USAA was established in 1922 in San Antonio by a gathering of 25 U.S. Armed force officials as a component for common self-insurance when they couldn’t get accident coverage on account of the insight that they, as military officials, were a high-risk group. USAA has since extended to introduce banking and insurance services to over a wide span of time members of the Armed Forces, officials and enrolled, and their families. The organization positioned No. 100 in the 2018 Fortune 500 rundown of the biggest United States partnerships by total revenue.
What does USAA stand for? The United States Automobile Association (USAA) is a San Antonio-based Fortune 500 expanded monetary services group of organizations including a Texas Department of Insurance-controlled proportional between insurance exchange and auxiliaries offering banking, contributing, and insurance to individuals and families who serve, or served, in the United States Armed Forces. Toward the end of 2017, it had 12.4 million members.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is the USAA?
- 2 USAA eligibility
- 3 What does USAA do?
- 4 Why should you consider joining USAA?
- 5 USAA Auto Insurance
- 6 USAA Homeowners Insurance
- 7 Is USAA insurance really cheaper?
- 8 USAA Auto Insurance Discounts
- 9 USAA Homeowners Insurance Discounts
- 10 Conclusion
What is the USAA?
The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a bank and financial services association that values their conservative approach to deal with loaning and handling their members’ cash. USAA is profoundly effective, nicknamed America’s good bank which is as it should be. USAA serves our nation’s past and present military members including their families with checking and savings services, retirement savings, loans, investing services, insurance, and other advantages.
The United States Automobile Association began when a few military officer friends decided to give each other automobile insurance. Since then, it has grown in members and products, adding loan options, banking services, and other benefits.
A USAA membership is free, and if you are qualified you can sign up and start shopping for products immediately. If you are a member, you can use any and all of the products, services, and benefits provided by USAA. In order to be a full USAA member and to be eligible for family membership benefits as well, you should meet membership eligibility requirements and keep one of the insurance policies from the organization.
People who are not members can buy select products. Investment services, life insurance, and some discount benefits can be accessed by non-members as well. USAA membership is limited and is not available to everyone. Currently, it is open to:
- Adult children of USAA members
- Current military members, including active duty, Guard, Reserve, and Officer Candidates (ROTC, OTS/OCS, and Academy).
- Military veterans and retirees who have served honorably
- Spouses of current and former service members
You may also be eligible if you were once a member of USAA.
Lastly, it is essential to keep in mind that from 2009 to 2013, USAA Banking was available to anyone. Those who already have accounts are grandfathered in and can keep their membership for as long as they maintain their accounts. Nevertheless, access to certain insurance products may be restricted.
USAA is member owned. This means that each USAA member owns a subscriber savings account, which contains cash that USAA holds in the member’s name. In years when USAA collects more in premiums than they pay out, the company actually makes distributions to its members (similar to a dividend). How many insurance companies do you know that would pay you a refund? Not many!
What does USAA do?
USAA is not a corporation, a public trade, a credit union or a nonprofit. Moreover, it is not operated by the Department of Defense (DoD). The members that make up the organization own the company’s assets and get a payout of the organization’s profits. Let us now take a look at the products you can access with your USAA membership.
If you are eligible, banking with USAA is actually going to be your best option out there. From free checking and savings accounts to college banking and developing a credit history, there are various advantages of banking with USAA.
- Competitive credit card rates and rewards programs
- Comprehensive online tools including free credit reports
- Deposit checks with your phone or scanner
- Free checks
- Free checking and savings accounts
- Free overdraft protection
- Free rewards debit card
- Free web bill pay
- Military pay available in advance
- No minimum balance fees
- Zero ATM fees, including refunds up to $15 per month for other bank’s ATM fees
While it is usually a good idea to shop around for rates, USAA remains competitive. Some of your loan options include:
- Car and other vehicle loans
- Home equity loans
- Personal loans
- VA loans
USAA does not provide business loans or business checking.
Investing and Retirement Savings
Through USAA you get the opportunity to work with a salaried financial advisor; which means that your advisor does not make a commission off you. However, they can set you up with investment options like:
- Brokerage accounts
- IRAs and other military retirement savings
- Mutual Funds
Your insurance options are probably one of your greatest benefits as a USAA member. While the company’s name leads people to believe that car insurance is their only priority, they have grown massively over the years, and currently provide insurance options that cover pretty much everything in your life from health insurance to small business insurance. These are the options provided by USAA and some of their benefits:
- Automobile: multi-vehicle discounts, safe-driving rewards and accident forgiveness
- Boat: coverage for accidents, liability, and theft
- Health: competitive coverage for you and your family
- Home: protects your home, belongings, even military uniforms
- Life: protects your family’s financial future
- Motorcycle: includes ATVs, mopeds and scooters
- Pet: options to cover routine and emergency medical expenses
- RV: provides 24/7 roadside assistance, coverage for emergency expenses, and more
- Small business: covers your place of business, your employees, and your belongings
Members have the best insurance premiums and coverage, however, based on your situation, it still pays to shop around.
Special Services and Benefits
If you have ever handled bad customer service, you know it can make or break how you feel about the company no matter what they are offering. USAA constantly gets top customer services rankings and praise. Even their online banking systems are brag-worthy. USAA is known to be an organization that consistently keeps itself updated on advancing technology. It is truly a business built by the people who need it and runs for the people it serves. However, customer service is just one of the special services and advantages that USAA offers its members, others include:
- ADT home security and monitoring discounts
- Car buying discounts on new and used vehicles
- Exclusive discounts on shipping, moving, and storage
- Rental car discounts and savings
- Shopping rewards for hundreds of online stores
- Travel deals including price match and travel insurance
Why should you consider joining USAA?
Majority of the Fortune 500 companies have their own mission statement. A lot of them have utmost faith in their mission statement. Then there are organizations like USAA which embodies its mission statement. Here are some of the things that make USAA different from other companies or makes it worth considering for your financial or insurance requirements:
World-Class Customer Service
USAA has the best customer service out of any bank or financial institution you can name. Many agents and specialists will suggest it to people based on its customer service alone.
USAA has been a pretty creative bank for quite a long time. They offer numerous exceptional services as standard for all accounts. These incorporate free checking and savings accounts with no minimum balance charges, free checks, free rewards debit card, free overdraft insurance, free web bill pay, and more. Likewise, you will find the following extraordinary services as well:
No ATM Fees. This is probably one of the best advantages given by USAA. USAA does not have numerous local offices, so they do not charge fees for members to utilize ATMs and they refund the expenses other banks charge (for the first 10 ATM withdrawals and refunds up to $15 in other banks’ ATM usage fees every month). It is not difficult to keep away from ATM expenses with only a bit of preparation.
Investment Products, Services, and Advice. USAA offers brokerage accounts, Certificates of Deposit (CDs), IRAs, and mutual funds. They likewise offer financial planning guidance through salaried financial consultants (no commission-based pay) to assist you with understanding your investment choices.
Web, Smartphone, tablet, phone, and mail banking. USAA only has a couple of actual locations, however they make it simple to bank online or with a cell phone, tablet, a telephone, or the postal service
Deposit checks from your phone, or your home. You can deposit a check by snapping a picture of it with your cell phone and uploading it to USAA (They have applications for iPhone, Android, Microsoft, and Amazon). You can do exactly the same thing with a scanner from your home. All you need is a home computer and a scanner and you can send in a duplicate of your check for deposit. In the event that that does not work for you, you can mail your checks to USAA with postage paid envelopes USAA gives members for free. The whole process of depositing a check by signing it and snapping a picture with your cell phone was invented by USAA and it also holds the patent. They made this to have the option to be able to better serve the military community, which is usually in distant areas.
Online devices. USAA members have access to online devices to assist them with understanding their alternatives and settle on financial choices. These incorporate free credit scores through USAA, financial health tools, and more.
Industry Leader for Insurance Products
USAA is short for United Services Automobile Association. USAA was first established in 1922 as a vehicle insurance organization when a few Army officials got together to self-insure themselves on the grounds that their demographic was considered too unsafe to even think about insuring! The association eventually grew and developed. What began as an officer’s only insurance exchange extended to incorporate enrolled members, relatives, other insurance items, lastly other financial items and services. As the years progressed, USAA has kept on advancing. They currently offer:
- Auto Insurance
- Homeowners Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Motorcycle, RV & Boat Insurance
- Renters Insurance
- Rental Property Insurance
USAA is quite competitive with its insurance premiums and coverage. However, it is always ideal to shop around. Insurance rates change from one location to another, and other factors also need to be weighed in. It is even possible for insurance rates to differ by moving a few miles across a city or county line. So make sure to always shop around.
USAA Auto Insurance
USAA provides standard coverages, such as liability, comprehensive and collision insurance, that you would generally expect from an auto insurer or that might be needed in your state. When it comes to additional coverage options, USAA has a range of insurance offerings but does not offer anything that you would not likely be able to find with a similar national insurer.
Car Replacement Assistance coverage: This is typically what other insurers might call “new car replacement coverage.” This coverage pays 20% — along with the actual cash value of the vehicle — if your car is completely destroyed. It is not available for leased cars. CRA is only applicable to vehicles that have both comprehensive and collision coverage, and enrolling for CRA could increase your premiums by 5%.
Accident Forgiveness: With Accident Forgiveness, USAA auto insurance clients will not see their rates increment after one at-fault accident. Just like GEICO’s accident forgiveness program, this coverage can either be earned or bought. Eligible drivers who have no at-fault accidents for five years while being insured with USAA will automatically get this benefit. Buying this coverage could cost drivers an extra 4% in their auto insurance premiums.
Rental Reimbursement: If you suffer a covered loss where your car is in need of repair, USAA will pay for a rental vehicle. Unlike other insurers — which let you choose a daily limit and also a limit per claim — USAA allows customers to choose a type of vehicle: Economy, Standard, Multipassenger-Truck or Large SUV. The particular coverage limits for Rental Reimbursement will be clearly highlighted in your insurance policy. According to the quotes we gathered, adding this coverage with an economy rental costs around $60 more per year.
Towing and Labor: If you require roadside assistance, having this coverage will pay for the expenses of towing to the closest mechanic or repair shop, the expenses of gas delivery, a tire change and any work performed where your car broke down. USAA will explicitly state the coverage limits on your individual policy. This coverage will cost an extra $18 on annual auto insurance premiums for each driver profile examined.
Rideshare Gap Protection: This coverage insures rideshare drivers during the times where they may not be covered by their personal auto insurance policy or the coverage given by their rideshare service — for instance, Uber or Lyft.
Glass coverage: Clients looking for full glass coverage — so they will not have to pay for windshield or window repairs themselves — might be disappointed with what USAA offers. Unlike many other insurers, full glass coverage is only automatically included by USAA if you have comprehensive coverage, and that too only in Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts and South Carolina. Nevertheless, USAA customers do have the choice to select full glass coverage — for an extra charge — if they live in Arizona, Connecticut, Minnesota or New York.
USAA Homeowners Insurance
USAA’s home insurance combines incredible rates and top-level services with run of the mill inclusion alternatives, with one exemption — military specific advantages will make its inclusion extra-interesting to individuals on active duty. According to Value Penguin, USAA offered their example property holder rates 35% more affordable than its rivals — a savings of almost $800 each year for a home with $300,000 of dwelling inclusion.
Moreover, USAA homeowners insurance has exemplary customer service with a complaint index of simply 0.15 — this implies that it gets only 15% as many complaints as a regular organization of its size, recommending homeowners will in general be content with the assistance they received. It is among the highest ranked organizations on J.D Power’s homeowners insurance satisfaction survey. In numerous districts, it really got the top score of any home insurance provider, however USAA’s military-only qualification criteria held it back from getting J.D. Force’s award for “best.”
USAA homeowners insurance gives all the inclusion you would anticipate from a top national insurance provider. Past those, USAA offers a couple of unique advantages that numerous safety net providers do not offer.
Military-Specific Benefits: USAA gives various advantages and perks in its homeowners insurance policies that particularly cater to active service members and their families. Where many insurers do not cover their policyholders’ items in warzones, USAA covers your belongings worldwide, even in an active warzone. USAA homeowners insurance policies also provide coverage for your military uniforms and equipment, and you will not have to pay a deductible if those items are damaged on duty.
Identity Theft: All USAA homeowners strategies give up to $5,000 of coverage for losses related to identity theft. USAA also offers identity protection services, and the least-expensive level of ID protection given is free for USAA customers.
Full Replacement Cost to Home and Belongings: USAA homeowners strategies always pay for the full replacement expense of your home and belongings. For instance, if you purchase a laptop for $1,000 and it is stolen after you have had it for two years, USAA will pay you $1,000 to replace it, even if the laptop had only been worth $500 at the time of theft. Some insurers only provide the actual cash value (ACV) or charge extra for replacement cost coverage.
Landlord Coverage: USAA provides coverage for landlords leasing out their homes, whether the properties are long-term investments or you are moving but not prepared to sell. USAA provides coverage that protects you against liability claims and everyday insurance perils like fire or weather damage. Moreover, you will be compensated for lost income if your property is damaged from a covered loss.
Is USAA insurance really cheaper?
When comparing quotes from various auto insurers you can see that USAA’s rates are well below the average for pretty much every driver profile. The exemption is for the quotes for families with various drivers. For these statements, USAA’s yearly expenses are 11% over the average across all guarantors. Value Penguin’s examination uncovered that for drivers who have a recent accident on their records, USAA’s rates were 12% below the average. These profiles included drivers who have included an at-fault mishap within the previous five years. USAA’s costs were particularly useful for the 18-and 60-year-olds with accidents, at 29% beneath the average, as per the quotes inspected by Value Penguin. USAA home insurance is also extremely affordable. Across four inclusion price points, USAA offers a common savings of 35% over an average organization, bringing about savings of as much as $991. Rates from Allstate Insurance are competitive with USAA. Its rates were a couple of dollars more costly than USAA’s for Value Penguin’s example property in Texas.
USAA Auto Insurance Discounts
When it comes to discounts, USAA’s offers are generally pretty similar to what might be available to you with other insurers. USAA provides multi policy discounts, multi vehicle discounts, along with discounts for vehicle equipment — such as anti-theft devices and daytime running lights. These discounts can change depending on your driving history and location. The following is a list of available auto insurance discounts and their details
- Annual Mileage: USAA will give you a discounted rate based on how many miles you drive in a year. This discount is only present to drivers over the age of 29.
- Automatic Payments: Scheduling automatic payments can save drivers up to 3% with USAA.
- Defensive Driving Course: Taking an approved defensive driving course can save you on your USAA auto insurance premiums.
- Driver Training Course: Completing a drivers education course — before turning 21 — can get a driver a discount on their car insurance.
- Family Discount: Having a family member who is also insured with USAA qualifies you for a discount.
- Good Student: Full-time students who have a GPA of at least 3.0 are eligible to receive a discount. Drivers are also able to qualify if they are in the upper 20% of their class academically or by being on their schools’ scholastic achievement list — such as honor roll or dean’s list.
- Military Installation: If you garage your vehicle on a military base, you can get a discount on the comprehensive coverage part of your premium of up to 15%.
- New Vehicle: Insuring a vehicle with USAA that is less than 3 years old makes you eligible for a discount on your auto insurance premiums.
- Premier Driver Discount: Having a good driving record for over five years qualifies you for this discount. Additionally, you also qualify for accident forgiveness, which was mentioned previously.
- USAA’s Discount for Driving Research: Eligible drivers can sign up and receive devices that they plug into ports on their cars. From there, all they have to do is drive normally — and help USAA with driving research. USAA will gather the data via the devices and send periodic email surveys. Signing up for this program gives drivers a 5% auto insurance discount.
USAA Homeowners Insurance Discounts
USAA does not offer much in the way of extra discounts to its homeowners insurance clients. Clients can save 10% on their yearly premiums in the event that they have been claim-free for five years on their homeowners or renters insurance strategy, and they can save up to 10% for bundling home and accident coverage together. USAA additionally gives discounts to outfitting your home with certain safety highlights, like a centrally monitored home security system or alarm, or a functioning sprinkler system. In any case, USAA’s expenses are commonly low enough that you will probably find a great cost on homeowners insurance even without a great deal of additional reductions.
USAA gives quality client support that is better than most of its rivals. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) revealed USAA as having less client complaints — as compared to the size of the organization — than the industry median. Additionally, USAA ranked incredibly well for its claims satisfaction, getting the highest conceivable score in J.D. Power’s 2017 Claims Satisfaction Study. Individuals with USAA insurance do not have to stress over whether the insurance organization will have the assets to pay out for a claim. USAA got good marks for its financial strength from AM Best Rating Services. A good rating here infers that the organization will presumably have the assets to pay out for the resources they protect.