Do active duty members of the military get better insurance options?

Q:

Do active duty members of the military get better insurance options?

A:

As a serving member of the armed forces, it is important that you are recognized and compensated for the sacrifices you and your family make and the job you do to keep the country safe and secure.

Insurance companies understand that the military lifestyle is not the same level of risk and stasis than a civilian lifestyle and because of this, some offer exclusive insurance options and discounts. There are two ways to get these discounts—group insurance rates and occupational discounts.

Read: Insurance for Veterans: A Primer

Military Group Insurance

Certain insurance companies and brokerages have made exclusive agreements with employers and union groups to provide discounted insurance. These groups are given discounted insurance products that are not controlled by regulatory bodies.

For example, these discounts may not apply to the liability insurance rates for vehicles as those rates are usually set by governmental bodies and that price cannot be dictated by the insurance company. They can, however, provide discounted rates on coverage such as optional physical damage on a vehicle or property insurance.

These group agreements may also allow exceptions to standard clauses in insurance policies as the company understands serving members can experience extraordinary circumstances. For example, some companies may be able to transfer your coverage when you move across province or state within the policy term without cancellation fees or may provide extra coverage for military kit.

Currently in Canada, The Personal Insurance has a group relationship with the Department of Defence and in the US, Geico (Government Employees Insurance Company) has discounts for serving members of the military.

Read: 5 Questions to Ask Before Selecting an Insurance Agent

Occupational Discounts

If you are with an insurance company that does not have a group discount contract with your employer, don’t worry! You may be able to save a few dollars through an occupational discount.

During the quoting process, make sure to mention you are with the military. You don’t have to get specific about your trade if you are not comfortable sharing that information. If the agent cannot find “military” service specifically on their occupational discounts list, this discount may also be listed under “civil service” or “government – federal.”


Policy Wordings to Watch For

While it’s not the most riveting read, it’s important to check out the fine print of your policy documents to make sure that you’re covered for your lifestyle.

Once you have disclosed your occupation to your broker or agent, make sure to ask them if any specific wordings exclude coverage for your property due to your affiliation with the military.

Read: Insurance Policy Exclusions That Might Catch You Off Guard

  • Property Insurance: Most property policies cover your belongings anywhere in the world; however, there are usually clauses that exclude coverage for damage due to acts of war, terrorism, or conflict areas.

  • Travel Insurance: If you travel to another country while on deployment leave block, standard travel insurance packages may not cover you as your initial trip was for work. However, if you have a trip planned as a part of a regular civilian vacation, some companies offer trip interruption and cancellation if a deployment or order comes up preventing you from taking your trip.

  • Life insurance: Some insurance companies consider the military a high-risk profession for loss of property or life. As a result, life insurance for military members is usually done through specialty markets that provide coverage up until retirement from the military (in which afterward you can take out a civilian policy).

  • Liability Insurance: If you have many policies with a company, they may offer you an umbrella policy. This umbrella policy protects your home, auto, and personal liability. However, certain professions are not eligible for this coverage due to a higher rate of liability claims. Talk to your broker to make sure “military” or “civil service” is not on the list of excluded occupations.

It may feel like you’re bragging if you mention your service to an insurance advisor, but ultimately it is important to disclose this aspect of your life to your broker or agent—they will make sure you and your family are covered, no matter where you’re sent next!

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About the Author:

Kaitlyn Kokoska has worked as a Personal Lines Insurance Broker with a large, national brokerage since 2018. She specializes in property, auto, event, and travel insurance.

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