USAA consistently offers some of the cheapest car insurance quotes we see at NerdWallet. The industry giant offers a wide variety of products, including home, life and health insurance. USAA insurance also gets high marks for customer satisfaction in independent surveys.
In addition to car insurance, USAA offers policies covering renters, recreational vehicles, businesses, travel, special events and expanded liability. Customers can also invest and bank through USAA. Financially strong, USAA serves 11.2 million customers and ranks No. 49 in the Fortune 500. However, USAA is open only to active military members, veterans and their families.
Where USAA shines
- The insurer offers very competitive pricing, especially on auto insurance.
- Special features are tailored to needs of military families, such as a discount for long-term auto storage.
- USAA earns high customer satisfaction ratings in independent surveys.
- It offers a wide range of insurance products and is financially strong.
Where USAA falls short
- It’s available only to active and retired military, veterans and their families.
- Customer reviews are mixed for some products, such as home insurance.
at a glance
- A.M. Best financial strength rating: A++ (superior).
- Complaints: Fewer than the industry median for a company of its size.
- Size: No. 5 auto insurance company based on direct premiums written.
In this article
USAA car insurance
USAA provides the usual protections found at other carriers, including liability, comprehensive, collision, medical payments coverage, personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Drivers can also add roadside assistance and rental reimbursement. If you’re accident-free for five years with USAA and have accident forgiveness coverage, your premium won’t increase after one at-fault accident. However, accident forgiveness is not available in all states.
Auto insurance discounts
USAA offers special considerations and discounts for active service members, particularly for those facing overseas deployment. For example, USAA offers a deep discount for drivers who put their cars in long-term storage.
USAA also offers discounts if you’ve maintained a clean driving record for five years or if your vehicle is 3 years old or less.
You might also qualify for savings if you’re a good student, if you complete a defensive driving course or cover two or more vehicles with your policy.
USAA home insurance
The company’s home coverage protects property from fire, theft, vandalism and most weather-related events. USAA offers replacement cost coverage, which pays to rebuild your home based on current construction costs when your home is severely damaged or destroyed.
USAA also covers the replacement value of your belongings, up to 75% of the insured value of your home. For example, if your home is insured for $100,000, the company pays up to $75,000 so you can replace items that are damaged or destroyed. Renters insurance is also available.
USAA life insurance
USAA offers standard coverage, including term life and permanent life. USAA term life is available in terms up to 30 years, with an option that allows you to convert to a permanent policy without a medical exam. A special military term life insurance option covers death caused by war.
USAA began serving the military and their families in 1922 and has adopted the motto of “Service to the Services.” Today the company services 46.7 million insurance policies.
USAA insurance is available only to active, retired and honorably separated military officers and enlisted personnel; officer candidates in commissioning programs; and adult children and surviving spouses of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy.
USAA has won a strong following. Highly regarded in the market for offering competitive car insurance rates, USAA is the nation’s fifth-largest auto insurer as well as the fifth-largest homeowners insurer, according to 2014 rankings from the Insurance Information Institute.
Reviews and ratings
Among insurance providers, USAA got the highest marks for customer satisfaction in a 2015 U.S. insurance shopping study by J.D. Power. USAA also ranked near the top in a separate J.D. Power auto claims satisfaction study.
USAA enjoys top financial strength ratings from independent companies, both for its life insurance operations and its property and casualty insurance. A.M. Best Company and Moody’s Investor Service both give USAA property and casualty insurance companies their highest ratings.
The Better Business Bureau gives USAA its highest rating, A+.
In more than 5,000 reviews, some of which can be found on the company’s website, auto insurance customers rated USAA 4.6 of 5 stars, and 90% said they would recommend the product.
Policyholders praise the company for attentive customer service, choice of coverages, cost savings and discounts.
Some customers, however, complain about the costs of premiums and excessive rate increases after accidents or even when they have clean driving records.
Homeowners insurance policyholders weren’t as high on USAA. In about 1,100 reviews on the company’s website, they rated the insurance provider 3.4 of 5 stars, and only 57% said they would recommend the product. Though many reviews are favorable, some vented about high premiums, rate increases without adequate explanation and trouble resolving claims.
Website and apps
The USAA website’s home page is deceptively bland, designed for members to log in or for prospective members to learn more about the company and its products. Inside, however, 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, report a loss, submit photos and track the status of a claim. Users of the Android version rate the app 4.5 of 5 stars. The iPhone app gets 4 stars in ratings averaging all versions.
Selling directly to consumers, USAA has built a strong reputation for serving active and retired military and their families with a broad range of insurance products, coverage options and discounts. Independent industry reviewers give the company good to high marks for customer satisfaction.
USAA provides special features and considerations for active military, such as discounts to service members who are deployed overseas.
If you’re eligible for coverage with USAA, you should get a quote and compare policies. Of course, you’re eligible only if you’re affiliated with the military or related to someone who is.