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USAA Auto Insurance Review 2021

USAA offers insurance to active military, veterans and their families.
May 25, 2021
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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USAA insurance reviews and ratings

  • USAA’s customer satisfaction ratings are among the best in the industry.
  • Received fewer than the expected number of consumer complaints to state regulators for auto insurance, based on the company’s size.
  • Earns 4.5 stars out of 5 for auto insurance in NerdWallet’s ratings.

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 the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

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

USAA pros and cons

ProsCons
High customer satisfaction ratings for auto insuranceOnly available for active military members, veterans and their families
One-stop shop for insurance as well as banking and investing products
Had fewer than the expected number of complaints compared to other companies

USAA auto insurance

4.5 NerdWallet rating

USAA auto insurance earned 4.5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account pricing and discounts, ease of filing a claim, website transparency, financial strength, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more.

Based on these ratings, USAA is among NerdWallet’s Best Car Insurance Companies for 2021.

» MORE: Compare car insurance rates

Common types of car insurance coverage

When you’re shopping for car insurance, it’s important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. Most states require car insurance to drive a vehicle, although minimum coverage requirements vary from state to state. This generally includes liability insurance and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

If you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Full coverage isn’t a specific policy you can buy, but rather a combination of coverage types like liability, collision and comprehensive insurance.

Check out the most common types of car insurance coverage below to see how they work:

Coverage typeWhat it pays forRequired?
Bodily injury and property damage liabilityCosts for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.Typically required.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverageMedical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.Often required.
Collision coverageRepair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.A car loan or lease may require it.
Comprehensive coverageRepair costs from events outside your control — including weather events, hitting an animal while driving, theft and vandalism.A car loan or lease may require it.

USAA offers the usual types of auto insurance coverage and discounts to its customers in addition to:

Accident forgiveness: With this add-on coverage, which is free in some states after five years accident-free with the company, USAA won’t increase your auto insurance premiums after one at-fault accident.

Rideshare insurance: This optional coverage is available for customers who drive for companies like Uber or Lyft. Ridesharing companies generally pay for some liability when drivers are on their way to pick up a passenger and until drop-off, but not in between rides; this coverage fills that gap.

» MORE: Rideshare insurance for drivers: Where to buy it, what it covers

USAA’s auto insurance discounts:

  • Safe driver discount.
  • Defensive driving discount.
  • Discount for drivers younger than 21 who complete a basic driver training course.
  • Good student discount.
  • Discount if your car is 3 years old or less.
  • Multi-vehicle discount.
  • Discount if you drive relatively few miles in a year.
  • Vehicle-in-storage discount.
  • Family discount.
  • Length of membership discount.
  • Discount on comprehensive coverage when you garage your vehicle on a military base.
  • Multiple policy (bundling) discount.

» MORE: Car insurance quotes: What you need to know

Auto insurance buying guide

Before you compare car insurance companies, you’ll need to collect basic information, such as the driving history of everyone on the policy and facts about your car, including safety features and annual mileage driven. You’ll also want to understand which types of coverage you need. For example, do you want only the bare minimum insurance that your state requires, or do you need more extensive coverage, such as gap insurance or rideshare coverage? Check that each company you’re considering has the options you want.

When comparing rates among insurers, make sure each is offering the same coverage limits and deductibles. You may not want to decide based on price alone. Look at how many consumer complaints each company has, as high numbers can be a red flag about the quality of service you might receive.

Depending on which company you choose, you may be able to buy insurance online, over the phone or through an agent. For more guidance, see how to get car insurance.

USAA homeowners insurance

USAA offers homeowners insurance with all the standard features, plus a few useful extras. Learn more by reading NerdWallet’s USAA home insurance review.

USAA complaints and customer satisfaction

USAA had fewer than the expected number of complaints for auto insurance to state regulators relative to its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

2020 J.D. Power StudyUSAA ranks...
Auto insurance shoppingAmong the best

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 and 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, get ID cards or file a claim.

USAA life insurance

USAA offers permanent and term life insurance to its members. You can learn more in NerdWallet’s USAA life insurance review.

USAA also offers a wide range of other insurance policies, including some sold through third parties.

Other types of insurance from USAA include:
Condo insuranceMobile home insurance
Renters insuranceBoat insurance
Farm and ranch insuranceClassic car insurance

Auto insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints, website transparency and affordability. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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