In our ongoing research into the best car insurance companies in the nation, USAA and Geico top our list. This Geico vs. USAA comparison takes a side-by-side look at both companies in terms of coverage, discounts, customer satisfaction, cost, and more.
Ultimately, both companies provide great coverage options and affordable premiums, but our review can help you find out which auto insurance provider will work best for your needs.
Geico And USAA Overview
Geico – also known as the Government Employees Insurance Company – has been around since 1936. When comparing Geico vs. USAA, you should know that Geico is the second-largest auto insurance company in the United States and has a superior financial strength rating from AM Best. That means Geico can easily manage its claims obligations.
USAA has a track record for great customer service and affordable prices. The San Antonio-based company was formed in 1922 by 25 U.S. Army officers who sought to insure themselves when other companies saw the Army as a high-risk group.
The table below offers an overview comparing several key details between each company.
|Best For||Best Overall for Non-Military||Best for Military and Their Families|
|AM Best Financial Strength Rating||A++||A++|
|Eligibility||No restrictions||Military and family members|
|Military Discount||15% at all times, 25% during an emergency deployment||15% when vehicles are garaged on base, 60% during any deployment|
|Usage-Based Discount||DriveEasy in 22 states||SafePilot in 23 states|
|Mobile App Rating||4.7||4.4|
|J.D. Power Insurance Shopping Rating (2021)||869 / 1,000||902 / 1,000|
|J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Rating (2021)||881 / 1,000||909 / 1,000|
|Extras||Roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, mechanical breakdown insurance||Roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, accident forgiveness, total loss protection|
*Market share statistics are from a 2020 report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
One important difference to note about USAA is that not everyone is eligible to purchase a USAA auto insurance policy. Potential USAA customers must meet one of the following requirements:
- Be an enlisted, active, honorably separated, or retired member of the U.S. military
- Be enrolled in a military commissioning program
- Have a parent or spouse who has had a USAA auto or home insurance policy
If anyone in your family is a military member, you might want to ask them to sign up for a policy with USAA. Even if they switch companies down the road, they can still pass eligibility on to their family members.
Geico Vs. USAA: Coverage Options
Both Geico and USAA offer the following standard types of auto insurance:
- Liability: Bodily injury and property damage liability provide compensation for other drivers and passengers in accidents you cause. States typically require liability coverage.
- Collision: This option covers damage to your car no matter who causes the accident.
- Comprehensive auto insurance: This option repairs your car after events like floods, vandalism, and falling branches.
- Medical payments (MedPay): This covers your hospital bills no matter who was at fault.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): This option is similar to MedPay, but it also covers lost wages and some other services like childcare.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM): This coverage protects you if you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
In addition to the standard options, both providers offer a few more types of coverage – important considerations when comparing Geico vs. USAA auto insurance.
Geico Standout Coverage Options
Geico offers auto policyholders the following additional coverage options, which can be added to any Geico car insurance policy:
- Roadside assistance: Get coverage for towing, jump-starts, spare tire installation, and lockout services.
- Rental reimbursement: Geico covers specified rental car costs after a claim. Geico can bill Enterprise directly, or it can reimburse you if you use another rental company.
- Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI): This coverage is similar to an extended car warranty and covers the failure of mechanical parts on your car.
- Accident forgiveness: Geico customers can earn or purchase accident forgiveness, which guarantees your rate will not increase as the result of your first at-fault accident.
Geico does not offer guaranteed asset protection, or GAP insurance, unlike other companies on our list of top-rated providers.
USAA Standout Coverage Options
USAA customers can add on a few extra options to their insurance policies:
- Roadside assistance: This can cover lockout services, towing, fuel delivery, and spare tire installation.
- Rental reimbursement: This option pays for a rental car after a covered claim.
- Accident forgiveness: This option keeps your rates the same after one accident.
- Total loss protection: USAA will cover the difference between the value of your car and what you have left to pay on your loan.
Geico Vs. USAA: Cost And Discounts
Cost is an important consideration when comparing USAA vs. Geico. In our research, we found that Geico provides affordable rates for many people. If you’re a federal employee, Geico should definitely be on your list. You can get an 8 percent discount as a federal employee grade GS-7 and above.
While Geico offers low rates, USAA rates may be even lower. According to the NAIC, the average auto insurance expenditure in the U.S. was around $1,004 in 2017, but many USAA customers pay less than national averages.
Because insurance prices are always unique to your situation – from your age to your location, driving history, credit score, and vehicle – the only way to find out exactly what you’ll pay is to get a quote.
Both companies offer other insurance products so you can take advantage of bundling auto with homeowners or life insurance. See a comparison of Geico vs. USAA discounts in the chart below:
|Driving Research Discount||✔|
|Automatic Payments Discount||✔|
|Military Base Garaging||✔|
|Low Mileage Discount||✔|
Keep in mind that comparing USAA vs. Geico for military discounts isn’t so simple. If you’re a retired veteran, you probably won’t be garaging your vehicle on a base or leaving for deployment anytime soon.
In that case, you might want to take advantage of Geico’s 15 percent military discount that applies at all times. We also encourage you to check out our review of the best car insurance for veterans.
Geico Vs. USAA: Ratings And Reviews
Overall, Geico has good customer service reviews. The company scored highly in the J.D. Power 2021 Auto Claims Satisfaction StudySM and was ranked highest among large insurers in the J.D. Power 2021 Insurance Shopping StudySM.
Geico representatives resolve complaints in a timely manner – earning the provider an A+ BBB rating. Some complaints are about poor customer service. Others are about issues with a policy not covering certain things, like a rental car before a repair has been authorized.
When comparing Geico vs. USAA, USAA really stands out in customer satisfaction. It received high marks in both the J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Study and the J.D. Power Shopping Study. The company has a similar ratio of complaints-to-size as Geico, and it resolves complaints in a timely manner as well.
While both companies have strong service ratings, USAA is the more well-regarded of the two providers.
Our Take On USAA Vs. Geico
We rate USAA 4.8 out of 5.0 stars overall and name it Best for Military. If you qualify, it’s a great idea to get a quote from USAA. We also rate Geico 4.6 stars and name it Best Overall. Geico offers a range of discounts and is a great option for most drivers.
Other Recommended Providers
State Farm is the largest car insurer in the U.S., and it offers a number of discounts on its car insurance policies. In our opinion, it’s the best option for students. Good students can find a 25 percent discount with the company. Plus, drivers under 25 years old can complete the Steer Clear® educational in-app course and get another 15 percent off their insurance.
Read more in our full State Farm auto insurance review.
Comparing Geico vs. USAA, neither offers full availability for usage-based insurance discounts. If you’re looking for providers that will give you discounts based on your driving, try Progressive car insurance.
Progressive’s Snapshot® program is available to drivers across the country (except drivers in California and North Carolina). According to the website, drivers save about $145 on average. Progressive also tends to be cheaper for high-risk drivers, like those with a previous DUI or a poor credit score.
Read more in our full Progressive auto insurance review.
Frequently Asked Questions
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.