benefit Association.
One thing that sets GEICO apart is their Emergency Deployment Discount which active duty military can receive if they received orders to one of the Department of Defense designated areas and their vehicle is stored under their approved storage protection plan.5
- 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.6 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 that 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 tends to 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 as well as their spouses so they understand the needs of the customers they serve.7 Their commitment to support current and former military and their family is through offering 100% differential pay to active-duty service members and reservists, continuing medical benefits for active-duty reservists and their dependents, and continuing 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 which 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.
Who Is Eligible For Military Home Insurance Policies And Discounts?
- Length of service and type of discharge
- Whether or not 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
As one of the most common providers of military insurance, USAA offers policies 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 in preserving your home for years to come. Should anything cause damage to your home, 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 to $1,000, you have the potential to save up to 24%. 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 two clauses are the occupancy clause and the war zone exemption: veteran homeowners should be sure to 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 if a military personnel is deployed is the occupancy (or vacancy) clause which says 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, should choose a policy without the occupancy clause or one that makes an exemption for active duty — of which military insurance companies are more likely to offer. This way, you can avoid buying an extra endorsement to protect a vacant home.
War Zone Exemption
The war zone exemption clause says 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Home Insurance For Veterans?
The best home insurance providers for military personnel and veterans are 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?
The average American can pay $1,312 per year for $250,000 in home insurance coverage, but your homeowners insurance can depend on your zip code, state, age, credit score and claims history.8
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.
Find The Right Home Insurance For Veterans
When looking for the right homeowners insurance for military veterans, consider USAA, Armed Forces Insurance or simply selecting a provider that offers incentives for military members to save money on home insurance policies.
When financing a home, veterans should consider a VA loan for their home if they’re looking to buy a house in addition to making sure that whatever homeowners insurance they do choose, it accommodates their needs.