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USAA

Reviewed
June 2013
by ConsumerSearch
USAA

Best home insurance for military families

Pros
  • Smooth claims process
  • Well-reviewed customer service
  • Wide variety of plans
Cons
  • Lacks local agents
  • Limited discounts
  • Open only to military families

Bottom Line

It's common to see USAA at or near the top of national homeowners insurance customer satisfaction surveys, and policyholders say that's for good reason: The company has a reputation for providing good customer service and a smooth claims process. However, policies are available only for military members, veterans and their families. Also, some homeowners might find discounts a bit lacking, and local agents aren't an option.

Claims

No-fuss claims for military families. USAA routinely gets top marks in nationwide surveys for its fair damage estimates and timely payments after a home insurance claim. Customers are also satisfied with the settlement and repair processes, too. However, as with most insurers, a handful of customers complain that they had problems getting claims paid. Coverage is available nationwide, but expert reviewers note that USAA membership is strictly limited to active-duty military personnel, veterans, and certain family members.

Policies

Good service, but limited discounts. Customers say they are highly satisfied with USAA's customer service in nationwide surveys. While policyholders are satisfied with flexible plan and payment options, experts say available discounts are a bit more limited than those offered by competing companies -- for example, there are no price breaks for new homeowners or new construction. Instead of using local agents, the company does business directly with customers over the phone or online. Policyholders can talk to an agent 24 hours a day, but USAA's claims center is not available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

The staff of ConsumerReports.org rates 15 major home insurers. The ratings are reliable and unbiased, and are based on customer surveys that focus on satisfaction with the company's estimate of damages, agent availability and speed of payment. However, unlike other products, there are no in-depth reviews of the insurers.

Review: HomeownersCar Insurance Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated

2. J.D. Power & Associates

USAA receives a perfect score for overall customer satisfaction in these nationwide homeowners insurance rankings. It receives a top rating for all other categories: policy offerings, pricing, billing and payment, and contacting the insurer.

Review: 2012 U.S. National Homeowners Insurance Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, Sept. 27, 2012

3. J.D. Power & Associates

USAA receives a perfect score for overall customer satisfaction in these nationwide homeowners insurance claim rankings. It receives the same rating for first notice of loss and settlement. It receives 4 out of 5 for service interaction, estimation process and repair process.

Review: 2013 Property Claims Satisfaction Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, April 1, 2013

4. Reviews.com

USAA earns 4 out of 5 stars in rankings of major home insurers, earning praise for its wide range of coverage options and add-ons. However, editors say the downside is USAA's strict military-only and military-family membership. They also say USAA's discounts are a bit more limited and the claims center is not available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Review: USAA Review, Editors of Reviews.com, Updated June 19, 2013

5. Insure.com

USAA earns a People's Choice award for top customer-service rankings by customers and is the top-rated company in these rankings. The company receives 5 out of 5 stars overall as well as for claims processing and customer service. It receives 4.5 stars for value. Ninety-eight percent of customers say they will renew their policies.

Review: Best Insurance Companies: Customer Satisfaction Ratings for 2013, Editors of Insure.com, Not dated

6. Viewpoints.com

USAA earns 88 out of 100 points in about 400 reviews and is the top home-insurance company. The company also receives 4 out of 5 for customer service and available plans. However, ratings also include auto and life insurance. While most reviewers praise the company for its customer service, some customers say they had poor experiences with communication and claims.

Review: USAA Insurance Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of June 2013

7. Epinions.com

USAA earns 2.5 out of 5 stars in nearly 60 reviews. Many reviewers praise customer service, citing helpful representatives and prompt responses. They also like the range of services and say rates are good. However, others say they've had poor experiences with getting claims paid and wish agents were available in person.

Review: USAA Group - Home, Contributors to Epinions.com, As of June 2013

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