USAA Auto Insurance Review 2023

Kayda Norman
By Kayda Norman 

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

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

USAA Auto Insurance
NAIC complaints
Close to expected
Ease of use
Average
Discounts
Great set of discounts

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 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 consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

The fifth-largest auto insurer in the country, USAA offers a wide variety of insurance products and gets high marks in customer satisfaction surveys. The company also offers investing and banking services.

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

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our coverage so you can choose the insurance policy that works best for you. These carrier ratings are specific to auto insurance — a company's rating for other products may be different on our site. See our criteria for evaluating auto insurance companies.

In our auto insurance reviews, our editorial team considers both the customer and the insurer. These are some of the factors we take into account:

Financial strength. We use A.M. Best ratings to confirm an insurer’s long-term financial stability and ability to pay claims. NerdWallet does not recommend companies with a rating lower than a B. 

Complaints. These ratings are based on complaints to state regulators relative to a company’s size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The best auto insurance companies have fewer than the expected number of complaints.

Ease of use. This category looks at how easily consumers can interact with an insurer through its mobile app and website. This includes how much coverage information is offered online, whether a user can start and track a claim online and get a quote and mobile app scores based on the Apple and Google Play store ratings.

Discounts. We look at both the kind of discounts a company offers and the total number of discounts available.

USAA auto insurance coverage

When you're shopping for car insurance coverage, it's important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. For instance, most states require a minimum amount of car insurance to drive a vehicle. Alternatively, if you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Read about the most common types of car insurance coverage to see how they work.

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 also covers you if you work for a delivery service.

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

Auto insurance discounts

Depending on where you live, you may be able to save money on your USAA car insurance by:

  • Going at least five years without an accident.

  • Completing a defensive driving or basic driver training course.

  • Meeting USAA’s standards for a good student.

  • Having a car that is three years old or newer.

  • Installing an anti-theft device.

  • Insuring multiple vehicles through USAA.

  • Driving relatively few miles in a year.

  • Storing your vehicle in a safe location and not driving it.

  • Be a former dependent on your parents’ insurance and take over as the new policy holder. 

  • Having continuous auto insurance coverage through USAA.

  • Garaging your vehicle on a military base.

  • Having multiple policies with USAA.

🤓Nerdy Tip

First time shopping for auto insurance? Unsure of where to start? Check out our guide on how to shop for car insurance.

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.

Complaints and customer satisfaction

USAA had close to the expected number of complaints about 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 82 out of 100 by a pool of its customers in a NerdWallet survey conducted online in June 2022. To put that in perspective, the average score among seven insurers was 77, and the highest was 82.

Though evaluated, USAA wasn’t ranked in J.D. Power’s 2022 auto insurance studies because its policies aren’t available to all consumers. It's worth noting, however, that customers gave largely positive feedback about the insurer 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, homeowners and renters insurance from USAA

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

  • Condo.

  • Landlord.

  • Umbrella.

USAA partners with third parties to sell the following types of insurance:

  • Mobile home.

  • Farm and ranch.

  • Boat.

  • Motorcycle or ATV.

  • RV.

  • Small business.

  • Classic car.

  • Pet.

  • Travel.

  • Special event.

  • Supplemental health.

Methodology

2022 auto insurance survey methodology

The survey of 7,755 adults age 18 and older was conducted online by Russell Research on behalf of NerdWallet in June 2022. 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, trustworthiness and customer support on a scale of 1-100. 

Of those respondents: 300 were Progressive, 300 were State Farm, 299 were Allstate, 299 were Geico, 121 were USAA, 116 were Liberty Mutual, 105 were American Family, 105 were Farmers, 105 were Travelers and 101 were Nationwide.

The results have been weighted to be nationally representative. Additional subgroup sample sizes may be available upon request. Any differences noted between subgroups have been tested at 95% confidence level.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2019-2021. 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. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. 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 and full ratings methodology for auto insurance.

Frequently asked questions