USAA Insurance Review 2017: Complaints, Ratings and Coverage

Auto Insurance, Insurance

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at a glance

  • USAA’s customer satisfaction ratings are among the best in the industry
  • Consumer complaints: Average or fewer than average compared with similarly sized companies, depending on policy type
  • Earns a perfect 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 and home 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 NerdWallet’s top insurer in our study of the best car insurance companies, earning 5 stars out of 5. NerdWallet’s rating is a score based on:

  • J.D. Power ratings for claims satisfaction and customer service
  • Consumer complaints against the insurer, based on data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners

Complaints

USAA had fewer than the median number of complaints about home and life insurance to state regulators in 2016 for a company of its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. It had about the median number of auto insurance complaints.

Auto insurance complaints
Home insurance complaints
Life insurance complaints

3 stars

4 stars

5 stars

Customer satisfaction

  • USAA ranked “among the best” for overall purchase experience for auto insurance in J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Shopping Study
  • It ranked “among the best” for overall satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2016 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study
  • USAA ranked “among the best” for overall satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2017 Property Claims Satisfaction 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.

Guaranteed renewal: USAA will renew your auto policy as long as you can drive and meet certain requirements.

Accident forgiveness: With this add-on coverage, USAA will forgive one accident without increasing your auto insurance premiums. 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.

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 service members’ 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 will 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
  • No medical exam for service members who return to civilian life and want to increase coverage

More about USAA

The USAA website is designed for members to log in or for prospective members to learn more about the company and its products. Once you’ve logged in, the 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 auto insurance star ratings and rankings are based on the following three factors, each weighted equally:

  • 2015 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.
  • 2015 regional customer service satisfaction data from J.D. Power. The higher the average J.D. Power rating across regions, the more points the insurer scored in our calculation.
  • 2015 auto claims satisfaction data from J.D. Power. The higher the J.D. Power rating, the more points the insurer scored in our calculation.

Only larger insurers with data available in all three of these categories were included. In case of ties, NAIC consumer complaints data were used to break the tie. Smaller insurers not listed here may also be good choices and are worth consideration.