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USAA Insurance Review 2018: Complaints, Ratings and Coverage

Jan. 2, 2018
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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at a glance

  • USAA’s customer satisfaction ratings are among the best in the industry
  • Consumer complaints are around the industry median for auto insurance, with fewer than the median for home and life insurance
  • Earns 4.5 stars out of 5 in NerdWallet’s ranking of best car insurance companies

Overview

USAA offers a wide variety of insurance products and gets high marks in customer satisfaction surveys. Customers can also invest and bank through USAA, which is the fifth-largest auto insurer, according to ratings agency A.M. Best.

USAA is open only to active military members, veterans and their families.

Auto insurance rating

USAA was one of NerdWallet’s top insurers in our study of the best car insurance companies, earning 4.5 stars out of 5. 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

Complaints

USAA had close to the median number of complaints for auto insurance to state regulators in 2017 relative to its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. It had fewer than the median number of complaints about home and life insurance.

Customer satisfaction

  • USAA ranked “among the best” for overall purchase experience for auto insurance in J.D. Power’s 2017 U.S. Auto Insurance Shopping Study
  • It ranked “among the best” for overall satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2017 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study
  • USAA ranked “among the best” for overall satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2017 Property Claims Satisfaction Study
  • It ranked “among the best” for overall satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2017 Home Insurance Study

Financial strength: A++ (superior)

USAA’s financial strength is “superior,” according to ratings agency A.M. Best. Financial strength is important because it indicates how well an insurer can pay claims.


Auto insurance rating

USAA was one of NerdWallet’s top insurers in our study of the best car insurance companies, earning 4.5 stars out of 5. 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

Complaints

USAA had close to the median number of complaints for auto insurance to state regulators in 2017 relative to its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. It had fewer than the median number of complaints about home and life insurance.

Customer satisfaction

  • USAA ranked “among the best” for overall purchase experience for auto insurance in J.D. Power’s 2017 U.S. Auto Insurance Shopping Study
  • It ranked “among the best” for overall satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2017 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study
  • USAA ranked “among the best” for overall satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2017 Property Claims Satisfaction Study
  • It ranked “among the best” for overall satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2017 Home Insurance Study

Financial strength: A++ (superior)

USAA’s financial strength is “superior,” according to ratings agency A.M. Best. Financial strength is important because it indicates how well an insurer can pay claims.

USAA auto insurance

In NerdWallet’s analyses of car insurance rates across the country, USAA frequently offers the lowest rates among the large insurers we compare.

USAA offers the usual types of auto insurance coverage and discounts to its customers.

Accident forgiveness: With this add-on coverage, USAA won’t increase your auto insurance premiums after one at-fault accident if you are accident-free for five years with the company. Not available in all states.

USAA home insurance

USAA offers homeowners insurance with all the standard features, plus:

  • Identity theft coverage with a limit of $5,000 to pay expenses to restore your good name if you’re a victim of identity theft.
  • Military uniform coverage: If your uniform is damaged or stolen in an event your policy covers, and you are on active duty or deployed, USAA will reimburse you without a deductible.
  • Replacement cost coverage: If belongings in your home are damaged or stolen, USAA will reimburse the cost to replace them, rather than the depreciated value, like most home insurance policies.

USAA life insurance

USAA offers a full range of life insurance products to military members and their families, including permanent life and term life insurance.

Military term life insurance is designed to supplement servicemembers’ group life insurance and costs the same as USAA’s regular term life insurance. Some perks include:

    • Accelerated review: If you’re being deployed soon, USAA may be able to accelerate your application review so you can get coverage before you leave
    • Severe injury benefit: USAA will pay $25,000 to active service members with this policy who are severely injured in the line of duty.
    • Coverage during time of war guarantees you will still be covered if your death is caused by terrorism or during war.
    • Expandable coverage: If you’re between 18 and 35, you can add $100,000 worth of coverage when you marry, buy a house or have a baby.
    • Military policy replacement: If you retire or are discharged from service, you can replace some or all of the military’s life insurance policy (known as SGLI) with USAA coverage.
    • No medical exam for service members who return to civilian life and want to increase coverage.

More about USAA

The USAA website is packed with information about coverage options and advice on topics such as how to live in retirement, plan your estate or buy or sell a home or car. Planners and calculators help you determine your insurance needs.

The USAA mobile app provides secure account access. You can pay bills, file a claim, submit photos of damage and track the status of a claim.

Other products from USAA:

  • Extended vehicle protection
  • Renters insurance
  • Rental property insurance
  • Valuable personal property insurance
  • Flood insurance
  • Umbrella insurance
  • Motorcycle, RV and boat insurance
  • Small business insurance

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NerdWallet’s star ratings are based on the following three factors, each weighted equally to produce a 300-point maximum total score:

  • 2017 consumer complaints data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The median complaint ratio for the industry is 1. Lower ratios are better. Insurers whose median complaint ratios were more than 1 received fewer points; those lower than 1 received more points.
  • 2017 company satisfaction data from the Consumer Reports Winter Survey. Higher satisfactions ratings from Consumer Reports were given higher scores in our calculation.
  • 2017 J.D. Power ratings from three studies encompassing regional customer service satisfaction, auto claims satisfaction and shopping satisfaction. Ratings from each of the separate 2017 studies were averaged to form one overall score from J.D. Power. The higher the average, the more points the insurer scored in our calculation.

Only larger insurers with data available in all three of these categories were included. Smaller insurers not listed here may also be good choices and are worth consideration.