Looking for the best home insurance for veterans? While every homeowner needs home insurance, veterans and current service members have unique insurance needs. You also need reasonably priced coverage that meets those needs. Learn what you should consider when buying homeowners insurance and which companies will best meet your needs.
Who Offers Home Insurance for Veterans?
Veterans and those currently serving can buy homeowners insurance from any company. That doesn’t mean that every company will be a good fit, however. For example, USAA exclusively serves military members and their families. That means its coverage is designed to meet your needs, and the company has an outstanding reputation for customer service. Armed Forces Insurance is another company that specializes in serving the military.
These aren’t the only insurance options for insurance for veterans, of course. Companies like Farmers Insurance Group and GEICO offer discounts to military members. And with any company, you can often save money by bundling multiple types of coverage. For example, you could buy your home and auto insurance from the same company and potentially receive a discount. The Veterans Association, or VA, doesn't offer home insurance, but you can find other types of housing assistance there.
What Does Home Insurance for Veterans Cover?
Home insurance policies help you repair or rebuild your home if it’s damaged because of a covered event. These events are called “perils” in insurance-speak, and they include fires, hail, lightning and more. Review potential policies to ensure important perils are covered. Note that most policies don’t cover earthquakes or flood damage, so if these are concerns, you’ll need to purchase separate policies.
Coverage for Your Home
Homeowners insurance has a few different types of coverage. The first is the coverage that rebuilds the physical structure of your home and any attached buildings (like a garage or porch). You can choose the amount you want. Ideally, you’ll purchase enough coverage to rebuild your home from the ground up.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t need to include the value of your land (that won’t need to be rebuilt), so you don’t need to purchase an amount that matches the exact value of your home. If you’re not sure how much to buy, an experienced agent or broker can help you decide.
Coverage for Other Structures on Your Property
Home insurance will also cover detached structures on your property like sheds and garages. This is typically covered at about 10% of the amount you have to rebuild or repair your home, so that’s another factor to consider as you decide how much to purchase.
Coverage for Your Personal Belongings
If something happens to your home, it’s more than just the structure of your home that’s affected. Your belongings are as well. It's important to consider all of your belongings, including:
- Sporting goods
- Kitchen appliances
- Dishes and silverware
- Musical instruments
- Other hobby-related items
Policies typically cover your belongings for 50% to 70% of the amount you purchase to cover the structure of your home. A home inventory can help you determine whether this is enough.
You may have some specific items that are especially expensive, such as fine art or jewelry. In this case, you can typically purchase separate coverage for those items. That usually involves having the item appraised.
Policies usually cover items that are stored off your property as well, such as in a storage unit or items you have while traveling. The coverage may be significantly lower for items not stored in your home, however. If you’re serving currently, this is especially important coverage to pay attention to if there’s a possibility you could be deployed.
This may not be the first coverage that comes to mind when you buy home insurance, but it’s extremely important. Lawsuits can be extremely expensive. If someone slips and falls on your property or your teen backs into your neighbor’s fence while learning to drive, there’s a chance you could be sued.
Liability coverage helps with the cost of defending you and any awards or settlements. It also offers no-fault medical coverage, so your friend who slipped and fell could file a claim with your insurance company without filing a lawsuit and get some or all medical expenses covered.
How much should you purchase? Consider how much you have in assets and how important it is to protect those assets. An experienced agent or broker can advise you here as well.
Additional Living Expenses
Many policies offer this coverage as well. In some circumstances, it may not be safe to stay in your home while it’s being repaired or rebuilt. Staying somewhere else is expensive. You have to pay for restaurant meals, hotels, doing laundry and more. This covers living expenses beyond what you would ordinarily spend.
Look at the limits on this coverage and how long you can access additional living expense coverage to decide on the right option for you.
Special Considerations: Home Insurance for Veterans
Military personnel and veterans should review potential policies carefully. In particular, they should look for these clauses:
- Occupancy clause: Home insurance policies often require someone to occupy the home. The policy could be voided if it’s vacant for 30 to 60 days, depending on the terms of the policy. While that might not be a problem for typical homeowners, military members could be deployed and leave their homes empty. Look for an occupancy clause in potential policies and whether there’s an exemption for those serving in the military. Companies that serve military members may not include this in their policies. Other companies may allow you to purchase an endorsement that covers your home when it’s empty.
- War zone exemption: Some homeowners insurance policies don’t cover damage in a war zone. That means that if your belongings are damaged in a war zone, replacing them won’t be covered. Obviously, that’s a potential issue for active-duty military members. Ask potential insurers whether they have this exemption and whether they have an exception for those serving in the military.
Another consideration is cost. Get multiple quotes, and make sure potential insurers know you're a veteran or serving so you get any applicable discounts. There’s more to a policy than cost, of course. You should also keep in mind service. If you’re deployed overseas, you’ll need a company with extensive customer service hours or other accessible options, like 24/7 chat, in case you need to resolve an issue.
Best Home Insurance Carriers for Veterans
Which carriers offer the best insurance for veterans? Here are Benzinga’s picks.
Finding the Best Policy
It takes time to find the best home insurance for veterans, but the effort is worthwhile. After all, this policy will help protect your home and family. Ready to learn more about homeowners insurance? Check out Benzinga’s insurance resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offer homeowners insurance?
The VA doesn’t directly offer homeowners insurance. It does offer mortgages through private lenders, and your lender may be able to recommend a homeowners insurance company with a good track record for serving members of the military.
What insurance companies give veterans discounts?
Some insurance companies, like USAA and Armed Forces Insurance, don’t offer veterans discounts because they exclusively serve military members and veterans. They make an effort to offer reasonable rates and offer other discounts, like a multipolicy discount. Other companies like GEICO and Farmers offer discounts to veterans and those who are currently serving. If you’re not sure whether a company you’re considering offers a discount, don’t hesitate to ask.