USAA is based in San Antonio, Texas, and it offers auto insurance exclusively to current and former US military personnel and their families.
The company was founded as a mutual self-insurance company by 25 US army members who could not find auto insurance elsewhere because they were deemed high risk. As many USAA insurance reviews note, the company later expanded its accessibility by including other types of insurance as well as banking services.
USAA’s motto on their website is “Service. Savings. Satisfaction,” advertising significant savings and excellent customer service for those who serve in the military.
We can confirm that there’s a great deal of truth to this claim and that USAA is perhaps the best option for those who are eligible to buy its insurance.
Read the rest of this review to see how USAA compares to competitors like Geico and Progressive and how the company scores in our comprehensive auto insurance metrics—not to mention among the other vetted USAA auto insurance reviews we evaluated to reach out conclusions.
USAA Auto Insurance Review
Despite some recent customer service issues, USAA is still a terrific choice. It’s an affordable, highly rated company that has all the basics covered. However, it’s only available to the US military and close family members.
- Good-looking and easy to navigate website
- Polished mobile app
- Excellent rates for luxury homes
- Terrific discounts for those on active duty
- Top of the line customer service
- Competitive rates all over the board
- Great for drivers with a previous accident record
- Only available to USAA members
- Not many coverage options
USAA Car Insurance Product Overview
USAA is available in all 50 states but only to USAA members. The club membership comes with many bonuses, such as car rental discounts, travel deals, cheaper home security, car buying discounts, shopping rewards and much more. Unfortunately, only active or former members of the US army and their families qualify for USAA membership.
This is a shame since the company excels all over the board, according to our research. It has excellent rates, superior customer service, solid discounts, and even affordable policies for drivers with a driving record that’s not pristine. It would easily be in our top three insurance companies if it weren’t for this restriction.
USAA reviews consistently praise the company’s online tools. The website is elegant looking and easy to navigate, while the streamlined app is among the top-rated insurance products on Google Play and the App Store. You can manage your entire insurance plan online if you prefer. You can do almost anything on the app—from getting a quote to renewing your insurance.
Non-members would have to call the customer service number to report their USAA claims, which could be an annoyance since some competitors offer the option to report a claim online against their drivers even if you didn’t purchase their products. However, this is merely a small chip in USAA’s otherwise rock-solid armor.
Signature Feature—Affordable Vehicle Storage for Those on Active Duty
Since USAA is a company made for US military personnel, it comes as no surprise that their best feature caters to this demographic. Those who are proudly protecting their homeland on active duty can get up to a 60% discount on the storage of their insured vehicle.
Types of USAA Auto Insurance Offered
The basic coverage options are collision, comprehensive, property damage liability, bodily injury liability, medical expenses, personal injury protection, and underinsured/uninsured motorist protection.
As far as optional coverage goes, the company offers a sufficient number of optional coverages to satisfy an average customer, but they do have fewer coverage options than some other competitors. Among add-ons for your regular car insurance policy, you will find:
USAA Roadside Assistance – This optional coverage pays the cost of roadside repairs, flat tire changes, battery jump-starts, fuel/oil deliveries, locksmith services, and towing in case your car breaks down. Agero is the partner that delivers roadside assistance. You can contact them 24/7 by calling 800-531-8555.
Rideshare Insurance – This is an excellent choice for those working for companies such as Uber and Lyft since your regular auto insurance policy and ridesharing company’s coverage do not protect you fully. This coverage adds insurance while you are waiting for a match, are on the way to pick someone up, or are already driving a passenger.
Accident Forgiveness USAA – This coverage is free after five years of driving without any violations, or it can be purchased in some states at the beginning of a term. It prevents your rate from increasing after your first at-fault accident.
Extended Benefits – You can buy this coverage only if you already have medical payment coverage too. It provides essential services, disability benefits, and it also adds a specific death benefit. This coverage varies depending on the state, but you can always dial the USAA membership number (800-531-8722) for more details.
Gap Insurance – If your car is totaled, gap insurance pays the difference between the actual cash value of your vehicle and the amount left on your loan or lease. While USAA does not offer this coverage, it provides Total Loss Protection for drivers who got a car loan through USAA, which functions in the same way. The limit can go up to $50,000.
Rental Reimbursement – While you are waiting for your car to be repaired, USAA will pay the expenses of the vehicle you are renting to get around. Its car rental service cooperates with many big rental companies such as Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz. So check your USAA insurance quote because your expenses may be billed directly to USAA if you opt for one of these companies.
A company’s financial strength tells you if you are guaranteed to get your money’s worth if an accident happens. If a company is financially weak, it will not have the resources to pay some claims.
The company’s rating from A. M. best is the highest possible: A++ or “Superior.” Additionally, the company holds the 100th place in the 2020 Fortune 500 list, further confirming its strong financial state. This indicates that you have no need to worry whether or not USAA will have you covered in case of a car crash.
USAA Customer Service
We found that the company excels in the customer service department. In J.D. Power’s 2018 ranking, the most authoritative study on the quality of customer service in the car insurance industry, the company placed first in both claims satisfaction and insurance shopping categories.
Additionally, USAA is ranked first in every single region in J.D. Power’s 2018 regional rankings. This is quite an achievement!
USAA insurance ratings have about the average NAIC ratio for a company of its size, equal to 0.94. This is not the best result since the competition usually scores better. Geico, Travelers, and State Farm score 0.62, 0.40, and 0.44, respectively, while the companies that get excellent scores in J.D. Power’s study, like Amica and Erie, scoring 0.46 and 0.64.
USAA car insurance reviews on Yelp and Consumer Affairs are slightly better than those of the competition. For example, on Yelp, most of the US insurance companies have a one-star average. In comparison, USAA has a two-star average.
The complaints you find there are typical for such sites, citing low settlements, slow handling of claims, and refusal to pay expenses for vehicles damaged by the company’s drivers, etc.
However, these types of complaints are standard for the industry, meaning they are no reason to discredit USAA’s company.
The company is not accredited on the Better Business Bureau’s website, though reviews on the site are a bit worse than the competition. Of the USAA insurance reviews with the BBB, the company averages a B- score and 1.5 stars out of 5. Again, these results should not compromise the company in any way.
In the end, we would put our trust in the J.D. Power ratings, meaning our conclusion is that the majority of customers will have a pleasant experience if they choose USAA for their car insurance.
We agree with most USAA auto insurance reviews that highlight how the company offers a significant number of discounts that can substantially lower the premium. Some of the discounts’ descriptions show the exact reduction in percentages, however, for the majority, it just explains how the discount works.
We wish more information was present on the company’s website, but we understand that many discounts depend on factors such as your location and driving profile. With this in mind, you may have to call the customer service number to find the exact reduction.
The USAA auto insurance payment discounts available are as follows:
Safe Driver – If you have a good driving record for more than five years, you can get a discount. You will get Accident Forgiveness too!
Defensive Driving – If you have completed an accredited driving course, a discount is available.
Driver Training – This discount is for drivers younger than 21 years, and they can obtain it by completing a basic driver training course.
Good Student – Students who maintain excellent grades can get a discount. Usually, the requirement for the GPA is 3.0 or higher. Since the exact details were not available, it is best to call the insurance number for more information.
New Vehicle – If the insured vehicle is less than three years old, USAA vehicle insurance discount is available.
Multi-Vehicle – If you are insuring two or more cars with USAA, you can get a discount.
Annual Mileage – If you drive a low number of miles on a yearly basis, you are eligible for a discount.
Length of Membership Savings – If you stick with USAA, after a couple of years, you will get even lower rates.
Family Discount – If your parents had their insurance with USAA, you could save up to 10% by continuing their tradition. USAA insurance reviews note that this can be especially useful given the fact that only military personnel and their families can purchase their insurance.
Military Installation Discount – If you garage your vehicle on a base where you are dispatched, you can save up to 15% on comprehensive coverage.
Bundle and Save – Save up to 10% on your premium if you buy homeowners or renters insurance with USAA as well.
About USAA Car Insurance Rates
We were unable to conduct our comparison since we are not eligible to apply for a quote—only army members and their families can do that.
Fortunately, we found enough information in other reviews where the company is compared with other insurers that we have full data on.
ValuePenguin picked USAA over Geico, Progressive, and State Farm. If you’ve been following our reviews, you probably know that Geico and Progressive are the two most affordable options on the market.
However, some USAA reviews note that the company offers solid rates, especially for high-value homes.
Both for drivers with or without previous violations, USAA offers similar prices to these two companies in all categories except for a family of three, where it was more expensive. This indicates that the company’s rates are among the lowest. Those looking for a bargain should definitely put USAA at the top of their list.
USAA Insurance Rates Comparison With Their Top Competitors
USAA vs Allstate
When comparing these two companies, it should be noted that USAA is not available for everyone.
However, if you have an option to choose between USAA and Allstate, the former is the way to go. They offer lower prices, better customer service, and those additional benefits of being a USAA member should not be taken for granted.
Allstate gets some momentum with their Guaranteed Claims Satisfaction, but they quickly wane when all other parameters are considered.
USAA vs State Farm
We were able to find a direct comparison between the prices of these two companies, and USAA comes as a more affordable option in every single scenario. Add to that the top-notch customer service, USAA club members’ perks, and polished online tools, and we have a clear winner.
Those with newer vehicles should check State Farm, but in the end, if you are eligible, reviews show the company winning by a landslide.
USAA vs Progressive
Progressive manages to at least put up a fight against USAA by offering discounts for electric/hybrid vehicles and excellent options for new car owners. It has a wider network of local agents and decent online tools as well.
However, USAA scores better where it matters most by offering more affordable policies and better customer service. If you qualify to be a member of USAA, you can proceed freely, knowing that you are buying auto insurance that’s among the best in the market.
For those who can get insurance through USAA, there are only a couple of solid alternatives. Geico and Progressive are the cheapest options in the market, compared to USAA car insurance quotes.
However, both companies score lower in the customer service department. If you do not want to make that compromise, Erie, Amica, and Auto-Owners are the way to go, since they all offer reasonable rates and score near the top in all respectable customer satisfaction studies.
Nonetheless, if we had the opportunity to apply for USAA insurance, we would certainly would, since the company is among the best overall in the market, and the USAA membership only comes as a bonus.
USAA Auto Insurance Review – Expert Thoughts
We studied many reviews, and we must say that the consensus is that the company is an excellent option for those eligible. The reviews praised affordable rates for auto and homeowners insurance and excellent customer service.
We wholeheartedly agree with the assessments that USAA excels in these two departments. On the other hand, some comments complained about the low number of optional discounts.
However, these particular United States Automobile Association reviews from customers seem to be over-critical since the company is average in this section according to our research.
The highest praises come from J.D. Power, the industry expert on cars and auto insurance. It puts USAA on top in its insurance shopping and claims satisfaction studies, and it even rates the company as the best in all US regions. This is indeed a stellar result.
People Also Ask
According to the numerous reviews we checked alongside our own detailed analysis, this company is among the best choices.
They offer top of the line customer service, affordable prices and being a member of USAA comes with added benefits like car rental and travel discounts. The biggest downside is that only former and current US army members and their families can apply for USAA insurance.
However, if you are eligible, we highly recommend getting a quote first before making a definitive choice.
USAA is inexpensive because it is the largest insurer of the US Armed Forces community. The company is less profit-oriented than the competition. Also, having such a large number of clients allows the company to lower the prices.
Even though the company specializes in providing insurance to military personnel and their families, it still holds 6% of the entire US market.
It’s hard to compare these two companies because the State farm is accessible to the general public, and USAA is focused only on clients from the military and their family members.
But, if you can choose between the two, we can say that USAA is better. USAA is the cheapest major insurer in the market, and its average rate is 25% lower than State Farm’s. It also has a slightly better client satisfaction rate.
USAA offers low rates and good customer service, and this made it one of the best-ranking insurance companies in the market.
More than 80% of USAA customers who have filed a claim in the past five years reported being entirely pleased with claim procedures, and the company received fewer than expected consumer complaints. All in all, USAA is a good choice when it comes to car insurance.
No, USAA doesn’t match other insurance quotes, but you can hardly find better prices at other companies.
USAA is one of the cheapest major insurers in the US. While the national car insurance average is $1320, you will averagely pay only $875 with the USAA.
Of course, your insurance premium will depend on your specific situation, but these numbers give you a rough idea about the prices. Low prices and good service make a winning combination.
And it’s not just our opinion – the sheer number of positive USAA insurance reviews backs us up.