Many home insurance providers offer benefits to active and veteran members of the military. These can range from a discount for military members to coverage specifically for Armed Forces members, both current and retired.
If you have a home loan, odds are your provider will want you to have a homeowners insurance policy. If you are deployed, this can cause some coverage problems. Fortunately, there are homeowners insurance providers that cater to the coverage needs of deployed military.
This article will cover:
- Getting home insurance for military members
- Best home insurers for veterans
- Insurance companies with military discounts
Home insurance for military members
Homeowners insurance isn't required by law, but mortgage lenders will often require it in order to protect their investment. If you're just looking for a standard home insurance policy in the U.S., it's normally enough to provide the coverage your home needs.
It may be a different story if you are deployed in a war zone. Most homeowners insurers exclude acts of war as a covered peril. Insurers like USAA and Armed Forces Insurance, or AFI, which specialize in coverage for military members, offer war zone exemptions that may give you home insurance coverage should you be living in a combat zone.
If you're a military veteran and have a Veterans Affairs loan, it will probably have specific homeowners insurance requirements as part of your agreement. VA loans usually require you have an HO-1 policy at minimum, the most basic type of home insurance. This means a policy that, at minimum, covers damage due to:
- Theft and vandalism
- Aircraft damage
- Volcanic damage
When you buy dwelling coverage, it should be equal to the rebuild cost of the home should it be destroyed. In order to choose the right amount of personal property insurance, compile an inventory list in order to estimate the correct amount of coverage you'll need to replace your belongings if they're damaged or destroyed.
Best homeowners insurance companies for veterans
There are home insurance providers that sell coverage strictly to members of the armed forces. This applies to both currently serving and veteran military, and sometimes even their close family. According to our research, the top two home insurance providers for military veterans are USAA and AFI.
USAA is our best home insurance company for military members. It offers excellent rates and best-of-the-best customer service, and it has excellent financial resources.
Founded in 1922, United Services Automobile Association, or USAA, provides insurance for:
- Active service personnel
- National Guard members
- Army Reserve members
- Honorably discharged service members
- ROTC and U.S. Military Academy members
- Eligible immediate family of policyholders, including spouses
With a strong focus on providing military personnel with home insurance, and its war zone coverage exemption, USAA provides excellent homeowners insurance benefits for currently serving and veteran Armed Services members:
- Military uniforms are covered if damaged or destroyed for active duty and deployed policyholders.
- Your home and possessions are covered at replacement cost. This means that depreciation will not factor into your claim payout.
USAA is considered the top of the pack among home insurers. In 2019, J.D. Power gave USAA a five-out-of-five Power Circle rating for customer satisfaction. USAA also received 878 out of 1,000 points for customer satisfaction. That’s well above the next highest ranked insurer, Amica, with 845 points.
A.M. Best, which generates credit ratings for the insurance industry, gave USAA an A++ rating for financial strength. And the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) gave USAA a 0.15 rating for customer complaints. The national complaint rating average is 1.0, so USAA is below average in terms of customer complaints.
Armed Forces Insurance
Initially founded in 1887 to provide fire insurance to soldiers, AFI has since expanded to provide coverage across the range of insurance needs, including homeowners insurance beyond just fire coverage.
AFI provides home insurance coverage to:
- Active, retired and honorably discharged military
- National Guard and Reserves
- Surviving spouse or former spouse of any of the above
- Active or retired civilian Department of Defense employees
- Current or former commissioned NOAA or PHS officers
- Children of current or former AFI policyholders
AFI's homeowners insurance coverage is fairly customizable. On top of offering standard homeowners insurance packages, they also sell:
- Increased ordinance and law coverage: If your home needs to be brought up to code while being repaired, this add-on coverage may help pay for it.
- Earthquake coverage: Earthquakes are a peril not covered by standard homeowners insurance. This endorsement can be a valuable asset if you live in an area with a high risk of earthquakes.
- Flood coverage: Like earthquakes, flood damage is not covered by standard homeowners insurance. If you live in a flood zone, flood coverage can be invaluable.
AFI offers different discounts depending on which state you live in. Check with an agent for more details.
While AFI is not ranked by either J.D. Power or NAIC, A.M. Best gave it a B++, or “Good”, for financial strength.
Standard home insurers that offer military discounts
While USAA and AFI specialize in insuring current and former military members, many standard home insurers cater to veterans. Here are some providers that offer home insurance discounts for currently serving and retired military:
- GEICO offers up to a 15% discount on your total insurance premium if you're active or retired military.
- You may save up to 5% with Farmers on home insurance if you're active, retired or reserve military.
- Liberty Mutual has a discount for currently serving and retired military homeowners. Speak with a Liberty Mutual agent to see what you may qualify for.
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