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USAA vs. Direct Auto: Which insurer is better?

USAA caters to military members and their families, while Direct Auto caters to high-risk drivers.

Our top pick: USAA

  • USAA won Finder's best pick for military drivers 3 years in a row
  • Some of the lowest rates and highest customer satisfaction
  • Geared for military, including overseas car-buying support and flexible payments
  • 24/7 online policy management from bills to claims
  • Earn dividends from company profits
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USAA is dedicated to serving our military and their family members. It has been providing insurance since 1922, and has an excellent reputation for customer service. This reputation earns USAA an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and an unheard of 5 out of 5 rating from J.D. Power.

Conversely, Direct Auto has only been around since 1991 and gets consistently poor reviews from consumers, earning an F from the BBB. However, it provides insurance for high-risk drivers. If you fall into this category, you might be having a hard time finding a provider that will cover you. If that’s the case, Direct Auto might be an option.

USAA is a clear winner for its cheap rates and stellar customer service ratings. But if you don’t qualify for USAA or need high-risk car insurance Direct Auto may be a suitable option.

USAA

Direct

OVERVIEW

OVERVIEW
About the provider
About the brand Affordable car insurance with highly rated customer service. Only available to military members and veterans and their family. Qualify for car insurance stacked with multiple discounts, whether or not you have a spotty driving record.
States served
States served All 50 states & DC
AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, MO, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA

COVERAGE

COVERAGE
Roadside assistance
Roadside assistance Optional Optional
New car protection
New car protection Yes No
Accident forgiveness
Accident forgiveness Yes No
Rideshare coverage
Rideshare coverage Yes No
SR-22 insurance
SR-22 insurance Yes Yes
Claims methods
Claims methods Online
Phone
phone
Payment schedule
Payment schedule 12 months
6 months
custom
monthly
custom

DISCOUNTS

DISCOUNTS
Anti-theft device discount
Anti theft device discount Yes Yes, up to 10%
Bundling discount
Bundling discount Yes Yes, up to 10%
Home owner discount
Home owner discount Yes Yes, up to 15%
Military discount
Military discount Yes Yes, up to 25%
Multi car discount
Multi car discount Yes Yes
Paid in full discount
Paid in full discount Yes Yes
Safety device discount
Safety device discount Yes Yes
Safe driver discount
Safe driver discount Yes Yes, up to 10%
Special employment discount
Special employment discount Yes No
Student discount
Student discount Yes Yes, up to 10%
Usage based discount
Usage based discount Yes No
Learn more
Learn more

Bottom line

USAA’s A+ rating from the BBB and their diverse discounts make this insurer the clear winner. However, they only offer insurance to the military and their family members. If you don’t qualify for insurance through USAA and you are a high-risk driver, you might want to consider Direct Auto, but only if you live in one of the 13 states it services.

Compare your car insurance options to find the best insurance company for you.

Compare alternatives to USAA and Direct Auto

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.
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.
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.
Savvy
Optional
Depends on provider
Yes
All states & DC
Get quotes in 30-seconds from 100+ companies, and save an average of $800 or more per year. Requires online login to your existing insurance.
Liberty Mutual
Optional
30%
All 50 states & DC
Earn free accident forgiveness after five years claims-free and customize your policy anytime online at the tap of a button.
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