USAA – An Overview

The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is one of the best-rated auto insurance companies in the country, but it is only available to members of the military and their families. USAA insurance reviews are among the best for J.D. Power, and the company has an A++ financial ranking with A.M. Best. USAA auto insurance offers military-specific discounts that can give policyholders up to 15 percent off their auto insurance rates.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Apr 5, 2021

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The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is one of America’s biggest and best-rated vehicle insurance companies. The company provides car insurance and financial services to members of the United States military and their families. USAA has around 13 million members countrywide and currently ranks as the number 100 company on the Fortune 500 list, making it one of the largest corporations in the United States by revenue.

What is the history of USAA?

USAA was founded in 1922 in San Antonio, Texas, which is where the company is still headquartered today. The company was formed by a group of 25 United States Army Officers who felt there was a need for reliable and economical auto insurance.

The company was originally called the United States Army Automobile Association before changing its name to the United Services Automobile Association to reflect the fact that commissioned officers of other U.S. military services (not just the Army) were eligible for membership. Early in its history, USAA opened offices in Frankfurt, Germany and London, England to cater to American military personnel in the area.

For most of its history, USAA focused specifically on vehicle insurance. Starting in the 1960s, however, USAA started to sell home and life insurance. By the 1970s, USAA had branched into brokerage and investment management services before launching full-fledged banking services in the 1980s.

Since its founding, USAA’s membership has been restricted to members of the United States military and their families. However, USAA briefly offered restricted membership to ordinary civilians from 2009 to 2013, allowing non-military members to access USAA’s investment products, certain banking products, and life insurance. USAA’s vehicle and property insurance, however, have never been available to civilians.

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What are USAA insurance rankings?

USAA generally ranks higher than its competitors for claims satisfaction, customer service, and other measurements. In fact, USAA is routinely among the best insurance companies in the industry for multiple metrics.

Here’s how USAA performed in the latest J.D. Power rankings:

Insurance Shopping (Auto): Among the best

Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction: Among the best

Home Insurance: Among the best

Property Claims: Among the best

USAA also has a stellar financial strength rating. A.M. Best has awarded USAA a financial strength rating of “A++” or “Superior”, showing that USAA should have no issue paying claims or covering liabilities. Many other major insurance companies have financial strength ratings between A- and A, so an A++ rating is impressive.

What makes USAA insurance unique?

USAA has several features and products that distinguish itself from other insurers in the industry, including:

Available to Active Military Members, Veterans, and Their Families: You or an immediate family member must be active or retired military to purchase USAA auto insurance. You may also qualify if you are the adult child of a USAA member. Although USAA has opened certain financial products to non-members in the past, the company has never offered its property or casualty insurance to non-qualifying civilians. If you qualify for the variety of insurance products from USAA, you can get a unique type of vehicle discount, all because of your service.

Good Home Insurance Coverage: USAA’s home insurance is as well-rated as its auto insurance. Homeowners insurance customers will have access to options include identity theft coverage, military uniform coverage, replacement cost coverage, and other perks.

Good Life Insurance Options:USAA also offers a range of well-rated life insurance policies. USAA’s military term life insurance is designed to supplement the existing group life insurance. It costs the same as USAA’s regular term life insurance. Accelerated review, severe injury benefits, coverage during time of war, expandable coverage, military policy replacement, and more are all some of the unique benefits of USAA life insurance. You can buy military term life insurance or standard term life insurance for 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years.

Is USAA a good insurance company?

USAA is routinely ranked as one of the country’s top insurers. USAA is frequently the cheapest option in various states, for example, but it’s also one of the best-rated insurers in most states. Customers generally have a good experience with USAA for customer service, claims satisfaction, and other metrics.

J.D. Power’s rankings routinely place USAA at the top of the list among competing car insurance companies. USAA isn’t quite the best in terms of customer service and claims satisfaction, but it frequently ranks in the top 3 or top 5 insurers overall, even scoring a perfect five-star rating in certain categories.

USAA is also ideal for those who need multiple insurance products. The company sells well-rated home and life insurance products, for example, with a variety of coverage options available to suit any needs and budget. By bundling multiple insurance products together, USAA members can save a considerable amount while enjoying high-quality coverage.

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What are USAA auto insurance policies and additional insurance products?

USAA offers a standard selection of car insurance products and policy options, including:

Accident Forgiveness: A single at-fault accident will not raise insurance premiums (assuming you have no other at-fault accidents within a five-year period). Accident forgiveness is included by default in some states, while it’s an optional add-on in other states.

Mobile App: The USAA mobile app lets you manage your insurance policy, pay bills, download your proof of insurance documents, and file a claim, among other features.

Military-Specific Discounts: USAA offers specific discounts for members of the military. If you store your car at a military base, for example, then you can get a 15% discount on coverage.

What is the final word?

Overall, USAA is the obvious choice for members of the United States military and their families. The company offers a great suite of auto, home, and life insurance products across the country. USAA not only offers some of the lowest insurance premiums in the country but it also routinely ranks at the top of the list for customer service and claims satisfaction. For those who are eligible, it’s hard to compete with USAA.

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