Are you a military member or a veteran looking to shop for home insurance? Well, the good news is the insurance agencies tend to extend different policy discounts and benefits specially tailored for armed forces employees and veterans. These special insurance perks are available from both military-specific insurance companies and generic ones. However, with the former, the range of perks are broader.
The post below sheds light on home insurance for military members and veterans.
VA Loans and Home Insurance
Active military members and the veterans have the exclusive privilege to access the special VA loans while buying a home. The two main benefits of the VA loan is reduced interest rate (compared to loans for the general public) zero down payment. However, it’s also true that VA loans will need you to sign up with a home insurance policy. Don’t worry, as mentioned previously, you will enjoy exclusive home insurance discounts that are not accessible by the general public.
It’s to stress here that those who sign up with VA loans will have to include hazard insurance protection in their home insurance policy. This particular coverage will be handy if you buy a damaged home that needs to be refurbished thoroughly before moving in. A standard home insurance package will offer coverage for perils underlined by “HO-1 insurance plan”. Some of these perils include:
- Windstorms & hail
- Fire & lightning
- Malicious mischief & vandalism
- Smoke accidents
- Volcanic eruptions
- And more
However, you should always keep in mind the topography and climate of your area while deciding on the coverage range. More precisely, evaluate the possible risks of your area while finalizing on your insurance policy. For example, those who buy homes in FEMA-accredited SFHA regions, they will have to take flood insurance for VA loans.
VA loan lenders will want you to have the insurance sum in escrow to ensure timely insurance payments on your part. You will have to deposit a sizable amount upfront- often equating to premiums for 15 months- to guarantee the desired security.
No Burden of Private Mortgage Coverage
In general, if one deposits less than, say, 20 percent down payment for mortgage, he is required to get an additional private mortgage coverage. But military personnel and veterans are completely exempted from such hassles. It’s because in their case, it’s the federal government itself that guarantees the mortgage (VA) loan.
Where To Find the Best Insurance Rates?
Now, as mentioned previously, both general insurance companies and military-specific insurance carriers are flexible to offer low rates for military & veterans.
There are various military-specific insurance agencies that cater exclusively to active-duty military personnel and veterans. Most importantly, their rates are often way better compared to common insurance companies.
So, what can you expect if you sign up with a military-specific insurance company?
- Lower rates on home insurance compared to general insurance companies
- Different financial services like credit cards and banking
- Replacement cost protection on a home insurance policy
- Coverage on anything military personnel brings while on his active duty and includes his uniform as well
- No deductible on claims made while the military personnel is on his active duty
- Full reimbursement on claims made
According to experts, military-specific insurance companies are usually the best portal for home insurance for military members and veterans. However, it should also be noted that these companies don’t provide additional military discounts. Thus, the best way to find the most suitable rates for you is a comparative study on both regular insurance companies and military-specific ones.
Who Is Eligible?
Now, who is eligible to access the great insurance rates offered by military-specific insurance companies? Well, there is no such hard-and-fast rule for eligibility for veteran & military personnel for such benefits. But still, it has been observed that generally, military-specific companies focus on a set of factors to determine the eligibility of military personnel. These are:
- Service duration
- Personnel with active duty status are mostly preferred
- Membership with national Guard & Reserve is preferred
- Membership with American Military Academies or ROTC is preferred
- Coverage will mostly extend to closest family members including children and spouse
- Military personnel who were honorably discharged will be given prominence.
Deployment Of Military Personnel & Home Insurance
There are two deployment clauses that military personnel will have to mind while choosing home insurance. These two are “Occupancy Clause” and “War Zone Exemption”.
Your home insurance policy will usually require you to have at least one member of your family in your home to enjoy the coverage benefits. If the home is vacant for 30-60 days straight, the policy won’t work for you.
Thus, if you have chances of having the home vacant for a longer time, look for an insurance policy without vacancy clause. The good thing is military-specific insurance agencies usually offer the benefit. Besides, if you can have tenants at your home, then also you can save yourself from the policy getting void. It is applicable to policies with the vacancy clause.
War Zone Exemption
According to this clause, your insurer will not offer coverage if any of your belongings get damaged while you are posted in designated war zones. Again, this is where the military-specific insurance companies will come to the rescue. As they are specially meant for military personnel, they don’t follow this particular clause. Not only that, they won’t even charge you the deductible and offer full reimbursement to cover your damaged property in a war zone.
More Tips For Discounts
Finally, we will wind up the discussions with more tips to enjoy lower premiums on home insurance:
- Install advanced security features in your home
- Ensure timely maintenance and repairs of your home
- Some insurance companies offer discounts for clients who hold memberships with certain professional organizations, alumni associations, and credit unions
Last but not least, try to get a consolidated insurance package that includes multiple insurances into one to enjoy discounts on premiums.