May 15, 2022


Best Homeowners Insurance For Veterans

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:

  • Does the Veterans Association (VA) offer homeowners insurance?
  • What are the benefits of a VA loan?
  • What are the home insurance requirements for VA loans?
  • Who is eligible for military-specific homeowners insurance and discounts?
  • How does deployment affect home insurance?
  • How much does home insurance cost for military members?
  • Which homeowners insurance companies offer discounts, and what do they offer?

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:

  • Liability protection if someone gets injured on your property
  • Theft protection
  • Damage to your home’s interior or exterior
  • Damage to other buildings on your property, such as sheds, garages, or barns

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?

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:

  • No down payment required. Instead of having to come up with 10% or 20% of your home’s total purchase price, these loans can cover all of it.
  • No need to buy private mortgage insurance (PMI). If you don’t have a VA loan and don’t put 20% down, you have to pay PMI. PMI safeguards your mortgage lender if you end up defaulting on your loan. PMI can cost anywhere from 0.58% to 1.86% of your original loan amount. You’ll have to pay until you have a predetermined percentage of equity in your home—usually 22%.
  • Closing costs are less. The VA limits the number of closing costs that lenders can charge VA loan applicants, making them more affordable than many other loans. 
  • Lower interest rates. The federal government guarantees VA loans. In other words, even if you default on payments, a portion of your loan will be repaid to your mortgage lender. The government guarantee encourages lenders to offer loans with very attractive terms. 
  • You can shop around. VA loans are offered by mortgage lenders, credit unions, U.S. banks, and other institutions. They’re not direct loans from the governments, meaning you have options and can compare loan offers to see which one works best for you. 

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?

Who Is Eligible For Military-Specific Homeowners Insurance

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:

  • How long you served
  • Type of discharge you received
  • Type of military member: National Guard or Reserves
  • Whether you’re on active duty
  • Whether you’re currently deployed
  • For military families: how close in relation you are to someone who served

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.

Vacancy Clause

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:

  • Look into Armed Forces Insurance or USAA. These insurance providers are exclusive for military members, and can therefore tailor their policies to meet your needs. If you’re getting deployed, contact your insurance provider. They can usually work out a way to avoid losing coverage during your deployment period.
  • Purchase a Vacant and Unoccupied Insurance Policy. If your insurance provider isn’t exclusive for military members, you can usually purchase a vacant or unoccupied insurance policy to cover your home while it’s empty. 
  • Rent your home out. If you can and are comfortable with it, you can rent your home out while you’re deployed. Doing so lets you continue using your home insurance policy without interruption. However, since you’re renting out your home, you should get renter’s insurance to protect yourself from property damage, theft, and liability if your tenant or one of their guests injures themselves on your property. 

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?

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 state you live in
  • The value of your home and the cost to rebuild it
  • Your home’s age and condition
  • How much coverage you want and what other types of coverage you have
  • Your insurance provider
  • Your credit and past claims history
  • Your home’s security and safety features
  • Your deductible

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:

  • Loyalty discounts
  • Retiree discounts (for veterans)
  • Claim-free discounts

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:

  • Active-duty members of the National Guard, Armed Forces, or military reserves
  • Spouses and kids of USAA members
  • Precommissioned officers
  • Veterans who are retired or have been honorably discharged

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:

  • Active-duty members of the National Guard, Armed Forces, or military reserves, or their current or survivor spouse
  • Veteran who is retired or was honorably discharged, or their current or survivor spouse
  • Spouses and kids of Armed Forces Insurance members
  • Former Armed Forces Insurance member
  • Civilian employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense
  • Retiree of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense
  • Member of a service academy, such as the ROTC cadets
  • Retired, active, or former commissioned officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the U.S. Public Health Service

Farmers Insurance

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:

  • Going paperless
  • Advanced payments
  • Insuring a new home
  • Signing up early

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:

  • The Armed Forces Benefit Association
  • The Association of the United States Navy
  • Navy League of the United States

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.

About the Author

As a native Washingtonian, Carlos Reyes’ journey in the real estate industry began more than 15 years ago when he started an online real estate company. Since then, he’s helped more than 700 individuals and families as a real estate broker achieve their real estate goals across Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC.

Carlos now helps real estate agents grow their business by teaching business fundamentals, execution, and leadership.

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