7 things to know about USAA auto insurance

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If you’re looking for a new auto insurer who gets high marks for customer service, you may want to give USAA auto insurance a look.

USAA routinely wins praise from many popular consumer tallies of the insurance industry.

Here’s what you need to know about USAA auto insurance

Money expert Clark Howard lists USAA as one of his top three favorite picks for car insurance in his guide to the best and worst auto insurance companies.

Furthermore, the company was named the top pick for auto insurance in every single region of the country, according to the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Auto Insurance Study.

Meanwhile, the Temkin Group — a customer experience research firm — has given USAA the highest score for customer service for five years and counting. Ditto for the online experience, where Temkin has named USAA to the top spot for four years.

But here’s something to note right off the bat: While USAA can be a great option for affordable coverage, the insurer is only geared to one segment of the population.

In this article, we’ll take a look at who is eligible for USAA auto insurance, what discounts are available to customers and more info you’ll want to know before you switch your coverage.

USAA auto insurance guide: Table of contents

1. Who is eligible for USAA auto insurance?

USAA is a diversified financial services company with offerings that include banking, investing and insurance.

Yet here’s the key thing to know about USAA: The services it offers are only available to those in the military or who are affiliated with the military through direct family ties.

Membership is open to:

  • Currently serving – Those who are currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, National Guard and Reserves.
  • Former Military – Honorably discharged former members of the U.S. military who have retired or separated from the service.
  • Family – Widows, widowers and un-remarried former spouses of USAA members who had USAA auto or property insurance while married, along with individuals whose parents have or had USAA auto or property insurance.
  • Cadets or midshipmen – Those at U.S. service academies, in advance ROTC or on ROTC scholarship, plus officer candidates within 24 months of commissioning.

So, that may eliminate USAA from consideration for a lot of people. If that’s the case for you, be sure to check out our list of the best and worst auto insurers.

2. What kind of discounts are available from USAA auto insurance? 

Like many insurers, USAA auto insurance offers a wide array of savings and discounts.

  • Safe driver discount (aka Premier Driver Discount) – Requires a clean driving record for more than five years. Not available in Hawaii.
  • Defensive driving discount – Available upon taking an approved course. Void if driver has any accidents or convictions in the past three years.
  • Driver training discount – Available to drivers who are under 21 who take a basic driver training course. Void in Hawaii, North Carolina and New York.
  • Good student discount – Applies to those who maintain good grades. Void in Hawaii, North Carolina and New York.
  • New vehicle discount – Available if your ride is less than three years old. Void in New York.
  • Multi-vehicle discount – Extends your coverage to two or more vehicles.
  • Annual mileage discount – Drivers over the age of 29 can get a price break based on the number of miles driven in a year. Not available in Hawaii and North Carolina.
  • Vehicle storage discount – Offers premium savings of up to 60% off if you’re deployed and store your vehicle in a secure location. Not available in Hawaii, North Carolina and Virginia.
  • Family discount – Up to a 10% discount for former dependents under the age of 25 with clean driving records who were insured on their parents’ or guardians’ policy for a minimum of three years.
  • Military installation discount – Get up to 15% savings on comprehensive coverage when you garage your vehicle on base. Not available in New York. In California, this discount also applies to collision coverage.

3. How much does USAA auto insurance cost?

According to the latest numbers available, you should expect to save several hundred dollars if you make the switch to USAA.

As USAA notes on its website, “New customers that switched to USAA…reported average annual savings of $707 based on [a] countrywide survey from 11/1/2015-10/31/2016.”

Of course, all insurance companies say you’ll save money when you switch to them. That’s why Clark Howard says you should always be sure to comparison shop several insurers at once when you’re looking to change policies.

One word of warning when you do start shopping: Don’t fall for the lure abnormally low premiums.

“Sometimes you’re better off paying a little more to be with a quality insurer who will be there when the chips are down,” Clark says.

As mentioned earlier, Clark has routinely recommended USAA along with two other insurers for offering exemplary customer service.

If you’ve had a great experience with USAA auto insurance, we want to hear about it! Scroll down to the comments below and let us know.

4. Is USAA flexible with payments?

Yes! USAA understands that the members of our nation’s military have many financial obligations to meet on a small budget. For this very reason, USAA auto insurance offers a flexible payment plan that you can tailor to your pay schedule at no extra cost.

5. Does USAA auto insurance offer accident forgiveness?

USAA makes accident forgiveness available for free when you go five years with no at-fault accidents. However, this offer is void in a handful of states:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • New York
  • North Carolina

6. Does USAA offer a bundling discount?

USAA offers a multi-policy line discount where you can save up to 10% on your auto insurance premium when you bundle home or renter’s insurance.

Speaking of bundling, USAA offers a wide variety of insurance products for all your needs:

  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Renters Insurance
  • Rental Property Insurance
  • Valuable Personal Property Insurance
  • Condo Insurance
  • Flood Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Umbrella Insurance
  • Motorcycle, RV & Boat Insurance
  • Small Business Insurance

7. How do you cancel USAA auto insurance? 

If you decide you want to cancel your insurance policy, there are three ways to proceed:

  • Online Log in to your account and request that your policy be cancelled. You’ll definitely want to have another policy in place with your new insurer before doing this.
  • Call – 1–800–531–USAA (8722) to request cancellation
  • Write – USAA, 9800 Fredricksburg Rd, San Antonio, TX 78288

If you choose to cancel your USAA auto insurance policy in writing, consider having your insurance agent help you draft a form letter to send to USAA.

Failing that, you might try using USAA’s own cancellation request for other insurers to cancel their coverage.

Final thought

USAA auto insurance does a good job serving the members of our nation’s military and their family members.

If you don’t qualify or want to look at other options, be sure to check out our guide to the best and worst auto insurance companies.

More insurance stories on Clark.com:

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