USAA car insurance review 2021
Get top-tier customer service, but not everyone qualifies for a policy or its bottom-dollar rates.
finder.com's rating: 5 / 5
- Get a quote if you want the best rates and customer service.
- Pick something else if you’re not affiliated with the military.
- Veterans and military members can make the best use of perks.
New car protection
|States served||All 50 states|
|New car protection||No|
|Pay schedule||12 months, 6 months, custom|
|Claims methods||Online, Phone|
- Save when you bundle your home and car insurance
- Driver & vehicle discounts
- 24/7 claims service through USAA’s free mobile app
- Membership savings
- Get dividends from company profits
- Flexible premium payments
- Limited to current and former members of the US military and their families only
- Online only support
|Anti-theft device discount||Yes|
|Defensive driving discount||Yes|
|Good student discount||Yes|
|Loyalty discount||Yes, up to 10%|
|Safety device discount||Yes|
|Special employment discount||Yes|
Roslyn McKenna is an insurance expert who's driven to help people get a great deal on insurance to protect their families and finances. Roslyn earned a BA in writing and communications from Maryville College and has written professionally for more than a decade, showing up on Bankrate, MSN and Reader's Digest.
Military members and their families can get some of the highest-rated customer service in the industry. And you don’t need to have served in the military, though you need a connection with a family member in the military.
We like seeing USAA’s consistently high ratings for customer satisfaction, and customers praise its cheap rates and claims support. We also like that USAA offers help to those in the military, including flexible payment plans and discounts for storing your car.
Like any major company, we have seen negative customer reviews citing issues with claims or billing — but it’s balanced with a healthy complaint score and high business ratings.
Another plus: our research shows that USAA offers some of the cheapest rates around for safe drivers. However, not everyone will qualify for a policy, and while online account management is great, the online quoting process is long. If you qualify, it’s worth a quote to potentially save hundreds of dollars a year.
USAA monthly car insurance quotes
We got USAA quotes for state minimum coverage for a man and woman in the two most populated states, and we’ve found that these are some of the cheapest rates you can find, especially for younger drivers.
Since rates are based on how much you drive, chosen coverage and other risk factors, not everyone sees savings. So shop around to find the best value and coverage.
|18 year old man||$91||$98|
|18 year old woman||$79||$94|
|25 year old man||$41||$65|
|25 year old woman||$43||$64|
|35 year old man||$30||$38|
|35 year old woman||$31||$39|
|45 year old man||$29||$37|
|45 year old woman||$35||$38|
|55 year old man||$34||$33|
|55 year old woman||$34||$34|
How to get a free quote for USAA car insurance
To enroll in USAA auto insurance, you first need to join as a USAA member. Joining and setting up your account takes a few extra steps than normal for a car insurance quote.
- Start by determining your eligibility for a USAA membership.
- Once you’ve joined USAA, log in and follow the steps to set up your online account.
- Log in, enter personal information and details about your car, drivers and record. Get your free quote.
- Read the details of your quote and then sign up to get coverage that starts today.
What info do I need to apply?
You’ll enter basic contact information about yourself, and you’ll need the personal information of whichever family member was in the military, including their Social Security number.
- Your birthdate and contact info
- Social Security number (SSN)
- Information about you or your family member’s military service, such as a military number or SSN
- Your passport or permanent resident card if you’re not a US citizen
What discounts can I get with USAA?
USAA’s discounts reflect its understanding of the unique needs of military members and their families. That includes its car storage discount that can cut your premium by over half.
- Accident forgiveness. After five years of no accidents, your premium won’t go up after one at-fault accident.
- Bundling. Get an auto insurance policy to save 10% off your USAA home or renters insurance.
- Defensive driving. Improve your driving skills and take an approved course to lower rates.
- Driver training. Drivers under age 21 can lower rates by completing a basic driver training course.
- Family loyalty. If you’re under 25 and buying your own policy after being on your parents’ USAA policy for three years, you could save up to 10%.
- Good student. Get discounted rates for maintaining good grades as a student.
- Length of membership. Save based on how long you stay with USAA.
- Low mileage. If you’re deployed and don’t use your car, you’ll save due to lower annual mileage.
- Military installation. Save up to 15% on comprehensive coverage when you store your car on a military base.
- Multivehicle. Receive a discount when you extend your coverage to two or more vehicles.
- New vehicle. Reduced premiums on vehicles that are less than three years old.
- Safe driver. Receive a discount for maintaining a clean driving record for three years.
- Telematics. USAA’s SafePilot program offers a 10% discount just for signing up and 30% for driving safely. Available in Arizona, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia as of March 2021.
- Vehicle storage. Save 60% when you securely store your car during long periods of no driving.
What car insurance coverage does USAA offer?
You can get a variety of coverage to meet basic or unique needs like rideshare or nonowner insurance.
- Bodily injury liability. Protects you if you injure someone with your car, but it doesn’t cover damage to you or your car.
- Collision. Pays for damage to your car when it hits or is hit by another car.
- Comprehensive. Covers you for damages other than a collision, like vandalism, weather or theft.
- Emergency roadside service. Helps if you break down and you need roadside repairs.
- Personal injury protection. Pays medical expenses for other injured drivers or passengers.
- Property damage liability. Protects you if your car damages someone else’s property.
- Rental reimbursement. Covers the cost of a rental car while your car is being repaired.
- Rideshare coverage. If you drive for a company like Uber or Lyft, you can get coverage with USAA to cover you between rides.
- SR-22. A certificate of insurance for users who have DUI or uninsured driving convictions.
- Temporary or nonowner insurance. Temporary liability coverage for rented or borrowed cars in the US, including for personal leave or temporary military assignment.
- Uninsured motorist. Covers your car damage or injuries caused by an uninsured driver.
What extra benefits and add-ons does USAA offer?
USAA supplements its coverage with programs that offer extra support for the military or member rewards similar to AAA — but without paying for a membership.
- Car buying support. USAA’s Overseas Vehicle Purchase Program helps military members get a car when stationed overseas for over 30 days, with car discounts and delivery to duty stations.
- Online account. USAA’s convenient online tool lets you file a claim, pay bills and request ID cards.
- Member rewards. Earn member rewards and discounts similar to an AAA membership, without needing USAA car insurance.
- Flexible payments. Set up payments based on when you get paid, which may not fall on a typical schedule especially if you’re in the military.
USAA car insurance reviews and complaints
USAA is the highest-ranking auto insurance company for customer satisfaction in the 2020 J.D. Power auto insurance study. The company also holds an A rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for customer interactions as of April 2021, though it’s not BBB accredited.
Plus, USAA holds a 0.98 score from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index for private passenger car insurance. This rating is right at the national score of 1.00, showing that USAA receives about the average number of complaints for its business size.
However, Trustpilot and BBB customer reviews trend negative, though reviews cover USAA car insurance, banking and mortgages. On the car insurance side, customers complain about problems with getting claims resolved, getting in touch with customer service, billing or technical issues. Keep in mind that it’s common for major brands to see negative reviews, and many customers only give feedback when they have a negative experience.
Customers reviewing on forums generally are satisfied with USAA’s cheap prices, claims and customer service. And comparison sites like NerdWallet and WalletHub agree that those who qualify should get a quote.
USAA customer reviews
USAA review: Adrienne’s experience
Head of Publishing
I’ve been a USAA member for more than 10 years, having held renters, personal property and auto insurance policies. USAA representatives are always friendly and available with little or no wait times when I call, though customer service is not open late.
I brought my policy to a friend who runs a local insurance agency to see if I could get a better deal. He told me, “Don’t bother — I won’t be able to get you this coverage for a better price.”
I’ve gotten two mortgage preapprovals through USAA, but didn’t end up using them because the rates weren’t as low as going through a broker.
At least as far as insurance goes, I fall into their tagline: It’s safe to say that I’ll be a USAA member for life.
USAA review: Roslyn’s experience
I applied for a quote with USAA when my policy was up for renewal. The quote process to become a member is quite lengthy, so be prepared with info on your military connection, such as a Social Security Number and details about your or your family member’s service. Also note that your family member will get an email or call to notify them that you’ve set up a membership.
After going through the entire process and getting a car insurance quote, unfortunately the rates I was quoted were roughly 30% higher than my current policy.
I know USAA is well known for having the best service, but I decided to stick with Geico because I like the online account management and cheap rates.
However, now that I’m a member, I can use my USAA membership to get other insurance quotes and get discounts unrelated to car insurance.
Compare USAA to other companies
Interested to see how USAA compares to other top-rated insurers? Check the compare box for up to four companies to see how they stack up side by side.
Why did USAA make the best picks list?
Our editorial team grades every insurance company in four categories: coverage options, customer satisfaction, cost and financial strength. USAA scored the highest marks in customer satisfaction, according to the BBB and J.D. Power.
USAA also provides some of the cheapest rates available for coverage and discounts that fit many drivers’ needs. It includes unique military perks like support for buying a car overseas, discounts for storing your car on base and customized payment plans.
In our editorial opinion from comparing hundreds of car insurers, the only reason not to get a USAA quote is that you don’t qualify for membership. Otherwise, you could save hundreds of dollars each year and enjoy top customer service.
Who qualifies for USAA car insurance?
You don’t need to be in the military to qualify for USAA car insurance, but you need a connection with the military. You qualify if you’ve been in the military or are in military training, or if your parent or spouse has ever had USAA car insurance.
You qualify if you meet one of these criteria:
- Current US military members. Those currently serving in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, Navy or Reserves.
- Veterans. People who have retired or left the military with an honorable discharge.
- Spouses. Those with spouses that had USAA car or property insurance while married. Applies to those who are widowed or divorced and not remarried.
- Family of military. Current spouses and people whose parents have ever had USAA auto or property insurance.
- Military students. Cadets at US academies, students in advanced ROTC or on ROTC scholarship and officer candidates within two years of commissioning.
Does USAA have insurance agents?
USAA doesn’t sell insurance through local agents, but some specialty products like motorcycle or commercial auto insurance are sold through third-party companies. If you don’t live near a branch location, contact a representative by phone at 800-531-8722.
USAA insurance locations
USAA has four branch locations nationwide. If you’re near one of these locations, you can meet with a representative about your insurance or financial needs. Contact or visit a location at:
|Phoenix, Arizona||800-531-8722||1 Norterra Drive|
Phoenix, AZ 85085
|Annapolis, Maryland||410-919-9197||125 Prince George St|
Annapolis, MD 21401
|Colorado Springs, Colorado||719-244-9041||1855 Telstar Drive|
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
|Highland Falls, New York||845-839-7021||529 Main Street|
Highland Falls, NY 10928
|San Antonio, Texas||210-301-9947||10750 McDermott Fwy|
San Antonio, TX 78288
How does USAA bundling work?
USAA offers standard options for bundling car and property insurance together. And taking advantage can turn into savings of 10% off your total premiums. You can bundle these policies with car insurance to save:
- Small business
- Rental property or landlord
- Dental or vision
Pros and cons of USAA car insurance
- Long list of discounts. Get discounts for safe drivers, good students, safe cars and more.
- 24/7 claims service. Report or check on your claim through USAA’s free mobile app.
- Membership savings. Enjoy extra discounts for being a USAA member.
- Flexible payments. Pay premiums yearly, monthly or on your military pay schedule.
- Limited membership. USAA is only available to current and former members of the US military and their families.
- No local support. Account adjustments can only be handled online or by phone.
Alternatives to USAA
Frequently asked questions about USAA car insurance
Car insurance ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
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