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Last updated: February 5, 2024

USAA Review

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Founded in 1922, the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) offers auto insurance, banking, and investment products to U.S. Armed Forces service members, families, and veterans. USAA provides safe driving discounts, usage-based insurance, international insurance, and more. Its online services and autopay capabilities make getting and maintaining a USAA auto insurance policy easy, whether you’re at home and abroad.

Key Takeaways

USAA caters to its unique clientele with flexible and specialized coverage options. If eligible, you’ll find lower-than-average insurance rates and higher-than-average customer satisfaction ratings. That’s why we ranked USAA as the best auto insurance for military and veterans in 2024.

Who It’s Best For

  • Active duty military members, veterans, and their families
  • Deployed military members who need vehicle storage in the U.S.
  • Safe drivers
  • Rideshare drivers

Who It’s Not Best For

  • Non-USAA members
  • Non-military members or families

Pros and Cons of USAA Auto Insurance

Pros

  • Usage-based insurance: USAA offers usage-based insurance, or UBI, to offer savings to people who drive under a certain number of miles annually. This type of insurance is especially relevant to service members who are deployed overseas and do not drive stateside. Drivers usually pay for coverage monthly instead of six or 12 months, offering flexibility.

  • Robust safe driving discounts: You can save up to 30 percent with USAA’s telematics program, SafePilot. USAA also provides defensive driving and driver training discounts.

  • International insurance: USAA’s insurance policies make your deployment seamless with liability coverage, vehicle storage, and personal injury coverage while you’re abroad.

  • Customer satisfaction: USAA outranks every other insurance company on J.D. Power’s U.S. Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study.

Cons

  • Only available to USAA members: USAA only provides coverage to active duty military, veterans, pre-commissioned officers, and military families.

  • No electric/hybrid car discounts: USAA does not offer a specific auto insurance discount to electric vehicle owners.

  • Slow claims processing: Delayed claims processing is a common concern among online reviewers.

NOTE:

Because USAA doesn’t have an electric vehicle discount, check out which companies do. Read the best electric vehicles insurance.

What Does USAA Cover?

  • Comprehensive coverage: This coverage repairs or replaces your vehicle in the event of damage from an incident like hitting an animal, fire, flooding, glass damage, or hail. Most leasing companies require comprehensive coverage if you lease or finance a vehicle.
  • Collision coverage: Collision coverage pays for damages to your vehicle from collisions with stationary objects and other vehicles. Comprehensive and collision coverage are part of full coverage insurance, but not the minimum coverage that states require by law.
  • Liability coverage (bodily injury and property damage liability): Liability coverage protects your assets if you are found legally responsible for the injury or death of another person resulting from a car accident. This coverage also helps pay to replace or repair another person’s damaged property if you are in an at-fault accident.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: These coverages may pay for injuries to you and your passengers if you’re in an accident caused by a driver with insufficient or no insurance. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may also cover repairs to your vehicle in the event of a hit-and-run.
  • Rental reimbursement: This optional coverage pays for a rental car while your car is in the shop for repairs after a covered loss.
  • Rideshare insurance: If you drive for a rideshare company, you may need rideshare coverage while you’re waiting for an app request in between rides. At this point, your personal USAA policy might not cover you, nor will your employer’s commercial policy. USAA does not offer rideshare coverage in Hawaii, Michigan, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, and Virginia.

What Will My Auto Insurance Rate Be?

The average annual cost of an auto insurance policy from USAA is $1,151. USAA’s average rate is nearly 50 percent lower than the national average of $2,071. Factors that determine your individual auto insurance rate include how many miles you drive a year and your driving record.

Discounts

  • Safe driving discount: USAA’s safe driving program, SafePilot, can save you up to 30 percent on your auto insurance premium. You’ll get a 10 percent discount just for enrolling. Once you download the USAA SafePilot app, it will track how well you’re driving and log your trips automatically. On your next renewal, USAA will provide you with a new rate and reset your driving score for your next policy period.
  • Defensive driving discount: In addition to SafePilot, USAA offers discounts if you maintain a good driving record for more than five years and if you complete an approved defensive driving or basic driver training course.
  • Bundling discount: Save up to 10 percent when you bundle auto and property policies (i.e., USAA home insurance or renters insurance).
  • Low mileage discount: Get a discount for driving less. USAA offers a usage-based low mileage program that can result in a discount. This discount is not available in Hawaii and North Carolina.
  • Vehicle storage discount: Get a discount of up to 60 percent off if you’re deploying or storing your insured vehicle for any reason. To qualify for this discount, you must not drive your car, and you must store it in a secure location. The storage discount is not available in Hawaii, North Carolina, and Virginia.
  • Good student discount: Receive a discount if your teen is a full-time student with at least a B average. This discount is not available in Hawaii and North Carolina.
  • Military on-base discount: Save up to 15 percent on your comprehensive coverage premium when you garage your car on base. In California, this discount applies to your collision coverage as well. The discount is not available in New York.
  • Auto-pay discount: Save up to 3 percent on your auto premium when you set up automatic payments.
  • Family discount: Former dependents save up to 10 percent on their policies if their parents have a USAA insurance policy. Children must establish eligibility through a USAA group sponsor’s policy, be 25 years old or younger, and have no major violations within the last three years.
  • Multivehicle discount: Qualify for a multivehicle discount when you extend your coverage to two or more vehicles.
  • New car discount: Get a discount on your car insurance if your vehicle is less than three years old. We ranked USAA as one of the best auto insurance providers for new cars.
  • Vehicle equipment: You can get a discount on your car insurance if you install an anti-theft device in your car.

Availability

USAA offers auto insurance in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., U.S. territories, and select international locations, including the following:

  • Azores
  • Belgium
  • Cuba
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guam
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • United Kingdom

USAA Customer Service

Contact USAA Customer Service at 800-531-8722. Deployed military members should call 1-877-233-7569 for 24/7 customer service. USAA’s virtual agent is an automated chat feature that can answer questions about your online ID and password, auto claims status, and membership eligibility. USAA’s user portal allows you to access your insurance cards, pay bills, and manage your auto policy.

Mobile Apps and Online Features

Apple users give the USAA app 4.8 stars in the App Store and Android users give the app 4.3 stars in the Google Play Store. The USAA mobile app offers the following features on iOS and Android devices:

  • Accessing auto insurance ID cards, i.e. proof of insurance
  • Requesting roadside assistance
  • Filing and managing claims
  • Adding vehicles and drivers
  • Changing your coverage
  • Paying your bills

Third-Party Ratings

  • AM Best rating: AM Best, which rates the financial strength of insurance companies, gives USAA an A++ rating.1 This rating translates to superior creditworthiness and the ability to meet financial obligations such as claims.
  • Better Business Bureau customer rating: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) does not accredit USAA; however, it does give the company a customer satisfaction rating of 1.2 out of five stars.2 Common concerns referenced in customer reviews include delayed claims processing. Many complaints reference services outside of auto insurance, like USAA credit cards and homeowners insurance.
  • J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study: J.D. Power does not rank USAA because the carrier only sells to military families; however, J.D. Power notes USAA’s customer satisfaction ratings in every region it studies. USAA’s average customer satisfaction rating is 884, far and away the highest on J.D. Power’s list — USAA outranks every insurance company in every region.3
  • Standard and Poor’s: Standard & Poor’s (S&P) assigns letter grades to companies based on their degree of investment risk. S&P gives USAA a rating of AA+, the second-highest rating it provides.4 This score indicates S&P has high confidence that the USAA will repay its debts with a low risk of default.

Company History

In 1922, 25 Army officers met in San Antonio and decided to insure each other’s vehicles. The group elected William Garrison as its first president. Major Walter Moore purchased an auto insurance policy and became USAA’s first member in 1922. The next year, USAA expanded its membership to include Navy and Marine Corps officers.

The first half of the 20th century saw USAA expand internationally. In 1934, its membership grew to include Foreign Service officers, State Department officials, and their widows. In 1948, USAA opened membership to Air Force officers after the National Security Act of 1947 established the department. USAA opened its first location outside San Antonio in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1952.

In 1961, USAA changed its bylaws to include veterans. USAA reached another milestone in 1969 when its millionth member joined. The company grew in other areas, including banking, over the second half of the 20th century. In 1996, enlisted personnel became eligible for membership for the first time.

USAA’s eligibility requirements expanded again in 2008 to include military retirees regardless of when they retired, as well as their spouses and children. In 2009, all men and women currently serving or who have honorably served in the U.S. military and their families became eligible for membership. USAA’s mobile app launched in 2009. As of 2017, USAA serves over 12 million members with a net worth of $31 billion.

Other Insurance USAA Provides

  • ATV
  • Aviation
  • Boat and personal watercraft
  • Business
  • Cell phone protection
  • Classic car
  • Collectibles
  • Condo
  • Cyber security
  • Farm and ranch
  • Flood
  • Health, including dental and vision
  • Homeowners
  • Landlord
  • Life
  • Mobile home
  • Motorcycle
  • Personal property
  • Pet
  • Renters
  • RV and motorhome
  • Special event
  • Travel
  • Umbrella

Cancellation Policy

Cancel your USAA auto insurance policy by dialing 800-531-8722. There is no cancellation fee, but make sure you find a new insurance policy before you cancel your USAA policy so you don’t have a gap in auto insurance coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is USAA always the cheapest insurance?

USAA is one of the cheapest car insurance companies, but it may not always be the cheapest. According to our research, other insurance companies, including Metromile, Root, and Clearcover may offer lower average annual rates; however, we ranked USAA the best cheap auto insurance for military families and veterans.

Is USAA considered a good insurance company?

USAA is a good insurance company. It receives high ratings for customer satisfaction and offers reasonable rates for multiple coverages.

What proof do you need to join USAA?

USAA requires an acceptable military document and government-issued identification to join. Below are some examples of acceptable military documents:

  • DD214 (long version)
  • DD Form 4, if you are in a Delayed Entry Program
  • Discharge Certificate
  • Government-issued ID, such as driver’s licenses, ID cards, or passports
  • Leave & Earnings statement
  • Military orders, if you’re actively serving

How much will my USAA insurance go up with a speeding ticket?

Your USAA insurance may go up by 10 to 20 percent or higher after a speeding ticket. With USAA, there is no distinction between a speeding ticket for driving six to 10 miles per hour versus 11 to 15 miles per hour over the limit.

Citations

  1. Company Profile. AM Best. (2022).
    https://ratings.ambest.com/CompanyProfile.aspx?ambnum=4049&URatingId=3070794&bl=0&AltSrc=9&PPP=&AltNum=0&Ext_User=&Ext_Misc=&Portal=0&Site=

  2. USAA. Better Business Bureau. (2022).
    https://www.bbb.org/us/tx/san-antonio/profile/insurance-companies/usaa-0825-23452

  3. Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Stalls Despite $18 Billion in Premium Relief, J.D. Power Finds. J.D Power. (2021, Jun 15).
    https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2021-us-auto-insurance-study

  4. Press Releases. S&P Global. (2022).
    https://disclosure.spglobal.com/ratings/en/regulatory/org-details/sectorCode/INS/entityId/110579