USAA auto insurance review and ratings

While not everyone can join, USAA was highly rated in every category in Insure.com’s 2023 Best Car Insurance Companies survey of insurance consumers. Most customers say they’re satisfied with USAA’s customer service.

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Our take

Here’s the skinny on USAA car insurance: If you are eligible for USAA membership, the coverage and competitive rates are hard to beat. While not everyone can join, if you make the cut, USAA is worth looking at for its insurance options, as it was highly rated in nearly every category in Insure.com’s 2023 Best Car Insurance Companies survey of insurance consumers.

USAA received an A++ credit rating for financial stability from AM Best. J.D. Power gave the company a score of 882 for customer service out of a possible 1,000. J.D. Power grades auto insurance companies on state/regional levels – it doesn’t offer national scores – so we averaged the state/regional results to see how the companies did.

Although USAA isn’t ranked because it isn’t available to those outside the military community, it is a notable company in the survey.

Below is Insure.com’s review of the company. It’s based on third-party metrics and an in-depth survey of insurance customers. Find the full methodology here, including an explanation of our survey scores.

USAA
USAA Ratings
Overall Rating: 4.1
Average Premium: 5.0
NAIC: 0.99
Customer Satisfaction: 4.8
AM Best Rating: A++

Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • Excellent option for service members or their family members
  • Average premium rates are hard to beat
  • Top-ranked for customer satisfaction
Cons:
  • Unavailable to most consumers
  • Very few physical locations

How much USAA insurance costs

We found that USAA tied with Nationwide for lowest average monthly rates for auto insurance (technically, it is a few cents more per month than Nationwide), and annual average rates for USAA drivers are generally at least $50 lower than almost all competitors.

Company Monthly rate/premium
USAA $99
Nationwide $99
Geico $106

How USAA scores on customer satisfaction

When you ask insurance customers about customer satisfaction, USAA is at the top of the list, tied at 96% with Erie and Travelers. Most national competitors, like Geico, score at least 10 points lower regarding satisfied customers. 

USAA’s J.D. Power rating was 882, which is significantly higher than the average J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating of 834 (on a 1,000-point scale) and is the highest rating among the companies in our survey.

Company Percent of customers that are satisfied
USAA 96%
Erie 92%
Travelers 92%

How USAA scores on ease of service

Perhaps customers are satisfied with USAA because they think it’s easy to access policy documents and make changes; USAA tied for the top spot for ease of service with Liberty Mutual at 92%. Other companies scored 88% or below.

Company Percent of customers satisfied with the company’s ease of service
USAA 92%
Liberty Mutual 92%
Allstate 88%

How USAA scores on policy offerings

When we asked customers to score insurance companies based on policy offerings, USAA took the top spot by a wide margin, beating second-ranking Erie by five percentage points and most other insurers by a much larger gap. USAA offers condo/home/renters insurance, valuable property insurance, flood insurance and business auto insurance.

Company Percent of customers satisfied with the company’s policy offerings
USAA 96%
Erie 91%
Progressive 84%

Would current customers recommend USAA to others?

If anyone recommends USAA auto insurance, don’t be surprised because we found that almost all of its customers (99%) would recommend it to others.

Company Percent of customers who would recommend the company to others
USAA 99%
Travelers 96%
State Farm 94%

How trustworthy is USAA?

USAA customers might recommend it because they find the company trustworthy. When customers were asked to rank insurance companies for trustworthiness, USAA beat State Farm for one of the top spots and both insurers ranked way higher than many other competitors.

Company Percent of customers who say they trust the company
USAA 85%
State Farm 84%
Allstate 81%

Do USAA customers plan to renew?

USAA joins Erie, Amica and the AAA companies in the rarified position of enjoying 100% renewals from the customers we surveyed, beating several competitors by 10 percentage points or more.

Company Percent of customers who plan to renew with the company
USAA 100%
Erie 100%
Amica 100%

How USAA scores on claims handling

When it comes to best claims handling, USAA outranked the competition, beating most other companies. Nationwide and Travelers scored higher than USAA, but it was nearly 40 points above State Farm and more than 50 points over Progressive – the two largest insurers in the nation. Another metric: USAA scored above average on J.D. Power’s claims satisfaction survey at 890/1,000.

Company Rank for claims handling
USAA 3
Nationwide 1
Travelers 2

How USAA scores on discounts

While it has some of the lowest annual premiums offered in the U.S., customers don’t think USAA offers discounts as good as competitors like State Farm, Progressive and Geico – and the average discount amount bears out that data.

Company Average discount Survey score for discounts
USAA 5% 41%
State Farm 15% 77%
Progressive 8% 76%

How USAA rates for military discounts

As you might expect, USAA is the most highly ranked company for military discounts by a huge margin. No other company had more than a few customers rank it in this category.

Company Survey score for military discounts
USAA 66%

How USAA scores for bundling home and auto policies

USAA has some of the lowest annual rates when home and auto policies are bundled; however, this is because its rates are already pretty low – we found the actual discount for bundling was about $53 on average, compared to $306 for American Family.

Company Average annual rates for full coverage bundling home and auto policies Survey scores for bundling home and auto
USAA $1,257 53%
American Family $1,521 81%
Progressive $2,000 42%

USAA car insurance coverages

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Liability
  • Uninsured and underinsured
  • Roadside assistance
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Personal auto/business auto
  • Boat insurance
  • Motorcycle insurance
  • RV insurance
  • Classic car insurance
  • Boat insurance
  • Rideshare gap protection (in certain states)

USAA additional insurance policies

  • Life insurance
  • Renters insurance
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Valuable personal property (VPP) insurance
  • Flood insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Annuities
  • Umbrella insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Accidental injury insurance
  • Mobile home insurance
  • Farm and ranch insurance
  • Collectibles insurance
  • Pet insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Special event insurance

USAA car insurance coverage options

  • Accident forgiveness: Your rates won’t increase after your first accident.
  • Waiver of deductible for a not-at-fault accident: You won’t have to pay your collision deductible if an accident wasn’t your fault.
  • 12-month policies: Your policy term can be one year before the next renewal.
  • Mobile app: The insurer offers an app for smartphones.
  • No drop promise/guaranteed renewal program: Your policy will be renewed even if you have accidents and traffic violations.

USAA car insurance discounts

  • Multi-policy
  • Multi-vehicle
  • Driver training/Defensive driving
  • Academic achievement
  • Safe driver/clean driving record/good driver
  • Military deployment
  • New vehicle
  • Anti-theft devices
  • Legacy discount

States where USAA offers coverage

Graph
Table
States where USAA offers coverage
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington D.C.
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DC DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY
Available
Not available

Company background

USAA

USAA has been fighting the good fight since 1922 and has provided insurance for generations of military service members in the U.S. USAA offers membership to active military, former military, military family (defined as widows, widowers, and unremarried former spouses and individuals whose parents have had USAA auto or property insurance), cadets and midshipmen at U.S. service academies.

Founded 100 years ago, USAA now has some 11 million customers around the globe. Military members and veterans who have been honorably discharged can pass down their membership to the next generation.

Resources & Methodology

Methodology

Insure.com in the fall of 2022 surveyed more than 1,500 people with auto, home, life and health insurance (1,080 people with auto insurance). The survey was conducted by online market research company Slice MR. Respondents were asked to name their insurer and the editors then selected – based on the number of responses – the top companies for this year’s Best auto insurance companies ranking. Insure.com needed 20 or more of a company’s customers to respond to the survey for that insurer to be included in the ranking, although in some categories the editors did consider companies with 18 or 19 responses.

Respondents were first asked to grade their insurer in the following categories – customer satisfaction, claims satisfaction and policy offerings. The percentage of respondents who said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their insurer is presented in the results.

Survey score calculation: Respondents were then asked to rank their insurer’s top three attributes out of more than a dozen presented – including customer satisfaction and policy offerings. For a number one choice, five points were given; for a second choice, three points; and for a third choice, a single point. The total points for each choice – first, second and third – were then divided by the number of each company’s customers who responded to that survey question to create a percentage. Those percentages are presented in the results as scores. 

Respondents were then asked if they would recommend their insurer to someone else. The percentage who said yes is presented in the results.

They also were given the statement “I trust my insurance company” and asked if they strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. The percentage of those who said they agreed or strongly agreed is presented in the results.

The editors compiled the survey results and then collected National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ complaint data, which ranks a company by the number of customer complaints it receives, and A.M. Best data, which measures financial strength. 

They also collected insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services (for auto and home insurance), Compulife (for life insurance) and the public health marketplace (for health insurance).

With the help of Prof. David Marlett, Ph.D., managing director of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center at Appalachian State University, the editors created a rating system to determine which insurance companies were best in each sector. For auto and home insurers, we used the following weights to calculate the overall score for each company: 

  • AM Best: 25% of total score
  • NAIC: 15% of total score
  • Annual premium: 20% of total score
  • Survey: 40% of total score (10% customer satisfaction, 10% recommended and 10% renewal rate, 10% claims handling)
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Barry Eitel
Contributing Researcher

 
  

Barry Eitel is a content writer and journalist focused on insurance, small business and finance. He has researched and written about personal finance since 2012, with a special focus on entrepreneurship, freelancing and other small business operations. His writing on insurance and small business has been featured in 7x7, Brit + Co, Intuit Quickbooks, Bankrate, Policygenius and Lendio.

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