AAA Car Insurance Review

Valuable car insurance discounts for AAA auto club members

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AAA

AAA is a national federation comprising 25 individual clubs throughout the United States and Canada with more than 60 million members. Each AAA auto club is independently run and offers its own insurance options. Available insurance coverages and discounts can vary widely by location.

To qualify for auto insurance through AAA, you must have an AAA membership. However, you may find the available discounts and benefits well worth the membership cost.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Multiple discounts available

  • Loan or lease gap coverage available

  • Robust mobile app

Cons
  • Varying coverage and discounts by state

  • Insurance sometimes underwritten by nonaffiliated companies

  • AAA membership required

Key Takeaways
  • AAA was founded in 1902.
  • It operates 25 clubs in the United States and Canada and has more than 60 million members.
  • 28% of passenger vehicles in North America belong to AAA members.
  • AAA car insurance is only available to AAA auto club members.
  • Coverage options and discounts can vary by state and auto club.
Company Overview
  • Year Founded 1902
  • Official Website www.aaa.com
  • Insurance Offered Auto, homeowners, renters, condo, boat, motorcycle, RV, and more
  • Customer Service 800-564-6222

Pros Explained

  • Multiple discounts While available discounts can vary by club, AAA generally has a wide range of discounts available, including a pay-in-full discount, an AAA safety inspection discount, and a good student discount.
  • Loan or lease gap coverage available Not all insurance companies offer gap coverage, also known as “guaranteed auto protection” coverage, which covers the gap between what you owe on a loan or lease and the actual value of your vehicle if its declared a total loss in an accident. However, some AAA clubs offer it as an optional benefit.
  • Robust mobile app – The AAA mobile app allows you to manage your policy and get help while on the go. Available for both Android and iOS devices, you can request roadside assistance, find AAA-approved repair shops, get updated gas station pricing, and locate electric vehicle charging stations.

Cons Explained

  • Varying coverage and discounts by state Your coverage options and discounts are dependent on what AAA auto club you belong to and your location. You may not have the same options as other AAA members.
  • Insurance sometimes underwritten by nonaffiliated companies Your policy may be underwritten by an AAA affiliate, or it may be underwritten by a nonaffiliated insurance company, such as Progress, Safeco, or the General.
  • AAA membership required To get AAA auto insurance, you must be a member of an AAA auto club. The cost of a membership is dependent on your location. For example, in Philadelphia a Classic AAA membership is $90 per year. In Orlando, Fla., it’s just $59.

Depending on your location, your insurance policy may be underwritten not by an AAA affiliate but rather by a third-party company that isn’t connected to AAA.

AAA Car Insurance Coverage

AAA’s auto insurance options include the following coverages:

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage includes: 

  • Bodily Injury Liability This coverage pays for damages for bodily injuries or death that are caused by accidents where you are at fault.
  • Property Damage Liability This coverage pays for damages to property caused by accidents where you are at fault.

Medical Coverage

Medical coverage includes: 

  • Medical Payments Coverage The resulting medical expenses after a car accident are paid for by this coverage.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) PIP pays for your medical treatments, lost wages, and accident-related expenses, even if you are not at fault.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If you are in an accident with a driver who is at fault and uninsured or has insufficient coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage gives you essential protection.

Vehicle Coverage

There are two different coverages for your vehicle: 

  • Collision Collision coverage pays for damages to your vehicle resulting from accidents with other cars or objects.
  • Comprehensive Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your car resulting from incidents other than accidents, such as storms or theft.

Additional Coverage

Depending on your AAA auto club, you may be able to add these optional coverages to your policy:

  • Enhanced Total Loss Replacement – If your car is declared a total loss after an accident, AAA will pay to replace it with a new model.
  • Gap insurance – If you add gap insurance to your policy, AAA will cover the difference between what you owe on your loan or lease and the actual value of your car if it’s declared a total loss after an accident.
  • Enhanced Exterior Repair Option You can opt for original exterior parts from the manufacturer rather than aftermarket parts.

Rideshare Coverage

Some AAA auto clubs do offer rideshare insurance policies called Transportation Network Company (TNC) coverage. If you drive for a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft, adding TNC coverage to your personal auto policy can help fill the gap in coverage that your ridesharing company doesn’t provide.

Factors That Affect Your Costs

With AAA, your price can vary depending on your location and auto club. In general, the following factors affect your premiums:

  • Age – Statistically, older drivers are in fewer accidents than younger ones, so they have lower premiums than teens drivers.
  • Gender – In general, women are in fewer accidents in men, and the accidents they do have tend to be less serious. On average, women pay less for car insurance than men.
  • Mileage The less often you drive, the less likely you are to be in an accident, so your car mileage can affect your premiums.
  • Location – Where you live can influence how much you pay for car insurance. Urban areas, which are more congested and have higher rates of accidents and vandalism, will have higher rates than suburban or rural areas.
  • Vehicle The cost of your vehicle, its engine size, and its likelihood of being stolen affect your premiums.

AAA Car Insurance Discounts

AAA has several discounts that can reduce your monthly insurance premiums. Available discounts can vary by club, so check with your local one to see what discounts you’re eligible to receive. Below are some of the common discounts AAA offers.

Vehicle Discounts

  • Vehicle Safety Discount You can qualify for this discount if your car has factory-installed safety devices.
  • Anti-theft Device Discount If your car has a theft prevention or theft recovery device installed, you can get this discount.
  • New Car Savings New vehicles are eligible for a premium discount.

Driver Discounts

  • Multiple Vehicle Discount If you insure more than one vehicle with AAA, you can get this discount.
  • Good Student Discount If a student driver maintains a B driver or better, they are eligible for this discount.
  • Student Away Discount If a student is more than 100 miles away and without a car, you can use this discount to reduce your premium.

Participation Discounts

  • Pay-in-Full Discount Pay for your policy in full rather than in monthly installments and get a discount.
  • AAA Safety Inspection Discount – If your vehicle passes an AAA safety inspection, you may qualify for an additional discount.
  • AAA Drive Discount Track your driving habits with your smartphone to qualify for the AAA drive discount.
  • Defensive Driver Discount – Take an approved defensive driver course and you can reduce your premiums.
  • Multiple Policy Discount – If you have an active homeowners, condo, or life insurance policy, you can bundle it with auto insurance and save money.

AAA Car Insurance Availability

While AAA offers car insurance throughout the country, insurance coverage is dependent on the individual auto clubs. Some insurance policies are underwritten by AAA affiliates, while others are underwritten by nonaffiliated companies. Check with your local AAA auto club to see what car insurance policies are available in your area.

AAA Customer Service

AAA’s car insurance is unique in that its customer service varies based on your local AAA auto club. What kind of support is available, what hours you can reach customer service, and and the level of responsiveness can vary from one club to another. The general AAA customer service number for people interested in joining is 800-564-6222. When you call, the customer service representative will direct you to your local AAA auto club.

In the J.D. Power 2019 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, J.D. Power ranked three AAA-affiliated companies: the Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group, the Automobile Club Group, and the CSAA Insurance Group. Out of 23 car insurance companies, the Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group was ranked 10th, the Automobile Club Group was ranked 14th, and the CSAA Insurance Group was ranked 19th in terms of customer satisfaction. All three were rated “about average” for pricing, product offerings, and customer interactions.

Auto clubs’ AM Best ratings can also vary widely. We looked at the AM Best rating of the Automobile Club of Southern California, as it’s one of the largest auto clubs in the country. As of 2020 it has an A+ (Superior) rating.

Complaint Index

If you’re looking for a new car insurer, make sure you pay attention to customer complaints. An easy way to get a snapshot of a company’s performance is to look at its complaint ratio. Each year the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) publishes companies’ complaint ratios, meaning the number of complaints companies receive relative to their market share. Scores of 1.0 are considered average. Anything above 1.0 means the company received more complaints than the industry average, while scores below 1.0 mean the reverse. 

Complaint ratios vary based on the AAA auto club and the insurance company that underwrites their insurance policies. These were the complaint ratios of three different AAA affiliates:

  • Auto Club Group Insurance Company – 0.35
  • Auto Club Insurance Association – 1.57
  • Auto Club South Insurance Company – 1.03

While the Auto Club Group Insurance Company has a much-better-than-average complaint ratio, the other two companies had worse-than-average ratios, highlighting how the performance of auto clubs can be very different among locations.

Other Insurance Provided by AAA

AAA’s other available insurance products vary by location and include:

How to Make a Car Insurance Claim With AAA

With AAA car insurance, the claims process is dependent on the type of insurance you have. If your insurance is through an AAA affiliate, you can file a claim online at the AAA website or by calling your auto club. If your insurance policy is through a nonaffiliated company, you’ll have to contact that company directly to inquire about its claims process.

AAA Car Insurance Cancellation Policy

Generally, you can cancel your AAA car insurance policy at any time without paying a cancellation penalty. However, if your policy is through a nonaffiliated company, check with your insurance company about its cancellation policies. To cancel, contact your local auto club.

Get an AAA Car Insurance Quote

You can get an AAA car insurance quote online, even if you aren’t yet an AAA auto club member. To get a quote, you’ll be asked for the following information about your car and yourself:

  • Year, Make, and Model
  • Financing Information
  • Mileage and Estimated Use
  • Birth Date
  • Gender 
  • Marital Status
  • Education Level
  • Contact Information

AAA will use this information to give you a preliminary quote, which you can customize to meet your needs.

Compare Other Car Insurance Reviews

While AAA offers a wide range of discounts and coverage options, its full product offerings aren’t available everywhere, and its services and customer support can vary by location. Before applying for a car insurance policy and paying for an AAA membership, it’s wise to shop around and compare other insurance options.

Verdict

If you live in an area with a strong AAA auto club, AAA car insurance can be an excellent option. Depending on your location, you can qualify for auto insurance with optional coverages and a wide range of discounts that offset the cost of an AAA membership. You can also bundle your policy with homeowners or condo insurance for further savings and even take advantage of gap coverage to protect your new vehicle.

Methodology

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Article Sources

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  2. J.D. Power. "Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Reaches Record High as Carriers Refine Time-Consuming Processes, J.D. Power Finds." Sept. 2, 2020.

  3. AM Best. "Automobile Club." Accessed Sept. 2, 2020.

  4. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Auto Club Grp Ins Co

    National Complaint Index Report." Accessed Sept. 2, 2020.

  5. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Auto Club Ins Assoc

    National Complaint Index Report." Accessed Sept. 2, 2020.

  6. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Auto Club S Ins Co

    National Complaint Index Report." Accessed Sept. 2, 2020.