USAA life insurance review 2019 |

USAA life insurance review

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Find specialized policies to suit your military family’s specific needs — without your typical exclusions.

Shopping for life insurance is an important part of a sound financial strategy. But if your career is serving your country, you could bump into roadblocks that exclude coverage for the very situations that are part and parcel of your heroic military work.

Founded in 1922 to support members of the military and their families, USAA solves the problems of war exclusion clauses, offering life insurance designed specifically for your needs.

Minimum coverage$100,000
Terms available10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years for term life insurance
Payment methodsDirect billing, credit or debit card
Medical exam requiredYes, if you are currently enrolled in the military and deployed or less than 90 days away from deployment
Temporary underwriting coverageN/A


  • Top medical exam policy.
  • Helpful website.
  • Available to nonmilary members.


  • Limited product options for nonmilitary.
  • Unclear product details.
  • Can be expensive.
As of this writing, USAA earns a 3.8 out of 5 from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which weighs reviews against its own internal rating system that also considers longevity and business practices, among other elements.Of the 300 customer reviews on the BBB’s site are more than 270 negative reviews that cite troubles with account security, communication and payments. Keep in mind that reviews cover all products USAA offers, not only life insurance.

Positive reviews focus on solid customer support and competitive rates. And despite the negative reviews on its site, the BBB gives USAA a glowing A+ rating overall.

Life insurance is a substantial investment, often requiring decades of contributions to provide financial security for you and your family. And so it’s reasonable to expect that your provider has the capacity to pay its claims.Three major ratings agencies work to highlight a provider’s financial strength. Here’s how USAA rates with each:

A.M. BestA++ Superior — the highest of 16 possible ratings
Moody’sAa1 Excellent — the second highest of 21 possible ratings
S&PAA+ Very Strong — the second highest of 21 possible ratings

With USAA’s longevity and strong ratings, you can rest easy knowing it’ll be around for many years to come.

What is USAA known for?

Originally founded by a group of U.S. Army officers to help military members get car insurance coverage, USAA is best known for its commitment to protecting its members and their families.

USAA offers a wide selection of financial products that range from mortgages and credit cards to auto and life insurance without the barriers that other providers might put up for this high-risk career.

Its products are designed to suit the financial situations of active and former military members driven by unique underwriting niches and tailored coverage.


  • Top medical exam policy. Deployed members can fast-track applications without the need for medical exams, and those converting from a military to civilian policy can avoid submitting to a medical exam as well.
  • Helpful website. USAA’s website offers a variety of helpful information to educate and guide customers through the process of buying life insurance.
  • Solid coverage for those who serve. Policies are designed to fit the needs of those who serve our country.
  • Available to nonmilary members. Life insurance is one of the only products that USAA will offer to nonmilitary members.


  • Limited options for nonmilitary. Most of USAA’s products are open to former or active members of the military only.
  • Unclear product details. While its site is informative, USAA doesn’t offer immediate details for its policies, riders or features.
  • Can be expensive. Despite affordable term life insurance policies, USAA’s whole and universal life insurance policies might be more costly than competitors — if they’ll even cover you.

Life insurance companies like USAA

Name Product Issue Ages Coverage Range Medical Exam Required
18 - 85 years old
$10,000 to $10,000,000+
Depends on provider and policy
Compare quotes from 16 life insurance companies side by side.
18 - 75 years old
$100,000 to $5,000,000
Depends on provider and policy
Apply for a simple instant-decision policy free of charge. Compare quotes from multiple A-rated carriers.
21 - 54 years old
$50,000 to $1,000,000
Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.
Navy Mutual
Navy Mutual
18 to 85 years old
$10,000 to $1,000,000
20 to 60 years old
$100,000 to $8,000,000
Term life insurance with no policy fees and the freedom to cancel anytime. Simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.
18 - 80 years old
$50,000 to $25,000,000
Depends on provider and policy
Get a quote within minutes from more than a dozen insurers.
20 - 80 years old
$25,000 to $10,000,000
Quickly get a quote for coverage with this marketplace, which compares term life insurance policies from 45+ carriers.
18 - 75 years old
$25,000 to $10,000,000
Yes, for policies over $1 million
Term life insurance with no medical exams for $1 million of coverage or less. Online application gets you a decision in 10 minutes.

Compare up to 4 providers

What life insurance coverage does USAA offer?

While many providers shy away from insuring members of the military, USAA focuses on life insurance policies designed for members of the military and their families

Whether you’re looking for temporary coverage while deployed or extra help for retirement, a strong lineup of term, whole and universal life insurance policies should suit your needs.

Term life insurance

Among the most affordable options USAA offers, term life insurance provides a fixed amount of coverage over a specified term of 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years.

Starting at an advertised $14.51 a month for a 20-year best-class policy, payments and coverage remain consistent over your term. And you can opt for additional coverage while deployed and a guaranteed Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) replacement after you leave service.

  • Term Life. Coverage during war and increased coverage for major life events, convertible to a permanent policy.
  • Term Life for Military. Increased coverage for major life events, severe injury benefits and guaranteed SGLI replacement.

Whole life insurance

USAA’s whole life insurance is its most simple type of insurance, offering lifetime coverage to protect your family when you’re no longer able to provide for them. Coverage and costs start at $84.57 a month for a 20-year best-class policy, remaining the same over the life of your policy that’s active as long as you continue paying your premiums.

Flexible payment options allow you to choose paying premiums for 20 years, until you’re age 65 or for the life of the policy. This option is more expensive than term life, but your policy’s cash value grows over time, potentially providing a bigger payout to beneficiaries.

Universal life insurance

The most versatile option, universal life insurance provides adjustable options to incorporate the policy into your overall financial plan. Costs are similar to whole life insurance, starting at $73.89 a month for a 20-year best-class policy. But you can adjust premium amounts and payment schedules to fit your goals.

Like with whole life insurance, your cash value grows over time. But the growth potential is influenced by your allocation of premiums. You’re provided more control of your money with the option of borrowing from your policy’s cash value, if you need it.

What’s not covered in my policy?

USAA’s comprehensive life insurance policies are designed specifically for members of the military, typically providing coverage beyond what other insurers offer.

But because no policy can fit your exact needs, you might want to tailor your coverage with any number of riders available to USAA members:

  • Term life event option. Provides the option to increase coverage by $100,000 without additional underwriting after a marriage, birth, home purchase and other life events.
  • Child, family and spouse riders. Insures your loved ones on your policy to avoid separate plans.
  • Military severe injury benefit. Provides a $25,000 payout if you’re severely injured on duty.
  • Simplified whole life. Request additional whole life insurance up to six times after certain events.
  • Waiver of premium. Waives premiums if you’re disabled and unable to work.
  • Accelerated death benefit. Provides an early payout if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Accidental death benefit. Provides an additional payout if you die as the result of an accident.

Talk with a USAA life insurance rep to learn more about other riders that can cover what life throws your way.

How can I get the best life insurance rates at USAA?

It’s tough to estimate life insurance rates, what with the variables that go into underwriting. In short, the best way to get the lowest life insurance rates is to live the healthiest lifestyle you’re able to.

General health and lifestyle guidelines for premium rates include:

  • No or limited tobacco use within the past two to three years.
  • No deaths in the family from cancer or heart disease.
  • No alcohol or substance abuse in the past five years.
  • Overall cholesterol level below 240 with a 6.0 HDL ratio.
  • Blood pressure level of 140/90 or better.
  • A driving record free of DWIs, DUIs, suspensions and other convictions in past five years.

How do I file a life insurance claim with USAA?

USAA’s policies give you access to an online system through which you can manage your account, file a claim and more.

Start the process of filing a life insurance claim with USAA by logging in to your account. You’ll need information that includes:

  • The USAA policy number
  • Social Security numbers for the decedent and beneficiaries
  • Official life event certificates to confirm marriages, births and divorce, if applicable
  • Military discharge and VA claim numbers, if applicable
  • Signatures for all parties

You’ll also need to submit a copy of the death certificate from your funeral director or county health department soon after filing your claim.

What other services does USAA offer?

USAA is one of the largest providers for members of the military, offering a wide selection of financial products that include:

  • Annuities
  • Health insurance
  • Auto insurance
  • Bank accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Mutual funds
  • Retirement planning
  • Mortgages

Bottom line

For military members and the families who love them, USAA offers competitive rates on flexible life insurance policies designed with your lifestyle and needs in mind.

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