Back in 1922, several U.S. Army officers who lived in Texas were having trouble getting auto insurance. The problem? They were considered high-risk policyholders. As a result, 25 officers banded together to insure themselves, and the United States Automobile Association (USAA) was born. In this article, we’ll review all three of USAA insurance products: home, life and auto.
Since then, USAA has expanded to serve more than 11.9 million current and former members of the armed forces, and their eligible family members, in all 50 states. Its offerings have grown to include many types of insurance and banking services. What kinds of insurance are available from USAA, and are you eligible?
Here’s the complete guide to USAA insurance.
USAA Auto Insurance
Let’s start where the company began, auto insurance.
USAA full coverage auto insurance is just one of the many types of policies you can select to protect your vehicle. Here are the options:
- Liability: If you are found to be responsible for an accident, you will be liable to pay for the other person’s bodily injury and property damage. Liability insurance is designed to cover these costs.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): If you are in an accident and, as a result, someone in your vehicle incurs expenses (for disability, medical treatment, child care, a funeral, etc.), this policy will help to cover the costs.
- Extended benefits coverage: This provides wage earner benefits, a death benefit, and essential services disability benefits. You must carry coverage for medical payments to be eligible.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist property damage coverage: This covers your property damages in an accident where the other driver doesn’t have insurance or has insufficient insurance. In many states, it will also cover your property damages in hit-and-run accidents.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage: If you are in an accident and the other driver doesn’t have insurance or flees from the scene, this will cover the costs of injuries for you and your passengers.
- Full coverage: This includes comprehensive and collision insurance.
USAA Insurance Discounts
Read an in-depth review of USAA auto insurance here. The right policy for you will depend on your specific situation. No matter which you choose, you should also know about the discounts that can help you save. USAA offers:
- Driver discounts: Discounts are available for drivers who maintain a good driving record for at least five years, students who get good grades, drivers under 21 who complete a drivers training course, and drivers who complete an approved defensive driving course.
- Vehicle discounts: Get a discount for driving a new vehicle, for having multiple vehicles on your policy, for having low annual mileage, and for the period your vehicle is in storage.
- Membership discounts: Membership discounts include savings for having your family on your policy, having multiple policies with USAA, and staying with USAA for a certain length of time.
Beyond the coverage and discounts, USAA offers the following auto insurance features:
- A convenient claims process
- The ability to manage your policy online or from a mobile device
- Competitive car insurance quotes
- Roadside assistance (additional premium required)
- Flexibility with payments
- USAA accident forgiveness (additional premium might be required)
- Protection everywhere in the U.S.
- Reimbursement for rental cars
This USAA auto insurance policy summary describes the policy and other related disclosures.
Recreational Vehicle Insurance
Do you have a vehicle you like to use for fun? USAA also offers insurance for a wide range of recreational vehicles, including motorcycles, mopeds, ATVs, boats, jet skis, motor homes, antique vehicles, classic vehicles, airplanes, and more.
To see an in-depth review of USAA auto insurance and ratings from real-users, click here.
USAA Home and Property Insurance
Next to consider are USAA’s policies to help members protect their homes and properties.
USAA’s standard renter’s insurance policy provides liability and personal items coverage to help safeguard your financial security and personal belongings. Liability insurance protects you if you are held liable for damages or injuries, for example, if your dog attacks someone and the person sues you for their medical bills. Personal items coverage will replace the following belongings that are lost or damaged because of an eligible cause:
- Military equipment
- Fine Art
- Sports equipment
- China / Crystal
- Music equipment
- Hearing aids
Your personal belongings will be covered in your home as well as in your vehicle and a storage unit.
What perils are covered? Here’s the rundown:
- The collapse of a building
- Volcanic eruption
- Falling objects
- Vandalism and malicious mischief
- Riot and civil commotion
- Cracking, burning, tearing apart, or bulging that is sudden and accidental
- Damage from an artificially generated electrical current that is sudden and accidental
- Fire and lightning
- Flood and water
- Windstorm or hail
Although a standard policy includes liability coverage as well as coverage for your personal belongings, you can opt for just one or the other.
What if you own your home and need protection? USAA’s got a solution for that, too. USAA’s homeowner insurance covers damage or loss from theft, fire, vandalism, identity theft, most weather-related events, and liability. Your home and personal belongings will be replaced at their value, without depreciation.
Note: You will not have to pay a deductible if your military uniform or equipment is lost because of a covered peril while on active or reserve duty.
Rental Property Insurance
Do you own rental properties? Homeowners insurance won’t cover them, but USAA landlord insurance will. This option can come in handy whether you are moving and haven’t sold your home yet, or are an investor with multiple investment properties.
The insurance will cover:
- Replacement of your rental income if your property is being repaired because of damage or loss
- Replacement cost coverage of your property and its contents (up to 10 properties) if losses are caused by a covered peril
- Personal liability coverage
Rental property insurance is a good investment if you would like to manage multiple properties with less risk.
Condo insurance helps condominium owners ensure they are fully covered in case of a loss. Note that condo associations will often have master policies for some types of damage (i.e., the outside of your property) but not others (i.e., your belongings and the inside of your condo). If you own a condo, review the master policy and identify where you are vulnerable.
USAA offers the following coverage options for condo owners: personal liability, personal belongings, building items (plumbing, countertops, fixtures, etc.), and assessments for shared losses (coverage if you must pay the condo association for an assessment). Add-on coverage options include flood insurance and valuable property insurance.
Mobile Home Insurance
USAA also has an insurance plan for mobile home owners. The policy protects against damage caused by fire, vandalism, and windstorms. It also replaces household goods and belongings, as well as offering liability coverage.
Farm and Ranch Insurance
USAA offers farm and ranch insurance policies that can cover farm homes, other farm structures, machinery, equipment, and livestock. Policies are also available for stables, horses, and vineyards.
USAA pretty much has a home and property insurance policy to suit every kind of home. However, what if the standard policy is not enough?
The following policies can be added to the standard coverage to provide more protection.
Valuable Personal Property Insurance
Valuable personal property insurance can be added to renters and homeowners insurance policies if you want more protection for your belongings. Covered belongings include instruments, guns, stamps, coins, furs, silverware, fine art, jewelry, and cameras. The coverage goes beyond a home or renters insurance policy by providing coverage for lost, broken, or damaged property. Further, it does not require a deductible in the event of a loss.
Flood insurance isn’t part of the typical homeowner’s insurance coverage. However, this option is inclusive for USAA renters insurance. Flooding is the No. 1 natural disaster in the U.S. so should be considered by all homeowners. The flood insurance USAA offers is provided by the USAA General Indemnity Co., which has an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
If you are a collector of items such as stamps, coins, vintage dolls, military memorabilia, wine, and figurines, USAA’s collectibles insurance can help you protect your investment. Homeowner’s insurance can fall short when it comes to replacing or compensating you for damaged or lost collectibles. This policy provides automatic coverage, guards against inflation, and offers coverage based on an agreed upon value.
USAA Umbrella Insurance
Umbrella insurance is designed to plug gaps in your insurance coverage if you get sued. USAA offers annual policies that provide up to $1 million in liability coverage for a low monthly payment. To get this type of coverage, you must maintain home and auto policies that include the minimum required limits for property loss and bodily injuries.
That’s all for policy add-ons, now lets shift gears to look at protecting your loved ones in the future.
USAA Life Insurance
Life insurance helps those you leave behind when you pass away. USAA has several options including term life, term life for the military, whole life, and universal life.
Because USAA caters to individuals in the military, its life insurance policies cover death that occurs in war, and it offers coverage that stays with members throughout active duty. Further, additional coverage is available when you leave the military.
Small Business Insurance
Lastly, small business insurance is there to help if your business falls victim to an unexpected loss caused by theft, fire, lawsuits, floods, and more. Policies typically combine liability and business property coverage. USAA will help find the right fit for you and then will refer you to partners it trusts, such as Travelers.
Now that you know all about USAA’s insurance offerings, let’s take a look at the answers to some frequently asked questions about USAA insurance.
FAQ on USAA Insurance
Who is eligible to join USAA?
USAA membership is open to the following individuals:
- Active military members who are serving in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, or Marines.
- Former military members who have retired or have been separated with an honorable discharge.
- Cadets and midshipmen at U.S. service academies, officer candidates within two years of commissioning, and those in advanced ROTC or on an ROTC scholarship.
- Family members of USAA members, including widows, widowers, children, and former spouses who joined USAA during their marriage to a member and are unmarried.
How much does your insurance go up after a ticket with USAA?
The amount that your USAA auto insurance increases after getting a ticket will depend on various individual factors, so there is not one set answer.
The company follows general industry practices in determining premium amounts by evaluating each driver’s record to see how many tickets they have, how often they have received tickets and the number by which the speed limit was broken on each ticket. The age of the driver, accidents, location, vehicle usage, and the vehicle type are also factors.
Tickets will remain on a driver’s record for three years. As soon as USAA checks the driver’s record after a ticket, the premium increase will occur. When the ticket drops off the record, the premium will decrease. Also, note that drivers can avoid a ticket point placed on their record by attending a certified defensive driving course.
How do I report an accident to USAA?
You can report an auto accident to USAA by calling 800-531-USAA (8722), or by visiting the website and filing a claim online.
Does USAA auto insurance cover other drivers?
According to the USAA permissive use terms, when someone temporarily borrows your vehicle, your coverage is extended to them for up to 60 days.
How do I get home insurance with USAA?
From the USAA website, the following people are eligible:
- Active, retired and honorably separated officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military.
- Officer candidates in commissioning programs (Academy, ROTC, OCS/OTS).
- Adult children (18+) of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy.
What does my USAA homeowner’s insurance cover?
USAA homeowner’s insurance protects your home and belongings. It covers losses that occur as the result of fire, theft, vandalism, and most weather-related events (not floods, tsunamis, or earthquakes). Further, it provides personal liability coverage and protection against identity theft (except in NY and NC).
Does USAA homeowner’s insurance cover hurricane damage?
Flood losses caused by the overflow of lakes or rivers or unusual and rapid accumulation of surface water are not covered under your homeowner’s policy. However, flood losses are generally covered by your National Flood Insurance Program policy through USAA.
Does retired military member eligible for auto insurance discount?
If you are on active duty, retired from the Military, or a member of the National Guard or Reserves, you may be eligible for a discount of up to 15 percent on your total insurance premium.
Is USAA insurance right for you?
USAA has a comprehensive lineup of insurance options that offers great benefits to its members. If you qualify for membership, it is a company worth considering. Pam and Garry Smith (Cdr, Ret.) have been members of USAA insurance for more than 40 years and have multiple policies including homeowners, auto, fire, casualty for investment, umbrella, and more.
Mrs. Smith says, “We have had to file claims on most of our policies over the years, and the one constant was exemplary service from USAA. We have never been denied a claim, and we have never felt that the claim process was unfairly difficult. Help is never more than a phone call away for anything from roadside assistance to policy changes to casualty claims.”
She adds, “USAA membership has been a great experience for us. For over 40 years, we have paid low rates and received exemplary service on our claims. They always pay claims per policy specs and go the extra mile to ensure our satisfaction.”
If you aren’t eligible for USAA, don’t worry. You can choose from various other providers that are open to the general public. To review and compare auto insurance companies, head over to our Auto Insurance Review Page. From there, you can browse insurance providers from 12 categories, such as life insurance, home insurance, renters insurance, and more. Compare offers side-by-side, and read in-depth reviews all in one place.
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.