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UPDATED: Oct 1, 2019
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Veterans are extraordinary people who have devoted their lives to serve their country in the military. It’s not hard to see why a national holiday has been devoted specifically to them.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says that Veterans Day is “a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”
If you have retired from active duty in the military, you may be able to take advantage of some great perks when it comes to car insurance. Find out how you can take advantage of insurance discounts for veterans today.
Why do veterans get car insurance discounts?
Many car insurance companies give veterans discounts as a way of saying thank you for their service to their country. You may be able to save anywhere from 10 to 20 percent off your total annual premium with veterans discounts.
What’s even better is that most insurance companies allow these discounts to be carried down to your immediate family members, so you can have car insurance savings for the whole family!
There are a few other reasons that veterans tend to receive more affordable insurance than everyone else. Statistics show that retired military veterans tend to be safer drivers because of age and discipline associated with serving in the armed forces.
Insurance companies also know that if your retirement money comes from the military, you are more likely to have a steady income coming in for the rest of your life.
It is in the insurance company’s best interest to insure individuals who are considered low risk and financially stable.
How to Qualify for a Veteran Car Insurance Discount
If you are retired from the military, then you may be eligible to qualify for substantial discounts. Generally, veterans receive awesome coverage for great rates.
The catch is you have to have a good driving record. If your driving record isn’t that great, then work at cleaning it up first before trying to find lower rates.
Be sure to check up on your driving record from time to time as most minor driving infractions come off your record in three years. Although an infraction may have been wiped from your record, it doesn’t always immediately register with the insurance company.
You could be getting charged a higher premium for car insurance than you really should be. If you happen to notice that an infraction from your past exceeds the three-year mark on your record, be sure to notify the insurance company as soon as possible.
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There are a few things that could hinder you from utilizing your veterans discount to the fullest:
- Drunk driving could cause you to forfeit your veteran discount altogether. People who get charged with a DUI are more of a risk to the insurance company and often pay expensive premiums.
- Multiple driving infractions add up over time and can make your premiums rise quicker than you may think. Be aware that some infractions are considered more serious than others, like reckless driving, careless driving, speeding, failure to stop, and failure to yield to pedestrians.
- Accidents or convictions related to your driving will automatically put you in a high-risk category. High-risk drivers cost more for the insurance company to insure, so you can expect your insurance premium to take a hike.
What other discounts may be available to veterans?
One of the easiest ways to get the best rates on car insurance is to take advantage of the multiple discounts that are available. Some companies will even offer you extra savings as an incentive to switch insurance providers.
Here are some common discounts that you may be eligible to take advantage of on top of your veteran discount:
- Non-smokers – Non-smokers pay less for car insurance than those who do smoke cigarettes. If you do smoke, there’s never been a better time to quit not just to save money on your insurance, but also to take care of your health
- Safety features – Safety features play an important part in the cost of your premium. Safety components like the anti-lock brake, airbags, rearview cameras, lane drift, collision warning systems and parking assist can help prevent expensive insurance claims. Insurance companies give discounts for features that will make your drive safer overall
- Bundle and save – Bundling your car insurance policy with your home insurance policy and/or life insurance policy can result in huge savings. The insurance company wants all your business; not to mention, it is much more convenient for you to have one company taking care of all your insurance needs
- Payment method – If you can afford it, try to pay annually instead of monthly. Another way you can save money is by changing the way you pay. Automatic payments from your checking account may result in an additional discount. Insurance companies also reward their customers for electronic billing
- Early renewal – Renewing your car insurance in advance could save you a significant amount on car insurance. Typically, renewing seven-10 days in advance will help you qualify for the additional savings
- Defensive driving course – AARP offers safe driving classes for those who are retired veterans. Some insurance companies may offer a discount if you complete one of these driving courses
- Low mileage – Driving less means that you are less likely to get into an accident, which makes you less of a risk to the insurance company. In order to qualify, you will likely have to keep your mileage under 7,500 miles or less. Electronic tracking of mileage may be required
- Snow bird insurance – If you only use your car part-time because you vacation during the winter months, look into cheaper coverage that will insure your car to be parked during the time that you are gone
- Insure multiple cars – Multi-car discounts come into play when you have two or more vehicles covered under one policy
- Association membership – Additional discounts may be available through your service or affiliation with retired personnel associations
- Stop driving – Unfortunately, you may need to hang it up at some point
As you can see discounts are a great way to save money on car insurance but don’t just stop there. By shopping around online and comparing multiple quotes, you could save hundreds of dollars a year on car insurance.
Be aware, however, that the cheapest rates don’t always mean that you’re getting the best deal.
You need to make sure that you find a provider that offers you the best-discounted premiums, while still providing you with the policy and coverage that you want.
The best part is online shopping for car insurance is easy. After you answer a few simple questions, the online comparison tool practically does all of the research for you. Before you know it, you will have access to the most competitive rates in your area.
Safety Tips for Retired Veterans
The National Institute of Health advises that you can be safer on the roads by recognizing the effects of aging and that your driving will be impacted by these changes to your body. Following these safety tips will help you keep everyone safe on the roads.
- By maintaining your health, you can be aware of anything that may inhibit your driving safety. Have your hearing, eyesight, and health evaluated on a regular basis. If you need glasses or hearing aids, make sure your prescription is up to date. Avoid driving after dark if you are not able to see well at night.
- Keep your body in check by staying physically active. By keeping in shape, you may have a faster reaction time in an emergency situation on the road.
- Make sure your seat is adjusted to your level of comfort, where you will have an adequate line of vision and the proper use of power steering, brakes, and mirrors to control your vehicle.
- Review your medications and their side effects so that you understand how your prescribed medications may affect your driving ability. If your medication warns against operating machinery after consuming the drug, be sure not to drive until you are not under the control of a substance.
- If you are driving in a busy part of town, be sure to follow cars at a greater distance so that you will have a greater reaction time in the case of an emergency.
- Plan your route to your destination ahead of time. Intersections can be especially dangerous to a driver over the age of 80. If you are able to avoid a risky intersection, by taking a slightly longer route, by all means, take the longer route.
- Keep your driving skills sharp by taking a defensive driving course. This will help you keep on top of the rules and regulations of the road as well as lead to lower insurance rates as mentioned earlier.
- Keep your vehicle in tip-top shape to help reduce the chance of roadside breakdowns. By taking your vehicle in for regular tune-ups and inspections, you can lessen your chance of any road-side hiccups.
To say that you have earned car insurance discounts for serving your country is an understatement. Without veterans, we wouldn’t have the freedoms that each and every person enjoys on a daily basis.
If you are not already getting a discount on your auto insurance, it is time to shop around and find a new policy provider.
Although car insurance discounts for veterans vary from state to state, online shopping will help ensure that you obtain the best veterans discounts in your area.
Use our free car insurance comparison tool today to find the best insurer for your needs.