USAA Insurance Review for 2020
Based in San Antonio, Texas, USAA is a financial services institution and insurance company that holds a strong tradition of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Membership is reserved only for service members of the United States armed forces and select family members. While the company offers a number of services, including banking products like savings accounts, checking accounts, and credit cards, their car and homeowners insurance options remain very popular. According to JD Power’s satisfaction study, USAA had one of the industry's best overall score in terms of customer satisfaction, claims satisfaction, and settlements in 2019. Is USAA car insurance right for you? Let’s explore the provider's coverage options, membership discounts, and customer reviews.
USAA membership eligibility
Unlike most insurance companies, USAA is not open to everyone. In general, current and former military members — and select family members— are eligible for USAA membership. Once USAA membership is obtained, customers can then purchase insurance and take advantage of the many benefits and discounts available to members. USAA membership is free and offers a number of perks on its own. To find out more about who USAA insurance eligibility, feel free to call 800-531-USAA (8722) or have a look below.
Who is eligible for USAA membership?
To meet eligibility requirements for USAA membership and insurance coverage, you must be an active, retired, or separated veteran (with an Honorable discharge from the U.S. military). Specifically, military service personnel who have served in the army, marines, navy, air force, national guard, coast guard, and reserves are eligible.
Also eligible for membership are precommissioned officers such as officer candidates and contracted cadets or midshipmen attending a U.S. Service Academy, prep school or ROTC program.
Which family members are eligible for USAA membership?
USAA membership eligibility is open to the following family members:
- Widows, widowers, and un-remarried ex-spouses of USAA members
- Children of USAA members
- Step-children of USAA members
What information is required when applying for USAA membership?
For veterans, active duty, and guard and reserve members, the following information is required at application:
- Branch of service
- Date of active service (and end of service for veterans)
For contracted cadets, midshipmen, and officer candidates, the following information is required at application:
- Branch of service
- Commissioning source
- Commissioning date
USAA auto insurance coverage options
USAA offers a variety of basic auto insurance coverage options: liability coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, collision, and comprehensive. We've outlined below some of USAA's average rates as well as some unique coverage options and add-ons for policyholders.
HOW MUCH DOES USAA COST?
|Driver Profile||6-Month Rate||Monthly Rate|
|Good Credit (670-739)||$546||$91|
|Bad Credit (300-579)||$1,014||$169|
USAA extended benefits
This covers lost wages, essential disability services, and death benefits in the event of a collision.
USAA roadside assistance
This optional coverage provides lockout services, gas delivery, tire change, and towing service if your vehicle will not start. Learn more about roadside assistance programs.
This is a tiered coverage that provides rental car reimbursement costs, depending on your chosen coverage tier. If your vehicle is damaged by a covered loss, i.e., not routine maintenance, you can use this coverage for a pre-determined time, up to a predetermined amount, based on your coverage level.
If you stay accident-free for five years as a USAA customer, your premium won’t increase after your first at-fault accident. See more information on how accident forgiveness works here.
USAA membership auto insurance benefits
A primary perk of USAA is its membership benefits. Below are some of the car-related benefits that come with a USAA membership.
USAA membership benefits: car loans
USAA helps its members with car loans in three ways:
- Loan flexibility: For new vehicles, you can reduce your monthly payments up to 84 months.
- Waived application fee
- Affordable rates: If you use USAA’s Car Buying Service — explained below — you can save on your USAA auto loan.
In addition to these benefits, USAA helps members buy out their leased vehicles' contracts and offers special loans for disability vehicles.
USAA car buying service
USAA’s car buying service helps members buy a vehicle in the following ways:
- Discounted prices: A certified dealer provides a discounted price, including waived dealer fees and special offers on the vehicle.
- Dealership comparison: USAA members can compare thousands of dealers' prices for the same model to find the cheapest possible price.
- Price comparison: USAA displays a range of prices for the same make/model for USAA members vs. non-members.
USAA bonus cash offers
USAA works with auto manufacturers to offer up-front discounts. Depending on the company, USAA customers can earn discounts of thousands of dollars on any new vehicle purchased through USAA. Below are advertised savings:
- Up to $1,000 off Jeep
- Up to $1,000 off Dodge
- Up to $1,000 off RAM
- Up to $4,500 off Mercedes-Benz
- Up to $1,000 off BMW
USAA car buying tools
Once you find the car of your dreams, USAA can help you budget accordingly with its membership services:
- Auto loan calculator
- Monthly cost breakdown calculator
USAA insurance discounts
USAA offers a myriad of discounts for its members. Below are some highlights.
Discounts related to your driving habits
- Safe driver discount: This applies to drivers without accidents for at least five years.
- Defensive driving: This applies to drivers who have completed a defensive driver's training course.
- Driver training: Young drivers (under 21) can earn a discount if they have taken a basic training course.
- Good student: Students with above a 3.0 GPA can earn a discount.
Discounts related to your vehicle
- New vehicle: Applicable for vehicles under three years old.
- Multi-vehicle: Only for a policy with two or more vehicles.
- Annual mileage: Depending on your mileage, you can earn a discount on your policy.
- Vehicle storage: If your vehicle is in storage, you can have a premium reduction as much as 60%.
Discounts related to your membership status
- Family discount: If your parents were USAA members, your personal USAA policy will be discounted 10%.
- Length of membership savings: USAA advertises you can save by staying with their services by offering competitive insurance premiums.
- Military installation discount: If your vehicle is garaged on a military base, you can save 15% on your comprehensive coverage.
Additional lines of insurance
USAA offers additional lines of insurance in order for you to properly protect your assets. Their wide portfolio of insurance products includes:
- Renters insurance
- Homeowner’s insurance
- Rental property insurance
- Valuable personal property insurance
- Condo insurance
- Flood insurance
- Life insurance policies
- Umbrella insurance
- Motorcycle insurance
- Small business insurance
USAA reviews: is USAA right for you?
USAA is a go-to for many active-duty servicemen and servicewomen, retired military members, and their families. They have excellent customer service according to JD Power and Consumer Reports. In addition to this, a USAA insurance policy includes member benefits and discounts not provided by many other insurance providers. Car loan counseling and deals on top manufacturers are a few perks you can expect as a USAA member.
The cost of USAA is a question we cannot answer. Although USAA advertises their premiums are lower than most of their competitors, it will depend on your driving profile what your premium will be. You will be rated on critical factors like your driving record, age, location, credit score, and more.
If you’re in the market to find cheap car insurance, your best option is not to limit yourself to one company — but shop around with as many auto insurance companies as possible. Only with The Zebra can you see premiums based on your driving profile. Enter your zip code below to get started.