Author Topic: At what price difference would you no longer go with USAA for auto insurance?  (Read 3261 times)

Swat

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Everyone I've spoken to, and the reports I've read online have had nothing but good things to say about USAA, especially for auto. I'd like to go with them based on that information, but at what point is that added service not worth it and they price themselves out of the market. For instance, I've only gotten two quotes so far (plan on getting a third) for auto and I've reviewed each of the options and it's a pretty fair side to side comparison.

USAA: ~1320/6mo
Progressive: ~800/6mo.

Also, a comparison of 2 million umbrella policy had Progressive ~80/cheaper for 12 months. 

So, is ~500/6mo difference worth it to stay with USAA.  

Obviously my numbers are unique to me but I'm curious what others "break point" is when deciding between insurance companies. Of course you never know until you actually have a claim how it will be handled, but would like some input. 

Michael in ABQ

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For the kind of difference you're looking at, definitely not worth it. If it were $50-100 every 6 months then maybe it's worth it. I've been with USAA about a decade now and while my few auto claims have all been done through the other company (liability only through USAA on my vehicle and the other party was always at fault), the times I've talked to them it's always been an excellent customer service experience. I have used the "free" towing a couple of times. I think it adds maybe $1-2/month to my premium but well worth it considering a tow can easily cost about $100.

I'm guessing you qualify for USAA as a child of a current member instead of being a veteran yourself? USAA actually has three different insurance companies setup for their different types of members. Those who are active military/veterans (maybe only officers?) get the better deal which includes a mutual subscribers account where you get some dividends each year that offset part of your premium. Not a huge amount but a couple percent off your auto insurance bill every year. I believe they offer better rates too since their insurance pool is lower risk (generally older, wealthier, less likely to file claims, etc.).

Here's a post I found that explains it. https://communities.usaa.com/t5/Insurance/Membership/td-p/99183

Bottom line, if you're not a current/retired officer or senior NCO USAA is not necessarily going to give you a better deal than GEICO, Progressive, etc.

Holyoak

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Hi Swat,

Seems you are seeing what I have seen for almost 30 years of USAA membership.  They could never come close to being competitive for anything other than auto insurance for me.  Home owner insurance policies were crazy steep, as were the riders - USAA wanted $900 extra for my firearms collection per annum; Collectors Insurance was/is about $150 and with better terms.  USAA has also screwed up enough other situations for me over the years, that all I have with them now is auto and renters insurance, and a small checking and savings account.

I know you will read glowing stories/reviews about USAA, but IMO and experience, they are a hollow shell of what they once were.  Good luck. 

BuildingmyFIRE

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When you evaluate your premium you need to look closely at two things:

1) Are you receiving comparable coverage;
2) How likely is the insurer to pay without a fight in case of a loss or potential liability?

Have you looked closely at the policies to ensure that you are getting the same or comparable coverage in both policies?  If there is that much of a difference in premium, I wonder whether you are getting shorted on coverage some where and you haven't spotted it yet.  For example, do you get liability coverage under the USAA policy but not the other one?  Look closely at the exclusions (things that are specifically not covered) in both policies -- in the cheaper one, is there anything there that's not in the USAA policy?   

USAA has a reputation for being good about paying up when the policy is triggered.  That's part of what you are paying for.  If you have an accident, you don't want to be fighting with your insurance company to honor the policy.  You want to get paid (and/or get a defense, if needed) and move on.

I also have USAA and recently changed from Travelers to USAA for homeowners coverage.  I have always been happy with them.  I wouldn't trade that for a few hundred dollars in premium savings.  Not worth the added risk.

nedwin

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Michael in ABQ - i was not aware of the various tiers within USAA, thanks for your post.  I am the grown child of an officer, so was tier 2 according to your link.

I received a dividend from USAA yearly, about $60 IIRC.  I was able to cut my insurance costs in half by going with other insurers.  I was never impressed with USAA's service, and in fact experienced significant problems, including substantial delays in claims processing, failure to return a vehicle title after the loan was paid (twice), debiting my bank account for cancelled policy, and incompetence in underwriting a home loan and a vehicle loan.  I got all this for twice the price of their competition.

Nords

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Everyone I've spoken to, and the reports I've read online have had nothing but good things to say about USAA, especially for auto. I'd like to go with them based on that information, but at what point is that added service not worth it and they price themselves out of the market. For instance, I've only gotten two quotes so far (plan on getting a third) for auto and I've reviewed each of the options and it's a pretty fair side to side comparison.

USAA: ~1320/6mo
Progressive: ~800/6mo.

Also, a comparison of 2 million umbrella policy had Progressive ~80/cheaper for 12 months.

So, is ~500/6mo difference worth it to stay with USAA. 

Obviously my numbers are unique to me but I'm curious what others "break point" is when deciding between insurance companies. Of course you never know until you actually have a claim how it will be handled, but would like some input.
Swat, you're the only one who can decide how much you want to pay for service.  Unfortunately it's hard to tell what kind of service you're going to get until you actually need it.  If you're willing to take the risk of less service (or of premium hikes after 6-18 months) then you could try out Progressive or GEICO.

Here's another thought.  We've lived at the same address for over 17 years, and our USAA auto insurance premiums have been flat that entire time... fluctuating between $73-$78 per month for two older used cars.

I'm pretty sure that the reason the premiums have been flat is because we do not carry collision or comprehensive... only the state requirements plus additional liability. 

Before you switch away from USAA, you might consider how high you could set your deductibles and get another round of quotes to see how the premiums change.

https://the-military-guide.com/auto-insurance-premiums-rising-not-just/


CoffeeR

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Obviously my numbers are unique to me but I'm curious what others "break point" is when deciding between insurance companies. Of course you never know until you actually have a claim how it will be handled, but would like some input.
Another company that has a good reputation is Amica (I use them). If customer service is important to you (it is to me and I will pay extra for it), get a quote from them and compare it to USAA, Progressive, etc.

snogirl

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My 30 year experience with USAA has A-OK since I got commissioned in 1988. I never have seen a $500 jump though. Any claims I've run through them have been super smooth. I carry house, auto, banking, and a life policy. I've always found their customer service reps extremely professional. Most are prior svc or mil families. In fact, I talked to a super friendly lady from Tampa today. You can't beat their availability and you can insure something so easy.
Whenever I've ran competitive quotes with other insurers, it hasn't come with such a wide Gap the OP is seeing. I guess if I did, i'd sing a different tune.

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AccidentialMustache

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I'm pretty sure USAA is aware that I'm child-of-officer, not military myself... given the info in the thread, I'm not being viewed as tier-1 since its CIC that issues my policies.

I don't know what you're doing with your car(s+?) but that's *way above* my rate with them, which is a lot closer to $240/6 mo. That said we drive a honda fit, live in a small/safe midwest town, and don't drive much (<8k/year). I am picking up substantial bundling discounts as well -- home, life, auto.

The one place I *don't* like USAA is their banking/investing. They have a lot of investment products with high fees. And I guess, their insurance when you're looking as a landlord. RCV only, no ACV option. Makes sense for renting while deployed, I guess.

My experience with other insurers when I see them at a home and garden show or such is that they find out I have USAA and generally go, "we're not likely to be able to beat that."

This thread is interesting though. Maybe we should give shopping around a go and see what we find.

secondcor521

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I've been a customer of USAA for 30+ years.  I'm a child of a USAF officer.  I currently have auto, home, checking, and a small personal property policy through them.

I've always been very happy with their service, never had a problem of any kind.  I have had one very minor at fault accident that was handled flawlessly.

I have never found a cheaper comparable policy from GEICO, Amica, State Farm, or any of the other big names despite shopping my policy numerous times.  I basically gave up a few years ago because USAA has always been less expensive.

If I found another policy that was a little cheaper, I'd probably stay with USAA just because I don't need the hassle of switching.  If another policy was a lot cheaper and from a big well known name, I'd probably double check the coverage to make sure it was comparable and then I would switch.

I'm very surprised at the price differential in the OP and suspect that there is some reason for the big difference - either USAA knows about an accident or ticket that the other insurance company doesn't see / hasn't seen, or that the policies have radically different coverage amounts or types, or one of the quotes mistyped the age of a driver and thinks they're a male under 25, or something.

So I guess YMMV.

Blatant

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Interesting timing. Iíve been a USAA customer (auto, home, checking) for about 10 years. I am a combat veteran, though enlisted and not officer.

Yes, the service is great. Weíve had one auto claim for a minor at-fault accident and one home claim for a plumbing issue. The most recent home claim was about four years ago. Both claims were handled extremely professionally.

We recently downsized homes and the new policy was nearly the same despite the new property value being about 30% less. Worse, Iíve noticed a very steady upward trend in our auto rates for no apparent reason.

BuildingmyFIRE

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OP -- one more thought for you.  When I recently switched from another insurer to USAA for homeowners, the quote they gave me reflected a loss that was being incorrectly reported against me.  I had to dispute the reporting of the loss with their data aggregator (I think called CLUE)-- once they realized it was a mistake and removed the loss (it was incurred by someone else with the same name), USAA gave me a premium adjustment.  Is it possible that something similar is at play here that could account for the difference in premium?

maricela

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I think there are just some areas USAA doesn't want to insure and their premiums reflect it. I pay way more than I should in southeast Louisiana to get coverage through them (now that they are finally with policies here again), but I figure if I do get hit by a storm at least they shouldn't be as busy as every other major company that writes cheaper policies and more liability in this region.

My only negative experience with them was a home loan they royally screwed up and couldn't close on time. And don't use their investments -way too pricey.

jlcnuke

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My homeowners insurance is through USAA, I haven't had my car insurance with them for more than 2 decades. Why? They simply don't provide more than I get with other major insurance companies and thus aren't worth paying a premium for. With Geico, Progressive, etc, my claims have always been quickly and fairly paid, just like with USAA. That's what matters when I need to make an insurance claim, and USAA doesn't do anything better in that regard than any other company I've used. Thus, I'll stick with price as the differentiating factor and USAA simply hasn't been competitive anytime I've shopped around for a long time. Some places they're cheaper, some places they're not. Where I've lived recently, they haven't been close.

In your shoes, I'd go with the Progressive for the savings.

patchyfacialhair

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Figured I'd chime in with some general insurance industry info. Insurance premiums are rising because Americans still drive a ton, and get into the same fender benders (which are the most common), yet a bumper that cost $300 to replace and paint 20 years ago is now $2,000 today, since it seems like backup cameras and backup sensors are in every new car.

Sure, there's lane detection and all sorts of new safety features in new cars, which helps reduce fatalities, but people are generally dumb and/or distracted while driving, so the minor collisions still occur at roughly the same rate.

That's why it's even more important to consider driving only older vehicles that make sense to insure for liability and medical only.

At the end of the day, always keep an eye on your insurance to ensure you're getting what works for you as far as the combination of price, coverage, and likelihood of a smooth claims process.

Easye418

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This is my dilemma as well... I am not with USAA, but I am with AMICA (only carrier rated at/above USAA).  I feel like I should price shop them but they were excellent to work with when I had to claim hail damage on my house.  I decided to just keep em for now.

bobfnbw

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We used to us USAA for both home and auto and banking.  When we moved to Texas, we could not get a USAA policy due to the mold claims that were rampant here. When I then had some issues with a boat loan they services and wouldn't insure, I left. We have since gone back to auto and home insurance. They gave us a good rate compared to farm bureau that continued to increase our policy cost. Twice in the last year my wife was hit by jeeps. Once they had USAA insurance, the other  time was something else, like progressive. The USAA people were a joy to work with and gave no problems. The other, not good. My wife had to pay part of the cost of her rental. After that she changed us  back to USAA. I still have some doubts about their banking and loans, but for insurance so far am happy. I don't think I would pay hundreds of dollars more though. I would look at the policy closely. Make sure your comparing apples to apples so to speak.
Bob

dogboyslim

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OP -- one more thought for you.  When I recently switched from another insurer to USAA for homeowners, the quote they gave me reflected a loss that was being incorrectly reported against me.  I had to dispute the reporting of the loss with their data aggregator (I think called CLUE)-- once they realized it was a mistake and removed the loss (it was incurred by someone else with the same name), USAA gave me a premium adjustment.  Is it possible that something similar is at play here that could account for the difference in premium?

You can check your CLUE report here: https://personalreports.lexisnexis.com/