Reviewed By Joshua Adamson
on October 17, 2016

USAA USAA

Overall 5 / 5

Cost:

Discounts Offered:

Company Satisfaction:

Customer Service:

Claims Process:

We’ve examined every aspect of USAA® — the fifth largest car insurance company in the country — to give you the inside scoop on the company. USAA was created to cover those who serve our country and their families. We looked at USAA customer reviews from a number of sources for its customer service, claims process, and overall satisfaction.

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Combined with its industry rankings, USAA scores an overall 5 stars. That tops our list of top companies, but is the score deserved? Let this assessment give you clarification into the intricacies that have contributed to USAA’s almost $10 billion car insurance operation. By the way, we are not representatives of USAA — just insurance experts working to give you insider knowledge you can use to make your own decisions.

The Pros

  • Customers Love It. With a 98 percent member retention rate, USAA bests the auto insurance industry average of 97 percent.
  • Exclusive USAA RewardsTM Credit Card. USAA offers members a rewards-rich credit card that gives you an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back and a discounted APR if you’re an active duty military member. In addition, the card gives a rebate for all charges accumulated while you serve.
  • High Industry Ratings. JD Power studies ranked USAA with top scores in nine out of 11 customer satisfaction categories.

The Con

Military Members Only. If you or your family member is in the military, this car insurance coverage is designed specifically for your needs. If you aren’t affiliated with a military group, USAA is unavailable.

Our Favorite USAA Auto Insurance Features

Our analysis uncovered several USAA car insurance features and qualities that we admire. Here are a few that stood out:

  • Flexible payment options. USAA works with your military payroll schedule. This allows customers greater flexibility for setting up payment plans that best suit their needs.
  • Discounts on Car Purchases. The USAA Car Buying Service allows you to buy a vehicle at a discounted rate from approved manufacturers. Since the program’s inception, over 900,000 cars have been sold to USAA members. You can also earn points when you use your USAA Rewards™ credit card. While these types of discounts and rewards aren’t unique to USAA, we found no other similar program that has customer praise as high.
  • Tech-Friendly Options. USAA’s mobile app allows you to manage your policy from anywhere. You can get help answering questions, changing your policy, and filing a claim all from one your device of choice.
  • Education Resource Center. This USAA website has plenty of articles written to help you learn with resources like safe driving tips, car repair guides, and insurance coverage education.
  • Affordable Teen Driver Options. Plans for cheap roadside assistance for as little as $2 a month are designed to keep your teen safer on the road.
  • New Teen Driver Program. USAA’s Automatic License+™ app coaches teens when they start learning to drive. Free to eligible members, it gathers driving data on your teen throughout a 100-hour program. The program is designed to help parents have peace of mind that their new teen drivers are learning safe driving practices.

Overall Customer Satisfaction with USAA

If your best friend recommended a car insurance company to you, would you trust them? We think we would, which is why we looked at the likelihood that USAA customers recommend its car insurance to their family and friends. We then used this data to determine the overall satisfaction rankings.

Our research shows that out of the major companies we reviewed, USAA falls in the top 3 for overall satisfaction. Only Allstate and Farmers car insurance scored higher. In fact, USAA ranks as number 1 or 2 in all of the review categories we looked at — except for one.

Those categories, which we broke down to help you decide if USAA is what you’re looking for, are customer service, cost, claims, and industry rankings.

Customer Reviews on the Cost of USAA Car Insurance

There’s no doubt that most customers would tell you they would rather pay less for car insurance. But considering the fact that car insurance quotes can differ dramatically based on a driver’s location, age, sex, driving history, and more, how can we accurately rate the cost of car insurance?

We looked at reviews for the cost of USAA car insurance to see what its customers think. Do they generally think are paying too much for the coverage they got? Or are they mostly happy with the protection they get for the price they pay?

Out of the 20 top most popular car insurance companies we researched, USAA has the overall highest rankings, with the majority of customers agreeing that the cost they pay is fair for the level of protection they received. Essentially, customers think USAA is a good value. When asked about the cost of USAA car insurance, here is what we typically hear:

“The price and convenience can’t be topped.” Heath, January 2016

“We get great coverage, and a lot of added benefits, at a reasonably low price.” -Andrew, November 2015

While USAA car insurance quotes may not always be the cheapest, the company does offer a several discounts to help drivers save, for example safe driver discounts. See which USAA discounts may be available to you.

Here’s a tip: To get a quote directly from USAA online, you must have a login for its customer portal. This can make it difficult to compare prices with other companies though.

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USAA Reviews for Customer Service

Understanding how other customers perceive they’ve been treated can give you an indication of your expected experience as a USAA customer. We read reviews across the web that mentioned USAA’s customer service. We also did our own survey in which we asked customers to rank their experience. Last, we called USAA as customer’s ourselves to see what the experience is like first hand.

What did we find? When comparing to other car insurance companies, USAA customers are generally more pleased with their overall experience. That’s not to say USAA is perfect. We did find a lot of their negative complaints stemming from how customers say they were treated after filing a claim.

Overall, we think USAA’s customer service deserves a round of applause. Here’s a sample of glowing customer reviews from our own survey:

“They take the time to talk to customers rather than just try to sell new products.” -Nathaniel, December 2015

“They are quick to help and easy to use.” Hrvoje, April 2016

“Customer service is outstanding and there’s never a wait to talk to a rep.” – Beth, March 2016

Keep in mind, when looking through review websites such as ConsumerAffairs.com, that customers are more likely go online to rate a company if they had a negative experience. It’s important to notice the number of total reviews. We’ve noticed that fewer online reviews is better because people aren’t taking the time to complain.

USAA Reviews for Claims

Our research found that while customer service is usually top notch, filing a claim with USAA is another story. Most of the negative reviews center around how the company handles claims and the time it takes for USAA to reimburse accident-related costs.

However, compared to other companies of USAA’s size, USAA has fewer than most. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every customer’s experience filing a claim has been poor. In fact, when we asked current USAA customers about their claims experience, here’s what we often heard:

“They are competent and they make dealing with claims pain free.” -Kayla, August 2016

“They make everything easy — claims, insurance, even buying a car. Also, great car buying program.” -Kelsey, February 2016

JD Power uses customer feedback to ranks insurance companies across a number of claims process factors, including service interaction, appraisal, settlement, and more. USAA got five out of five stars for overall satisfaction in 2015. Here is the breakdown of the JD power score:

Overall: ★★★★★
Service Interaction: ★★★
Appraisal: ★★★★★
Repair Process: ★★★★
Rental Car: ★★★★★
Settlement: ★★★★★

USAA says it has worked recently to make its claims process even smoother. With three ways to file a claim — by phone, online, or by mobile app — USAA customers can choose the option that is most convenient for them.

Industry Rankings for USAA

Analyzing an insurance company by its industry standings can help paint a clearer picture of how financially stable and customer-centric it is. We used financial rankings from top industry raters and customer surveys conducted by insurance analysts to see how USAA measures up.

  • A.M. Best: In 2015, the analyst company gives USAA the highest rating of A++ (Superior) for financial strength.
  • Standard & Poor’s: USAA got an AA+, the second-highest possible score for financial strength in Standard & Poor’s most recent analysis.
  • Moody’s Investors Service: This ranking gave USAA an Aaa—the highest score it could receive.
  • Weiss Rating: Also measuring financial strength, USAA got an A- in 2016, which Weiss considers “excellent.”
  • Forrester Research: In this study customer advocacy, USAA ranked in the top three for compared to other major insurance companies.

Final Words

If you or your family member is in the military, and customer reviews are important to you, we think USAA is a good choice. Ranked by our research as one of the highest companies for overall satisfaction, USAA offers car insurance across the nation at reasonable prices. Ready to get a quote?  Call a licensed agent at 855-462-2213 , or learn more about if USAA auto insurance is a good fit for you.