USAA Auto Insurance Review 2022

Lacie GloverJan 21, 2022

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Our Take

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

USAA offers insurance to active military, veterans and their families only.

USAA Auto Insurance

USAA Auto Insurance

NAIC complaints

Close to expected

Ease of use

Above average

Discounts

Average set of discounts

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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High customer satisfaction ratings for auto insurance.
  • One-stop shop for insurance as well as banking and investing products.
  • Policies available in all states and Washington, D.C.

Cons

  • Available to active military, veterans and their families only.

Full Review

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 country’s fifth-largest auto insurer, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

USAA sells auto insurance to active military members, veterans and their families only.

USAA auto 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 in order to drive a vehicle. Although minimum coverage requirements vary from state to state, they generally include liability insurance and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

If you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Full coverage isn’t a specific policy type; it's 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 type

What it pays for

Required?

Bodily injury and property damage liability

Costs for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.

Typically required.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage

Medical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.

Often required.

Collision coverage

Repair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.

A car loan or lease may require it.

Comprehensive coverage

Repair costs from events outside of 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 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. It can also cover you if you’re working for a delivery service.

Car replacement assistance: If your vehicle is totaled, having this coverage means you’ll get paid out an additional 20% more than the actual cash value of the car. You must have comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy to add this endorsement.

Auto insurance discounts

You can save money on your USAA car insurance with the following discounts, depending on where you live:

  • Safe driver discount for going at least five years without an accident.

  • Discount for completing a defensive driving or basic driver training course.

  • Good student discount.

  • Discount if your car is three years old or less.

  • Anti-theft device discount.

  • Multivehicle 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.

Pricing based on tracked driving habits

Available in most states, USAA’s SafePilot program offers discounts up to 30% for good drivers. The SafePilot app tracks behaviors such as hard braking and using your phone while driving, plus when and how often you drive. You’ll get a 10% discount just for signing up.

Auto insurance buying guide

Before you compare car insurance companies, you’ll need to collect some basic information. This includes the driving history of everyone who will be on the policy, as well as facts about your car, such as safety features and annual mileage driven. You’ll also want to determine 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 make your decision based on price alone. Look at how many consumer complaints each company has, as a high number of complaints could be a red flag about the quality of service you'll 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.

Complaints and customer satisfaction

USAA had close to 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.

USAA received an overall satisfaction score of 83 out of 100 by a pool of its customers, in a NerdWallet survey conducted online in July 2021. To put that in perspective, the average score among seven insurers was 79, and the highest was 83.

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USAA wasn’t ranked in J.D. Power’s 2021 auto insurance studies because its policies aren’t available to all consumers. However, USAA’s scores were higher than those of the No. 1 companies for auto insurance shopping and claims satisfaction.

More about USAA auto insurance

Website: USAA’s site has information about coverage options, plus advice on topics such as how to live in retirement, prepare for natural disasters and buy a car. Planners and calculators help you determine your financial needs.

App: Available for Apple and Android devices, the USAA app provides secure account access. You can pay bills, get ID cards, request roadside assistance or file a claim.

Life and homeowners insurance from USAA

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 sells permanent and term life insurance. You can learn more in NerdWallet’s USAA life insurance review.

Other insurance from USAA

USAA also offers a range of other insurance policies, including:

  • Condo.

  • Renters.

  • Landlord.

  • Umbrella.

USAA partners with third parties to sell other types of insurance, such as:

  • Mobile home.

  • Farm and ranch.

  • Boat.

  • Motorcycle or ATV.

  • RV.

  • Small business.

  • Classic car.

  • Pet.

  • Travel.

  • Special event.

  • Supplemental health.

2021 auto insurance survey methodology

This opt-in survey of 7,586 adults ages 18 and older was conducted online by NerdWallet, July 8-26, 2021. Respondents were asked to rate one auto insurance brand they obtained or renewed a policy with within the past 12 months, and the policy had to be in their name at the time of the survey. These brands were rated on overall satisfaction, overall value, online experience and trustworthiness on a scale of 1-100. Only brands with 100 or more qualifying respondents are reported — 122 of the respondents were current USAA policyholders.

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.

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 and discounts. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. 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.

Frequently asked questions