Men and women protecting our country through military service deserve all the support they can get - and that extends to their needs for auto insurance. While deployed, the need for insurance is seemingly non-existent. But prickly consequences can result should soldiers not take measures to address insurance issues during their tours of duty.
Some people may need to have their car be stored as they serve, while others may need to transfer their car’s insurance in one state to coverage in another. There are thankfully several ways to address car insurance coverage while in the military. Here’s some basic training on how to do it: Step 1 advises asking insurance companies for advice ahead of time, Step 2 helps you understand your privileges, Step 3 recommends improving your credit, Step 4 suggests storing your car, Step 5 considers comprehensive insurance, Step 6 lets you know that you can sometimes bring your car with you, and Step 7 advises getting a letter from your base provost marshal.
Part 1 of Don’t go AWOL on potential options for insurance discounts
Fortunately, there are several insurers who will provide discounts on insurance to those who are actively serving. Consider GEICO’s 15% discount on premiums and USAA’s options for military kids and their family members, for example.
Step 1: Ask insurers for advice before you get deployed. Plan on entering the military in the near future? Inquire with several insurance providers on how you should approach your car coverage needs.
There are several insurance companies that will lift any penalties if you have special coverage concerns while you serve our nation. Still others may request that you maintain a minimum level of coverage on your vehicle by having it stored or formally inactive.
Step 2: Understand your special military privileges. There are important particularities to keep in mind if you’re in the military and in need of car insurance. These special circumstances can vary in noteworthy ways from state to state.
Some states will allow you to maintain your car’s registration and insurance protection you’re going to be serving the military from within your home state. But should you get called for service in another state, you may need to make arrangements for the insurance from within that new state.
Step 3: Make sure your credit score is in fighting shape. A flabby credit score may make handling insurance issues while deployed more troublesome than necessary.
The time is now to get your finances together: repay any and all overdue debts, handle all your bills in a timely fashion, and inform your credit card providers of your upcoming deployment. This will all simplify the insurance experience for you.
Step 4: Store your car for the duration of your tour of duty. By and large, this is the most efficient way to manage your vehicle’s well-being while you’re in the military. What s more, this step also clarifies your insurance needs in a nifty way.
Find a long-term garage or alternative storage situation, then tell car insurance companies about your situation. The vast majority of them will grant you a significant cut on coverage as a small perk for your service.
Step 5: Consider comprehensive car insurance. Instead of just storing your car, you could purchase comprehensive insurance in advance of stowing the vehicle away.
This type of insurance keeps you covered should anything occur in the garage or place your car’s storage, like fire or water damage. This may involve you needing to hand over your license plates and registration papers for as long as you’re serving, however.
Step 6: Bring your car along if you’re serving overseas. Excluding especially dangerous locales (like Syria and Afghanistan), most global ports of entry are acceptable for insurance coverage.
Geico stands out as a nice insurance option for this situation. The company collaborates with its sister organization, Geico Financial Services, to provide coverage for your vehicle during your international period of military service.
- Tip: Don’t NOT get insurance! The failure to properly insure your car while you serve can painfully pinch your wallet. Premiums may skyrocket upon your return from duty; insurance companies will be forced to take the lapse of coverage into consideration.
Step 7: Secure a letter from your base provost marshal. Get a letter right before you end your military service, noting your lack of accidents and quality driving record. This document could help further reduce your insurance bill post-deployment.
We’ll conclude with an all-too-true fact: if you own a car, even if you’re in the military, you need car insurance. But it’s incredibly easy to find yourself overpaying; many servicemen and women are shocked to see their rates increase while they are serving. Keep an eye on your rates and don’t hesitate to shop around for a better rate at any time.