USAA vs Geico Renters Insurance for Service Members/Veterans

Renting while you’re in the military is pretty much inevitable. You’ll move more times than you can count, and you most likely won’t be able to remember all the addresses of the places you’ve lived in the past 10 years. However, what you’ll most likely do is purchase renters insurance. Companies like USAA and Geico are great examples of insurance providers that attempt to give military members the best deal. Keep reading for our full USAA vs Geico renters insurance review.

USAA Renters Insurance

Let’s face it USAA seems to offer everything, one of which is Renters Insurance. Which is great as a military member, because you’re more likely to have your personal items in a rented place, storage unit, or in your car from all that moving you’re doing instead of in an owned home—although they do offer coverage for that too. And unlike a lot of USAA’s competition, they offer both earthquake and flood insurance with their policy. So, you don’t have to dish out any more money for a different type of protection.

How much is renters insurance-USAA 

The price of your renters’ insurance will vary based on where you need coverage, the type of coverage you get, and how much of it you want. The amount you agree to be deducted in the case your insurance provider will pay out will also determine how much your coverage will cost. As of this post, USAA provides basic coverage for $12/month. Again, this will depend on a lot of different variables. So, if you’re in the market for renters insurance, the best option is to talk with an actual representative who can let you know what you need and how much.

What does USAA renters insurance cover?

If you’re worried about your valuables being stolen or ruined from fire and lightning, flood and water, windstorm or hail, collapse of building, volcanic eruption, earthquake, smoke, freezing, falling objects, explosion, aircraft, vehicles, vandalism and malicious mischief, riot and civil commotion, sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging, and sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current, then USAA will have you covered.

If in one of the incidents listed above you were to lose clothing, electronics, silverware, phones, military equipment, jewelry, storage, fine art, bicycles, sports equipment, cameras, coins, china or crystal, music equipment, guns—we like this one—furniture, stamps, antiques, computers, appliances, furs, hearing aids, they’ll replace them with new stuff, even if it’s old. They’ll also cover liability, so if it’s your fault that the next-door neighbor’s apartment caught fire, then USAA will take care of it.

Geico Renters Insurance 

If you’re anything like me, when you hear someone talk about Geico or you see any of their commercials, you think car insurance. Chances are, renters insurance didn’t come to mind when you read Geico in the title. Even so, Geico seems to be one of the biggest competitors of USAA in most of these cases.

The downside to Geico insurance really is the fact that their flood insurance is sold separately, however, this is a pretty common theme with both renters and homeowners insurance.

How much is renters insurance-Geico

Geico is a competitor with USAA, so generally, they’re competing in price—if that’s your concern. Geico also provides basic renters insurance for $12/month—again this will depend on location, the amount of coverage you want, and your elected deductible. Your best option is to talk with a professional about your needs and let them help you determine your valuables and their worth.

What does Geico renters insurance cover?

Most people don’t realize how much they have. Those clothes you bought last winter, the new laptop you got your kid as a gift for making it into college—we knew you’d make it Johnny!”—the gun you have behind every door, etc., it all adds up. And if you were to lose everything, your furniture, appliances, and other personal items, the costs will add up. But, if you have renters insurance, even those old clothes, insurance from companies like Geico will replace them.

Geico renters insurance covers the following items (this is a non-exhaustive list):

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • A television or entertainment system
  • A computer
  • An iPod
  • Musical or sporting equipment
  • Jewelry

They also have a personal property calculator to help you get a better estimate on how much your stuff is worth.

While all Geico policies include liability, other options consist of:

  • Fire or Lightning
  • Windstorm
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or Malicious Mischief
  • Theft
  • Accidental Discharge of Water

Examples of when your Geico renters insurance will kick in are:

  • Your apartment building burned down
  • A thief broke into your townhouse
  • A guest slipped and injured himself in your kitchen
  • The home you’re renting suffered water damage

However, and we can’t stress this enough, you have to get the right insurance coverage and the right amount of you want coverage. Basic typically means liability, but if you own a lot of valuables, you live in a flood zone, etc., you have to make sure this will be covered under your policy. Always read the fine print. If you don’t, you might be left with nothing and no way to pay for the replacements without spending an arm and a leg for it. Therefore, talk with your provider, discuss your needs, and let them help you calculate the cost of anything you’d want to be replaced if it were to get damaged.

What is renters insurance?

Renters insurance is like any other type of insurance. Renters insurance basically protects your valuables inside the home, even your car depending on the provider you go with. And if you’re planning on renting out an apartment, chances are high it will be a requirement. In most cases, landlords require that you have liability insurance at a minimum. Liability renters insurance works like liability insurance you can get for your car. If you cause damage to someone else’s property—because you don’t know how to boil water without burning the place down—then your finances are protected and maybe you won’t get sued—we can’t make that promise though.

What does renters insurance cover? 

If you’re in the market for renters insurance, there are various types of coverage you can select. For example, Geico, at a minimum will give you liability—no, this isn’t Geico specific, just an example—meaning if your neighbor Bob comes over to borrow a cup of sugar and slips and falls in your kitchen, your liability will cover him.

Other benefits of having renters insurance, besides the insurance company replacing your stuff and medical bills, includes legal fees—if necessary—stolen items, accidental damage, and even flood and earthquake damage—not all insurance companies include this, meaning you might have to pay more if you want flood protection for your things.

How much renters insurance do I need?

How much renters insurance you need will depend on how much you have. Are you a huge stamp collector, do you have a lot of hi-tech equipment, clothes, antique clocks, china, etc.? If so, you probably want more coverage than an 18-year-old with less than $100 to his or her name.

With that being said, only you can determine how much renters insurance you need. But, keep in mind, most renters require a minimum amount of liability coverage, and you’re going to pay at least $12/month through USAA or Geico for that.

What doesn’t renters insurance cover? 

Renters insurance covers a lot, so much that you might be wondering what it doesn’t cover. In most cases—not including USAA—damage caused by a flood is not covered. This is different than a pipe bursting and flooding your place.

Typically, renters insurance doesn’t cover natural disasters, property damage caused by your pet—sorry Fido, this is your fault—damage caused from a nuclear war or terrorism, and in some cases highly valuable items, such as jewelry or antiques. Again, this will depend on your policy, the amount of coverage you’re getting, and the company you’re seeking coverage through.

How to get renters insurance

Acquiring renters insurance is pretty easy. So easy, some companies don’t even require you to physically talk to anyone. You go online, click a few buttons, and the next thing you know, you’re covered.

Some insurance companies can also provide you with immediate coverage. For example, let’s say you want to go with USAA as your provider, and your apartment requires you have $20,000 in coverage to move in. But wait, it’s move-in day, and you completely forgot about the whole insurance bit. You can simply call a representative, tell them how much coverage the landlord requires, they’ll write up a policy for you, explain it, and then tell you your coverage starts “right now.”

With that being said, your first step is to look around and estimate how much your stuff is worth. Then shop around to find a company that will give you the policy you want. It really is that easy, so don’t stress yourself over the requirement—it’s typically not a huge sum of money and in some cases, you can get discounts for bundling or being a military member or veteran. Both USAA and Geico provide military discounts.

Disclaimer

Keep in mind, everyone is different and so are your insurance needs. When you go comparison-shopping don’t just look at the price. There are cases where cheaper is better and then there are cases where it’s not. If you can get the same thing through someone else at a better price, then yes, cheaper could be the better option. However, if you need more, don’t be afraid to spend the money to get what you need, so long as you can afford it. Sometimes, you aren’t just paying for a product; you’re paying for the customer service. For example, some insurance companies provide all the things you need, but after you’ve been paying them for years, when it’s time to file your first claim, you never see a dime or have to fight tooth and nail for them to follow through on their policies.

So, while the pros and cons include cost with pretty much anything you purchase, don’t base your selection of renters insurance, or any product really, on that alone. Talk to your friends, co-worker, family members, etc. and see how their experiences with these different companies are going.

In fact, you should never base any of your purchases or policies on one fact alone. Don’t make your selection simply based on customer service, only based on price, only base on any one thing. However, base your selection on a combination that best suits your lifestyle and your personal needs.

If you’re currently in the market for renters insurance, you can read about some other providers here.

USAA vs Geico Car Insurance for Veterans

Everyone needs car insurance, and we’re trying to give you the most information we can about it. We started by giving you an in-depth look at Geico, and then USAA. Well, today we want to go a little deeper and point out the differences between USAA and Geico Car insurance, specifically as it relates to veterans and service members, using personal experience to back it up, of course.

USAA Car Insurance

USAA is probably one of the best-known providers of car insurance, home insurance, banking, and investment needs for military members and our veterans. So, we probably don’t have to mention they’re pro-military, which means they’re looking to give you some of the best discounts available.

From personal experience, they love bundling, and the more you have, the more you save. The nice thing, unlike cable, your bundle won’t end up costing you more next year. I’ve saved so much money over the years by banking through USAA, having my personal property insurance through them, my homeowner’s insurance, my car insurance, and my investment through them. Every time I ask about adding something, it seems like I save another $5 and my fees go down instead of up.

Now the above will depend on what you’re bundling, how much, where you live, your credit, etc. But, it’s a good option if you want everything in one spot. That and dealing with USAA has always been so easy.

What makes them even better, they don’t hide behind their contracts. If the representative knows you can save money by doing this or that, they’ll tell you. They also take the time to go over your contract with you and explain the fine print. This means, that hit and run you had last week, yeah you don’t have to pay $1,000 deductible if the police report says that’s what it was. Unlike other insurance companies, they’ll let you know about this, instead of trying to get the full $1,000 from you when really you only owed $250. If you haven’t realized it yet, this is what happened to me. Thankfully, I was dealing with an awesome USAA representative who filled me in on this piece of knowledge. So, I ended up saving $750 by switching to USAA.

Pros

They have excellent customer service
They offer huge discounts, especially if you can bundle
Free payment plan available
Car replacement assistance available
Military Installation discount, if you store your car on base while deployed (must be more than 30 days)

Cons

Geico is a cheaper option, in most cases
Driver training discount isn’t available in HI, NC, or NY
Safe Driver’s discount isn’t available in HI
Storage discount isn’t available in HI, NC, or VA
New vehicle discount isn’t available in NY

How to Cancel USAA Car Insurance

If you’re currently insured through USAA and want to cancel your insurance, it’s not that hard. Of course, calling and telling them you want to cancel will lead to a lot of questions. They’ll want to make sure you aren’t canceling for the wrong reasons or opting for too little coverage. Of course, if you want to forgo to the conversation, you can cancel online, and even though traditional mail (yes, that’s still a thing).

USAA Car Insurance Quote

Getting a quote from USAA is extremely easy too. If you’re like me, when it comes to finances and any amount of money you’ll be spending on a product meant to protect you, you’ll want all the details. You’ll also want to talk to an actual person and find out how you can get the most coverage for the lowest price.

I can’t remember how long I was on the phone with my representative, but he was incredibly knowledgeable and just all around pleasing to deal with. As I went back and forth asking him to crunch numbers and the ol’ “well what if I do this…” he never once treated me like I was just another customer. Everything was broken down for me and in the end, I got the coverage I wanted for the price I could afford.

However, keep in mind, every state is different. No matter what insurance provider you go with, you have to abide by the state’s minimum coverage requirement. Typically, liability is that minimum. But, again every state is different, some require more coverage and some less.

If you’re looking for the minimum price you can pay and the smallest amount of insurance coverage you can get, then feel free to shop around. Just because USAA is pro-military, pro-veteran doesn’t mean you can’t find a cheaper option.

I personally am a fan because of their customer service and the fact that they’re both knowledgeable and friendly. I also like having all my coverage in one place, and I save a lot by bundling. Again, you can find cheaper elsewhere, but remember you get what you pay for.

USAA Car Buying

USAA, unlike many other car insurance providers, does something a little more. They’ll let you pick and buy a car through them. Now, with that being said, USAA is known for being extremely selective about whom they’re willing to hand loans out to. Just because you’ve served in the military, or you’re serving now does not mean you automatically qualify.

If however, you do, USAA is known for giving low-interest rates—this is why they can be so picky. And if you qualify through them, it only adds to your savings. Typically this is done by finding a dealer that USAA is partnered with—you can find this on USAA’s website.

The downside, you won’t have as many options because they don’t partner with every dealership. In which case, you might be able to find dealers willing to give you the same types of discounts for your service. But, either way, it’s a cool feature USAA has, and an awesome opportunity to take advantage of if it will save you money.

In all cases, make sure you do your research. Compare prices and discounts between USAA and your local dealers that aren’t an affiliate of USAA and then make your decision. Don’t be afraid to comparison shop. Yes, I’m a huge fan of USAA, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find other comparable options out there.

Is USAA Actually The Best Car Insurance for Veterans?

Geico Car Insurance

Now, let’s talk about Geico car insurance. I can’t give you a lot of personal stories about my experience with Geico like I can with USAA. However, I know a lot of fellow service-members and veterans who’ve chosen to use Geico over USAA.

Through a lot of research and personal references, here’s what we’ve got for you on Geico car insurance and why it may be a better option for you over USAA.

Geico for Service Members

Report a Claim

  • Anyone who’s 18 years or older and on the policy can file a claim
  • Rental car companies can file a claim
  • Anyone who was in a collision with a GEICO policyholder can file a claim

Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance can be called for a variety of services

  • Tire change
  • Towing
  • Jumpstart
  • Lockout

Glass Damage

Glass damage is filed like a fender bender

  • Takes about 5 minutes
  • Can be reported online (quickest), over the phone or through the app
  • Ability to schedule an immediate repair, if eligible

Catastrophe Claims

  • Can be filed over the phone, through the app or online
  • Can report auto, motorcycles, ATVs, RVs, home, and boats
  • If it is a widespread event, field agents may be available

How to Cancel Geico Car Insurance

If you’re currently insured through Geico and you’d like to cancel and switch to another provider, it’s actually pretty easy. And while anyone to cancel with won’t want to drop you as a customer, they’ll simultaneously be making sure you aren’t dropping for the wrong reasons. If for some reason, it’s determined you’re canceling for the right reasons (because just canceling to cancel is never a good idea) below is how you’ll do it, according to their website.

  1. Call (800) 841-1587 to speak with a friendly, licensed agent.
  2. If prompted to speak to the Interactive Voice Response (IVR), say “cancel insurance policy” and then “auto.”
  3. You may be asked to say your GEICO policy number, so please have that ready.

Geico Car Insurance for Veterans

Geico offers veterans a 15% discount as well. However, this discount is strictly based on which state you live in. Also, if you want the discount, make talk to your representative about your prior service. Unfortunately, Geico doesn’t advertise this discount online, so the only way to find out if you qualify is if you ask an agent.

Pros

They offer a 15% military discount and a federal worker’s discount
They have an emergency deployment discount
Often they are cheaper than USAA
They have a team of only veteran military members dedicated specifically to helping service members

Cons

If you have a low credit score, prices seem to be more expensive than USAA
If you have a negative mark on your driving record, prices seem to be more expensive than USAA
Their veteran’s discount is hit or miss, so you might only be able to get it if you live in a certain state.

Geico Car Insurance for Deployed Service Members

Geico does offer a deployment discount. However, depending on where you’re deployed to will determine if you actually get an extra discount. If you’re deployed to an area that received imminent danger pay, you qualify for an extra 25% discount on your premium. Unfortunately, this is lower than USAA’s discount.

The imminent danger pay location also means, you won’t get the discount for being stationed at a place like Italy or Germany, where your life isn’t exactly being threatened.

If for some reason, you aren’t sold on USAA or Geico, that’s okay. Again, we want you to comparison shop, that’s why we’re pushing out articles for you to read about the different types of car insurance options available to you. If you want to learn about some of your other options read our article on the best car insurance companies for veterans and military service members—that aren’t USAA or Geico.

Best Car Insurance for Service Members and Veterans

Compare USAA vs. GEICO Car Insurance Rates

Overall, Geico’s prices are lower than USAA’s prices. However, there are some cases in which you can get a better deal through USAA. Geico offers things like deployment discounts, but only in certain circumstances. It’s also a smaller discount than what USAA has to offer.

However, if you’re CONUS, you might get a better deal with Geico. If you have very poor credit, you’d probably want to go with Geico as well, since their premium rates are typically lower, even with poor credit. Yes, your credit will determine the cost of your premium, and USAA will charge you more for it than Geico, but only if you have very poor credit. Typically, USAA charges less if your credit score is over 579. The best choice you can make is to call Geico and USAA and see who will give you the service you want at the price you can afford.

Disclaimer: Cheaper doesn’t always mean better, keep this in mind when comparing car insurance companies. As we pointed out, Geico is a great option because of the potential overall cost. However, USAA continuously wins at customer services against Geico. They also made it to number one when it came to handling claims. And trust us, if you’ve never filed a claim, you want that to be easy. It’s enough of a headache dealing with the fact that you were in a wreck or that your car was stolen. If the representative helping you isn’t doing their best or doesn’t know their job like they should, it only makes it that much more frustrating and you might end up missing out on something as a result. Unfortunately, this means you might end up paying more than you have to in a claim, or you may not get all the benefits you deserve.

USAA vs. GEICO: Rates by Age Bracket

If you’re young, you’ll typically pay for it. Fortunately, USAA will give you a break, even if you’re in your teens. However, Geico tends to charge higher rates the younger you are. Therefore, if you’re young, look at USAA for the better premium rates.