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5 Tips for Buying Auto Insurance for Military

Tips for Military Auto Insurance CoverageAs part of the ongoing patriotism in the U.S., many car insurance providers are offering incentives and perks just for those in the military. If you are one of the men or women who proudly serve in the U.S. armed forces, follow the following 5 tips for buying car insurance.

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According to the Insurance Information Institute, there is a myth that service men and women pay more for car insurance coverage. In actuality, current and former members can often receive a significant discount that may in turn lower a premium to a truly inexpensive level.

Most insurance providers will require documentation from the military concerning details of your service in order to verify your eligibility. Remember that, while discounts are a great way to save on coverage, they can’t overcome the high cost of coverage after multiple accidents and tickets, or even a DUI. Safe driving is still one of the best ways to keep the cost of coverage affordable.

Who Is Eligible

Generally, special programs and discounts are eligible to a wide array of individuals. Active and enlisted members of the U.S. military are eligible.

Entitled individuals include personnel of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard.

Generally, veterans of the military may also be eligible; often an honorable discharge is required.

To varying degrees, you might also be eligible if you are in an officer’s program such as advanced ROTC. In other cases, family members might also be able to find discounts and programs.

Each company will have its own particular rules for who is eligible for a discount or program geared towards the military. Read the qualifications carefully, or inquire with an agent or representative if you need clarification.

#1: Suspend Coverage While Deployed

If you are a member of the military and you are expecting to be deployed Buying Auto Insurance for Militarysometime in the future, then you should search for a car insurance provider that will let you suspend your coverage while you are deployed. When and how an insurer may suspend your coverage while you’re deployed will depend upon state laws and the policies of the insurer.

Suspending your coverage means that you don’t have to cancel or pay for your coverage, but it also means that it can be resumed once you return. You aren’t penalized for suspending your coverage. Generally, your vehicle must be parked in a secured area while you’re deployed; in other words, no one is going to drive it while you are gone.

Not all auto insurance companies offer the option to suspend coverage. If you are looking for a flexible company that will work with you and your unique situation, then try to find an insurer that offers the chance to suspend coverage.

#2: Understand State Laws and Procedures

Not all states allow members of the armed forces to suspend their car insurance coverage while deployed; the industry specialists at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recommend that you contact your state’s department of insurance to learn about the laws and regulations in your state. The NAIC contends that you may need to file an affidavit of non-use or some other paperwork that shows that the vehicle will not be in use.

Different states may have special rules and conditions when a member of the military wants to suspend coverage while deployed.

For instance, according to the New York Department of Financial Services, your registration and license plate must be surrendered to the N.Y. Department of Motor Vehicles while you are away.

The NAIC also cautions that you may want to retain comprehensive coverage, especially if your vehicle will not be stored in a secured garage or car lot. If you suspend coverage completely, your insurance will not pay for losses from weather, natural disaster, theft, and the like.

Auto Insurance for MilitaryIt is vastly important that you understand every requirement for suspending your coverage while you are deployed. If you don’t follow the proper procedure, you may be facing fines and loss of your registration and license for failing to have coverage for your vehicle. In addition, you will have had a lapse of coverage, which will likely cause your car insurance premium to be much higher once you try to find a new provider.

Your state’s department of insurance can be reached online or by the phone. The NAIC features a map that links to each state’s department of insurance; you can also do an online search for your state and the phrase “department of insurance.”

Some states unite their insurance departments or insurance bureaus with financial or business departments, so the exact wording of the departments’ titles may vary; for instance, New York’s insurance department is part of the Department of Financial Services, such as in the link below.

#3: Search for Military Discounts

Another avenue that you should follow is to search for companies that offer discounts for military personnel and their immediate family members. Many car insurance providers want to show their thanks and gratitude for the service of the men and women of the military by offering discounts off of coverage.

Discounts can include percentages off particular parts of your coverage or a percentage deduction right from your premium. Other times, a discount may only be available in particular states that require it by law, and you usually must be active military or a spouse of an active military member.

A 15% savings off the entire cost of your coverage is one example of a provider’s discount for military personnel.

A discount for being in the military is just one discount for which you may qualify. Try to find other discounts, such as a discount for anti-theft devices or bundling your home and car insurance with the same provider, to find even more savings.

#4: Look at Military-Only Insurers

One of the most recommended options that you will find on websites geared towards members of the military is to find an auto insurance company that only sells insurance products to past and current military personnel and their immediate family members.

Such insurance companies operate a bit like motor clubs. Participants are members who are then eligible for reduced prices for car insurance coverage. Generally, these insurance companies that offer coverage exclusively to military members, veterans, and immediate kin understand the rigors 5 Tips Buying Auto Insurance for Militaryof a military lifestyle; they are much more likely to comprehend the ins and outs of the work requirements of a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine.

Such insurance companies usually don’t have additional discounts for being in the military, as their prices are already so deeply discounted. Further benefits are that military-only providers usually also offer additional lines of insurance or other products.

You may be able to find homeowner’s and renter’s insurance, life insurance, or even health insurance. Furthermore, you can also find banking, real estate services, investments, and retirement planning.

Each provider that requires membership through military service will have its own definitions of who is eligible. Some providers allow spouses, widows, and children of former or current military members to utilize the membership as long as the individual with the military background was a member at some time.

#5: Get Quotes

Shopping around by getting quotes for coverage from several different insurance companies is one of the best ways for any driver to save.

Even though military personnel are eligible for special discounts on coverage, getting many different quotes is still recommended by experts when looking for auto insurance.

Getting quotes is an easy process; it really just takes a bit of time and effort. First, you need to know how much coverage you want. It is recommended that you get more liability coverage than state minimums, as well as collision and comprehensive coverage.

It is important to know exactly how much coverage you want, according to the Maine Bureau of Insurance’s Consumer’s Guide, so that all of your quotes are for exactly the same amount of coverage. Then, you will be able to compare your quotes equally. You can get Military Soldier Buying Military Auto Insurancequotes from agents at an office, over the phone, or online. Many car insurance companies have websites that offer quotes, and there are a number of Internet-based insurers as well.

Check out any insurance company that you have never heard of before with your state’s department of insurance or the NAIC to make sure it is legitimate. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous people out there willing to take advantage of a driver’s desire for affordable coverage.

Get quotes from an array of car insurance providers, making sure to look for ones that offer military discounts and allow you to suspend your coverage while deployed. Also make sure that you get quotes from those providers that cater only to military personnel.

Using a quote comparison website such as this one will allow you to get an array of quotes. However, there is no guarantee that the companies that return quotes to you will be military-friendly, so use such comparison sites as a complement to your own search for quotes.

Once you have found a likely company, check out their background and reputation to make sure they are a reliable and helpful provider. There are many different websites geared toward military life that will offer reviews and discussion forums on particular providers. Once you have decided, all you have to do is make your policy’s down payment.

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