If you or a family member are in the United States Armed Forces (or are a veteran), and you are searching for auto insurance, you’ve probably heard of USAA. The company has been proudly serving U.S. military personnel since 1922 when it sold its first auto policy for $114.74. Read on as we reveal what the company has to offer and if it’s worth considering for your next auto insurance policy.
USAA Auto Insurance products
What auto insurance products does USAA offer? Here’s the rundown:
Liability bodily injury: Covers injury or death of another person because of a vehicle accident.
Liability property damage: Covers repairs to the other person’s property because of a vehicle accident.
Personal injury protection (PIP): Assistance with expenses resulting from a vehicle accident, for either you or others riding in your car, regardless who is at fault. Expenses that are eligible for coverage include funeral, medical, disability, and loss of income.
Extended benefits coverage: This provides essential service disability benefits, as well as wage earner and a specific death benefit. Coverage for medical payments must also be carried to be eligible.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for bodily injury: Coverage for you and your passengers when you are involved in a hit-and-run accident or are in an accident caused by a driver without insurance.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for property damage: Coverage only for property damaged in a vehicle accident caused by an uninsured driver. In most states, this also covers accidents when the person at fault leaves the scene of the accident.
Comprehensive coverage: Coverage for damage to your car from a cause other than a rollover or collision (i.e., theft, flooding, etc.)
Collision coverage: Coverage for your car if you are in an accident or rollover.
Roadside assistance: Helps cover costs, such as towing, tire changes, door unlocks, fuel delivery, and minor roadside repairs.
Rental reimbursement: This option helps to pay for car rental costs should your car need to be repaired because of a vehicle accident.
Extended vehicle protection: Coverage for mechanical breakdowns. It covers 1,000+ parts for 40% less than the dealer warranty.
Rideshare coverage: Coverage for rideshare drivers (Uber, Lyft, etc.) to ensure you’re protected at all times.
Accident forgiveness: If you are able to maintain an accident-free record for five consecutive years, you will be allowed one “at-fault” accident forgiveness without negatively affecting your insurance premium.
Many of these offers carry state regulated stipulations. For the most accurate information pertaining to you, call the USAA auto insurance phone number at 210-531-USAA (8722).
How can you save? Here are the USAA discounts:
Safe driver: Maintain a good driving record for at least five years.
Defensive driving: Complete a defensive driving course.
Drivers training: Complete a drivers training course if drivers are under 21.
Good student: Save when a student on your plan gets good grades.
New vehicle: Cars under three years of age get a discount.
Multi-vehicle: Save when you ensure at least two vehicles.
Annual mileage: Save if you drive under a certain number of miles each year.
Vehicle storage: Pay less if your car is in storage.
Family discount: Get a discount if your family has USAA.
Bundle and save: Save if you bundle multiple USAA policies together.
Length of membership: Pay less the longer you stay with USAA.
Military installation: Get a discount if you garage your car at a military base.
Note that these discounts might not be available in all states and might have some stipulations. Check with USAA for details.
USAA insurance eligibility
The one main requirement for USAA auto insurance eligibility is that you must be in, or related to someone in, the U.S. military. Membership eligibility extends to the following:
- All U.S. Armed Forces members may apply for membership, including those in the National Guard and Selected Reserve Forces. This includes all branches, Army, Air Force, Marines, etc.
- Those in the Cadets or midshipmen programs in U.S. service academies, ROTC scholarships, and any candidates for officer are eligible for 24 months after commissioning through the program.
- Those who have separated or retired from the U.S. military with a discharge type of honorable.
- Adult children (including stepchildren) of former USAA members and unmarried former spouses who haven’t remarried are also welcome to apply.
- Lastly, those who obtained membership while in one of the above mentioned “eligible categories” but are no longer a member, can reactivate their USAA membership at any time regardless of current military status, provided the old membership is in good status.
In addition to qualifying for membership, USAA will evaluate each applicant based on personal factors.
USAA customer service
USAA customer service has several different departments, including one to do each of the following: Report a new claim, inquire about existing claims, receive customer service regarding your policy, receive new auto quotes, get roadside assistance, and ask for auto glass repair and replacement. Each department has its own hours of operations. You can either call the company to receive service, or visit one of USAA’s financial centers.
One USAA customer from Minnesota, Diane Hageman, says, “My husband and I have been USAA members for probably close to 20 years. We started with purchasing homeowners and auto insurance and now have several banking/investment accounts with them as well. I am normally a ‘buy local’ consumer but have found the products, pricing, and professionalism of USAA to be exceptional.”
She adds, “I currently have my car loan with them and have reviewed their car buying service, too (our son actually used it). Their staff is extraordinarily well-trained and knowledgeable. We have had to file a couple of car claims and the process was smooth and easy. I completely trust this company and know that they are just a phone call away if I need assistance.”
USAA auto insurance quote
To obtain a quote for USAA’s auto insurance, you can call 800-531-USAA (8722), or visit the website and click “Get a Quote.”
If you are not already a member, you will need to prove your eligibility and register a username and password.
Then, you can log in and complete your quote.
Compare the pros and cons to make a better decision.
- Good customer service
- Competitive rates and terms
- A comprehensive lineup of insurance products
- Many discounts available
- Accident forgiveness feature
- Great track record
- Serves all 50 states
- Almost 100 years in business
- Exclusive to U.S. military and their family members
- Roadside assistance has more limitations than AAA (only tows vehicles 14 miles vs. 100 miles)
- Some complaints about the claims process and slow response times
FAQ on USAA Auto Insurance
USAA membership is only for active/former military?
Even though USAA is marketing itself as proudly serving the U.S. military, they have actually widened the eligibility requirements to include regular civilians who are immediate family members of service members.
What are the discounts does USAA offer?
USAA offers driver discounts, vehicle discounts and membership discounts.
Is it free to be a USAA member?
USAA has been an innovative bank for years. They offer many premium services as standard for all accounts. These include free checking and savings accounts with no minimum balance fees, free checks, free rewards debit card, free overdraft protection, free web bill pay, and much more.
Can you get USAA if your father was in the military?
USAA membership for the child of a military veteran requires that the veteran have had USAA auto or property/casualty insurance. If your father is deceased and did not use USAA for his auto or property/casualty insurance purposes then you are not eligible for membership.
How long does it take USAA to pay insurance claim?
The amount of time it takes USAA to send a check is also regulated by the law. Once a settlement has been reached, the insurance company has 30 days to pay up. The check may come straight to you or go to your lawyer’s office if you were represented by a firm.
If you are in the military or are related or married to someone who is, then USAA is one of the top options you should consider for auto insurance. It has a great lineup of products, features, and discounts. While some customers have complained about the claims process and limited roadside assistance, customers overall have been very satisfied with the company. You can easily get a quote online to find out how it compares with the competition.
Don’t qualify for membership? Don’t worry. There are many other companies with competitive offers that you can compare.
Jessica Walrack is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney, The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, Commonbond, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Guardian, Personalloans.org and many others. She specializes in taking personal finance topics like loans, credit cards, and budgeting, and making them accessible and fun.