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USAA Auto Insurance Review

By: Kelly Burgess on June 26, 2017

Bottom Line

USAA car insurance has the highest customer satisfaction of any other auto insurance company, but there's a catch -- it's open only to active military personnel, veterans and their families.

Pros

  • Smooth claims process
  • Helpful customer service
  • Strong financial ratings
  • Wide variety of plans, discounts

Cons

  • Local agents aren't an option
  • Open only to military families
Our Analysis
Specs

Breaking it down

Claims

Good reviews for fair appraisals and settlements. USAA scores well in customer surveys of satisfaction with claims, getting particularly high marks for appraisals, the repair process, settlements and rental car coverage; its lowest ratings come in the area of interaction with representatives during claims. Though USAA maintains a list of approved repair shops for which they guarantee a high standard of work, customers may also select their own facility. USAA does not require the use of parts made by the vehicle's original manufacturer, and some claim that replacement parts might not be of the same quality. Rental-car reimbursement coverage is available, and the company will pay for tow trucks for customers who have physical damage coverage or towing and labor coverage. USAA is membership-based, and members will get rebates during years when claim volume is low.

Policies

No sudden rate hikes. Most USAA customers say they're satisfied with their premiums, and few report the sudden rate hikes that seem to plague many other companies. There are a variety of discounts, including lower rates for safe drivers, good students, customer loyalty, multiple policies and newer vehicles. The company is rated highly for speedy service, purchase experience and a wide range of flexible plans, but some customers wish agents were available in person -- USAA conducts business online and over the phone only. Policyholders may report claims 24 hours a day.

Our Sources

Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated

Twenty-four national and regional auto insurers are rated and ranked by the editors of ConsumerReports.org. Ratings are based on consumer surveys that focus on satisfaction with speed of service, the claims process, estimates and premiums.

Editors of Insure.com, Not Dated

USAA is one of the top-rated car insurance companies in this roundup, which is based upon customer surveys. The company receives a total score of 97.2; 97 percent would renew, 92 percent would recommend USAA to a friend.

Alex Glenn, May 1, 2017

Alex Glenn names USAA the best cheap auto insurance for those with military ties. He also notes that, in addition to having good rates upfront, there are other paths to even more discounts.

Editors of Reviews.com, Jan. 22, 2017

USAA ranks number three overall, after a review of 41 insurance companies. What keeps it out of the top spot is that it is limited to military families. However, editors name it the best option for those in the military.

Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, Oct. 25, 2016

USAA is the highest rated auto insurance company in this survey with an overall score of 895. However, it's listed separately because it's only open to military families. It receives 5 circles out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction.

Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, May 1, 2017

USAA receives an overall score of 895 out of a possible 1,000 for overall purchase experience in J.D. Power and Associates' auto insurance shopping study. However, while it is the highest-rated company, since it is available only to military families it is not officially included in the ratings.

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