Many auto clubs combine to form AAA auto insurance, so does that affect the coverage you can get?

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You’re probably already familiar with AAA as a roadside assistance company, but did you know that you can get AAA car insurance, too? In fact, roadside assistance and car insurance are just a couple of the numerous programs and services that AAA provides.

So should you expand your AAA membership to include car insurance? Well, as a part of our research into popular car insurers, we did a little digging into what AAA offers. AAA auto insurance requires membership to AAA as well, but you can get that for about $50 to $100 per year. Overall, AAA car insurance members have good experiences, according to AAA insurance reviews, and can take advantage of some perks unique to AAA.

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AAA Car Insurance Background

AAA started as the American Automobile Association in 1902. The association created maps and hotel guides, as well as high school driving curriculum and pedestrian safety programs. Today, it operates over 1,000 travel agencies, rates lodgings and restaurants, publishes tour guides, and provides discounts for members at thousands of businesses.

When we talk about AAA car insurance, we’re really talking about over 50 individual businesses under the AAA umbrella. Each state can have its own AAA auto insurance company that is self-contained, and all the companies all operate under the same guidelines. However, there may be slight differences in coverage options and customer service by state. Most AAA insurance reviews, for example, are for individual locations rather than the company as a whole.

A Closer Look At The Company

Since AAA car insurance is spread out over multiple auto insurance companies and groups, looking at just one doesn’t give you the whole picture. However, three of AAA’s car insurance groups appeared on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) list of top 25 companies by insurance premiums written in 2018. Here are the stats:

If you add these three together, the total amount of insurance premiums written sits above Nationwide car insurance’s premiums according to NAIC.

What Is AAA Car Insurance?

AAA car insurance is a full-coverage insurance option available to AAA members – and it doesn’t cost much to become a member based on AAA reviews. With AAA, you can get liability coverage for when you are at fault in an accident, and coverage for yourself that includes collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, and medical coverage.

You might have a new car that has roadside assistance through the factory warranty, or you might have an extended warranty that does the same. In this case, there isn’t an option to be reimbursed for not using AAA’s roadside assistance. If you decide the price and coverage from AAA are what you want, you’ll have to live with doubled up roadside assistance. Although, you could technically use both and think of AAA as a backup if your other plan reaches its limit.

While you can get AAA roadside service in any location, you can’t get AAA car insurance in every county. You have to live in a county where AAA sells direct insurance plans. The easiest way to check on that is to search online for coverage in your area.

AAA Car Insurance Coverage Options

AAA offers full coverage for cars in line with other popular insurance carriers today. Here’s what that means:

  • Bodily Injury Liability: If you cause an accident, this coverage pays for the other party’s medical expenses. It comes with two limitations: per person and per accident. A 25/50 plan will pay up to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This is the minimum required by many states, but it’s a good idea to get more than that. Also, the $50,000 limit per accident is given out on a first-come, first-served basis. If you hit a car containing three people and they each claim $25,000 in medical expenses, the third person can sue you to cover their expenses after your insurance is maxed out.
  • Property Damage Liability: This coverage pays for the other party’s car repairs when you cause an accident. It is also required by state law.
  • Collision: This covers costs to repair your car when you get into an accident.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive insurance covers costs to repair your car when it’s damaged by other events, like a hurricane, theft, vandalism, or hail.
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist: This covers repairs as a result of an under- or uninsured motorist causing an accident.
  • Medical Payments and Personal Injury Protection (PIP): These two types of medical coverage may also be required by your state. They pay for medical bills associated with a car accident, and PIP covers lost wages as well.

Optional Plan Enhancements

AAA car insurance plans through Auto Club South come in three varieties: Essential, Advantage, and Ultimate. The Essential plan ensures your policy won’t increase for small claims – under $250 if you were at fault, and $750 if you weren’t. The Advantage plan adds a full claim forgiveness option that kicks in after you’ve been insured with AAA for five years without a claim.

With Ultimate, you can have one claim forgiven from the start of your plan. You also get up to $50 as a credit on your renewal each policy term. At this level, your deductible also shrinks by $50 per claim-free policy term.

Additionally, you have the option to add these services:

  • Enhanced Total Loss Replacement: This option expands your collision coverage to pay for a new model car replacement if your car is totaled, instead of the market value of your car.
  • Loan/Lease Gap: This covers the difference in price between your totaled car and the amount you have left on your loan or lease.
  • Enhanced Exterior Repair: With this option, exterior parts on your car will be replaced with parts from the original manufacturer, not aftermarket parts. This excludes mechanical parts – the only way to get replacement OEM mechanical parts is through a warranty like Jeep’s factory warranty.
  • Transportation Network Company: This extends coverage for rideshare drivers and people who use their cars in the gig economy.

AAA Auto Insurance Discounts

With AAA, you can bundle home or life insurance with auto insurance to save money. The AAA Auto Club South claims that users save $749 on average by switching to AAA, and AAA auto insurance reviews mention savings too.

In addition to bundling your insurance, you can also save in the following ways (these may vary by state):

  • AAA Member Discount: You get a discount based on your years with AAA prior to purchasing auto insurance.
  • AAA Safety Inspection Discount: Get a safety inspection for your car by AAA and receive a discount on your insurance premium.
  • AAADrive/AAA OnBoard Discount: This is AAA’s mobile app that tracks your driving habits and issues discounts based on safe driving.
  • Defensive Driver Discount: Get a discount for completing a AAA-approved Defensive Driver course.

Does AAA Have Good Car Insurance?

AAA car insurance is a solid choice. The various motor clubs that comprise it get decent AAA reviews, and the company is in good financial standing. In fact, AM Best rated six of AAA’s largest companies as financially superior, and two more as excellent.

These ratings mean AAA can respond to claims efficiently. Additionally, AM Best recently upgraded Auto Club Insurance Company of Florida’s rating to an A- (Excellent). Since Floridians have to deal with inclement weather regularly, this is confirmation that AAA can cover damage to their cars in the event of a hurricane or flood.

Are There Any Perks?

One of the main perks of AAA car insurance is that you can also enjoy AAA roadside assistance. AAA is a household name in roadside assistance, and the company offers robust coverage. That means you can get your Ford towed to a mechanic even if you haven’t been in an accident.

All AAA roadside assistance plans include towing, locksmith, tire change, jumpstart, battery, fuel delivery, and some trip interruption assistance. The highest plan, Premier, extends coverage for RVs and trailers. It also includes a $100 reimbursement for a home locksmith, travel accident insurance, concierge services, and one day of an emergency rental car.

Getting A Quote And Using AAA Car Insurance

After becoming a member of AAA’s roadside program, you can apply for auto insurance either at a local office, by going online, or by calling your regional motor club. Since AAA auto insurance is made up of separate businesses, the online quote process can vary between locations. We recommend checking out local AAA insurance reviews to get a better idea of the process.

For example, the AAA club that serves Oregon and Idaho only requires basic personal information, and then an agent will contact you to continue the process. In contrast, AAA Auto Club South requires more detailed information and provides insurance quotes online. The Automobile Club of Missouri is somewhere in the middle: It requests more information, but it looks like it also sends you a quote later on after an agent has reviewed your information.

For a simpler quote process, call (855) 518-0148 or use our easy tool:

 

In carrying out claims, each auto club also does things a bit differently, so looking at local AAA reviews is key. AAA Oregon/Idaho directs you to contact your AAA insurer, which could be a separate company. Most providers allow you to report claims online or by phone, but it might be a little annoying if you’re stuck on the side of the road and had just assumed AAA was your insurance carrier. On the other hand, the Automobile Club of Missouri’s website doesn’t let you start a claim online – you have to call it in. The good news is that there’s only one number to call.

AAA Car Insurance Reviews

Now, this is the part that gets a bit tricky. Since there isn’t just one company, AAA auto insurance reviews are scattered all over the place. The company doesn’t have much of an online presence on Trustpilot, but some branches have ratings on the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

For simplicity, we’ll go over some AAA insurance reviews from three of the provider’s largest clubs: Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group (ACSC), Automobile Club Group, and California State Automobile Association (CSAA) Insurance Group.

Coverage  ACSC Auto Club Group  CSAA
J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction:  Below Industry Average Below Industry Average Below Industry Average
J.D. Power Customer Experience:  Above Industry Average Below Industry Average  Above Industry Average
BBB Rating: A+ Rating A+ Rating A- Rating
BBB Complaints:  291 0 248
 

You can even see here that there isn’t an equal distribution of AAA insurance reviews or complaints. This might be because people think they have AAA car insurance, and not Auto Club Group insurance or CSAA insurance. Each regional business has its own website, so there isn’t just one place online that unifies AAA car insurance. Also, both of the BBB pages with complaints had some that were directed at AAA’s roadside assistance, not car insurance.

One AAA review on ACSC’s BBB page describes lacking information on the website. The customer wanted to check what their insurance premium was online, and whether it was for a six or twelve-month plan, but the website didn’t contain that information.

It also didn’t contain a viewable copy of the insurance policy. With such a large group of related businesses, it can take a long time for corporate AAA policies to be enacted everywhere. In 2019, you’d expect AAA would provide digital copies of policies online, but it might not in certain states.

AAA Insurance Review: 4.0 Stars

At the end of the day, it seems like your experience with AAA car insurance may be dependent upon where you live, so it's important to look up local AAA insurance reviews. Websites, quote processes, and claims can all differ between AAA companies, so doing your research on your AAA club is important.

The good news is that a great number of people are satisfied with their insurance from AAA. When we compared the insurance industry’s top brands, AAA came out near the top of the list with 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. Also, it just makes sense to check out AAA car insurance if you’re already a AAA roadside assistance cardholder.

Other Car Insurance Providers

When searching for a great provider, we always recommend obtaining quotes from more than one company. The auto insurance providers that topped our list are Geico, Progressive, and USAA. We looked into each company’s coverage options, customer satisfaction, and financial stability, and the results were impressive.

Geico: 4.5 Stars

Thanks to its gecko mascot, Geico auto insurance has become a household name over the years – and with good reason. One of the largest insurance providers in the country, Geico provides extensive resources and great coverage for drivers. Geico offers discounts for safe drivers and rate decreases for dedicated customers. You can bundle your auto and home insurance, and you can find coverage for your rental property, motorcycle, ATV, boat, and more.

Progressive: 4.5 Stars

Another household name, Progressive car insurance is known across America for its commercials featuring Flo and her Name Your Price®  tool. But the company’s success doesn’t just stem from great advertising. Progressive offers considerable coverage and add-ons like custom parts protection and rideshare coverage for Uber and Lyft drivers. The website gives you side-by-side comparisons of different options so you can find the best car insurance for your budget.

USAA: 5.0 Stars

We think active-duty military and veterans will be very happy with the coverage provided by USAA car insurance. The provider has reasonable rates, opportunities for discounts, and excellent customer service. It is the only provider to date that we have ranked 5 out of 5 stars. USAA has consistently earned high ratings from industry leaders like J.D. Power. Unfortunately, USAA coverage is only available to qualifying military service members (current or former) and their family members.

Use the tool below or call (855) 518-0148 to collect and compare car insurance quotes from providers available in your state to AAA Auto Insurance Quotes:

 
 

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