American Family vs. USAA Auto Insurance (2021)

American Family vs. USAA auto insurance quotes vary based on age, driving record, and credit score. USAA auto insurance is available only to active and retired military and their family members and rates will be 20%-30% cheaper than other companies. Though American Family offers a higher discount for using its driving app, it lacks a military or garaging discount.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jun 28, 2021

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Thing to Remember

  • USAA auto insurance is available only to active and retired military and their family members
  • USAA’s rates will always be 20%-30% cheaper than those of other auto insurance companies
  • American Family offers a higher discount for using its driving app than USAA
  • American Family doesn’t have a military or garaging discount

American Family and USAA are on the list of the top 10 best auto insurance companies, but which is the best option based on your personal characteristics?

Both American Family and USAA are good auto insurance choices. But what is USAA? What does USAA stand for? Is there a catch? Yes, there is.

USAA stands for United Services Automobile Association — which means any branch of the military is eligible. A cheap auto insurance policy with this company is available only to active and retired military service members and their immediate families.

There are many factors that affect the cost of auto insurance. In our American Family vs. USAA auto insurance guide, we compare rates by age, driving record, and credit score.

We also compare available discounts and ratings from agencies with a credible and trustworthy view of American Family vs. USAA auto insurance companies.

Before jumping into this American Family vs. USAA auto insurance review, enter your ZIP code to start comparing quotes from multiple companies in your area.

Is American Family auto insurance or USAA auto insurance cheaper based on age?

The more we drive and the longer we drive, the safer and more aware we become when behind the wheel. For this reason, age will be a significant factor when comparing your American Family vs. USAA auto insurance rates.

In most states, it’s legal to base auto insurance rates on marital status and gender as well; however, some have banned this practice. Is it easier to find affordable American Family auto insurance or affordable USAA auto insurance?

Let’s compare affordable American Family insurance rates and USAA insurance rates based on age, gender, and marital status.

American Family vs. USAA Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Age
DemographicAmerican Family Average Annual RatesUSAA Average Annual Rates
Single 17-year-old female$5,997$4,808
Single 17-year-old male$8,131$5,386
Single 25-year-old female$2,289$1,989
Single 25-year-old male$2,695$2,126
Married 35-year-old female$2,203$1,551
Married 35-year-old male$2,224$1,540
Married 60-year-old female$1,993$1,450
Married 60-year-old male$2,014$1,449
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Generally, you can expect USAA auto insurance rates to be about 25%-30% cheaper than most other auto insurance companies.

Car insurance for teen drivers will always be expensive. Why? They have limited experience behind the wheel and their brains are still developing — they don’t always make the best choices.

American Family auto insurance rates for teens are around 30% higher than the rates for drivers older than 25.

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Is American Family auto insurance or USAA auto insurance cheaper based on driving record?

Speeding tickets, accidents, or DUIs on your driving record will raise your auto insurance rates no matter what company you pick. Any of these infractions on your record will cause insurers to view you as a higher risk.

American Family vs. USAA Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Driving Record
InfractionAmerican Family Average Annual RatesUSAA Average Annual Rates
Clean record$2,694$1,934
With one speeding violation$3,026$2,193
With one accident$3,723$2,516
With one DUI$4,330$3,506
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When it comes to rates by driving record, USAA auto insurance quotes are about half the cost of American Family auto insurance quotes.

However, USAA takes accidents and DUIs much more seriously. Rates with USAA will increase 30%-81% if you are in an accident or get a DUI while carrying a policy.

Rates with American Family will increase 12%-61% if you are in an accident or get a DUI while carrying a policy.

Is American Family auto insurance or USAA auto insurance cheaper based on credit score?

If you experience some type of financial trauma, such as incurring medical debt or going through a divorce, your good credit score can drop in a matter of months.

In most states, it’s legal for auto insurance companies to factor in your credit score when determining your rates; however, some are banning this practice along with factoring in gender and marital status.

Car insurance companies justify using your credit score to determine your rates based on the assumption that those with higher credit scores are more responsible and less likely to file a claim.

Let’s take a look at how American Family and USAA set rates for drivers with different credit scores.

American Family vs. USAA Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Credit Score
Credit HistoryAmerican Family Average Annual RatesUSAA Average Annual Rates
Good Credit (670-739)$2,692$1,821
Fair Credit Score (580-669)$3,170$2,220
Poor Credit Score (300-579)$4,468$3,691
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Again, USAA will usually have the cheapest insurance rates compared to other auto insurance companies.

Rates with American Family will increase 18%-66% if your credit score drops significantly while carrying a policy.

Rates with USAA will more than double if your credit score drops significantly while carrying a policy.

Check your local auto insurance laws before choosing a policy. It may be that basing auto insurance rates on gender, marital status, and/or credit score has been outlawed in your state.

Does American Family or USAA have better auto insurance discounts?

If you have a bad driving record or a low credit score, getting good auto insurance discounts can offset your high rates.

USAA has more discounts than American Family based on our records, but it never hurts to ask to make sure you’re taking advantage of as many discounts as possible.

American Family vs. USAA Auto Insurance Discounts
DiscountsAmerican FamilyUSAA
Adaptive Cruise ControlN/AN/A
Adaptive HeadlightsN/AN/A
Anti-lock BrakesYesN/A
Anti-TheftYesN/A
Claim FreeYes12
Continuous CoverageYesN/A
Daytime Running LightsN/AN/A
Defensive Driver103
Distant StudentN/AN/A
Driver's EdN/A3
Driving Device/App405
Early SigningN/A12
Electronic Stability ControlN/AN/A
Emergency DeploymentYesN/A
Engaged CoupleYesN/A
Family LegacyYes10
Family PlanYesN/A
Farm VehicleYesN/A
Fast 5YesN/A
Federal EmployeeYesN/A
Forward Collision WarningN/AN/A
Full PaymentN/AN/A
Further EducationYesN/A
Garaging/StoringYes90
Good CreditN/AN/A
Good StudentN/A3
Green VehicleN/AN/A
HomeownerYesN/A
Lane Departure WarningN/AN/A
Life InsuranceN/AN/A
Low MileageN/AN/A
LoyaltyYesN/A
MarriedN/AN/A
Membership/GroupN/AN/A
MilitaryYesN/A
Military GaragingYes15
Multiple DriversN/AN/A
Multiple PoliciesN/AN/A
Multiple VehiclesN/AN/A
New AddressN/AN/A
New Customer/New PlanN/AN/A
New GraduateYesN/A
Newer VehicleYes12
Newly LicensedN/AN/A
NewlywedsN/AN/A
Non-Smoker/Non-DrinkerN/AN/A
Occasional OperatorN/AN/A
OccupationN/AN/A
On Time PaymentsN/AN/A
Online ShopperN/AN/A
Paperless DocumentsN/AN/A
Paperless/Auto BillingN/A3
Passive Restraint30N/A
Recent RetireesYesN/A
RenterYesN/A
Roadside AssistanceYesN/A
Safe DriverN/A12
Seat Belt UseN/AN/A
Senior DriverN/AN/A
Stable ResidenceYesN/A
Students & AlumniN/AN/A
Switching ProviderN/AN/A
Utility VehicleN/AN/A
Vehicle RecoveryYesN/A
VIN EtchingYesN/A
VolunteerYesN/A
Young DriverN/A$75
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The American Family auto insurance company offers discounts of 10%-40% for taking defensive driver training, having airbags, and using the company’s driving device or app.

American Family and USAA both offer up to a 20% discount for using the driving app or driving device.

The discounts offered by the USAA auto insurance company are pretty good. You can save 10%-12% by being a family legacy, signing early, driving a newer vehicle, being claim-free, and being a safe driver.

And, with USAA, if you are an active military member and get deployed, you will get a 90% discount for garaging your vehicle while you’re away.

Our records show that American Family doesn’t have a military or garaging discount, but it still pays to get a quote because auto insurance companies are offering new discounts daily to stay competitive in the market.

What about USAA vs. American Family home insurance? You may get an additional discount for bundling your auto insurance with American Family home insurance or USAA home insurance.

The discounts provided by auto insurance companies also target particular categories of drivers, so be sure to ask if there are any extra discounts by calling American Family or USAA customer service at the American Family or USAA insurance phone number.

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Does American Family or USAA have better auto insurance mobile apps?

Usage-based auto insurance has become a hot trend in the auto insurance industry in the last decade.

All of the best auto insurance companies have a driving app for your mobile phone or a device that can be installed into your vehicle to evaluate your driving in exchange for a discount.

A more general app is also offered by major auto insurance providers which you can use to access your policy, make adjustments, and pay your bill. Usually, in both the general app and the driving app, your American Family login or USAA login would likely be the same.

How do American Family and USAA auto insurance compare in financial strength and customer satisfaction?

Purchasing auto insurance is an important financial responsibility, so you want to make sure you’re selecting the right company that will be there for you when you need it most.

A company’s financial strength, customer satisfaction with the claims process, and the number of customer complaints should be reviewed prior to making your decision.

The following three agencies provide insight into these factors:

A.M. Best scores companies based on their ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations, such as balancing premiums collected and claims paid. The highest score A.M. Best awards is Superior A++.

Consumer Reports collects annual data from its subscribers regarding customer satisfaction with the claims process, step by step. In its 2017 survey, 27 insurance companies were rated, and scores ranged from 86 to 96.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) calculates a complaint ratio based on the total number of customers vs. the total number of complaints. In 2017, the national average complaint ratio was one. The lower the ratio, the better.

American Family vs. USAA Company Ratings
Rating AgencyAmerican FamilyUSAA
AM Best RatingAA++
Consumer Reports8995
NAIC Company Complaint Ratio0.790.74
NAIC Total Complaints73296
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A.M. Best awarded American Family an excellent rating, but USAA received the highest possible rating.

The two companies are also highly competitive when it comes to the customer complaint ratio. Both are below one, which is a good sign for customer satisfaction.

Also, USAA has a much higher score than American Family from Consumer Reports, indicating that customer satisfaction with the claims process is much stronger with USAA.

Before you buy American Family vs. USAA auto insurance, do your research. Use our free comparison tool to compare auto insurance quotes in your area.

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