USAA Car Insurance Review [The Complete Guide]

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USAA Car Insurance OverviewStats
Year Founded1922
Current ExecutivesStuart Parker
President and CEO
Numbers of EmployeesNearly 34,000 globally
Total Revenues/AssetsTotal Revenues: $31.4 Billion
Total Assets: $158.5 Billion
Headquarters Address9800 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, TX 78288
Phone Number800-531-USAA (8722)
Company Websitehttps://www.usaa.com/
Premiums Written14,467,936
Loss Ratio0.77
Best ForInsurance
Banking
Investing
Retirement and IRAs
Real Estate
Health Insurance

For nearly a century, the United Services Automobile Association — better known as USAA — has branded itself as a premier provider for the military community.

With words like “service,” “loyalty,” “honesty,” and “integrity” prominently displayed on its website, USAA claims to bring the military’s most honorable attributes to its everyday service.

It also doesn’t hurt that USAA continuously earns impressive accolades, like being named the “Most Reputable Insurance Company in the United States” or having some of the “Best Customer Service” in the American Insurance Industry. 

Recognition aside, drivers want to know whether USAA ranks as a top contender for their car insurance needs — and that includes basic coverage options, rates, and much more.

And while finding trustworthy information about USAA may seem intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. You can find everything you need to know about USAA, and then some, right here in this complete guide.

But before you assume we’re only providing general information that won’t apply to you — think again. We’ve got everything from state-to-state rates, company-to-company comparisons, and an in-depth look at USAA discounts.

Bottom line? Getting started is as simple as scrolling down for all of your need-to-know details.

You can begin shopping rates now by entering your zip code into our FREE car insurance comparison tool.

Now’s the time to put your keys in the ignition, and get into gear with our fist topic— how USAA ranks among some of the world’s most well-respected organizations.

USAA Ratings

There’s “Superior,” “Strong,” and “Among the Best.”

And then, there’s “Poor,” “Highly Speculative,” and “The Rest.”

Let’s be honest. How an insurance company is being rated is important. And when it comes to where USAA stands among the likes of A.M. Best, S&P, the Better Business Bureau and more, drivers are naturally — and rightfully — curious.

After all, these ratings reveal a variety of key insights into USAA, from its financial health, to its ability to meet its obligations, and to its consistency in customer relations.

Searching the web for these ratings doesn’t have to be a hassle — we’ve done the research and have gathered all of the data right here. But before we dig any deeper, take a look at our ratings overview:

OrganizationRating
AM BestA++
Better Business BureauB-
Moody’s RatingAaa
S&P RatingAA+
NAIC Complaint
Index Ratio
0.99
JD Power5/5 Overall Satisfaction
Consumer Reports96

– AM Best Ratings

Financial stability is the name of the game for A.M. Best, and the ratings issuer has made its mark providing insight into more than 3,500 companies in 90 countries. Their goal? To assist both industry leaders and consumers in assessing “an insurer’s financial strength, creditworthiness, and ability to honor obligations to policyholders worldwide.”

AM Best assigns ratings that range from an A++ at its highest, to a D at its lowest. So where does USAA fall? Passing with flying colors — USAA has a “Superior” A++ ranking, meaning that A.M. Best sees the company as having “a superior ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations.”

In a news release, A.M. Best goes on to say this about USAA:

“USAA maintains diversified sources of earnings and strong ERM (enterprise risk management), with a full range of financial products and services to its membership of military and ex-military personnel and their dependents. USAA’s low cost structure, high customer retention, effective use of technology and exceptional customer service capabilities have enabled it to build a sustainable competitive advantage in the personal lines sector.”

In addition to its superior Financial Strength Rating (FSR), USAA also received a Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (ICR) of an “aaa.” Under A.M. Best’s rating scale, this is known as “Exceptional,” pointing to what experts believe is USAA’s ability to meet its ongoing senior financial obligations.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a nonprofit that uses ratings as a way of helping consumers understand how a business interacts with its customers — good and bad.  BBB grades are based on several key factors, including:

  • A business’s complaint history with BBB
  • Type of business
  • Time in business
  • Transparent Business Practices
  • Failure to honor commitments to BBB
  • Licensing and government actions that are known to BBB

The BBB uses a 100-point scale to come up with letter grades. An  A+ is the highest (97-100 points), and an F is the lowest (0 – 59.99 points). We discovered that USAA has a B- grade with the BBB.

As we mentioned above, known government actions are a contributing factor to a business’s overall rating with the BBB. In the case of USAA, that is precisely why the company has a B-. The BBB points to two government actions against USAA that were resolved in January 2019:

The first is a settlement between USAA and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, which states that USAA violated the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010.

The terms of the settlement require USAA provide certain consumers with approximately $12 million in restitution, and pay a $3.5 million civil penalty. You can read more about the settlement here.

The second involves a consent order USAA entered with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). This consent order settles allegations that USAA “failed to implement and maintain an effective risk management program commensurate with the bank’s size, complexity and risk profile.”

It also addresses other allegations that USAA’s bank failed to comply with a number of federal guidelines, and also failed to implement and maintain an effective compliance management system.

Under the terms of the consent order, USAA agreed to appoint a compliance committee and submit an action plan. It should also be noted that in entering the consent order, USAA neither admits nor denies the allegations. To read more about the consent order, click here.

– Moody’s Ratings

It’s pretty safe to assume that most drivers reading this article have a credit score, which we know to be an important number that lenders look to in order to assess your risk.

In the same way a credit score measures your “risk,” companies like Moody’s do the same with businesses — that is, assign ratings that shed light on the quality of a company’s obligations, and the level of its credit risk.

Moody’s is one of the most highly-regarded credit-rating agencies in the world, and is considered one of the “big three” in the market. Its rankings range from Aaa (the highest quality) to C (the lowest quality). As for USAA, Moody’s has assigned it an Aaa rating. In other words,

The rating affirmation reflects USAA’s market leadership in providing insurance and other financial services to the military community and its strong capitalization.” 

However, it should be noted that in spite of its Aaa rating (which USAA points to as the highest of 21 possible rankings), Moody’s changed USAA’s rating outlook from “stable” to “negative” in March 2019.

This change is in response to the consent order we previously mentioned between USAA’s Federal Savings Bank and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC). According to a Moody’s news release,

“The negative rating outlook reflects the significant management and financial resources USAA will need to devote to this matter over the next couple of years, as well as the possibility that the OCC or the bank will uncover further weaknesses through the remediation process.” 

To read more about Moody’s rationale behind this change of outlook, click here.

– S&P Ratings

S&P is also considered one of the world’s “Big Three” credit-rating agencies, looking to examine “the ability and willingness” of a company to meet its financial obligations in a timely matter.

S&P Ratings range from an AAA at its highest, to a D as its lowest. USAA currently has an AA+ or a “very strong capacity to meet its financial obligations.”

– NAIC Complaint Index

Here’s a no-brainer — when it comes to the insurance companies we are willing to drive with, we want to know if they are prone to complaints. So, where does USAA stand in terms of complaints? Is the association receiving complaints at a rate that is higher, or lower than normal?

Lucky for us, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has answers. The association hosts a database in which consumers can review the three-year complaint trends of insurance companies, as provided by state insurance departments.

We looked at USAA’s complaint trend data from 2016 to 2018, and here’s what we found:

Private Passenger Policies201620172018
Total Complaints363346328
Complaint Index
(better or worse than National Index)
0.81 (worse)1.13 (better)1.14 (better)
National Complaint Index0.781.21.16
US Market Share1.75%1.80%%1.85%
Total Premiums$3,748,200,428$4,175,675,493$4,557,704,799

In looking at complaints USAA received with its private passenger policies, we see a downward trend, with the number of complaints decreasing by 35 in the three-year period. And where USAA’s complaint index was higher than the National Complaint Index in 2016, those numbers improved in 2017 and in 2018.

– J.D. Power Ratings

For J.D. Power, it’s all about customer satisfaction.

The J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study ranks auto-insurance companies by region, and measures customer satisfaction in five areas (in order of importance): interaction, policy offerings, price, billing process and policy information, and claims.

Within this study, J.D. Power also assigns “Power Circle Ratings” to each insurer. They are:

  • Five out of Five Circles (“Among the Best’)
  • Four out of Five Circles (“Better than Most”)
  • Three out of Five Circles (“About Average”)
  • Two out of Five Circles (“The Rest”)

Here’s what you need to know about this J.D. Power study — because USAA is only open to U.S. military personnel and their families, they are not included in the rankings. However, USAA is still profiled in each region, and the results are pretty impressive:

RegionOverall Customer Satisfaction
Index Rating
(out of 1,000)
Power Circle Ranking
California844Among the Best
(5/5 Circles)
Central907Among the Best
(5/5 Circles)
Florida898Among the Best
(5/5 Circles)
Mid-Atlantic898Among the Best
(5/5 Circles)
New England898Among the Best
(5/5 Circles)
New York884Among the Best
(5/5 Circles)
North Central891Among the Best
(5/5 Circles)
Northwest894Among the Best
(5/5 Circles)
Southeast878Among the Best
(5/5 Circles)
Southwest887Among the Best
(5/5 Circles)
Texas894Among the Best
(5/5 Circles)

There’s no other way to say it — though not officially ranked, USAA received exceptional feedback in this study, achieving the highest Power Circle Rating in every single region surveyed.

– Consumer Reports Ratings

With Consumer Reports, we see the glowing reviews for USAA continue. In looking at a variety of categories ranging from agent courtesy to the claims process, USAA hits homerun after homerun, earning a Reader Score of 95 and “Excellent” feedback across the board:  

Claims HandlingScore/Rating
Reader Score95
Ease of reaching an agentExcellent
Simplicity of the processExcellent
Promptness of response - very goodExcellent
Damage amountExcellent
Agent courtesyExcellent
Timely paymentExcellent
Freedom to select repair shopExcellent
Being kept informed of claim statusExcellent

Company History

It all began with 25 Army officers.

The year was 1922, and the city was San Antonio, Texas. This group of Army officers came together to self-insure each other, effectively forming the United States Army Automobile Association. Just one year later, the company expanded to include other branches of the armed services and changed its name to the United Services Automobile Association — today’s USAA.

Eligibility would expand again in 1996 and in 2009. In 1996, to include enlisted personnel serving on active duty, the National Guard, and selected reserves. In 2009, to include “all who are serving or have honorably served our nation in the U.S. military.”

USAA membership now includes nearly 13 million. Today, the question for consumers is whether USAA’s story points to one of continued growth — specifically, in its market share of the industry.

– Market Share

You may be wondering what market share is, and why it matters. Simply put, a market share is a number that illustrates a company’s portion of sales within the market it operates. Market share is given as a percentage (out of 100) and is an indicator of a company’s size in the market.

As of 2018, NAIC data shows that USAA had the 5th-highest market share among all auto insurers, at 5.87 percent. For USAA, this figure is part of an overall trend of growth, as illustrated by this graph:

USAA Market Share 2015 - 2018 Autoinsurance.org

USAA has made steady progress in the last few years, increasing 0.59 percentage points since 2015. In breaking down the data even further, we can see the same pattern of increase in USAA’s market share of liability and physical damage:

YearTotal Market ShareMarket Share
of Liability
Market Share
of Physical Damage
20185.87%5.55%6.33%
20175.68 %5.33 %6.22 %
20165.45 %5.04 %6.05 %
20155.28 %4.81 %5.99 %

– How to Contact USAA

USAA has a variety of ways in which members and non-members can make contact:

  • By telephone, at 800-531-USAA (8722) or 210-531-USAA (8722)
  • By Virtual Agent (an automated bot accessible on its “Contact Us” page)
  • Online, by logging into your account  (or creating a new one)
  • Through its mobile app 
  • By mail at USAA / 9800 Fredericksburg Rd. / San Antonio, TX 78288
  • Or, by meeting with a representative (use this locator map to find one near you).

– Commercials

In the world of television commercials, consumers can expect to encounter a variety of marketing techniques — catchy jingles, memorable slogans, and over-the-top visuals. But what about customer testimonials attesting to the quality of the product?

While USAA certainly doesn’t shy away from using humor in its advertising, we found that in its most recent commercials tied to auto insurance, USAA relied on the positive experiences of its members. Case in point, this 15-second spot with the Hayles family focuses on USAA’s rates:

This next commercial uses personal testimony to not only demonstrate the company’s diverse offerings but to also highlight the fact that USAA can be “passed down” to family members:

Finally, this advertisement sheds light on USAA’s options and rates through the eyes of a military family:

– Community Service

Time, and money.

They’re both investments USAA CEO Stuart Parker says employees are putting back into the community on a regular basis. Parker goes on to say that giving back is so important, USAA employees are given two days of paid time annually in order to volunteer. (In 2018 alone, USAA employees registered more than 500,000 volunteer hours.)

USAA categorizes its community service into two ways:

  • Supporting military families.
  • Improving the quality of living in communities where USAA employees work and live.

Nationally, USAA looks to invest in:

  • Military caregivers; families of the fallen; wounded, ill, and injured service members; and military children
  • Fulfilling careers for veterans and military spouses
  • Financial readiness for military families

At the local level, USAA focuses in on:

  • Families in Need
  • Education
  • Safety and natural disaster response

In 2018 alone, USAA employees registered more than 500,000 volunteer hours.

Finally, USAA also has its own Educational Foundation, which focuses on helping the military and local community improve its financial readiness.

To read more about USAA’s philanthropic efforts, click here.

– How is USAA Positioned for the Future?

In terms of its financial health and reputation, it’s clear that USAA its hitting a lot of high marks. With the highest-possible designations from A.M. Best and Moody’s, and with strong ratings from S&P, USAA has proven itself among some of the world’s leading rating-issuing organizations.

Also working in USAA’s favor is its continued trajectory in its market share. The fact that USAA continues to move forward, and not backward, in this area is certainly indicative that drivers continue to trust the association in insuring their vehicles.

Speaking of trust, USAA can also celebrate stellar consumer ratings from both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, knocking it out of the park in virtually every category. Although J.D. Power technically doesn’t include USAA in its rankings, it’s profile alone demonstrates that USAA is a strong contender in its field.

What may be challenging for USAA is its B- rating with the BBB, as well as its “negative’ outlook from Moody’s — both stemming from government action taken against the company. It is, however, important to note that both instances have been settled.  Whether these actions will have any long-term impact on USAA will only be revealed in time.

– USAA Employees

Did you know that nearly one in four USAA employees are veterans or military spouses?

Statistics like this undoubtedly enforce USAA’s commitment to the military community and its values. However, there is much more to learn about the men and women behind USAA.

– USAA Employees by Age

Who makes up a bigger percentage of USAA’s workforce? Is it people in their 20s and 30s? Their 40s and 50s? Or, in their 60s and 70s?

Through Great Places to Work, we learned what percentage of USAA’s workforce could be categorized as Baby Boomers (born between 1945 and 1964), Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980), or Millennials (born between 1981 and 1997):
USAA Employees by Age

In comparing the number of Generation X employees to Millennials, it looks like USAA has a pretty even split — at 42 percent and 41 percent respectively. It’s the Baby Boomer group that is the smallest in number, at 17 percent of the workforce.

– Tenure of USAA Employees

Aside from their ages, we also wanted to know how long men and women are remaining employed with USAA:

USAA Employee Tenure

According to Great Places to Work, the majority of USAA’s employees — 55 percent — have been with the association for up to five years. Employees who have worked with USAA between 16 and 20 years make up the smallest group, at just 7 percent.

– Employee Experience

Finally, when it comes to employee experience, Great Places to Work reports that 89 percent of USAA employees say it’s a great place to work. In surveying employees:

  • 96 percent say, “When you join the company, you are made to feel welcome.”
  • 95 percent say, “I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.”
  • 93 percent say, “I’m proud to tell others I work here.”
  • 92 percent say, “Our facilities contribute to a good working environment.”
  • 92 percent say, “We have special and unique benefits here.”

We also checked out what USAA employees had to say at Glassdoor and Payscale.com 

  • At Glassdoor, the average employee rating was 3.6 out of five stars, with USAA being named to Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list in 2009 (#36)
  • At Payscale.com, the average employee rating was 3.9 out of five stars, with high marks in Company Outlook (4.2/5 stars) and in Manager Relationship and Learning and Development (both 4/5 stars),

– USAA Awards and Accolades

When it comes to earning awards and accolades, USAA has more than a dozen reasons to celebrate — and that’s just in the number of times USAA has landed on “Best Workplace” lists!

Just to name some of the awards USAA has earned in relation to its work environment, here’s a listing of awards earned in 2019 (click here :

  • #17 in Best Workplaces in Financial Services & Insurance™
  • #47 in Best Workplaces in Texas™
  • #30 in 2019 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®
  • #75 in Best Workplaces for Millennials™
  • #8 in PEOPLE 2019 Companies that Care®

In speaking to its financial health, USAA is on the Fortune 500 list, and has been named to the Ward Group 50 Top Performing Life/Health Insurance Companies list multiple times.

Additional honors include being named to the World’s Most Ethical Companies list from 2016 to 2019, and a Military Friendly Company from 2017 to 2019.

To read more about these awards, click here.

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Cheap Car Insurance Rates

How much a driver ends up paying in premium hinges on a variety of factors, and USAA is upfront in sharing what factors can impact their rates. This includes:

  • Driver age
  • Driver history
  • Your vehicle make and model
  • Where you live
  • The number of miles you put on your car

The good news? We’re taking a look at USAA rates in each of these areas and more, so you don’t have to go searching. In gathering data from Quadrant, we’re not only providing you with rates, but we’re also giving you a point-by-point analysis.

– USAA Availability

First thing’s first — you may be wondering whether USAA is available where you live. Assuming you meet the eligibility requirements, USAA membership is available to drivers in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and in some international locations.

– USAA Rates by State

We wanted to know how USAA rates compare against state averages — are they higher, lower, or about the same?

We looked, and quickly identified an impressive trend — where the data is available, we saw that USAA’s average rates consistently fall below the state average:

StateAnnual PremiumAmount Higher/Lower
than State Average
Percent Higher/Lower
than State Average
Alaska$2,454.21-$967.31-28.27%
Alabama$2,124.09-$1,442.87-40.45%
Arkansas$2,171.06-$1,953.92-47.37%
Arizona$3,084.29-$686.68-18.21%
California$2,693.87-$995.06-26.97%
Colorado$3,338.87-$537.52-13.87%
Connecticut$3,190.00-$1,428.92-30.94%
District of Columbia$2,580.44-$1,858.80-41.87%
Delaware$2,325.98-$3,660.34-61.15%
Florida$2,850.41-$1,830.05-39.10%
Georgia$3,157.46-$1,809.37-36.43%
Hawaii$1,189.35-$1,366.29-53.46%
Iowa$1,852.57-$1,128.71-37.86%
Idaho$1,877.61-$1,101.48-36.97%
Illinois$2,770.21-$535.28-16.19%
Indiana$1,630.86-$1,784.11-52.24%
Kansas$2,382.61-$897.02-27.35%
Kentucky$2,897.89-$2,297.51-44.22%
Louisiana$4,353.12-$1,358.23-23.78%
Maine$1,930.79-$1,022.49-34.62%
Maryland$2,744.14-$1,838.56-40.12%
Massachusetts$1,458.99-$1,219.86-45.54%
Michigan$3,620.00-$6,878.64-65.52%
Minnesota$2,861.60-$1,541.65-35.01%
Missouri$2,525.78-$803.15-24.13%
Mississippi$2,056.13-$1,608.44-43.89%
Montana$2,031.89-$1,188.96-36.91%
North CarolinaNA in State
North Dakota$2,006.80-$2,159.04-51.83%
Nebraska$2,330.78-$952.90-29.02%
New Hampshire$1,906.96-$1,244.81-39.50%
New JerseyNA in State
New Mexico$2,296.77-$1,166.87-33.69%
Nevada$3,069.07-$1,792.64-36.87%
New York$3,761.69-$528.20-12.31%
Ohio$1,478.46-$1,231.25-45.44%
Oklahoma$3,174.15-$968.17-23.37%
Oregon$2,587.15-$880.62-25.39%
Pennsylvania$1,793.37-$2,241.13-55.55%
Rhode Island$4,323.98-$679.38-13.58%
South Carolina$3,424.77-$356.37-9.42%
South DakotaNA in State
Tennessee$2,739.28-$921.61-25.17%
Texas$2,487.89-$1,555.39-38.47%
Utah$2,491.10-$1,120.79-31.03%
Virginia$1,858.38-$499.49-21.18%
Vermont$1,903.55-$1,330.58-41.14%
Washington$2,262.16-$797.16-26.06%
West Virginia$1,984.62-$610.74-23.53%
Wisconsin$2,975.74-$630.33-17.48%
Wyoming$2,779.53-$420.55-13.14%

In looking at the cost of premiums across the country, we found that USAA drivers in a dozen states are paying less than $2,000 a year in premiums. The lowest rates can be found in Hawaii, averaging just under $1,200.

As for where USAA drivers are experiencing some of the biggest savings against the state average? That would be in Michigan, where the average USAA premium is $6,878.64 less than the state average!

– Comparing USAA’s Rates Among the Top 10 Companies

You may also be wondering how USAA’s rates compare among the top car insurers in the country. Take a look at this graph for more insight:

USAA Review Autoinsurance top 10 avg state rates

Here, we can see the story is simple — USAA has the lowest average state premiums among large insurers like State Farm, Nationwide, Geico, and Liberty. In fact, USAA is the only carrier on this list with an average rate in the two-thousand dollar range ($2,537.00). The next-lowest rates can be found with Geico, averaging just over $3,200.

– Average USAA Male vs Female Car Insurance Rates

That car insurance rates can vary between men and women is a pretty well-known fact. And according to the Insurance Information Institute, women often tend to get the better end of the deal. Experts say,

“Statistically, women tend to get into fewer accidents, have fewer driver-under-the-influence accidents (DUIs) and—most importantly—have less serious accidents than men. So all other things being equal, women often pay less for auto insurance than their male counterparts.”

So of course, we wanted to know if USAA rates were consistent with this line of thought. The answer? Not necessarily:

Marital Status and GenderAverage Rate
Married 35-year old female$1,551.43
Married 35-year old male$1,540.32
Married 60-year old female$1,449.85
Married 60-year old male$1,448.98
Single 17-year old female$4,807.54
Single 17-year old male$5,385.61
Single 25-year old female$1,988.52
Single 25-year old male$2,126.14

For USAA drivers, what it really boils down to is age and marital status. When comparing rates between married 35-year-olds and married 60-year-olds, female drivers are actually paying more, but the difference is in dollars.

However, when looking at single 17-year-olds and single 25-year-olds, the differences become more pronounced, with men paying more in each category.

– Average USAA Rates by Make and Model

The kind of car you drive can also impact your premium. According to the Insurance Information Institute, some contributing factors will include the cost of your car, the likelihood of theft, the cost of repairs, the engine size, and its safety record.

We compared USAA rates across six popular cars of different sizes, engines, and costs:

Vehicle Make and ModelAverage Rate
2015 Ford F-150:
Lariat SuperCab with
2WD 6.5 foot bed and 2.7L V6
$2,551.56
2015 Honda Civic Sedan:
LX with 2.0L 4cyl and CVT
$2,409.67
2015 Toyota RAV4: XLE$2,454.58
2018 Ford F-150:
Lariat SuperCab with
2WD 6.5 foot bed and 2.7L V6
$2,855.69
2018 Honda Civic Sedan:
LX with 2.0L 4cyl and CVT
$2,422.66
2018 Toyota RAV4: XLE$2,529.63

In this specific group of vehicles, USAA drivers with 2018 Ford F-150s are paying the highest rates at just over $2,800. The car associated with the lowest rates on this list is the 2015 Honda Civic Sedan, at just over $2,400.

– Average USAA Commute Rates

What about your daily commute? Does that have any bearing on USAA rates?

Turns out, very little.

As the table below illustrates, the difference between a 10-mile and a 25-mile daily commute is roughly $110 a year.

DistanceAverage Rate
10 mile commute/
6,000 annual mileage
$2,482.69
25 mile commute/
12,000 annual mileage.
$2,591.91

– Average USAA Rates by Coverage Level

It’s really very simple — more coverage, more money.  At least that’s the case with USAA drivers. We compared rates among those with low, medium and high coverage:

Coverage LevelRate
High$2,667.92
Medium$2,539.87
Low$2,404.11

In looking at the data, we can glean that:

  • USAA drivers with high coverage are paying about $128 more than those with medium coverage.
  • Drivers with medium coverage are paying about $135 more than those with low coverage.
  • As for the difference between high coverage and low coverage? That’s about $263.

– Average USAA Rates by Credit History

Buying houses, getting loans, and even applying for jobs.

Without a doubt, your credit score can have a dramatic impact on many areas of your financial life, including your car insurance rates.

So what does having good, fair or poor credit mean for USAA members?

CreditAverage Rate
Good$1,821.20
Fair$2,219.83
Poor$3,690.73

For drivers with poor credit, rates are significantly higher than their counterparts with better scores. In fact, USAA drivers with poor credit are paying about twice what drivers with good credit are paying, at nearly $3,7000.

– Average USAA Rates by Driving Record

Accidents, DUIs, and traffic violations — any of these incidents can cause your premiums to increase, and in some cases, very dramatically.

We took at USAA rates among drivers with the following records:

Driving RecordRate
Clean$1,933.68
With 1 Speeding Violation$2,193.25
With 1 accident$2,516.24
With 1 DUI$3,506.03

In looking at this table, it’s obvious that any infraction can lead to an increase in your USAA rates. But the most dramatic impact can be found in having one DUI, with a significant increase of over $1,500 in rates compared to that of drivers with clean records.

Coverages Offered by USAA

The simple truth for any driver is that coverage options are everything. And it’s not just about your state’s minimum requirements — it’s about making sure you have all of the coverages you need to have peace of mind.

– Basic Coverages

Here are USAA’s basic car coverage options:

  • Comprehensive — This pays for damage to your car resulting from unexpected incidents outside of a collision or rollover. This includes theft, fire, vandalism, and weather damage.
  • Collision — This pays for damage done to your car as a result of a collision or rollover, regardless of who was at fault.
  • Liability —This covers bodily injury or property damage done to others as a result of an accident that you caused.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) — This helps pay for medical expenses, funeral costs, disability, and lost income of you or your passengers as a result of an accident, regardless of who was at fault.  This also satisfies the requirements of “no-fault” states.
  • Extended Benefits Coverage — According to USAA: “Provides wage earner and essential services disability benefits, plus a specific death benefit. This coverage can be carried only when medical payments coverage is also carried. Coverage varies by location. See policy for details.”
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage — This pays for injuries to you and your passengers resulting from an accident caused by a driver that has no insurance, has insufficient coverage, or is a hit-and-run driver
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage — This pays for the damage to your vehicle if you are in an accident caused by a driver who has no insurance, or insufficient coverage. In most states, damage caused by a hit-and-run driver is also included. 

– Additional Coverages

USAA also offers these additional options:

  • Roadside Assistance —This goes toward the cost to tow or repair your car if you’re stranded and your car won’t start. It also includes services to unlock your car, get gas delivered, or change a tire.
  • Rental Reimbursement — This pays the cost of a rental car (up to the class you choose) while your car is being repaired due to a covered insurance claim.
  • Accident Forgiveness — If you’ve remained accident-free for five years, this ensures your premium doesn’t go up if you have one at-fault accident.

– Discounts

Safe Drivers, New Vehicles, and Young Drivers. USAA offers a variety of discounts appealing to drivers of all walks of life.

We assembled a table showing what discounts USAA offers and, when available, the amount and terms. It’s important to keep in mind that discounts can vary from state to state, and from driver to driver. Make sure you review your policy and speak to a representative.

DiscountDiscount AmountAdditional Info
Anti-lock Brakes
Anti-Theft
Claim Free12"Premier Driver Discount"
4%-12% depending on driving record
12% is for accident and violation free for 5 yrs
*One safe driver/claim free discount applies
Not available in HI
Daytime Running Lights
Defensive Driver3Discount lasts 3 years
Distant StudentLabeled as "non-operator"
you won't pay for that driver until he or she is home to use the car
Driver's Ed3"Driver Training"
for drivers under 21
discount lasts until he/she turns 21
not available in:
HI, NC & NY
Driving Device/App5DriveSync
Vehicle must be '96 or newer
Available in: AZ, ID, TX, VA & WA
Early Signing12Advance Purchase Discount
Family Legacy10Requirements:
-under 25 years old
-been insured on parents' policy for at least 3 years
-clean driving record
Garaging/Storing90
Good Student33.0 or higher
Discount lasts 3 years
Not available in:
HI, NC & NY
Low Mileage
Loyalty
Married
Military
Military Garaging15Discount off of comprehensive coverage;
not available in NY
Multiple Policies
Multiple Vehicles
Newer Vehicle123yrs=4%
2yrs=8%
0-1 yr=12%
No more than 3 years old
discount decreases as car ages
Not available in NY
Occasional OperatorDiscount based on
operator's individual driving record
Paperless Documents
Paperless/Auto Billing3
Passive Restraint
Safe Driver12"Premier Driver Discount"
4%-12% depending on driving record
12% is for accident and violation free for 5 years
*One safe driver/claim free discount applies
Not available in HI
Senior Driver
Vehicle Recovery
VIN Etching
Young Driver$75"Automatic License+"
Car plug-in device
for 15-19 yr olds
'96 or newer vehicle
$25 gift card for signing up
upon completion of 100 hr program:
$50-gold
$20-silver
$5-bronze
based on driving behavior

USAA also offers SafePilot, a usage-based driving app where drivers can receive discounts for safe driving practices.

– What Stands Out and What’s Missing

What stands out with USAA’s discounts is the variety. In reviewing this list, it would be hard for any drivers not to find at least one discount he or she can take advantage of.

The Claim Free and Safe Driver discounts provide good incentive to maintain a good record, as both can result in discounts of up to 12 percent. The Young Driver discount is also intriguing, as members can receive gift cards just for signing up.

In spite of USAA’s many offerings, some noticeable omissions include discounts for “green” vehicles, Full Payment discounts, and New Plan discounts. However, in addressing the latter, USAA’s website claims new customers have averaged hundreds of dollars in savings once switching over.

Finally, it’s also important to note that not all of USAA’s discounts are applicable in every state. We noticed several discounts are not available to drivers in Hawaii and New York, such as the Good Student and Driver’s Ed discounts.

Canceling Your Policy

Should you need to cancel your car insurance policy, you can do so online through your USAA account, by mail (9800 Fredricksburg Rd, San Antonio, TX 78288) or by phone (800-531-USAA or 8722). You’ll want to give USAA plenty of notice before your anticipated end date, especially if you’re set up on automatic payments.

When canceling, be sure to have the following information on hand:

  • Name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number
  • Your policy number
  • The date you want your policy canceled
  • The reason for the cancellation (for instance, a new policy or selling your car)
  • If you’re changing policies, have the name of your new insurance company and the policy number,

It cannot be emphasized enough— if you intend on switching car insurance providers, be sure that you won’t have any lapses in coverage. Not doing so can lead to tickets, fines, or being held financially liable for an accident or collision.

How to Make a Claim

We get it — car accidents and claims are two parts of the auto insurance industry most drivers don’t want to talk about. But the reality is, both happen, and you don’t have to be in the dark about how to respond. Keep reading to learn more about USAA’s protocols, should you find yourself in a collision.

– Ease of Making a Claim

USAA members are able to report claims by phone at 800-531-USAA (8722) during normal business hours (Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. and
Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

Claims can also be made online or on through the mobile app 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

– What you need when making a claim

For drivers who find themselves in an accident, USAA offers this “checklist”

  • Get license plate numbers.
  • Write down the year, make, and model of vehicles involved
  • Write down the insurance company and policy number.
  • Gather witness contact information.
  • Obtain police accident report information.
  • Take photos of any damage and the scene of the accident.

– Premiums Written and Loss Ratio

Taking a look at the number of premiums USAA is writing against its loss ratio will shed more light on its claims.

First, let’s look at where USAA stands in terms of the number of direct premiums that have written in the last few years:USAA Direct Premiums Written 2015 - 2018

The above graph clearly illustrates an upward trend — in fact, from 2015 to 2018, USAA saw an increase of approximately 3.9 million direct premiums written.

So, how does this relate to USAA’s loss ratio?

A company’s loss ratio is a ratio of loss to gains — how much the company is paying out in claims, versus the money it’s receiving in premiums. If an insurance company has a loss ratio that’s over 100, that means the company is paying out more in claims than what they’re receiving in premiums.

In light of this definition, we can see a positive trend in USAA’s loss ratio, especially compared to the number of direct premiums written. In spite of a spike in 2016, USAA’s loss ratio has continued to decrease in recent years, remaining under 100.

YearDirect Premiums
Written
Loss Ratio
201510,562,10082.82%
201611,691,05186.24%
201713,154,93979.6%
201814,467,93677%

– How to Get a Quote Online (Step-by-Step Instructions)

You’ve read through the rates, you’ve seen the data, and ow, you’re ready for a quote. Thankfully, getting an online quote from USAA is as easy as following these steps:

– How to Begin

First, head to https://www.usaa.com and scroll down to the middle of the page. There, you’ll see the title “See How We Can Help Today.” Begin by clicking “Get a Free Quote” under the “Auto Insurance” header:

USAA front page www.usaa.com

USAA apply for a quote

– Create an Account

Next, you’ll be taken to this page and given two options — either log in to an existing account, or create a new one.

USAA members login/Create an account

– Determine Your Eligibility

If this is your first encounter with USAA, you will likely need to create an account. But a new account can’t be created by any driver. You have to qualify.

Here, it’s important to note who USAA membership is open to. According to USAA, this includes:

  • Active Duty, Guard or Reserve — Individuals who are currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, National Guard, and Reserves.
  • Veterans —Those who have retired or separated from the U.S. military with a discharge type of Honorable.
  • Eligible Family —Widows, widowers and un-remarried former spouses of USAA members who joined USAA prior to or during the marriage and individuals whose parents joined USAA.
  • Cadets and Midshipmen — Cadets and midshipmen at U.S. service academies or affiliated academy preparatory schools, in advanced ROTC or on ROTC scholarship, plus officer candidates within 24 months of commissioning.

With this in mind, the next step in this process will be in proving that you are, in fact, eligible. You will be led to the screen below, which will prompt you to provide documentation proving that you can apply for membership:

USAA eligibility for quotes

USAA eligibility for a quote/account#2

Once you’ve proven your eligibility and you’ve created an account, you’ll be able to move forward in obtaining a quote online.

– What You Need to Apply

As a point of reference, we’ve created a table highlighting who is eligible for membership, and what you need to prove eligibility:

Who is EligibleItems Needed to
Prove Eligibility
Active duty officers and enlisted personnel;
National Guard, Reserve officers and enlisted personnel;

Officer candidates in commissioning programs

Adult children and former spouses of USAA auto or property policyholders

Former USAA auto or property policyholders
Your date of birth, contact information, and Social Security number

Details about you or your family member's military service

For non-U.S. citizens, a passport or permanent resident card

USAA’s Mobile App and Website

Being able to access your insurance policy and documents online has quickly become the standard across most major car insurance companies. We’re now going to take a closer look at USAA’s mobile app and website — what they offer, and what customers are saying.

– Mobile App

The USAA Mobile App is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

usaa mobile app screenshots

According to USAA, mobile app users can:

  • Get an Auto ID Card
  • Report Claims
  • Request Roadside Assistance
  • Review Accident Checklist

In looking at the Apple App Store:

  • We found the average review rating was nearly perfect, at 4.8 out of five stars (over 430,000 ratings).
  • Among the compliments we saw for the app — user-friendly “even for seniors,” convenient, easy to use, and great customer service.
  • Among its criticisms — frustration with software updates, difficulty with syncing, problems with Face ID, and some broken components.

In looking at Google Play:

  • The average review was slightly lower, at 4.6 out of five stars (over 125,000 ratings).
  • Among the compliments — easy to navigate, very convenient, and plenty of options.
  • Among the criticisms — issues with the fingerprint login, difficulties with newer versions of the app, and errors loading.

Unfortunately, USAA’s usage-based app (SafePilot) hasn’t done as well as the mobile app. However, SafePilot’s two out of five-star rating is partly because the newly-launched app only has a few reviews.

USAA Driving App

The major reason behind the negative reviews is that the usage-based app is only available in select states, as users would download the app and find out that they couldn’t use it.

The usage-based app is only available in Arizona, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia.

Hopefully, USAA will continue to expand the usage-based app into other states.

– Website

In visiting USAA’s front page, it’s clear that members are able to access a variety of products and services:

USAA web general options menu

Once in the Auto Insurance section, visitors can quickly navigate to the Claims Center, make payments, see available coverage options, and learn about discounts:

usaa coverage options screenshot

usaa auto options screenshot

However, it’s worthwhile to note that those who are not already members may have difficulty accessing certain parts of the website, as those are restricted to those who have accounts.

Pros and Cons

Now that we’re near the end of our USAA review, let’s look at some pros and cons:

ProsCons
Affordable rates, consistently lower
than most competitors
Membership is only open to the military community
Superior customer service ratings seen in Consumer
Reports and J.D. Power studies
Limited number of add-ons, such as gap insurance
Strong financial growth and stabilityGovernment action negatively reflected in some ratings issued
Highly-rated mobile appCertain discounts may be restricted, or unavailable

Let’s begin with some of the pros: An obvious advantage of USAA is its affordability. Our data analysis shows that, in most cases, it’s hard to find rates that beat those being offered by USAA. However, one must always remember that rates will vary driver to driver, and state to state — exceptions will always apply.

When it comes to customer service, it’s hard to ignore the superior ratings USAA received with both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. And, speaking of superior ratings, it’s also hard to ignore USAA’s top ratings with A.M. Best and Moody’s — both indicators of a strong financial base.

Finally, we can’t forget that USAA scores high marks with its mobile apps, with nearly perfect average review scores across both Apple and Google Play.

On the flip side, USAA is only available to those with specific ties to the military. Even getting a quote is restricted to those who meet USAA’s eligibility requirements.

In terms of its coverage, USAA only offers a limited number of add-ons. Options like gap insurance or rideshare coverage are not offered.

In spite of USAA’s strong financial ratings, the association received some lower marks for government action related to financial matters. It is, however, important to keep in mind that USAA has been proactive in its response.

Finally, where drivers are able to earn discounted rates, reading the “fine print” is imperative. We found a number of the discounts offered are not available in all states, and some are offered at lower rates depending on where you live.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, USAA is showing growth in a lot of the right places — in its direct premiums written, an increasing net worth, and an uptick in its share of the market.

Between its strong financial standing, highly-competitive rates, and a consistently strong reputation, one can see why millions continue to choose USAA as their car insurance provider.

FAQs

Before we go, we want to address some of your Frequently Asked Questions.

– Does USAA car insurance cover windshield repair or replacement?

According to USAA, windshield and auto glass are covered under comprehensive coverage. USAA goes on to say that your deductible does not apply when your windshield is repaired.

The claims department will determine whether repair is possible, and if the deductible will apply for glass replacement at the time a claim is reported. The following states have specific coverage and deductibles: AZ, CT, FL, KY, MA, MN, NY and SC. Click here for more details.

How can I pay for USAA insurance?

USAA offers several payment options— by check, by credit card, or online from your checking, savings or money market account. You may choose to pay for your policy upfront, or you can pay in installments. Finally, you can also enroll in automatic payments.

Should I buy USAA insurance for my rental car?

The answer is, you likely shouldn’t have to. According to the USAA site:

  • If your policy is based in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands or U.S. territories and possessions, and
  • If you rent and operate the vehicle in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands or U.S. territories and possessions, then
  • Your rental is covered for the liability physical damage you’ve got on your USAA auto policy, with a few exceptions.

How can I lower my USAA premium?

USAA offers this advice: raising your deductible, maintaining good credit, and reducing physical damage coverage on older cars. See more options by clicking here.

Congratulations — you’ve made it to the end of our complete guide to USAA car insurance. Having a better understanding of this provider now puts you in a better position to make more informed decisions about your car insurance.

Now, you’re ready to begin comparing rates. Start by entering your zip code into our FREE rates comparison tool now.

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