After the TSP, I invest my money in Betterment and Vanguard. I track all of my investments with Personal Capital. I also wrote a short, 2 hour book summarizing this site. You can buy it here.
Thanks to Jonathan from My Money Blog for the idea to run auto insurance quotes for military families.
Many of the major car insurance companies offer discounted rates to military servicemembers. I run car insurance quotes every 2 years or so to see if I can get a better deal, but I have yet to find anyone who can beat USAA. I haven’t run quotes since our PCS last summer and GEICO has been running a lot of radio ads for their military discounts in my area. Let’s see how the best auto insurance companies stack up.
Your quotes will vary from mine for many reasons. All of these quotes are based on two mid-20s married drivers for one vehicle for 6 months with the following coverage:
- $100,000/$300,000 Bodily Injury Liability
- $100,000 Property Damage Liability
- $100,000/$300,000 Underinsured Motorists Bodily Injury
- $100,000 Underinsured Motorists Property Damage
I declined personal injury and funeral expenses because TriCare/SGLI should cover those (as long as you’re wearing your seatbelt). I also declined comprehensive and collision coverage because my car isn’t worth it. If the company offered roadside assistance and accident forgiveness I signed up for those service if they were under $20.
Any company that did not offer a military discount on their website I called to determine if they offered any additional discount over the phone. With the ability to run auto insurance quotes online, there’s no reason not to shop around every couple of years or when you PCS.
Military Discounts for Auto Insurance
USAA (current insurer) – $246 Still the best auto insurance company for military servicemembers for the price. USAA’s customer service is legendary. The one claim we had to file last year was handled efficiently and smoothly. If they keep their prices reasonable, they have a customer for life. USAA is our one stop shop for banking and insurance.
State Farm – $493 A well designed online interface to quickly get your quote. Almost twice as much as USAA though.
GEICO – $329 I didn’t know this before I got my quote, but GEICO stands for Government Employees Insurance Company, so you’d think they are pretty military friendly. Unfortunately, when I called them they said they weren’t currently offering military discounts in my state. I found that strange based on the number of military discount ads they’ve been bombarding my area with.
Allstate – $456 You may be in good hands, but it’s going to cost you $400 more per year than USAA.
Progressive – $269 A quote under $300. While Flo can be quite annoying, it seems that Progressive can offer very attractive rates. Only $46 more per year with Progressive than USAA.
Esurance – $209 This is the first time I have ever seen an auto insurance quote below USAA’s price. If you’re looking for auto insurance for the first time after commissioning/enlisting, it may be worth your while to look into auto insurance with Esurance. Esurance also had the fastest application of any of the companies I looked at.
Best Cheap Auto Insurance Companies for Military
USAA is the winner for me this year. I’d rather pay $72 extra a year to enjoy USAA’s customer service and to continue bundling all my banking and insurance needs with them.
However, if USAA were to ever raise my rate and Esurance.com continue to offer that great low rate, it would definitely be time for a re-evaluation.
Credit Score Impact of Multiple Car Insurance Quotes
Of the companies I looked at, only Progressive and Esurance asked for my social security number. I declined to type it in and both applications allowed me to continue. Therefore, none of them checked my credit report so there was no impact on my credit score.
If I had gone farther in the application process (i.e., actually signing up for any of the offers), I probably would have needed to provide my SSN, which may have generated a soft pull on my credit.
2 Websites I Use to Achieve Financial Independence Faster
I have investment accounts all over the place. To keep track of all of them in one place I use Personal Capital. It combines all of my accounts, shows me where I may be overpaying in fees, and provides beautiful charts showing my overall asset allocation and performance.
I use Personal Capital to track my Roth and Traditional TSP, Vanguard IRAs, banking accounts, SDP, and my Betterment taxable account, all in one place. It's free, secure and presents me with a one-stop dashboard so I can see all my money on one site.
Read my full review of Personal Capital and see how easy it can be to manage your investments in one place. Trust me, once you try it, you'll love it.
P.S. - If you have over $100,000 of assets and a 401k, you really need to run the Personal Capital 401k Fee Analyzer.
The best way I know to achieve financial independence is to keep your investments simple, diversified, automatic, and low-cost. Costs eat into your returns like you wouldn't believe! A 1% difference in expense ratios can mean $100,000s lost to fees over a lifetime of investing.
Even if you're a DIY (do-it-yourself) investor like I am, you need to check out Betterment. You can read my full review here, but the bottom line is for only $250 per $100,000 invested (0.25% expense ratio) you get simple, diversified, and automated investing. In addition every account now gets free Tax Loss Harvesting+ features, which should increase returns for the average investor more than the minuscule management fee.
If you're not a DIY investor or are just getting started with investing, then you definitely need to check out Betterment. It's what I recommend to my family and friends who aren't strong investors or don't care to learn about asset allocations, diversification, or rebalancing.