USAA 2019 Auto Insurance Review: Rates, Claims Satisfaction, and Coverage

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Summary:

Unlike other automobile insurance companies who offer insurance to the general public, USAA only offers auto insurance to either active or retired military personnel and their immediate families.  For those who qualify for membership, the company is known for competitive rates, excellent customer service, high claims satisfaction rating, and the ease of use of their online platform. USAA also offers a variety of other insurance and financial products to its members.

Pros:

  • Offers auto insurance at affordable rates to USAA members.
  • The company has a reputation for providing excellent customer service and a comprehensive online platform.
  • Offers stored-vehicle discount for active military personnel.
  • Very good rates for young drivers which differs from many other car insurance companies.
  • Consistently receives the highest ranking for insurance companies from ratings companies such as A.M. Best and Moody’s and Standards and Poor’s.

Cons:

  • All discounts USAA offers are not available in all states.
  • You must be either an active or retired member of the military.

USAA is known for offering its members excellent rates on auto and home insurance.  Young drivers especially benefit from the low rates available to them for automobile insurance.  Additionally, USAA’s customer service and claims satisfaction ratings are superior to all other automobile insurance companies in the industry.

USAA is also known for offering superior homeowners insurance rates for its members who have expensive homes.  Active service members can also take advantage of waived deductibles on their homeowners insurance policies in many instances.

Although only open to military service members, veterans and their immediate families, USAA has more than 8 million members. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, it is worth $19 billion, making it a solid company financially. In addition to offering auto insurance and homeowners insurance, USAA also offers Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Small Business Insurance, Banking Services, Investment Services, and Retirement Planning.  Thus, USAA is an excellent choice for those who qualify for membership due to its great rates, excellent customer service and claims satisfaction rating, all its offering and its financial stability.

The Value Equation ($$$)

The primary factor that many people are concerned about when choosing an automobile insurance provider is cost.   Your insurance premium will depend on your age, location, driving record, coverage choices, and type of vehicle among other factors. And different insurance companies assess risks differently. You may want to price shop with at least 2-3 insurance companies to compare rates.

To get a quote from USAA, you can go to their website and fill in the information requested and receive a free quote.  You can also discuss your quote with their around the clock representatives by calling 800-292-8045.

Here’s a glimpse of how USAA’s average premiums compare to 2 other large national providers.

USAA tends to offer a low premium in comparison to large competitors such as State Farm and GEICO which are the two largest insurance providers in the US.

 GEICOState FarmUSAA
Drivers in their 20s$1,438$2,379$1,261
Drivers in their 30s$1,218$2,379$963
Drivers in their 40s$1,189$1,587$957
Drivers with at-fault accident$1,580$1,524$947
Drivers with DUI/DWI$2,550$3,854$1,952
Drivers with speeding ticket$1,395$1,983$1,124

Discounts

In addition to their already low rates, USAA offers several discounts for which its customers may qualify.   They fall into these categories:

  • Driving education and training discounts – discounts for being a safe driver, discounts for taking a defensive driver course, and discounts for taking driving training if you are under 21.
  • Vehicle discounts – include discounts based on your annual mileage and for storing your vehicle, as well as for having a new vehicle or a safe vehicle.
  • Customer loyalty discounts – discounts for have multiple cars insured with USAA and for having multiple policies with USAA.
  • Discounts based on membership – continuing with your parents’ membership, discounts for length of membership, and discounts for storing your car at a military installation.
  • Safe student driver

Like with other auto insurance companies, the discounts that you qualify for with USAA are mostly determined when you obtain the policy; however, you can add discounts later to save on your rate.  Discounts are determined by a variety of personal factors such as age and driving record. Furthermore, you must remain qualified for the discounts throughout the life of the policy to continue to receive most discounts.

Claims Satisfaction

An auto insurance company’s claims satisfaction rating is just as important as price when search for an insurance company.  Not only is USAA known for offering great rates to its members, it has an excellent claims satisfaction rating as well.

How easy is it to file a claim with USAA?

  • USAA has representatives available around the clock:  800-531-USAA
  • You can also call your agent to file a claim.
  • File a claim through their mobile app or their website at:  https://www.usaa.com/inet/ent_logon/Logon

What is the average consumers’ experience and satisfaction with USAA?

According to the J.D. Powers 2018 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, a study it conducts every year of 10,000 consumers who have filed a claim in the last six months, USAA auto insurance customers are the most satisfied in the industry.  Insurance providers are ranked by J.D. Power on a 1000-point scale based on the results of the survey. USAA received top honors with a 903/1000 score with the national average being 861/1000. Furthermore, the company received above a five-star rating.

Comparing USAA to other auto insurance companies, Erie, a regional insurance company and the second highest rated, received a score of 891/1000.  Amica Mutual, the highest rated nationwide auto insurance company, received a score of 887/1000.

Coverage Options

USAA offers a broad range of auto insurance coverage options to its members.  In addition to the traditional coverage options, the insurer offers a few options that other companies do not.  The chart below compares USAA to the top two largest insurance providers in the United States.

FeaturesState FarmGEICOUSAA
Liability
Physical Damage
Uninsured Motorist
Roadside Assistance
Rideshare (Uber/Lyft)
Rental Reimbursement
Gap Insurance✔ (Only if the vehicle is financed through State Farm Bank)XX
SR-22X
Extended Benefits CoverageX (but does have Extended care Benefit)X

Other Insurance and Products

Like other auto insurance companies, USAA insures more than just the traditional cars, trucks, SUVs, and mini-vans. USAA insures motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats and more.

USAA is known for its property and homeowner’s insurance as well.  The company offer up to $5000 in identity theft protection along with homeowners insurance. In addition, USAA has rental property insurance, renters insurance, valuable personal property insurance, condo insurance, and flood insurance.

USAA offers a variety of health and life insurance options including dental, vision, and Medicare, as well as term life, term life for military, whole life and universal life.

Moreover, USAA has some forms of insurance which may not be available through other insurance companies.  USAA insures mobile phones. In addition, the company offers Special Event Insurance, Traveler’s Insurance, and Pet Insurance.

Unlike many other insurance companies, USAA offers banking services which include checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, auto loans, CDs Home mortgages, mortgage refinancing, personal loans, youth banking, and credit monitoring and ID protection.  USAA also offers investing such as stocks & options, 529 College Savings, Mutual Funds and more.

Members can also find retirement products and IRAs at USAA.  It has target retirement funds, rollover and transfer funds, annuities, trust services, wealth management services and more.

USAA also has other benefits for its members including travel deals, shopping discounts, and a car buying service.  Using the car buying service can get you a discount on your auto loan which they offer as well.

Website Experience

USAA is known for offering a comprehensive website platform upon which its members can get their insurance needs fulfilled.  On the website you can find out if you qualify for and join USAA, get a car insurance quote, purchase insurance, get financial advice and take advantage of several other services that USAA has to offer.

The Bottom Line

  • USAA offers excellent car insurance rates compared to other large insurance companies. USAA’s rates are consistently lower in most categories.
  • USAA is known for its excellent customer service and consistently has a high claims satisfaction rating.
  • USAA offers more types of insurance and other products than traditional insurance companies.  The company offers banking, investment products, retirement planning and more.
  • USAA is only open to those who currently or previously served in the military as well as their immediate families.
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