USAA Car Insurance Review

Insurance options and discounts for military service members

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USAA

USAA is a bank that offers multiple financial services and products to military service members and their families. Besides banking and investing accounts, it’s also a car insurance company.

USAA sells car insurance to customers online and over the phone rather than through agents. With multiple discounts, USAA members may be able to save money by switching to USAA auto insurance. According to the company, on average members saved $707 on their annual premium when they switched to USAA car insurance.

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

  • Rideshare insurance available

  • Multiple policy discounts available

Cons
  • Must be a USAA member to qualify

  • Online quotes not available to nonmembers

  • No agent access

Key Takeaways
  • USAA was founded in 1922 and offers auto, home, renter’s, life, motorcycle, RV, pet, health, and boat insurance.
  • USAA is licensed to insure vehicles in all 50 states.
  • USAA offers rideshare insurance in 37 states and the District of Columbia.
  • You can add up to 10% off your renter’s or homeowners insurance premium when you bundle your policy with auto insurance.
  • According to USAA, members saved on average $707 on their annual premiums when they switched to USAA auto insurance.
Company Overview
  • Year Founded 1922
  • Official Website www.usaa.com
  • Insurance Offered Auto, homeowners, renters, RV, boat, motorcycle and more
  • Customer Service 24/7 phone: 1-800-292-8045

Pros Explained

  • Multiple premium discounts available USAA has several discounts, including for being a safe driver and/or a good student, having a new vehicle, and certain amounts of annual mileage. If you qualify for one or more of them, you can reduce your monthly insurance premium, making your coverage more affordable.
  • Rideshare insurance available If you drive for Uber or Lyft and need rideshare coverage, USAA has policies available for as little as $6 per month.
  • Multiple policy discounts available – If you bundle your auto insurance policy with homeowners or renter’s insurance, you’ll save up to 10% on your homeowners or renter’s insurance premiums.

Cons Explained

  • Must be a USAA member to qualify To get car insurance from USAA, you must be a USAA member. Membership is limited to U.S. military service members, veterans, their spouses, and their children.
  • Online quotes not available to nonmembers If you’re not yet a member of USAA, you cannot get an insurance quote online until you join.
  • No agent access USAA only sells insurance online and over the phone; it does not have insurance agents you can meet with in person. If you need personalized assistance, that can be a significant drawback.

USAA Car Insurance Coverage

USAA offers the following coverage options:

Vehicle Protection

  • Collision Collision insurance pays for damage to your vehicles when it’s in an accident with a vehicle or an object.
  • Comprehensive Comprehensive insurance pays for damage to your vehicle resulting from other incidents, such as storms or theft.

Financial Protection

  • Bodily Injury – This coverage pays for damages for bodily injuries or death resulting from incidents where you are at fault. 
  • Property Damage This coverage pays for damages to property resulting from accidents where you are at fault. 

Passenger Protection

  • Medical Payments This coverage pays for medical expenses that result from a car accident. 
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) PIP covers medical treatments, lost wages, or other accident-related expenses, no matter who was at fault in the accident.
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist This provides coverage if you’re in an accident where the other driver is at fault and is uninsured or has insufficient coverage to pay your claim. 

Extra Protection

  • Roadside Assistance – Coverage that helps pay toward the cost of towing or repairing your vehicle if you’re stranded and your car won’t run, this also includes services such as emergency unlocking, gas delivery, and tire changes.
  • Rental Reimbursement – This coverage will pay for your rental car costs while your car is being repaired as part of a covered insurance claim.
  • Accident Forgiveness An optional coverage benefit that kicks in If you are accident free for five years, this allows for your premium not to go up after one at-fault accident. 

Rideshare Coverage

USAA offers rideshare insurance in select states for as little as $6 per month. You can add rideshare coverage to your existing auto policy if you drive for Uber or Lyft, and it provides essential protection when you’re not covered by rideshare company’s commercial policies.

Factors That Affect Your Costs

Several factors affect your insurance premiums. When evaluating your auto policy, insurance companies consider the following things:

  • Driving Record The better your driving record, the lower your monthly premium will be. If you have a history of accidents or driving infractions, expect to pay higher premiums.
  • Annual Mileage If you drive your car fewer miles per year than the average amount, you’ll pay less in premiums. Because you drive less often, you have a lower risk of getting in an accident.
  • Location If you live in an urban area, you’ll pay a higher premium than someone in a rural area, because there is a higher risk of accidents and theft.
  • Age Older drivers tend to be in fewer accidents than younger drivers, on average. Young drivers, especially teenagers, will have higher premiums as a result.
  • Gender Women are in fewer accidents than men, so they pay less than men for auto insurance, on average.
  • Vehicle The age, size, and type of vehicle you have will also impact your insurance rates. Its engine size, reliability, and the likelihood of theft are variables that companies consider.

USAA Car Insurance Discounts

USAA has multiple discounts that can reduce your car insurance premiums.

Vehicle

  • Safe Driver – Maintain a good driving record for more than five years to qualify for this discount, which is not available in Hawaii.
  • Defensive Driving Take an approved driver safety course to get this discount.
  • Driver Training Drivers younger than 21 can complete a basic driver training course and qualify for this discount, which is not available in Hawaii, North Carolina, and New York.
  • Good Student Maintain good grades to qualify for this discount, which is not available in Hawaii and North Carolina.

Driving

  • New Vehicle – If your car is three years old or newer, you are eligible for this discount, which is not available in Puerto Rico.
  • Multiple Vehicles Insure two or more vehicles and get this discount.
  • Annual Mileage Based on the number of miles you drive per year, you may qualify for this discount, which is not available in Hawaii and North Carolina.
  • Vehicle Storage – If you store an insured vehicle, you can get a discount of up to 60%, except in Hawaii, North Carolina, and Virginia, where it’s not available.

Membership

  • Family Discount If your parents have or had a USAA policy and you become a policyholder, you can qualify for a 10% discount on your own policy.
  • Length of Membership – Loyal customers can qualify for discounts over time.
  • Military Installation Save up to 15% on comprehensive coverage when you garage your vehicle on base. This discount is not available in New York.

USAA Car Insurance Availability

USAA auto insurance is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. However, coverage limits and discount availability can vary by state.

USAA’s rideshare insurance is only available in the following 37 states (and the District of Columbia): Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 

USAA Customer Service

While other companies rely on insurance agents to sell to customers, USAA sells car insurance online and over the phone. It doesn’t have insurance agents you can meet with face-to-face, but its customer service team is readily available.

Customer support can be reached at 800-531-8722 during the following times:

  • Monday through Friday from 5:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. CT
  • Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. CT
  • Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. CT

USAA also has a mobile app you can use to manage your policy. You can get car insurance quotes, request insurance ID cards, report claims, and even request roadside assistance. The app is available for both Android and iOS phones.

USAA has an outstanding reputation in the insurance industry. AM Best is the credit agency that issues Financial Strength Ratings (FSRs), which measure the reliability and financial stability of insurance companies. It awarded USAA an A++ (Superior) rating, its highest possible rating, recognizing the company’s strong operating performance and high customer retention.

Because USAA car insurance isn’t available to everyone, the company was not ranked against other insurance companies in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. However, J.D. Power granted USAA a 900 rating, the highest rating of any insurance company.

Complaint Index

Each year the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) releases insurance companies’ complaint ratios, a number that reflects the amount of complaints it received relative to the companies’ market shares. The NAIC considers a ratio of 1.0 to be average. Anything above 1.0 means that a company received more complaints than is typical for its size, while a ratio below 1.0 means the reverse. USAA’s complaint ratio for 2019 was 0.69, which is better than the industry average.

For the past three years USAA has had much-better-than-average complaint ratios.

Other Insurance Provided by USAA

USAA has a plethora of insurance products, some of which are:

How to Make a Car Insurance Claim With USAA

You can file a claim over the phone, through the mobile app, or online on the company’s website. Filing a claim online or through the app is quick; according to USAA, it only takes about 15 minutes. A claims representative will be assigned to your case automatically. You can enter information about what happened, upload pictures of the accident scene and damage to your vehicle or property, set an inspection date and time, and get a rental car, if needed.

In some cases you can get an estimate back in as little as four hours and proceed with repairs. You can go to a USAA-preferred shop or choose your own. If you decide to select your own repair shop, USAA will send you a check directly rather than paying the shop.

USAA Car Insurance Cancellation Policy

You can cancel your USAA insurance policy without paying a cancellation fee. To do so, call 800-531-8722 to speak with a representative and ask to cancel your policy. You’ll be asked for your policy number, name, address, date of birth, and what date you would like your cancellation to take place.

Get a USAA Car Insurance Quote

To get a USAA Insurance quote, you must be a USAA member. To join, you must provide your date of birth, contact information, Social Security number, and details about you or your family member’s military service. The site will then prompt you to create a user ID and password. Once your account is created, you can proceed with getting a car insurance quote.

Compare Other Car Insurance Reviews

While USAA has excellent coverage options and multiple policy discounts, it’s not available to everyone, and it doesn’t have insurance agents. USAA car insurance is only for USAA members, so if you are not a current or former military member, or the spouse or child of one, you’ll have to look elsewhere for auto insurance.

Verdict

If you are qualified for membership in the USAA, its auto insurance may be the right choice for you. With multiple coverage options and several premium discounts available, you can get a policy that meets your needs.

While the company doesn’t have insurance agents, you can get a quote online, and its customer service team is easily accessible by phone. USAA has an excellent reputation within the industry industry for both its financial strength and customer satisfaction, making it a popular insurance solution for military families.

Methodology

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Article Sources

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  1. Insurance Information Institute. "What Determines the Price of an Auto Insurance Policy?" Accessed Sept. 1, 2020.

  2. AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of United Services Automobile Association, Its Subsidiaries and USAA Capital Corporation." Accessed Sept. 1, 2020.

  3. J.D. Power. "Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Reaches Record High as Carriers Refine Time-Consuming Processes, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Sept. 1, 2020.

  4. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Complaint Index." Accessed August 28, 2020.