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AAA car insurance review 2021

Exclusive member benefits make daily drives and road trips a breeze, but coverage is limited.

finder.com's rating: 4 / 5

★★★★★

Bottom line: Your AAA membership gets you access to roadside assistance, trip support and other perks, if you’re willing to pay the membership fee and get a quote from an agent.

Included free

Roadside assistance

New car protection

Accident forgiveness

Details

States served Alaska, Arizona, California, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming
Roadside assistance Included free
Accident forgiveness Yes
New car protection Yes
Pay schedule 12 months, 6 months, monthly
Claims methods online, email, phone
Rideshare coverage Yes
SR-22 support Yes

Pros

  • Established company
  • Excellent customer service
  • Member benefits
  • Fair estimates
  • No deductible on glass
  • 24-hour claims

Cons

  • Members only
  • Limited coverage
Anti-theft device discount Yes
Bundling discount Yes
Defensive driving discount Yes, up to 20%
Good student discount Yes, up to 14%
Loyalty discount Yes, up to 7%
Homeowner discount Yes, up to 37%
Military discount No
Safety device discount Yes
Special employment discount No
Usage-based discount No
Avatar

Review by


Leah Fallon is an editor with more than 10 years of teaching under her belt. She's written feature pieces for regional print and digital media. When she's not helping people with their finances, you can find her wrangling her two sprightly girls or running the trails of Virginia.

Expert review

AAA car insurance works best if you’re already a member or thinking of joining and can use multiple perks that your membership offers.

The company’s mainstay is its roadside assistance plans that can follow you around, no matter what state you’re in or car you’re driving. By becoming a member, you’ll also get access to its travel discounts, trip-planning tools and member rates on products and services like car insurance.

For car insurance, the company offers decent coverage options like rental reimbursement or custom equipment. It also gives solid discounts to help you save over 20% on your premiums. You’ll find the best savings for keeping a clean driving record, insuring several cars or bundling with your home or life insurance.

Plus, the Auto Club of Southern California and Auto Club Group in Florida see high marks for its customer satisfaction by J.D. Power.

However, if you don’t want an annual fee or can’t get the cheapest rates with your local AAA, compare other car insurance companies. And not every local AAA club has the best customer service since the experience varies by your location.

This article was reviewed by Andrew Flueckiger, a member of the Finder Editorial Review Board and certified insurance counselor and licensed insurance agent in five states.

AAA car insurance rates

We pulled 2021 full-coverage car insurance rates using AAA’s online quote tool for good drivers living in California with a clean driving record.

AgePremiums
18$502.58
21$294.58
30$226.58
40$210.83
50$208.00

How to get a free quote for AAA car insurance

You can start your application over the phone by calling 866-568-4222 or in person by using the branch locator tool on its website. Or you can apply online by following these steps, but you’ll need to finalize your purchase over the phone.

  1. Visit your club’s website and enter your postal code to verify that auto insurance is available near you.
  2. Choose Insurance from the drop-down menu, then select Auto insurance then Get a quote
  3. Enter the policy start date, then tap Start auto quote.
  4. Enter personal details like your name and address and add any other drivers, then hit continue.
  5. Enter your vehicle information, then hit continue.
  6. Enter your AAA member information, explore your discounts and continue.
  7. If you like your quote, call 877-568-4222 with your quote reference number handy.

What do I need to apply?

Keep this information handy to breeze through your application process with AAA.

  • Personal information including first and last name, date of birth and gender
  • Address including zip code
  • Social Security number
  • Drivers license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Financial information
  • Quote reference number if you requested an online quote

What car insurance discounts can I get with AAA?

AAA offers multiple discounts based on your area — and you’ll get the best savings for insuring several cars on your policy, adding home or life insurance or keeping a clean track record for claims. See what discounts you might qualify for.

  • Driver training. Save 3% for completing an approved driver’s course.
  • Early purchase. Save 5% for buying your AAA auto policy at least seven days before your current policy expires.
  • Good student. Save up to 15% for maintaining good student grades, usually at least a B average.
  • Good driver. Save up to 20% for maintaining a clean driving record.
  • Group or association membership. Score up to 10% savings if you’re a member of an approved group or association.
  • Longevity. Save up to 12% after at least three years of continuous auto insurance with your current car insurer.
  • Multi-policy. Save up to 20% on your auto insurance policy when also buying home, condo, renters or life insurance.
  • Multi-vehicle. You can save up to 27% when you insure two or more vehicles.
  • Original owner. Save up to 5% if you’re the original owner of the insured vehicle.
  • Paid in full. Save 5% for paying your car insurance premiums in full up front.
  • Student away. Save up to 15% on certain car insurance coverage if your student-aged driver is 100+ miles away at school, without a car.
  • Verified mileage. Save up to 12% for supplying odometer readings when requested.

    What extra perks can I get?

    AAA members get exclusive benefits that you can’t get with other insurance companies. If you use a variety of its member benefits, you’ll up the value that you’re getting from your AAA membership.

    • Deals and discounts. Shave money off everything from hotels, car rentals and Amtrak to restaurants, eyeglasses and cell phones.
    • Trip planning. Access travel guides that help you plan trips and detailed maps to find hotels, restaurants and gas stations.

    AAA car insurance reviews and complaints

    AAA auto clubs around the country average an A from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) — some even get an A+. However, you’ll find a number of customer complaints filed with the BBB, based on the region.

    For example, the Automobile Club of Southern California saw over 300 complaints filed with the BBB from 2017 to 2020, as of 2021. Customers cite trouble with customer service, improper billing and poor experience with some towing and roadside service providers.

    At the same time, AAA receives a Trustpilot rating of 2 out of 5 stars from over 100 customers. This rating includes experiences with AAA’s insurance along with reviews of the company’s roadside assistance and travel services.

    While customer ratings can prepare you for how AAA treat customers, many customers only leave reviews after a bad experience. Take these customer scores with a grain of salt.

    AM Best financial ratingA
    BBB accreditedNo
    BBB ratingA+
    Trustpilot score1.9/5 out of 134 customer reviews
    Customer reviews verified as of28 June 2021

    Our star ratings for AAA, explained

    Our car insurance experts rated AAA with 4 out of 5 stars because the company offers a variety of coverage options and keeps a strong BBB score and AM Best financial ratings. That said, the company doesn’t always have the cheapest pricing, especially if you include the membership fee that’s required. The pricing and poor to average customer reviews docked its star rating slightly.

    AAA review: Dawn’s case study

    profile pic

    Dawn Daniels
    Staff Associate Editor

    I had AAA when I lived in Michigan and I swore I’d never use another insurance company, even if it was more expensive. When I got in an accident, my agent handled all the paperwork, helped me find a repair shop and even haggled with the mechanic to avoid declaring the car totaled.

    But when I moved to Oregon, I had a different experience. You can’t get a quote online, so it took nearly a week of back-and-forth with an agent to get an idea of coverage amounts — and it still wasn’t the coverage I wanted. Plus, the agent was frustrating to deal with, which negated the whole reason I’d loved AAA in the first place.

    Overall, AAA is set up in a way that makes it hard to judge the company as a whole — it all comes down to how much you like your agent.

    Compare alternatives to AAA car insurance

    See how AAA stacks up to competitor coverage and benefits. Click the Compare box to get the details on up to four companies side by side.

    Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
    Allstate
    Optional
    13%
    All 50 states
    Your dedicated agent can help you find the best savings with multiple discounts and rewards programs.
    Progressive
    Optional
    30%
    All 50 states & DC
    Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
    Pretected
    Pretected
    Optional
    Yes
    All 50 states
    Get your most compatible insurance options via a "smart matching" method aimed at finding you value.
    The AARP Auto Insurance Program from the Hartford
    Optional
    Yes
    All 50 states
    Enjoy low rates for mature drivers, plus perks like new car replacement and lifetime repair guarantees. Only for drivers over age 50.
    Clearcover
    Optional
    Yes
    AZ, CA, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NE, OH, OK, PA, TX, UT, VA, WI & WV
    Get instant online support and score a low rate thanks to online data that sets premiums automatically.
    Root
    52%
    Available in 31 states
    Track your driving to receive a low rate that reflects your driving skills, and enjoy a fully app-based policy experience.
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    Compare up to 4 providers

    What car insurance coverage does AAA offer?

    AAA offers your typical auto insurance that covers your car, passengers and other drivers. Coverage includes:

    • Collision. Covers repairs to your car when you’re at fault in an accident.
    • Comprehensive. Provides coverage against damage other than collision, like theft, storm damage or vandalism.
    • Custom, electronic or extra equipment. Get coverage or higher limits for non-factory installed items attached to your car.
    • Liability. Provides coverage if you’re at fault in an accident and you need to pay for the resulting costs. This coverage is mandatory in most states.
    • Medical expenses. Fills in health insurance gaps if you’re injured in an accident, walking on the road or in someone else’s car.
    • Personal injury protection. No matter who’s at fault, cover medical, work loss and other expenses from auto accident injuries.
    • Rental car reimbursement. Reimburse your rental car cost, as long as you have comprehensive or collision coverage and your car is out of service for at least 24 hours.
    • Roadside assistance. Get help 24/7 if you lock your keys in your car, break down, have a flat tire or even need your bicycle towed.
    • Uninsured motorist. Offers coverage if you’re hit by a driver who can’t afford to pay for the damage.

    6 ways to lower your AAA rates

    You can offset the cost of your membership and find ways to save on your monthly premium with a few tips:

    1. Ask which discounts you qualify for and opt into each one available in your state. For example, if you have a clean driving record you may qualify for a good driver discount or if you’re a member of an approved association you could score up to 10% savings.
    2. Consider raising your deductible. The higher the amount you have to pay when you file a claim, the lower your monthly costs. Just be sure you can afford the higher costs if you need to file a claim.
    3. Get rid of optional extras you may not need, like roadside assistance.
    4. Reassess your coverage needs, if the value of your car is close to the amount you pay in annual premiums you may consider dropping your coverage maximums.
    5. Park in a safe place or garage to ensure your car is protected. Cars parked in a garage or carport are generally cheaper to insure than those parked on the street.
    6. Take a defensive drivers course. Completing an approved driver training course could land you easy savings on your AAA coverage. How much you save with this discount depends on where you live. For example, Texans get 3% off their coverage where Californians may get up to 5% off.

    How to find AAA local agents near me

    AAA operates with local offices and agents in most US regions. Find a local agent near you in a few steps.

    1. From your AAA region’s main website, scroll down to the bottom. Click the Locations link.
    2. Select which storefront you need—AAA location or car care—and check the insurance agent option.
    3. Enter your location and hit Go. Click on your preferred local office from the results.
    4. Scroll through the list of local agents nearby. Click View my page for more contact information.
    5. Call the agent or visit the address listed.

    How does AAA bundling work?

    AAA rewards you with a steep discount up to 20% if you bundle car insurance with other policies, higher than most insurance companies.

    Car insurance ratings

    ★★★★★ — Excellent

    ★★★★★ — Good

    ★★★★★ — Average

    ★★★★★ — Subpar

    ★★★★★ — Poor

    Our insurance team analyzes car insurance providers to help you choose the best car insurance for you.

    We rank insurers from one to five stars based on key factors including customer satisfaction, policy options, price, billing, claims, and support. We create these rankings to help you narrow down an insurance provider that best suits your budget and coverage needs.

    Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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