Top5 Review

Summary of Product

USAA for military and family

United Services Automobile Association, commonly referred to as USAA, was founded in 1922 and is the fifth largest auto insurer, with 11.9 million members. While most insurance companies provide a military discount, USAA differentiates itself by exclusively covering active and former military members and their families.

USAA has some of the lowest car insurance rates among the large insurer companies we looked at. It also offers policy discounts and accident forgiveness (in applicable states).

The company is financially secure, and holds the below ratings:

  • A.M. Best Company: A++ (superior, highest of 16 possible ratings)
  • Moody’s Investor Services: Aaa (Exceptional, highest of 21 possible ratings)
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA+ (Very strong, second highest of 21 possible ratings)

Financial security is important for an insurance company as it indicates how well a company can pay claims.

Who Is Eligible For USAA?

USAA is catered to military and their families. The following are eligible to enroll in USAA:

Active Military: Those currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, National Guard and Reserves are eligible for USAA.

Former Military: If you served in the U.S. military and were released with an honorable discharge, you are eligible for USAA.

Family of Military: If you are a widow or widower, you are eligible for USAA. If you are divorced from a USAA member, you are also eligible for USAA as long as you have not remarried. If your parents have or used to have USAA auto or property insurance, you are also eligible.

Cadets or Midshipmen: Cadets and midshipmen serving in U.S. service academies, in advanced ROTC or on ROTC scholarship, and officer candidates within 24 months of commissioning are eligible for USAA.

Pros

  • Competitive pricing, lower than most competitors (particularly for young drivers)
  • Bundle discount: get up to 10% off your homeowners or renters insurance premium when you add auto insurance.
  • Flexible payment plans
  • Accident forgiveness is free after five years if your household has not had any at-fault accidents.

Cons

  • Military only; if you are not active or former military, or the spouse or child of active or former military, you are ineligible
  • Does not offer gap insurance for leased vehicles

Product Coverage

USAA coverage

There are many different types of car insurance, and it can be hard to figure out which is best for you. If you have questions, check out our Top 20 Car Insurance FAQs.

USAA offers the following coverage types:

Protection For Your Vehicle

If you have a car loan or are leasing a car, you are required to have full coverage car insurance. This means you will need both comprehensive and collision coverage.

  • Comprehensive Coverage: protects your car if it’s damaged in an event other than a collision with another vehicle or a rollover. That includes damage due to theft, fire, vandalism, flooding and hail. Under USAA’s comprehensive coverage policy, window glass replacement is subject to your deductible in all states except Arizona, Connecticut, Floria, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and South Carolina.
  • Collision Coverage: pays for damage to your car caused by a collision or rollover regardless of who caused the accident.

Protection For Your Finances

Liability coverage is the most basic and popular form of car insurance, as it’s a legal requirement in all states except for Virginia and New Hampshire. This form of coverages protects others’ if you are at fault in a car accident. 

Liability insurance is made up of two parts:  bodily injury and property damage. You should have enough coverage to protect your personal assets.

  • Bodily Injury:  provides protection if you are found legally responsible for the injury or death of another person resulting from a car accident where you are the at-fault driver.
  • Property Damage: money paid on your behalf by USAA to repair the accident damage to the other person’s property when you are the at-fault driver.

Protection For You And Your Passengers

If you are involved in an accident, this form of auto insurance will cover medical costs for you and your passengers outside of what your health insurance covers. The amount of protection you need varies depending on where you live (states have different requirements), how much you drive, and your health insurance policy. The types of coverage include:

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): pays for expenses resulting from an auto accident for you or your passengers, whether you are at fault or not. Eligible expenses typically include medical, funeral, disability and lost income. The following are also covered by USAA up to the aggregate limit: 
    • Funeral Expenses: $1,000 per person
    • Income Continuation: $1,250 per person per month / 1 year max
    • Loss of Services Expenses: $30 per person per day / 1 year max
    • Child Care Expense: $25 per person per day / $750 max
  • Extended Benefits CoverageThis is an add-on to medical payments coverage. It provides wage earner and essential services disability benefits.
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury CoverageIf you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, uninsured motorist coverage, also known as UMI, will cover the costs of your medical treatments. It also guarantees protection against hit-and-run accidents. Underinsured coverage is what covers your medical costs if the at-fault driver’s insurance policy and your health insurance isn’t enough to coverage them.
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: This form of coverage pays for the damage to your vehicle if you are in an accident caused by a driver who has no insurance. In most states, damage caused by a hit-and-run driver is also included. USAA provided the below example:
    • You are hit by a driver who leaves the scene. If the cost to repair your vehicle is $15,000, and you have a coverage limit of $25,000, the damage to your vehicle would be covered. A deductible would be taken from the total payout you receive.

Other Protection

USAA offers several additional add-on protections:

  • Roadside Assistance: Covers the cost of towing or repairing your car if it breaks down. It also includes services to unlock your vehicle if you lose your keys or get locked out, deliver gas if you run out, or change a tire.
  • Rental Car Reimbursement: Rental cars can get expensive; this optional protection will pay the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. This will only work in cases of a covered insurance claim.
  • Accident Forgiveness: If you are accident free for five years while under USAA’s auto insurance policy, your premium won’t go up after one at-fault accident. In some states, you can purchase this feature as an add-on.

Product Features

USAA coverage

Discounts

In addition to its competitive pricing, USAA offers its members a variety of discount options including:

  • Premier Driver Discount: If you have a good driving history for over five years, you are qualified for this discount (discount ranges). You are also  eligible for free accident forgiveness.
  • Military Installation: If you need to store or garage your vehicle on a military base, you can get receive a 15% discount on the comprehensive coverage portion of your premium.
  • Annual Mileage: If you don’t drive very often (and are over the age of 29), consider yourself lucky! USAA will give you a discounted rate based on the number of miles that you drive in a year.
  • Driving Research Discount: If you are qualified and willing to help USAA collect driving research, you are eligible to receive a discount. USAA will send you a tracking device for your car that will gather information as you go about your regular driving routine. In return, you’ll get 5% off auto insurance.
  • Defensive Driving Course: USAA will give you a discount on your auto insurance if you enroll in an approved defensive driving course. 
  • Driver Training Course: If you are under the age of 21 and take a driver training course, USAA will provide additional discounts on your premiums. 
  • New Vehicle Discount: If you have a car that is less than three years old, you are eligible for a discount on your premiums. 
  • Good Student: Most car insurance companies offer good student discounts, and USAA is no exception. If you are a full-time student and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0, you can receive a discount. Additionally, if you are in the top 20% of your class or on the honor roll or dean’s list, you can qualify for higher good student discounts.
  • Family Discount: If your family members use USAA, you can receive an additional discount
  • Automatic Payments: Signing up for automatic payments will not only ensure you never forget to pay your car insurance bill, but it can also help you save even more money! Sign up for automatic payments and USAA will reduce your premium by 3%.

 

Price

USAA pricing

USAA’s pricing varies based on the age of drive and how many family members are insured. There are many additional factors that affect how much you’ll pay for car insurance.  Key factors include:

  • Individual state laws
  • Driving history
  • Your location
  • Gaps in insurance coverage
  • The make and model of your car
  • Your annual mileage

To get an auto insurance quote from USAA, simply enter your information into its car insurance estimate calculator or call a representative. If you have extensive questions about discounts, a representative may be your best option.

Conclusion

We give USAA auto insurance a 5.0 rating. If you are eligible thanks to a military history or family member with a military history, this is the best car insurance we’ve come across. Price-wise, its rates are lower than most competitors. Plus, its substantial discount offerings ensure nearly everyone is eligible for a savings of some sort.

We also like USAA’s bundle options and banking options, which are not offered by most competitors. Having everything in one place is certainly helpful!

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