The words "cheap" and "insurance" really should not be used together, specifically when searching for the cheapest coverage for active military. To help control this cost, let's get started by showing you some situations that determine insurance premiums, and see if you can take the sting out of the next policy you buy.

Finding decent, cost effective car insurance is challenging, and determining which company quotes the lowest-priced insurance rates for active military in Virginia calls for even more diligence. Policy rates will most likely be somewhat better than the average price in Virginia because of the lower likelihood of claims that comes with offering coverage for military personnel. Competitively-priced insurance should be available without having to search too hard.

Every car insurance company has a unique formula to set their prices, so to begin we'll rank the insurance companies with the overall best prices in Virginia. We do need to point out that Virginia insurance rates are calculated based on many things that may substantially change the price of your policy. This price variation is why Virginia drivers need to compare as many rates as possible to get affordable insurance quotes for active military. Insurance rates are calculated by many risk factors and can increase or decrease at any time, so the most economical option the last time you compared rates may now cost much more than other companies.

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Cheapest Virginia auto insurance companies
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 Travelers $659
2 USAA $709
3 Penn National $726
4 Cincinnati Insurance $733
5 Utica National $765
6 Auto-Owners $781
7 The Hartford $801
8 Erie $804
9 Virginia Farm Bureau $810
10 Donegal Mutual $860
11 Nationwide $963
12 Allied $1,012
13 ALFA $1,018
14 GEICO $1,026
15 National Grange Mutual $1,060
16 State Farm $1,099
17 Chubb $1,145
18 Electric $1,180
19 Progressive $1,246
20 California Casualty $1,251
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Travelers quotes some of the cheapest car insurance rates in Virginia at around $659 each year. This is $499 less than the average premium paid by Virginia drivers of $1,158. USAA, Penn National, Cincinnati Insurance, and Utica National are also some of the cheaper Virginia car insurance companies.

In the above rates, if you are currently insured with Cincinnati Insurance and switched to USAA, you could see a yearly price reduction of around $24. Insureds with Utica National may save as much as $56 a year, and Auto-Owners customers might reduce rates by $72 a year.

If you want to see how much you could save, click here to start your custom quote or click several companies below for low rates.

Remember that these prices are averages for all drivers and vehicles in Virginia and are not factoring in a rate decrease for active military. So the company that is best suited for you may not even be in the top 30 companies shown above. That underscores the importance of why you need to get car insurance quotes using your own personal information and vehicle type.

For military personnel, one of the largest considerations that are used to help calculate the amount you pay each year for auto insurance is where you keep your car. Areas with high crime rates or more dense population like Burke, Alexandria, and Dale City are more likely to have higher rates, whereas areas that tend to be more rural benefit from lower prices.

The next table sorts the highest-priced areas in Virginia for active military to buy auto insurance in.

Most expensive Virginia cities for auto insurance
Rank City Annual Rate
1 Burke $1,068
2 Centreville $1,037
3 Alexandria $1,036
4 Lake Ridge $1,032
5 Dale City $1,008
6 Norfolk $1,000
7 McLean $995
8 Richmond $985
9 Arlington $983
10 Portsmouth $963
11 Newport News $958
12 Reston $954
13 Virginia Beach $948
14 Suffolk $937
15 Hampton $934
16 Tuckahoe $929
17 Charlottesville $913
18 Danville $912
19 Leesburg $904
20 Ashburn $902
21 Chesapeake $899
22 Lynchburg $877
23 Roanoke $831
24 Harrisonburg $808
25 Blacksburg $791
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Premium costs are estimated as the vehicle garaging location can decrease or increase rates noticeably.

Full coverage rates vs. liability-only in Virginia

Finding cheaper insurance is the goal of most vehicle owners, and one good way to buy cheaper insurance for active military in Virginia is to not pay for full coverage. The chart below illustrates the comparison of insurance rates with and without physical damage coverage. The premiums are based on no violations or accidents, $100 deductibles, single marital status, and no discounts are applied.

On average, comp and collision coverage costs $1,481 per year over having just liability coverage. That is a large expense and it proposes the question if physical damage coverage is worth the money. There isn't a written rule that is best for determining when to drop comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, but there is a guideline you can use. If the yearly cost for physical damage coverage is 10% or more of replacement cost minus your deductible, then you may want to consider only buying liability coverage.

For example, let's say your vehicle's book value is $8,000 and you have $1,000 full coverage deductibles. If your vehicle is severely damaged, the most your company would pay you is $7,000 after you pay the deductible. If it's costing in excess of $700 annually to have full coverage, then it might be time to consider dropping full coverage.

There are some cases where dropping physical damage coverage is not in your best interest. If you haven't paid off your loan, you have to carry full coverage in order to keep the loan. Also, if your finances do not allow you to purchase a different vehicle if your current one is in an accident, you should keep full coverage.

How accidents and violations affect rates

The common sense way to find affordable insurance rates in Virginia for military personnel is to drive carefully and avoid traffic citations and accidents. The illustration below shows how traffic citations and at-fault collisions can influence insurance costs for different age categories. The data is based on a married female driver, comprehensive and collision coverage, $500 deductibles, and no discounts are factored in.

In the example above, the average cost of auto insurance per year with no violations or accidents is $1,269. Receive one speeding ticket and the average cost rises to $1,479, an increase of $210 each year. Now include one accident along with the one speeding ticket and the 12-month cost of insurance for active military in Virginia increases to an average of $2,065. That's an increase of $796, or $66 per month, just for not driving safely!

How to find budget-friendly insurance for active military

Below you'll find some of the recommended thrifty ideas that can help Virginia drivers locate more affordable car insurance.

The last idea is extremely significant, as was stressed in this piece. Car insurance prices vary greatly, so don't be unwilling to switch to a new company if a cheaper price is available. Staying with the same car insurance company is fine, but it's not a good idea if that stubbornness costs you several hundred dollars every year. In less than five minutes you could shop around and find cheaper auto insurance for active military.