If you’re a veteran or current military member, you have plenty of options when it comes to purchasing homeowners insurance. Some home insurance companies, like the Armed Forces Insurance and the United States Automobile Association (USAA), are exclusively geared toward military members and veterans. Others, including Farmers Insurance, Progressive, and GEICO, offer special discounts for anyone who has served.
In this post, I will answer many of the most commonly asked questions about homeowners insurance for veterans, including:
Let’s get started with this post.
Does The VA Offer Homeowners Insurance?
The VA doesn’t offer home insurance directly.
However, their mortgage lenders have connections with insurance providers that can get you discounts and other benefits. Because active-duty members and veterans require the same needs as everyone else, finding the right home insurance coverage is significant.
A homeowners insurance policy provides you with financial protection, including:
Your home insurance policy also financially protects your lenders, and for that reason, they are all but required when you get a VA loan.
What Are The Benefits Of A VA Loan?
VA loans are among the best possible mortgages you can get. Here are a few reasons why:
What Are The Home Insurance Company Requirements For VA Loans?
Military members or not, your mortgage lender almost always requires you to have home insurance.
If you’re taking out a VA loan, you’ll be required to buy a policy with hazard insurance coverage. Hazard insurance pays for your home’s rebuilding costs, in the event that it gets damaged or destroyed. How much hazard insurance you buy depends on the size of your home, how much it costs, and what risks you have in the region you live in.
If you live in a special flood hazard area (SFHA), you’ll also need to buy flood insurance.
Typically, VA loan lenders require you to put your home insurance payments in escrow. This ensures you'll make payments on it, protecting their interest in your loan. You’ll have to pay a certain amount of monthly premiums in advance. Your lender will tell you how many payments are required. Regardless of the number, you’ll still spend much less than if you were also required to make a down payment.
Who Is Eligible For Military-Specific Homeowners Insurance Policies And Discounts?
Almost every insurance company has different qualifications for military members and veterans. To get these military discounts, here are some common criteria that can impact your eligibility:
The required criteria for military discounts change periodically, so contact your insurance agent to confirm your eligibility. Also, don’t hesitate to compare quotes and military discounts every now and then to ensure that you’re still getting the best rate for what you need.
How Does Deployment Affect Homeowners Insurance?
Military veterans and active duty are usually grouped into the same category when it comes to home insurance policies. However, their situations can be very different. For instance, if you’re getting ready for deployment, you may need additional protection.
Many insurance companies won’t offer home coverage if your property is going to be vacant for more than a month or two. When you’re not there, your home is more likely to be targeted for theft or vandalism. Obviously, you still need coverage. Here are a few options:
Be Wary Of The War Exclusion
Often, home insurance policies list acts of war as exclusions. Read the fine print to see if there’s a war exclusion included in your policy. Otherwise, your policy might not cover if you’re deployed to a war zone and your personal property is damaged or stolen while you’re there. You might have to consider purchasing personal property insurance.
How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost For Military Members?
In general, there are numerous factors that affect the price of your home insurance policy. The biggest ones include:
The average cost of homeowners insurance in 2022 is around $117/mo, or $1,398/yr. However, these rates can vary significantly.
In my post about getting the best and cheapest homeowners insurance, I looked at how much $250,000 in dwelling coverage would cost in 10 different states. In Vermont and Pennsylvania, the average monthly premium costs $57 and $61, respectively. Meanwhile, Kansas and Vermont homeowners pay an average monthly premium of $255 and $293 for the same amount of coverage!
Military veterans and active duty military personnel can usually expect to pay less than these average premiums. The amount of their premiums depends on many of the above factors, as well as their military discount.
Common Homeowners Insurance Discounts For Military Personnel
Different insurance companies offer different discounts, but many of them are fairly similar. Some of the most common military discounts include:
Like civilian policies, you can also qualify for multi-policy discounts. For example, when you bundle home and auto insurance, you can get discounts on each and save money by combining them.
Home Insurance Companies That Offer Discounts
There are several home insurance providers that offer military discounts. Two of these home insurance companies are military specific insurers, while three others offer special discounts for service members.
We’ll start with the two military specific insurance companies: USAA and Armed Forces Insurance.
USAA is probably one of the best home insurance providers for military families. They offer various helpful products for military families. In addition to home insurance, you can also get bank accounts and credit cards from them.
USAA also comes with quite a few perks, especially if you’re still serving. For example, they don’t have the war exclusion, meaning your personal belongings will be covered even if they’re damaged while you’re in a war zone. They also don’t have the vacancy clause, so you won’t have to worry about losing or reducing your coverage if your house remains vacant while you’re deployed.
If you decide to rent your house while deployed, USAA also includes home-sharing coverage, so you usually won’t have to worry about getting a renters insurance policy.
USAA home insurance policies are available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and coverage is available for:
Armed Forces Insurance
Armed Forces Insurance is partnered with other insurance companies, including Nationwide and Safeco. These partnerships offer active duty military members and veterans various home insurance policies, and plenty of optional endorsements to add.
Like USAA, Armed Forces Insurance is available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
To be eligible for Armed Forces Insurance, you must be a/an:
Farmers insurance isn’t exclusive to military members, but they are often eligible for an affinity discount on their homeowners insurance policy. While these discounts can vary depending on what state you live in and your financial and insurance history, it’s definitely worth looking into. Contact a Farmers agent and ask about what military-specific groups may qualify.
If you’re closely related to military personnel, you might also qualify. The more distant you are, the less likely that’s the case.
Progressive offers homeowners insurance through their network of insurers, known as the Progressive Home Advantage network. Progressive is also committed to hiring active and former military personnel and their spouses.
They offer discounts to active and former military members through third-party providers. You also compare different rates with their HomeQuote tools. Some discounts they offer include:
However, since Progressive doesn’t directly offer home insurance, you have to partner with their third-party providers.
GEICO is known for partnering with military organizations to offer insurance discounts. They are associated with:
These partnerships allow them to offer discounts that their competitors can’t, such as security system discounts, discounts for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, and discounts for bundling. Speak with one of GEICO’s insurance agents to learn what discounts are available in your area.
Final Thoughts On Homeowners Insurance For Veterans
Whether you’re active duty or veteran, many homeowners insurance companies have you in mind when it comes to their offerings. I recommend thinking about your priorities and shopping around to get quotes that best fit your needs. I wish you the best of luck on your search, and thank you for your service.