CSAA Auto Insurance Review

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AAA Car Insurance

 AAA Car Insurance

Investopedia’s Rating


CSAA Insurance Group is an AAA insurer offering coverage for its members throughout 23 states and Washington D.C. It offers plenty of discounts and reputable emergency roadside service. Its policies may not be the cheapest and they require AAA membership, but it’s worth looking into if you want more coverage options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
  • Rideshare insurance is available

  • 17 available discounts

  • Robust mobile app

  • Coverage may vary by state

  • AAA membership is required

  • Must be purchased through an agent

Key Takeaways
  • CSAA Insurance Group was founded in 1914 and it's received an A rating from AM Best for more than 90 years.
  • CSAA is an AAA-affiliated insurance provider, offering coverage to qualifying AAA members.
  • CSAA offers coverage in only 23 states and Washington D.C.
  • Online quotes are available.
Company Overview

CSAA Insurance was founded in 1914 to provide financial protection from auto accidents. What started as the California State Automobile Association has since branched out to 23 states and Washington D.C., although it may not be available in all counties within some of those states. CSAA is headquartered in Walnut Creek, California.

  • Year Founded 1914
  • Types of Coverage Collision, Comprehensive, Liability, Car rental, Uninsured motor vehicle, Underinsured motor vehicle, Medical payments, Emergency roadside, Rideshare driver
  • Available Discounts 17
  • Purchasing Options Local agent, online quote
  • Customer Service Telephone (1-800-222-4357), online, local agent
  • Official Website csaa-insurance.aaa.com

Pros Explained

  • Rideshare insurance is available: Policyholders may be able to purchase an additional endorsement if they drive for companies such as Uber and Lyft.
  • 15 available discounts: You may qualify for a reduction on your premium depending on your state of residence, including discounts for bundling policies and being a safe driver.
  • Robust mobile app: AAA's app is easy to use and it offers myriad benefits. You can set up bill reminders, search for local gas prices, and file a claim, among other features.

Cons Explained

  • Coverage may vary by state: Some states may not include coverage for all counties. Insurance for additional riders and customized coverage options can vary depending on location.
  • AAA membership is required: Applicants must become AAA members to purchase a CSAA auto insurance policy. Pricing tiers vary depending on your state of residence. 
  • Must be purchased through an agent: CSAA doesn’t give applicants the ability to purchase a policy online. Going through an agent can take longer compared to purchasing a policy completely online.

CSAA Insurance Group offers insurance coverage, including auto insurance, for its AAA members. You’ll find many opportunities for a rate reduction on your premium, as well as coverage options such as rideshare insurance, depending on where you live.

You can get a quote online, but applicants must purchase their policies through a local agent. You must be a AAA member to purchase a policy, but you’ll receive benefits such as hotel discounts and roadside assistance as part of your membership. 

Looking for other options? See our picks for the best car insurance companies.

Types of Coverage

CSAA auto insurance offers several types of coverage but availability can vary depending on your location. 

Collision coverage

Collision coverage may pay for auto repairs if you get into an accident and your vehicle is damaged, regardless of who was at fault. Damage caused by falling objects, theft, and animal collisions, among other sources, isn't covered. You'll have to look to comprehensive coverage for help with that. CSAA insurance will pay for the current value of your vehicle if it’s declared a total loss.

Bodily injury and property damage liability

Your liability insurance may pay for repairs and medical coverage for injured persons up to certain limits if you’re found legally responsible for causing property damage or injury to another. Your policy may also pay for legal expenses if another person or entity files a lawsuit against you due to a vehicle accident. 

Medical payments

This type of coverage is known as MedPay. It kicks in if you're in an accident and either you or your passengers require medical attention. Coverage is typically provided regardless of whether you caused the accident. MedPay may also provide coverage if you’re hit by a car while walking, biking, or riding in someone else’s vehicle, depending on the situation.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive coverage can provide repairs or cash for replacing your vehicle in the event of a covered peril such as extreme weather, theft, vandalism, or fire. It covers certain damages that aren't related to vehicle collisions. It won’t cover you against accidents in which your vehicle is hit by another car. 

Rental car reimbursement

CSAA may reimburse you for a rental car if your vehicle needs eligible repairs that are covered by collision or comprehensive insurance. How much you’ll receive will depend on the daily allowance in your policy, but it will generally be enough to rent a vehicle to get you to and from where you need to go. Leisure rentals may or may not be covered.

Underinsured motor vehicle coverage

An underinsured motor vehicle is one where the driver at fault doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for your vehicle repair or medical bills in the event you're injured or sustain damages in an accident. CSAA’s underinsured motor vehicle plan may provide coverage for expenses in this case. Expenses include repairs, medical expenses, and lost wages. The plan is split into bodily injury and property damage coverage.

Rideshare coverage

Your standard AAA coverage isn't available when you’re actively driving for companies like Uber or Lyft. You must use the insurance provided by the rideshare company instead. Rideshare coverage from CSAA provides extra protection on top of the insurance policy from the rideshare company. Purchasing this add-on can help fill coverage gaps in your rideshare company insurance. 

Available Discounts

CSAA offers multiple discounts that you can apply to your auto insurance premium, but some states may not offer every one of them.

Payment discounts

  • AAA member discount: You can save up to 5%, depending on your location.
  • Advance purchase discount: You can receive a reduction in your rate by purchasing a policy seven days before the effective date.
  • Multiple product discount: Combining multiple policies through CSAA will get you a discount of up to 20%. 
  • Pay-in-full discount: You can receive a discount of up to 5% for paying for your entire policy premium in full.

Driving habits and history discounts

  • Driver training discount: You must complete an approved driving course to get this discount.
  • Defensive driving: You may save up to 5% on your premiums if you complete an approved defensive driving training course.
  • Good student discount: Students who maintain a certain grade point average may get a discount. 
  • Student away discount: You may receive a discount depending on the type of coverage you carry if a student on your policy lives at least 100 miles away and won't be driving.
  • Garage parking discount: You can save on comprehensive coverage if you park your car in a garage.
  • Verified mileage discount: You can save up to 9.1% on your premium by providing current odometer readings when asked, depending on your annual mileage.

Vehicle equipment discounts

  • Airbag discount: You may be able to save up to 40% if you have or install an airbag, depending on your coverage.
  • Anti-theft device discount: Vehicles with anti-theft devices may qualify for a discount on comprehensive coverage. 
  • AAA OnBoard discount: Drivers who activate AAA OnBoard and/or have a sufficient driving score can save up to 20%. 
  • Multiple car discount: Drivers who insure more than one vehicle through CSAA can save on select coverage options. 

Other discounts

  • Group affinity discount: Rate reductions will vary based on your education level or occupation. 
  • Original owner discount: Receive up to a 5% discount if you’re the original owner of the vehicle you want to insure. 
  • Persistency discount: CSAA will reduce your rate if you’ve been with your insurer for at least two years.

Payment Options

CSAA policyholders can pay for their auto insurance policy in several ways:

  • Via the CSAA website by debit or credit card
  • By conducting a bank transfer
  • By mailing a check

You may be able to set up autopay depending on your location.  

Loss Ratio

Looking at an insurer’s loss ratio can give you insight into a company's financial stability. This ratio looks at what a company has paid out in claims compared to the premiums it’s received. The lower the ratio, the more profitable a company generally is. A low ratio usually indicates stronger financial performance all around.

Make sure that any insurance company you go with has a high percentage of paying out claims. Look for a lower loss ratio.

CSAA Insurance Group has a loss ratio of 58.49%, which is on par with other major carriers. This means that the company is likely to pay out claims for its policyholders.

Other Features

CSAA offers additional coverage depending on location, including: 

  • New car added protection: This coverage will pay for repairs or a vehicle replacement without factoring in depreciation.
  • Gap insurance: CSAA will pay the difference between what you owe on your auto loan and the actual cash value of your vehicle when and if it’s declared a total loss. 

Customer Service

Drivers can contact the CSAA Insurance Group's representatives by submitting a request via the mobile app, by speaking with their local agent, or by calling 1-800-207-3618. Phone assistance is available 24/7.

Customer Satisfaction

CSAA Insurance Group was ranked 9th in customer satisfaction in the California region and 15th overall in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. It ranked below the industry average with a score of 871 out of 1,000. But CSAA only scored 830 in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, well below the segment average of 858.

As for CSAA Insurance Group’s financial stability, third-party rating agency AM Best gives the company an A grade (Excellent). This rating means that the company is likely to honor its insurance contracts and has an acceptable level of customer service. 

Complaint Index

Understanding the typical number of complaints about insurance companies is helpful when determining what your experience may be like with a particular company. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is a reputable third-party rating agency that you can use in your research. Its complaint ratio is based on all consumer complaints received by various insurers. 

Consumers can compare an insurer’s complaint index to the industry average of 1.0. CSAA Insurance has a complaint ratio of 1.55, higher than the average for a company of the same size. 

Account Management

Drivers who have a CSAA auto insurance policy can manage their accounts by logging in online or through the app, or they can call 1-800-207-3618 or contact their local agent.

How CSAA Insurance Compares to Other Insurance Companies

According to our research, the average premiums for CSAA Insurance’s auto policies are higher than those for many other companies. These other companies include Allstate, Farmers, and Progressive. But your policy might be priced higher or lower depending on factors such as qualifying discounts, driving history, and location.

Final Verdict 

CSAA Insurance is a great fit for those who live in areas that the insurer services and those who can qualify for most of the discounts. Rideshare drivers may appreciate the additional coverage options, along with drivers who currently have an auto loan and want gap insurance.

You must be a AAA member to purchase a policy but you may be able to recoup the costs if you qualify for discounts. Given the insurer's reputable roadside assistance program, it might be worth looking into an auto policy with CSAA.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are AAA insurance rates competitive?

CSAA Insurance Group is just one AAA insurer offering coverage for its members. AAA insurance rates are about average overall. CSAA offers multiple discounts to help bring your rate down below those of other insurers.

Is AAA insurance affordable?

CSAA insurance is only available to AAA members, and AAA membership can cost you from about $65 to more than $125 a year in some areas. This membership fee must be added to the cost of your auto insurance, but you'll receive numerous other benefits in exchange, including roadside assistance. "Affordable" always comes down to what your personal budget can bear.


Investopedia is committed to providing readers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of auto insurance companies. All our reviews are based on extensive research and analysis of each company’s coverage, customer service, pricing, years in business, and accreditation. We developed an auto insurance review methodology to rate providers. It compares the auto insurance coverage types, additional features, discounts, account management, and other features.

Article Sources
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  1. A.M. Best. "A.M. Best Downgrades Ratings of Members of CSAA Insurance Group."

  2. NAIC. "2020 Market Share Reports for Property/Casualty Groups," Page 13.

  3. J.D. Power. "Insurers Struggle to Manage Expectations in Auto Claims Process as Repair Times Increase, J.D. Power Finds."

  4. J.D. Power. "Auto Insurance Rate Hikes Erode Price Satisfaction, Drive Surge in Value Shopping, J.D. Power Finds."

  5. NAIC. "CSAA AFFINITY INS CO National Complaint Index Report."

  6. AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah. "AAA Membership Cost and Benefits."