The insurance provider is well known in the industry for a reason.
Designed for military members and their families, USAA car insurance stands out for its low rates, opportunities for discounts, and exceptional customer service. In our research of more than 30 industry leaders, USAA was the only insurance company that we rated 5 out of 5 stars.
If you qualify, a closer look at the provider’s coverage options, cost, and customer reviews will help you determine whether or not an auto policy with USAA is right for you.
In this article:
- What Is USAA?
- USAA Car Insurance Coverage
- USAA Insurance Reviews
- The Cost Of USAA Insurance
- USAA Claims Process
- Our Verdict On USAA Car Insurance
- Frequently Asked Questions About USAA
- In our research, we discovered that USAA does a lot of things right. First and foremost, the provider’s rates are generally affordable.
- You must be active or former military or a family member of someone who has served to qualify.
- USAA is a good option for young drivers.
- Numerous discounts are available, including some geared toward active-duty military.
What Is USAA?
USAA stands for United Services Automobile Association. The provider is based out of San Antonio and has more than 12.8 million members. It was founded in 1922 and is ranked #101 on the Fortune 500 List.
Those with USAA car insurance are members of USAA, and the provider maintains strict qualifications for who that entails. You can become a member if you are an active-duty United States military member, a retired veteran, or an honorably separated former service member. You can also generally obtain insurance if you are the spouse, child, widow/widower, or former spouse of someone who has served.
USAA provides more than just car insurance. You can find a wide array of financial products and services offered to members. A few of the services available from USAA include:
- Auto insurance
- Homeowners/renters insurance
- Life insurance
- Health insurance
- Disaster recovery insurance
- Banking services
- Vehicle loans
- Home loans
- Credit cards
- Financial planning
- Retirement accounts
USAA Car Insurance Coverage
Along with standard coverages like bodily injury liability, USAA offers a variety of products and services from roadside assistance to glass coverage. Here’s a closer look at USAA’s offerings:
- Bodily injury and property damage liability (BI/PD): This type of coverage pays for the other driver’s injuries and property damage when you are at fault in an accident.
- Collision coverage: Collision covers your vehicle regardless of who is at fault in an accident.
- Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive covers your vehicle from damages received outside of an accident, like a flood or a fallen tree branch. It also covers you from damages received as a result of theft or vandalism.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): PIP covers medical payments and lost wages no matter who is at fault. Depending on your state requirements, this is either mandatory or optional.
- Medical payments (MedPay): MedPay is similar to PIP, but it only covers medical payments. It allows you to get medical coverage right away without waiting for insurance companies to settle on accident fault.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist BI/PD: This type of coverage protects you in the instance that the other driver in an accident does not have insurance or is underinsured.
- Roadside assistance: This optional coverage gives you peace of mind if something should malfunction while you are driving. Services include towing, lockout services, jump starts, flat tire changes, and gas delivery.
- Rental reimbursement: While your vehicle is in the shop for repairs after an accident, you can receive rental car coverage.
- Accident forgiveness: For an additional charge, you receive no increase in premiums after an at-fault accident. If you remain accident-free for five years, this plan is available at no cost.
- Glass coverage: You don’t have to pay out of pocket for windshield or window repairs. This plan is included with comprehensive plans in South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, and Massachusetts. It is also available for an additional fee in New York, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Arizona.
- Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance: If you finance a vehicle, this protection covers the difference between what the car is worth versus what is owed during a total loss. USAA car insurance doesn’t cover a leased vehicle, as some other companies do.
- Car replacement assistance (CRA): The biggest difference between this plan and GAP insurance is that CRA pays 20 percent more than the actual cash value of your vehicle. If your loan is more than this, you will be responsible for paying out of pocket. If the vehicle isn’t financed, this additional payment helps you to purchase a new vehicle.
USAA Insurance Reviews
USAA car insurance has top marks for its financial strength from AM Best rating services. The A++ (Superior) score ensures that the organization has the funds to pay on claims. On top of that, the 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study from J.D. Power lists USAA as the top choice. In fact, USAA received a perfect score in every category and was the only provider to do so.
Looking at the reviews, it’s clear to see how customers feel about USAA:
“I've had USAA insurance, home and auto, for over 20 years [with] no problems. Last accident [I received] forgiveness. They were very courteous and no problems at all.”
As with any insurance company, there are complaints out there, but many of them aren’t related to auto insurance. Furthermore, the company’s BBB complaints tend to be answered and resolved regularly. In the insurance industry, it’s challenging to make everyone happy, but the fact that USAA responds and attempts to work things out says a lot about the organization.
The Cost Of USAA Insurance
It’s difficult to figure out an average cost for USAA auto insurance coverage. We have read through several reviews on Quora that suggest the rates are lower than most companies:
“I have been with USAA for over 50 years and pay roughly $500 per year per car for a high level of coverage, including collision. Note that there is usually a yearly rebate, depending on their underwriting experience, of 5 – 10 percent.”
“I’ve been a USAA customer since 1980. My premiums appear to be less than most other companies (even though I carry a great deal of liability coverage) and, what’s more important, I’ve had several claims. USAA’s claims department is without peer in the industry. They are, without question, exceptional.”
While it’s impossible to know what your exact rate will be until you get a quote, we do have information about the many discounts offered by USAA.
|Military Installation||If the vehicle is garaged on a military base, you can receive up to 15 percent off comprehensive coverage.|
|Annual Mileage||Drivers over the age of 19 receive a discount based on the number of miles driven each year.|
|Premier Driver||A good driving record for five years earns you this discount.|
|Driving Research||Utilizing USAA’s plug-in devices allows the company to research your driving habits. This earns you a 5 percent discount on insurance.|
|Defensive Driving Course||You can save on premiums by taking an approved course.|
|Driver Training Course||Drivers under the age of 21 earn additional discounts by taking a course.|
|Good Student||With a GPA of at least 3.0, full-time students receive a discount.|
|New Vehicle||If your vehicle is less than three years old, you can receive a discount.|
|Automatic Payments||By scheduling automatic payments, you earn up to 3 percent off.|
|Family Discount||If you have other family members insured with USAA, you can expect deductions off your monthly premium.|
USAA Insurance Quotes
One of the aspects that makes USAA car insurance different than other options is that you don’t have to enter any personal information to start a quote. The company provides a free quote tool that allows you to input information without a phone number or email address, so you don’t have to worry about unsolicited calls or emails.
While this free quote might not provide completely accurate numbers, it does give you an idea of what you will pay. If you prefer to get more detailed insurance quotes, you can call or fill out the information on the website for more precise information.
USAA car insurance uses the following information to determine a quote:
- Driver age: Drivers under the age of 25 will pay more for a policy.
- Driving history: Drivers with no accidents and no tickets receive lower premiums.
- Membership loyalty: The deeper a connection you have with the company, the more you will save.
- Vehicle make and model: As with more car insurance companies, USAA does factor in the cost to repair and replace your vehicle when determining your premium. Some vehicles are naturally more expensive to insure.
- Vehicle location: Rates are higher for urban areas.
- Vehicle usage: The more the vehicle is used, the higher the rates will be.
Things like vehicle color, where you park at night, and having a loan do not affect premiums. The USAA insurance score is calculated from your credit report but doesn’t have any effect on credit scores. Furthermore, the company doesn’t actually see your credit score, so that doesn’t change your premium either.
USAA Claims Process
Filing a claim with USAA car insurance is simple. You follow these steps:
- Report the claim online or through the USAA mobile app.
- Review the claim and answer questions from the adjuster. If more information is needed, you will receive notifications through text or email.
- Inspect the damages with the claim. By uploading a photo, you receive the fastest estimate.
- Determine what resolution appeals to you. When you use a USAA-preferred shop, you don’t have to worry about the payments or repairs. If you prefer to use your regular repair facility, you will receive the payment from USAA directly.
- Once all of the repairs are complete, the claim is closed.
Our Verdict On USAA Car Insurance
For military and their families, we think there is no better choice than USAA. The insurance company has reasonable rates, more than 20 great options for discounts, and a high level of customer satisfaction. As we mentioned, it was the only provider we awarded 5 out of 5 stars in our research into the industry’s most popular insurance companies.
Best for Military Families
Our best overall pick: Offers great customer service to military members and their families.
Other Top Auto Insurance Providers
Of course, not everyone will qualify for USAA – and even if you do qualify, we still recommend getting multiple insurance quotes to ensure you end up with the coverage that’s right for you. When we reviewed the nation’s most popular insurance companies, we rated each of these providers 4.5 out of 5 stars:
You might know Geico because of its charismatic gecko mascot, but this provider has a lot more to offer than entertaining advertisements. Geico maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A++ rating for financial strength from AM Best. The company provides exceptional coverage for military members, as well as students, and is the second largest car insurance company in the U.S. Read our Geico vs USAA review to learn more.
Best Company Overall
Our 2nd favorite and best for those ineligible for USAA: Offers competitive pricing and great coverage.
Another popular provider, Progressive car insurance is unique because of its price comparison tool. You don’t have to visit multiple websites to compare coverage, as Progressive lets you compare quotes side-by-side so you can find the best insurance for your budget. The provider has an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best, and J.D. Power gave it a score of 821 out of 1,000 in the 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study.
Great for Discount Bundles
Our 3rd best overall pick: Offers a number of ways to get a discount, including the Snapshot tool or bundle options.
State Farm is the largest provider of car insurance in the nation for a reason. With an A+ BBB rating and similarly high rankings on the J.D. Power insurance study, State Farm has over 83 million policies and accounts and great discount programs like Drive Safe & Safe. We found the provider to be one of the best choices for both student and teenager car insurance.
Most Popular Car Insurer in the U.S.
Our 4th pick: Most popular auto insurance company that services over 83 million policies.
Frequently Asked Questions About USAA
Q: Who is eligible for USAA?
A: Active duty military, veterans, and honorably separated former service members are eligible for coverage. In terms of family members, the spouse, children, and the widow or widower of any of the above service members are also eligible. Divorced spouses are eligible until remarried.
Q: Is USAA good for car insurance?
A: Between its stable financial rankings and excellent reviews from industry leaders like J.D. Power, it’s easy to see that USAA provides great car insurance coverage options to those who qualify. Both the quotes and claims processes are simple, and a number of discounts are available.
Q: Is USAA the cheapest car insurance?
A: USAA insurance rates appear to be lower than many other insurance companies, especially for members that remain loyal to the company over time. Of course, many factors determine premiums, including driving history and age.