USAA insurance was founded on the principles of people helping people, when 25 military men agreed to insure each other’s vehicles when no one else would. Memberships are open to U.S. military service members, veterans with an honorable discharge and their eligible family members, with some policy types available to the public.Since its founding, USAA has expanded the services they offer to include other types of insurance as well as banking for all Armed Forces members, past and present, and their families.
- Coverage features
- Service coverage
- File/Track Claims
All policies are custom-created to meet the insured’s needs, budget and state minimums. Additional coverages can be added into the policy.
- Property damage liability
- Bodily injury liability
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist
- Comprehensive coverage
- Collision coverage
- Liability coverage
- Extended benefits
- Roadside assistance
- Rental reimbursement
- Accident forgiveness
The company provides their products and services in all 50 states, which can only be said about a handful of the largest insurance companies. This availability is somewhat tempered by the fact that only service members and their immediate family have access to their services. USAA also offers a great opportunity for members who want to add a policy to their home, with up to 75 percent of the home’s insured value with no depreciation factored for all members.
- Driver training
- Family tradition
- Good student
- Safe driver
- Accident forgiveness
Membership savings include discounts for family members, multi-product savings, long-term customer rewards and discounts for vehicles stored in military installation garages. A free mobile phone app for iPhone, iPad, Android and even Windows Phone provides access to insurance, banking and investment services. Members can check balances, pay bills, access auto ID cards and do many other essential things.
Agents and reps of USAA are exceptionally friendly and helpful. Based on our experience and hundreds of online reviews from numerous websites, USAA employees tend to be highly professional, compassionate, understanding and willing to assist members in expediting claims based on individual needs.
The claims process appears to be efficient and fair, and claims can be filed either over the phone or online at the USAA website. Claims can be tracked online, or a USAA rep can guide members through the process step by step. They provide a lot of help throughout the claims process, including locating a repair facility, renting a replacement vehicle, and facilitating replacement of stolen or damaged electronic equipment.
- Coverage limitations
- Service hours
- Qualified clients
- Claims process
USAA doesn’t have as much policy flexibility as other major insurance companies. Some optional coverages are only available in limited areas. For example, accident forgiveness in not available to members in North Carolina, California, New York, Maine or Delaware.
Roadside assistance is provided through USAA towing and labor coverage at a super low rate, but the coverage is fairly limited. For example, they will only tow to a local repair shop within 14 miles. If a customer needs to go farther than that, they will have to pay for it. Compare that to AAA, which tows up to 100 miles.
For some reason, USAA has limited service hours for their claims office, which can be frustrating for members trying to get hold of a rep during off hours. The website can be used to file a claim 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but some people prefer to call and speak to an actual human being. For those individuals, the limited hours will be especially annoying.
Of course, the biggest negative that can be said about USAA is that they only offer their services to military personnel and their qualifying family members. This means most people cannot take advantage of their affordable rates, even though the company operates in all 50 states. Though they have flirted with offering limited services to non-military customers over the years, it is doubtful that this will ever be the norm.
Though customer service seems to be really good on the whole, there have been a number of complaints from members who have had trouble with the claims process. Most of these complaints have to do with response times. However, a number of people have noted a tendency to declare a damaged vehicle a total loss even when the damage is not severe.