If you currently serve in the armed forces, are a veteran or a family member of either a service member or veteran, USAA offers an impressive slate of comprehensive auto and other insurance products and resources. But if you’re a civilian and have never served, then you’re ineligible for USAA.
Auto Insurance Review: USAA
The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) provides a broad spectrum of insurance, banking, investments, retirement savings, mortgage loans and other member services. The major drawback is USAA’s products are restricted for active military members and their families along with veterans and cadets. If you belong to one of the aforementioned groups, then USAA could be your top consideration.
USAA’s casualty insurance, which includes auto insurance, is best-in-class with many rating agencies. Here’s a look at what you can expect from USAA.
How Does USAA Auto Insurance Rate?
Global and third-party rating agencies put USAA ahead of the competition. From its financial health to its consumer satisfaction, USAA insurance is one of the best insurance companies in the industry. According to the Satmetrix Net Promoter Benchmark Study, USAA is ranked as a leader in the auto insurance industry from 2010-2018. The Net Promoter Score is issued by NICE Satmetrix, a trusted industry-standard in gauging the loyalty of a company’s customer experience. A high score suggests that a certain organization provides superior service compared to its competitors and is used to predict revenue growth.
Customer Satisfaction Rating
According to J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Survey metrics, USAA’s casualty insurance contingent stands out:
Customer Complaint Ratio
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is an organization that measures customer service standards. It’s a national regulatory body with a joint purpose of establishing best-practice insurance standards.
The NAIC issues the Company Complaint Index, which tracks the number of public complaints against insurance companies. The index is calculated by comparing the number of each insurer’s complaints to the national median. The default national median is one. It’s ideal for companies to fall below this number, which indicates fewer than expected complaints. USAA is rated at 1.
AM Best verifies insurance companies' financials to certify that they have enough capital to stay in business. That certification check is known as the AM Best Financial Strength Rating.
Rankings are not a warranty for policyholders. They’re meant to signify fiduciary strength. USAA received an A++ as their AM Best Financial Strength Rating.
USAA Insurance Features
USAA isn’t too innovative with providing ways to customize your policy. But its customer support platform is dense with helpful informational resources, clearly not an afterthought like some insurers’s features are. Special discounts for active military personnel make up for the lack of creativity in policy design.
- Type of FeatureDescription
- CalculatorsAuto, home, savings and debt and retirement calculators are available.
- Online Price QuotesTo get an estimate, you’re screened to determine eligibility, and you need to create an online account first.
- Payment OptionsUSAA allows you to set a flexible payment plan at no additional cost. But restrictions apply and you must live in certain states.
- Mobile AppTheir mobile app is robust. You can manage a variety of insurance, banking, investing and other services through it.
- Financial AdviceUSAA goes above and beyond to provide consultation for its policyholders. Personalized expertise ranges from buying a home and car, retirement planning, military life and more.
USAA Auto Coverage
USAA offers full-coverage car insurance policies. Each state mandates the level of protection drivers need to have. Most states require liability coverage, which includes bodily injury and property damage. And your lender may require you to add comprehensive and collision coverage. With USAA, their basic policies include:
- Type of CoverageDescription
- CollisionPays for expenses to your car caused by a collision or rollover regardless of who is at fault.
- Personal Injury ProtectionHelps pay for auto accident expenses for you or your passengers, regardless of fault. Coverage generally includes medical, funeral, disability and lost income.
- UninsuredThis type of bodily injury policy covers injuries to you and your passengers caused by a driver that has no insurance or by a hit-and-run driver. An uninsured or underinsured motorist property damage policy covers the damage to your vehicle if you are in an accident caused by a driver who has no insurance. In most states, damage caused by a hit-and-run driver is also included.
- LiabilityProvides protection for the injury or death of another person resulting from a car accident and damage to the other person's property.
Optional Insurance Features and Coverage
USAA’s add-ons are typically what you would find with other auto insurers, but you could add extra protection if needed.
- Type of OptionDescription
- Rental ReimbursementThis feature pays for the cost of a replacement rental car while the original rental vehicle involved in a collision is being repaired.
- Roadside AssistanceIf you’re stranded and you need to tow or repair your vehicle. It also includes services to unlock your vehicle, deliver gas or change a tire.
- Accident ForgivenessIf your driving record is clean for five years, your premium won't go up after one at-fault accident. Only available in certain states.
- Auto Glass RepairComprehensive coverage protects against various types of window glass, including windshields, side and rear windows, sunroofs, moonroofs and T-top panels. But auto glass repair pays for damage to headlights, tail lights and other types of glass.
- Extended BenefitsProvides for lost wages and disability costs, plus a specific death benefit. Only available with medical payments coverage. Varies by location.
Available Discounts on USAA Car Insurance Coverage
USAA’s auto insurance discounts are similar to what you might find with other insurance companies. But its Vehicle Storage and Military Installation discounts stand out.
- Type of DiscountDescription
- Safe DriverMaintain a good driving record for more than five years and you could get a premium reduction.
- Defensive DriverIf you take an approved course to keep your driving skills sharp, USAA will apply a discount.
- Driver TrainingThis applies to drivers younger than 21 who successfully complete a basic driver training course.
- Good StudentKeep your grades sharp and you’ll be rewarded.
- New VehicleYou’re eligible for a discount if you insure a vehicle that is less than three years old.
Other USAA Insurance Products
In addition to auto insurance, USAA offers a broad portfolio of casualty insurance products. Bundling your auto insurance with either your home or renter’s insurance policy can save you up to 10% on your premium. Below are other types of insurance USAA sells. Each description below is subject to various terms, conditions and restrictions.
- Type of ProductDescription
- Homeowners InsuranceCovers dwelling, personal belongings, home-sharing, earthquake, loss-of-use, personal liability and other structures. Allows you to customize your policy.
- Renters InsuranceCovers liability and personal assets. Flood and earthquake coverage are standard features of USAA’s basic policy. Also protects belongings during moving, but doesn’t cover damages due to temperature changes.
- Umbrella InsuranceCovers beyond the extent of home and auto insurance policies in the event of litigation. Protects home, auto and other assets.
- Condo InsuranceGoes beyond the condo association master policy coverage. Options include all-in-one, bare walls and personal belongings policies.
- Landlord InsuranceOffers protection for property that you rent out; also called landlord insurance. Includes income replacement, personal liability and home-sharing coverage.
How to Make a Car Insurance Claim With USAA
Claims with USAA are filed online. After logging into the claims portal, follow the online prompts. You can also use the USAA mobile app.
Contact USAA Car Insurance
Methodology and Assumptions
To evaluate and review auto insurance companies, MoneyGeek carefully weighs factors such as price, financial strength, policy features, customer satisfaction, service and other leading indicators. MoneyGeek also references publicly available data from industry leaders such as J.D. Power, AM Best and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the Better Business Bureau. Learn more about MoneyGeek’s review methodology here.
About the Author
- AM Best. "USAA Casualty Insurance Company Profile." Accessed March 12, 2020.
- AM Best. "About AM Best." Accessed March 9, 2020.
- Consumer Reports. "Car Insurance Ratings & Reliability." Accessed March 9, 2020.
- USAA. "Corporate Overview | Locations." Accessed March 12, 2020.
- Insurance Information Institute. "What Determines the Price of an Auto Insurance Policy." Accessed March 9, 2020.
- J.D. Power. "2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Survey." Accessed March 9, 2020.
- Nice Satmetrix. "2018 Satmetrix Net Promoter Benchmark Study." Accessed March 12, 2020.
- Nice Satmetrix. "Net Promoter Score Model." Accessed March 12, 2020.
- The National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "USAA Casualty Insurance Company Complaint Ratio Report." Accessed March 12, 2020.
- The National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "About the NAIC." Accessed March 9, 2020.