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AAA Auto Insurance Review 2019

Sept. 10, 2019
Auto Insurance, Insurance
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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  • Available insurance products depend on your state or region.
  • Financial strength is “excellent” or better for groups we looked at.
  • Generally requires AAA club membership, which comes with perks.

AAA auto insurance comes from separate, regional insurance companies that operate under similar names and logos. AAA club membership works the same way, and you would likely need to become a member of your regional club to get the auto insurance. That comes with a fee, but the resulting discount on your auto insurance may just make it worth it.

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AAA insurance review details

Auto insurance ratings

NerdWallet has rated the three largest AAA auto insurance companies by market share in the U.S. In NerdWallet’s rankings of the best insurance companies:

  • Automobile Club Group ranks No. 5.
  • Automobile Club of Southern California ranks No. 7.
  • CSAA Insurance Group ranks No. 14.

NerdWallet’s rating is a score based on:

  • J.D. Power ratings for customer service, claims satisfaction and shopping satisfaction.
  • Consumer Reports customer satisfaction ratings.
  • Consumer complaints against the insurer, based on data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
AAA Auto insurer
Availability*
*Insurer may not cover all counties in each state.
Automobile Club Group
4.0 NerdWallet rating
IL, IN, FL, GA, IA, MI, MN, NE, ND, TN, WI
Auto Club of SoCal
4.0 NerdWallet rating
AL, AR, CA, HI, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MS, MO, NH, NM, OH, PA, TX, VA, VT, WV
CSAA
3.5 NerdWallet rating
AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, ID, IN, KS, KY, MD, MT, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SD, UT, VA, WV, WY

To see specific counties in California served by CSAA and Auto Club of SoCal, see our Best Cheap Auto Insurance in California page. If there’s no AAA insurer serving your area, but you’re a member, your local club has a partner that can provide coverage.

AAA auto insurance coverage options

Since AAA insurance comes from separate companies operating in many states, coverage options will depend on where you live. All insurers are required to offer state-mandated coverage where they operate. Most, including the three AAA affiliates we reviewed, also offer uninsured motorist protection, medical payments coverage, rental car reimbursement, comprehensive coverage and collision coverage.

Also ask about the following discounts, which at least some AAA companies offer:

  • Pet coverage in case your pet is injured or dies due to a crash.
  • OEM exterior repair coverage, which pays for original equipment manufacturer parts for covered external body repairs. Restrictions apply.
  • Gap insurance, which pays the difference between your car’s value and the balance of your loan or lease if the car is totaled or stolen.
  • Custom equipment coverage, which pays to repair items installed after purchase, like stereos, cameras or rims, if you’re in a covered crash.

AAA auto insurance discounts

Most customers with AAA auto insurance receive a discount for being a member of the motor club. AAA insurers also offer typical discounts including those for bundling home and auto insurance, being a homeowner, good student or good driver, and having a car with certain safety features. Like most insurers, AAA’s insurance companies offer many discounts, but they differ by state and company, so check with your local AAA club to see which are available to you.

AAA auto insurance ratings at a glance

NerdWallet looked at customer satisfaction, consumer complaints and financial strength ratings for the three AAA auto insurance companies listed above and their subsidiaries.

Financial strength: A- (“Excellent”) or better

All three AAA auto insurers are financially strong, according to ratings company A.M. Best. This indicates a good ability to meet financial obligations like paying claims.

  • Automobile Club Group: A- (“Excellent”).
  • Automobile Club of Southern California: A+ (“Superior”).
  • CSAA Insurance Group: A (“Excellent”).

Complaints

Of the three AAA insurance companies we analyzed, Automobile Club Group had the fewest complaints to state regulators relative to its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. NAIC compiles complaints separately for every insurer’s subsidiaries, and every one of Auto Club Group’s member companies had fewer than the median number of complaints for its size.

The other two AAA auto insurers’ complaints were mixed among their member companies. However, most Auto Club of SoCal companies had fewer complaints than the median for auto insurance, while most CSAA companies had more than the median.

Customer satisfaction

In J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, Auto Club of SoCal was rated “better than most,” while Auto Club Group and CSAA were rated “about average.”

In J.D. Power’s most recent Auto Insurance Claims Study, Auto Club of SoCal and Auto Club Group earned ratings of “about average” for claims satisfaction, while CSAA was rated below average.

More about AAA insurance

In addition to auto insurance, these AAA insurers offer life, home and renters insurance, and other AAA partner insurers may, too.

» MORE: AAA life insurance review

Website: When you go to AAA.com, you’re prompted to enter your ZIP code and redirected to your local chapter’s website. At that point, you can learn more about membership and insurance products, or you can find contact information for a local agent or representative to answer your questions.

Mobile apps: The Auto Club of SoCal insurance group has an app you can use to manage your policy and AAA membership in one place — as long as you belong to a club served by that AAA insurer. Otherwise, AAA’s apps are restricted to membership needs like paying bills or summoning roadside assistance.

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