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 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. Which 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.
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)
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
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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 that 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.