Many car insurance providers are hesitant to offer policies to army employees who work on military bases or are likely to take their vehicles into dangerous places as part of their job. This is because they are working under the assumption that these locations and duties are more hazardous and, therefore, more likely to result in an insurance claim.
However, some providers offer special military car insurance that covers vehicles exposed to greater risks. You can also find policies that slash the price of your premiums for when you are deployed and have left your vehicle at home.
So, what is military car insurance? What qualifies as a military car? Who can get military car insurance? And how much does it cost?
Join us to find answers to all this and more as we explore military car insurance.
What is military car insurance?
Military car insurance is car insurance for military personnel who drive vehicles as part of their job. It is specifically designed for vehicles on military bases or likely to be driven in dangerous areas and conditions.
Military car insurance is generally more expensive than regular car insurance as the vehicles are more likely to be damaged. Later, we will look at just some of the things you can do to reduce the price of your premiums.
But let’s start by finding out what exactly a military car is.
What is a military car?
A military car is any vehicle used for land-based military activity and transport. This can include both combat vehicles and cargo vehicles.
Military cars often have off-road capabilities and may even be armour-plated, making them very heavy, well-protected, and expensive. Some military cars may also be amphibious and can be used on land and water surfaces.
Military cars are usually painted camouflage to ensure they remain as inconspicuous as possible. This is in distinction to medical vehicles such as ambulances, which must be in different colours and clearly display medical insignia (such as a red cross) as the Geneva Conventions state that it is illegal to attack any such vehicles.
What does military car insurance cover?
Military car insurance works in a similar way to regular car insurance. There are three basic levels of cover and then a range of optional extras to choose from.
Third-party only insurance
Third-party insurance is the most basic level of cover and is a legal requirement for any vehicle that does not have a Statutory Off-road Notice (SORN). Third-party insurance covers you for the cost of any damage or injury caused to third parties, including other vehicles, drivers, pedestrians, or property. Third-party insurance doesn’t cover you against the costs of any damage or injury caused to yourself or your vehicle.
Third-party, fire, and theft insurance
Third-party, fire, and theft insurance (TPFT) offers all the coverage of third-party insurance plus cover for your vehicle in the event of a fire or theft. Some military car insurance also includes cover against flooding as part of this option. TPFT pays for damage caused to the vehicle and not for the costs of any injury you sustain.
Fully comprehensive insurance
Fully comprehensive insurance offers the same cover as the previous two options plus cover against the cost of any damage or injury caused to yourself or your vehicle in any circumstances.
The optional extras available for your military car insurance policy will vary depending on your insurance company, vehicle, and situation. But they may include:
- Cover for extended periods in other countries.
- Cover for when the vehicle is airside.
- Business cover. This may be included as standard in your insurance policy, but you should always check before you use your car for work purposes.
- Laid up cover.
Some policies include business cover and laid-up cover as part of the standard military car insurance policy.
What is the laid-up cover?
Laid-up cover is a reduced insurance rate for when you are away for extended periods and leave your vehicle at home.
For members of the armed forces, deployment is a crucial part of the lifestyle that comes with active duty. This means that you may be away for months at a time, and – if you haven’t got laid-up cover – you will still be paying the full cost of your car insurance.
Laid-up cover can save you up to 80% of your insurance costs. However, not all providers offer it, so be sure to check if it is included in your policy.
How much is military car insurance?
As with regular car insurance coverage, the cost of military car insurance largely depends on your level of cover, vehicle type, driving history, and how you plan to use the vehicle.
On the whole, military car insurance is likely to be more expensive than regular car insurance. This is because the types of vehicles insured are probably more expensive, and the conditions in which they are used are more likely to result in damage.
Factors that affect the price of military car insurance include:
- Your age. Many providers won’t insure you unless you are over the age of 21. This is a higher age threshold than regular car insurance because of the conditions in which a military vehicle is used and its features.
- The type of vehicle, model, and engine size.
- Mileage. The more you drive, the more likely you will be in an accident. Therefore, if your average mileage is higher, your premiums will also be higher.
- Your claims history. If you have a no-claims bonus, your insurance will be significantly cheaper. As your no-claims bonus builds over time, your insurance will continue to go down.
- The type of work you do.
How to save money on military car insurance
Although military car insurance is normally more expensive than regular insurance, you can still do several things to ensure your premium costs are as low as possible.
Here are just a few ideas for how to keep your military car insurance costs down:
- Get laid up cover. As we saw earlier, if your policy includes laid-up cover, you can save significant money on your premiums as you pay a reduced rate when you are away for long periods. This is a great option for all active-duty military personnel.
- Build a no-claims bonus. No-claims bonuses really are all they are cracked up to be. Typically, you can save around 30% on your insurance premiums after just one year of no claims, and the savings continue every year without making a claim.
- Raise your voluntary excess. Every insurance policy comes with an excess, which is the amount of money you will pay before claiming from your insurance provider. For example, if your excess is £500 and the damage to your vehicle is £1,000, then you will pay £500, and your insurer will pay £500. If you opt to voluntarily raise your excess, the total costs of your insurance will reduce.
- Reduce your mileage. Again, as we saw earlier, the less you use your vehicle, the less likely it is to be in an accident. So if you reduce your average annual mileage, your premiums will decrease.
- Park your vehicle off-road. Keeping your vehicle parked in a garage, driveway, or other off-road parking space is one of the best ways to slash your insurance costs.
- Add security features. Adding security features to your car should also reduce the cost of your premiums. Security features might include steering wheel locks, new alarm systems, fingerprint or phone recognition, GPS trackers, etc.
- Fit parking sensors. Parking is the manoeuvre during which most accidents happen. Parking sensors are one of the best ways to reduce your chances of having an accident while you park. Insurance providers recognise that installing parking sensors means you are less likely to make a claim and, therefore, will reduce your premiums.
- Inquire about military discounts. You may be able to find some organisations for military members that entitle you to a military discount on certain expenses, such as car insurance discounts.
- Install a black box. A black box keeps track of your driving and registers your mileage, speed, and smoothness. These stats then inform your insurer how safe you are as a driver. You will likely be offered cheaper premium rates if you demonstrate yourself as a safe driver. But the opposite is also true. If you install a black box and show yourself to be a reckless driver, you will likely see your premium rates increase significantly.
- Shop around. Before settling on any insurance deal, shopping around and keeping your options open is always a good idea. You need to find the best available deal that suits you and your vehicle and remains within your budget. Remember, the cheapest deals aren’t always the best, and you should opt for tailor-made policies if your vehicle is likely to be used in unusual circumstances. The best car insurance companies will offer you policies built to your specific requirements.
- Renew your policy. Once you have settled on a policy, be open to the possibility of renewing it each year. That way, you can keep an eye out for any good deals, and you can ensure that any new details regarding your vehicle, its uses, or whereabouts can also be updated and factored into your overall premium costs.
What is classic military car insurance?
Classic military car insurance is for old military vehicles that are no longer used to service the armed forces. You may want to get a classic military car insurance policy if you have an old military vehicle and regularly take it to display fairs, festivals, or other such events.
Some car insurance companies don’t offer military car insurance as the risks associated with vehicles used by military personnel are deemed too high. However, the right policy is out there for you. With a bit of searching, you should be able to find insurance premiums that provide you with the coverage you need when you are away with your vehicle and offer you savings when you are deployed and leave your vehicle at home.
A-Plan’s military car insurance is tailored to your needs. We recognise that military cars require special insurance designed by specialists. That’s why we have a large panel of insurers to choose from, so you can be sure to find the exact cover you require.