Understanding USAA’s Subscriber Savings Account

Discover the advantages of the USAA Subscriber Savings Account. Learn how this unique benefit can contribute to your financial planning, providing an additional source of funds simply by maintaining an active insurance policy with USAA.
Advertising Disclosure.

Advertiser Disclosure: The Military Wallet and Three Creeks Media, LLC, its parent and affiliate companies, may receive compensation through advertising placements on The Military Wallet. For any rankings or lists on this site, The Military Wallet may receive compensation from the companies being ranked; however, this compensation does not affect how, where, and in what order products and companies appear in the rankings and lists. If a ranking or list has a company noted to be a “partner,” the indicated company is a corporate affiliate of The Military Wallet. No tables, rankings, or lists are fully comprehensive and do not include all companies or available products.

The Military Wallet and Three Creeks Media have partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. The Military Wallet and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. For more information, please see our Advertising Policy.

American Express is an advertiser on The Military Wallet. Terms Apply to American Express benefits and offers.

USAA is my favorite bank and the company my wife and I use to insure our home and autos. I have been a happy USAA customer for about 7 or 8 years now, and I don’t think I will ever leave them.

I’ve had discussions with some of their other members and one thing there is always some misconception about is the Subscriber Savings Account belonging to each USAA member with a property and casualty policy.

USAA recently sent out SSA notices to their account holders, so I decided to take this opportunity to explain what they are.

Subscriber Savings Accounts

SSAs are a byproduct of the legal structure of USAA. One of the interesting features about USAA is that it is not a publicly owned company, USAA is actually member owned. This is important because it gives USAA different options for raising capital.

Publicly owned companies sell stock to raise capital; USAA holds its capital in member-owned SSAs. These funds are held in reserve for USAA to satisfy legal requirements and pay for catastrophic losses.

It’s your money, but it is held by USAA. An SSA is your money, but it isn’t a bank account. The money held is in an SSA under each member’s name, and remains there in the event USAA needs to use the money to pay insurance settlements or claims. Members are not able to make withdrawals or deposits to or from their SSA.

SSA Balance. Money allocated to your SSA depends on several factors, including a percentage of the member’s property and casualty premiums, USAA’s investment portfolio and performance, the member’s SSA balance (sometimes distributions are made on a percentage basis), longevity as a USAA member and more.

SSA Distributions. USAA board members have the option to make financial distributions to its members based on how well USAA’s investments performed, how much money each person has in their SSA, and a multitude of other factors.

How to get your SSA money back. There is no way to get your SSA funds back unless you close all of your property and casualty policies. Your SSA will be paid out about six months later. When my wife and I consolidated our policies after we got married, I received the balance of my SSA after closing my account – about $160. The good news is receiving your SSA funds is not generally taxable because it is considered a return on premiums. Be sure to check with a tax adviser for more details.

Distributions are not guaranteed. USAA has a track record of giving their members distributions, but it is important to note they are not guaranteed.

Compare Current Savings Account Rates

USAA Membership

USAA membership is a privilege earned by those in uniform — and it’s a privilege that can be handed down to their children. Those eligible to join the association include:

  • Active-duty officers and enlisted military personnel;
  • Former spouses and adult children of USAA members;
  • National Guard and selected Reserve officers and enlisted personnel; and
  • Officer candidates in commissioning programs (Academy, ROTC, OCS/OTS).

If you think you may be eligible for membership, I highly recommend looking into it!

About Post Author

Get Instant Access
FREE Weekly Updates! Enter your information to join our mailing list.

Posted In:

Reader Interactions


    Leave A Comment:


    About the comments on this site:

    These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

  1. Michael Michaud says

    I closed my insurance accounts with USAA in Aug 2023 after 24 years. I received the letter today that I would receive the balance of my Subscribers Account in about 6 months. I looked at the last statement from January 2023 and there is a significant balance. My question is will I receive the full balance of the account. Thanks

  2. Pat mefford says

    A friend who is a child of a retired AF and has been a member of the USAA for over 40 years was told by USAA that only active duty or retired military are eligible for the subscribers account. The father(military member) passed away last year. The daughter has been a USAA member since she was 20 years old.

  3. Rita Creighton says

    Hey Ryan!
    I love your writing –always informative and helpful– & follow you across several platforms. Thanks for all the great info!
    Quick question about the USAA SSA: do they -as far as you know/in your experience- automatically send out your SSA balance or do you need to actually claim it? it’s been about 6 months since I canceling all my insurance policies (switched to Allstate) & I’ve been unable to find the answer online. Obviously I haven’t called USAA & don’t want to unless necessary.
    Thanks again!!

  4. Von L.Blunt says

    I received a letter today saying in December they are going to apply $7.95 to my bill. Does this mean they will tack on an additional $7.95 so I have to pay more or are they going to deduct $7.95 my account. The letter is not clear.

    • Brittany Crocker says

      Hi Von, without seeing the letter, I couldn’t say for sure. Did you have a $7.95 debt from last year? If not, it may be an increase.

  5. Guy G. Troy says

    I want to change the current preference for receiving my Subscribers account check and Senior bonus check and have not been to figure out how to do it. Please give advice. Thanks

  6. E Crudele says

    My mother and father had USAA insurance for decades. My mom just died at age 94. Her subscriber account is almost $2,000. But it might as well be zero because every time I call I get a different story and am required to do a different step and then just maybe, just maybe they might give us her money. They even made me open an account with USAA. No matter what I do and who I talk to it’s never quite enough. What a racket. If it weren’t so much money I would have walked away long ago. I may still. Maybe this is what they are counting on. I’m 5 months into this project. At this point I dispise USAA.

  7. Roman Zawada says

    Hello, Ryan!

    I have over 10K in the SSA, in addition to the yearly payments and senior bonus due to over 40 years membership. I am considering switching to another insurance company and wonder if the 10K would be reimbursed after 6 months not being a member/having insurance policies with the USAA. Based on your article it appears that this is the case.

    Please let me know if this is correct.

    Best Regards,


  8. Frank Bayush says

    Ryan, why can USAA keep my $10k+ for 6 months after cancelling all my auto and home policies. 30 days would seem reasonable. I’m not with the company any longer so why can they continue to keep my money for their reserves? Is this an issue for the state insurance commission? Thx

  9. Rodney Lopez says

    I am the administrator of my brothers estate, upon this passing on 2/4/21. There is a letter from USAA dated 2/25/2021 stating a 2020 year-end balance of $4,138.47. When I close the account should I expect a deposit for that amount into his estate account?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Rodney,

      I’m sorry for your loss. Regarding the USAA account – I’m not 100% certain. I recommend contacting the USAA customer service department for assistance. They have agents who can help you settle your brother’s estate and answer any questions you may have.

      I wish you and your family the best.

  10. John Hood says

    My father was an honorable discharge WWII veterans.
    My brother is a USAA member but doesn’t have a subscriber savings account. He did not serve in the military.
    I’m also a member but I am retired military with pay, and I have an account.

    What are the qualification differences?

  11. Casey says

    USAA insurance products haven’t been very competitive for me other than their Valuable Personal Property coverage, which they canceled a few weeks before it was due to renew. It’s been about 6 months and I haven’t received the balance in my Subscriber’s Savings Account, however, it could be because I still bank with them. I certainly could put my SSA balance to good use and I am not sure if I’ll ever get another insurance policy with how they handled my VPP policy.

  12. John says

    Still don’t understand why would USAA send a document that states as a member one has money in an account but that money is hung out with no way for the individual to use it. Why even share this information. Unless I missed some simple explanation, I don’t see the benefit.

  13. Robert M. Morrison says

    I would like to know the basis of the negative adjustment (-$350) to the balance reported in the February 2, 2021 letter recently received

    • Terence says

      Hi Robert. That was the distribution that USAA would have paid to you in form of a check or a direct deposit into a personnel account of yours. Members usually get a cash distribution, mid December, and a deposit into the Subscriber’s Account, at the end of December… Hope this helps.

  14. Robert M. Morrison says

    What is the basis of the negative adjustment (-$325.03) to the balance in the February 2, 2021 Allocation letter recently received?

  15. Mark Medvetz says

    USAA is OK, but don’t be fooled. It has changed greatly over the forty two years I have been a member and this will be my last year. They have diluted the value of the original intent for membership. It’s not now very selective to become a member and the pro-military service schtick only goes so far. USAA loves to advertise on TV. You pay for that, dear “members.”
    Yes, the SSA is your money. Correct.
    Why then would such a great military friendly insurance company take SIX MONTHS to return your money? Well, its because they don’t respect you or your money, thats why.
    It is what it is.

    • Brad Leppla says

      I am in the same situation with USAA that you are. I have been with them for over 40 years now and recently had a huge increase to my premiums based on their “calculations”. I am convinced after talking to them that they no longer care about their customers, loyalty is not important to them, and continuing to do business with them is not in my best interest. I used to LOVE USAA and recommended them to anyone, but no longer. For example, my personal property protection has been jacked up to over $300K and the property it covers I could easily replace with about $50K. Easily. They will not budge from that number stating that it is for my own protection. HMMPPH! Baloney! They have done the same with my houses (I have two) and cars and will not budge from the numbers they have “calculated”. Furthermore, when I asked for a breakdown they used to get those numbers I was told “we cannot give that to you as it is proprietary information!”. Incredible! So after being a loyal customer for over 40 years I am cancelling all my policies and moving to another insurance company. When I told them that their response was “Okay”. They have changed drastically and I feel abandoned by them. I will go where I am more appreciated and respected as a customer. Buyer beware, there are now better companies out there than USAA.

  16. Howard Hague says

    Does anyone know if you have to cancel all your banking and life insurance in order to get the SSA money back? I may switch insurance companies for other reasons but if I were getting back 6-7K it would help me make my decision. I have heard I would just have to cancel my casualty and property but could leave the life alone and my checking account. Any insight would be great, USAA has been vague and I can’t seem to get a straight answer.

  17. Bob says

    I have been a usaa member for over 30 years
    In the 80s and 90s, the ssa statements used to show your account balance, and the total premiums paid for the year. Those totals were multiplied by a percentage determined each year (my old stmts show betwenn 3-9%) to determine the annual allocation in feb and the annual distribution in dec. it was simple, and informative.

    Now i have several rental properties insured with usaa. It would be very helpful to know that multiplier used each year, so i know how much of the distribution to attribute to my rental properties/premiums for tax purposes, and how much to attribute to my home/auto (which is not taxable.)

    But the statements no longer provide that important peice of info. Thats my only gripe.

    Sometimes USAA is more expensive than other companies, but i try to take into consideration the “discount” you get at the end of the year. It would be helpful to be able to calculate it for each policy.

    To clarify, in the old system, if they were allocating 5%, they would send a statement showing 5% of total annual premiums and 5% of ssa balance. Back then, my balance was low, so most of it came from the premiums. The longer you are with usaa, the higher the ssa balance becomes, and therefore more comes from that part. I need to know how much of the rental property premium is returned , but there is no way to calculate that without knowing the multiplier.

  18. tom says

    I have read all of the post with shock and horror! I have my own issues but I am left with one question.
    Do you have to go to San Antonio or Las Vegas to make a withdrawal??

  19. Frank Patton says

    Answer to some of the above questions:

    – A Subscriber Savings Account (SSA) is created automatically for every new USAA member.

    – Instead of paying dividends to stock holders, USAA credits a portion of a member’s annual premiums to their SSA. The amount credited varies from year to year based on how much USAA had to pay out in claims that year.

    – The amount in a member’s SSA grows year to year. The total amount in a SSA depends on a number of factors to include length of membership, number of policies, policy premiums, etc.

    – USAA sends out an Annual Subscriber Savings Account statement in February. This statement show the total amount in the account as well as how much was distributed to the member for the previous year.

    – Each December, USAA asks that members designate how they want their distribution to be applied. The default is to the member’s auto policy bill.

    – To be eligible for the Senior Bonus, you have to have been a member for at least 40 years. The Senior Bonus is an additional distribution from the member’s SSA and therefore should not be taxable.

    – There are only two ways to “cash out” a member’s SSA. By terminating every USAA policy and closing the account or by death of the member.

    – Yes you have to wait 6 months for USAA to disburse the funds but what other insurance company ever gives you any of your money back?

    • Charles Sadler says

      My ex wife called USAA and rcvd my SSA. She didn’t own any policies.
      I would say there are three ways.

  20. Mark says

    Hmmm, six months to receive your USAA SSA funds?
    That shows clearly what USAA thinks of its ‘subscribers’, does it not?

    • Donald L Cammel says

      Most of those SSA disbursements are clearly governed by banking and insurance laws. One phone call and you should be able to get all the information you need.

  21. William Meier says

    I have been a USAA member for over 42 years. Both Auto and Home. I tried to find out what my TOTAL Subscribers Account balance was and it showed slightly over $3K. My friend who was also a member over 42 years had an emergency and needed the total of his Sub. Acct. and was told he could only get it if he quit USAA. He did just that and he received a check for $10K How do I find out what my TOTAL Acct. Bal. is ? It should be at least $10K if not substantially more.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello William, I don’t know. You would need to contact USAA for more information.

      As for the amount – I don’t know if it is based on the number and types of policies you have with USAA or if they base it on something else. So I wouldn’t assume you have more money in your Subscriber Savings Account until it has been verified.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

      • Victoria says

        Hi Ryan,

        Thanks for this article. I was laid off last year (8months) and unfortunately had to cancel my accounts etc with USAA as far as insurance. I see they applied my Subscriber account to my balance that I had which was very small but I still have almost $1900 in my subscriber account. My question is they just randomly send you a check? It’s been well past the 6 month time. I just logged in today to pay my credit card bill and saw the $1900 credit on my insurance account and I found your article. Thanks for any information you can provide

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Victoria, I’m sorry to hear about being laid off. I hope you have been able to find gainful employment in the interim.

        I’m not sure exactly how or when USAA sends distributions from the Subscriber Savings Account. I recommend contacting their customer service department for more information.

        I wish you the best!

  22. Pamela Ferguson says

    I need to know if the senior bonus distribution, which comes separately from the subscribers account distribution (which is a return of premium), is a taxable distribution. The paper that comes with the distribution specifically says the senior bonus distribution is not the same as the subscribers account distribution, but cannot say whether it is taxable. Having trouble researching this. Can someone help? Thank you.

  23. Jake Coleman says

    I have a very simple question that hopefully someone could answer for me. I would love to know if they automatically enroll each individual into their SS whenever they initially join, or if you have to request to be enrolled. My boss recently switched services from USAA to another carrier and they allowed him to “cash out” his. He advised me that I needed to do the same since I am no longer with USAA either. I was with them for a short period of 5 or 6 years so I don’t know if I am even eligible. I called to see and the young lady I spoke with wasn’t very informed. I asked her the same question and she stated that I was with USAA but I was not a member. I asked her to explain and she couldn’t. She then stated that I was not the primary for my account in order to access the SS. I informed her that the entirety of my time with USAA I was the only person on the policy which is completely mine. After several holds, she told me that I needed to be a member for at least 30+ years to access my SS. This didn’t sound right, but I was at work and didn’t have anymore time to discuss/argue. Could someone please help me out? I was a member with a full coverage insurance policy for 5 or 6 years. I just want to have my ducks in a row for when I call back. Thanks in advance!

  24. Stan Isaacson says

    I’ve been with USAA for over 50 years and my SSA is quite substantial, but the company has changed drastically over the years, so I am preparing to close ALL of my accounts. I shouldn’t have to wait a full 6 months after to get MY money, but this is one of many reasons I’m done with USAA. The latest – claims on my homeowners that are not my fault nevertheless result in an increase in my premiums. And for one of those claims, the burden of proof was on me to prove a preferred USAA vendor caused more problems than they came to fix. And that’s after two USAA investigations proved the vendor ******* up. This is no longer a company that looks out for its member/owners.

      • Ryan Guina says

        This is a good observation. This is something many people would want to know if they are a stockholder of a public company or a member in a member-owned company. (USAA’s legal structure is that of an inter-insurance exchange, which is somewhat unique – of course, if you are a member, you may want to know how executives are compensated).

        While I agree that $4M is a lot of money, it is less than many bank executives earn. Some of the highest compensated banking executives earn close to $30M annually when accounting for total compensation (pay, stock grants, etc.). So it’s important to view this in the perspective of what it takes to become a CEO in the banking and/or insurance field, average compensation for those executives, and where the USAA executives fit in that equation. I’m not an expert in the banking field, so I can’t tell you whether that is above or below average, or simply average, based on company size, revenue, profits, etc. Please feel free to share this information if you are an expert in the field or have done the research comparing executive pay in the banking or insurance industries.

  25. B E Carr says

    How is a USAA Subscriber’s Account my money since it’s not accessible and where does that money come from?

    • Georgie says

      As the article states, USAA is owned by members like us. Most every other company is a publicly shared company where people can buy stocks. Instead of doing that, USAA shares are distributed amongst us members. I suppose this is a benefit over giving a huge check to a small group of shareholders. I wonder if this is quasi profit sharing. That’s the best way to wrap my head around it. Every year, many members receive a dividend. I’ve always received somewhere between $100-200, but it’s varied on the amount of members, economy, disaster payouts, etc. I really can’t complain considering USAA has been good to me for 15 years or more. I never paid too much attention to it until now. I closed all my accounts because I wanted rider policies on my homeowner’s policy for a very old house, and USAA didn’t offer that. I really hated leaving because USAA was so predictable and fair with my accident. Well, it’s been about 6 months and I just received a refund for over 3k. I didn’t expect this money. I think I was thinking that the 3k was the overall payout over the years. Gotta say I’m pretty happy about this. I don’t know a single insurance company that is member owned and does distributions. On top of that, I liked their rates along with the coverage. BTW, I now have to pay to replace my windshield with Safeco. Never ever had to pay for a windshield with USAA :/ Oh well.

  26. MD says

    Turns out, the subscriber savings account is only for their Tier 1 members (officer/E7 and above). The rest of us aren’t eligible.

      • Justin Barnes says

        Was just told today that I do NOT have one. I have been with them as an employees son since 92 and was eligible myself in 2003. I was only an E5 though and “am not eligible”.

  27. Marc McNeal says

    I currently have my auto, home, and four townhomes insured by USAA and payments for all are taken from my USAA Visa Card. I wanted to set-up a separate account for my townhomes and be billed directly to my home address. USAA stated that they could not do that because all premiums are paid “together” and cannot be separated. One payment method only. I’ll let my attorney handle this discrimination.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Marc, I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t see how this is discrimination. Many financial organizations and companies limit customers to one personal account. You would need to check with USAA to see if that is the situation you are experiencing. USAA does not currently offer separate business accounts, so it’s possible everything would need to be run through your personal account if you are trying to separate things for business reasons (I’m not assuming this, it’s just not clear in your comment if this is the case).

      As for setting up payments, it may depend on how your insurance policies are set up. For example, my auto, home, and life insurance separate policies are through USAA. They are all billed separately and the premiums come directly from my checking account when due.

      This may have bearing for your the insurance policies on your home and four townhomes. If your policies are bundled, you may have to separate them to be able to change your billing process. Someone at USAA should be able to explain their policies on multiple homeowner’s insurance policies. I would start by reviewing the terms and conditions of the insurance policies and contacting USAA for a better understanding of their corporate policies. I’m sure they cover it somewhere in the fine print or can explain their policies over the phone. If not, then I’m sure your attorney will be able to find the information with a couple quick phone calls or letters.

      Best wishes.

      • PM Walters says

        USAA issues separate policies for each property, or auto(s). This benefits the member because otherwise, the highest risk of one poperty would determine the rate of the

  28. Stephen Kearney says

    1972 – 2017, half a life time. After 45 years, I fired USAA. I joined USAA during my junior year in college. Back then only active duty or reserve/guard officers, any of our nation’s military academy cadets, and any college ROTC student could be a USAA member. Shortly after I completed my flying commitment and left the USAF, USAA opened membership to all military (E-5 and above), plus any veteran. So, I signed up my 80 year old, WWII vet father for property/casualty coverage. He didn’t need auto coverage since I had taken his keys away when I sold all of his vehicles, two years earlier. It wasn’t long before USAA changed the membership requirement again, now opening to ALL military (E-1 thru O-10). Past, present are anyone who ‘thought’ about the military; or if you sat next to someone in school who’s second cousin’s twice-removed great uncle from his aunt’s third wedding was in the military; now you were eligible. Yes, it is exaggerated. But you get the idea. MBA’s with power point training strike again. This latest membership increase has quadrupled USAA’s advertising budget. Tune in anytime, day or night, and you will see an ad. Now, they even sponsor college football bowl games. WTF? I’m an enlisted Vietnam vet, prior to college. I can run the entire gambit of military acronyms should you be interested. (BUFF< SNAFU< FUBAR)
    I recently called USAA customer service to ask a question concerning my wife's new Equinox policy. Within 60 seconds, USAA's "boiler room" customer service call center ****** me off to the point that I cancelled all accounts, effective immediately.
    Every 15-20 years I have noticed a change in the corporate attitude when the senior leadership would be whisked out the door to make room for the newly hired, fledgling MBA's anxious to make their mark on the company. And of course every three years a recently retired General officer is given the token leadership position, whose only prior financial experience was to ensure that his wife paid the O club bill on time.
    I was amazed at how quickly a four-figure refund check from my vehicle policies arrived. As if 'they' were saying: good riddance. Then after reading other postings about the six month delay I can expect before my SSA funds arrive, I can't wait to see how this works out.
    Within 30 minutes of logging into my recreational account with the insurance company that USAA referred all recreational policies to years ago, I was able to enter each vehicle's VIN, on my laptop, while sitting in my home. Instantly the rest of the form was correctly populated without ever speaking to a cubicle dweller in a call center.
    Change is good, sometimes. Even necessary, sometimes. However, the manner is which the core values of the founding officers has been altered; well time will tell. Remember the 2008 banking debacle? USAA's current leadership are the offspring of that 'too big to fail' mentality.

  29. Kathy says

    Just try to get your SSA back. After more than 40 years suddenly cancelled spring of 14. They closed all our accounts. I called about our SSA in January 15……they said it was mailed in December – I never got it, it was never cashed. They said they would send another check. Four weeks later, the last check never reached us (conveniently), and today (Thursday) if it does not come I am to call so they can send another check (wait unother 7-10 days). Verified address over and over. How many times do they get to send a check. The SSA December checks were always on time…the bills were always on time…they got their money every month on time….but I cannot get them to send this check. I asked them to WIRE the money to my bank, they say that they cannot do that….BALOGNEY! This place is something else.

  30. cwo3ret says

    long-time (26 years) member here – have not had a problem w/USAA, but have noticed some lapses in paperwork and built-in auto-increasing of premiums (such as the 20 percent increase this year in home insurance here in sunny Florida) – i do like that i can manipulate coverage and get instant quotes and modify my auto and home policies on-line without the intervention of a human, but USAA did have an incorrect Loss Payee on my auto policy (was corrected with a simple ‘on-line chat’ w/a rep)… as far as banking goes, we use the checking/savings/CDs (rates are in the toilet, thank you Federal Reserve), but there is no way in Hades we’d ever use the investment banking – Vanguard is the only way to go for the absolute lowest fees in the industry – USAA is *way* too expensive!

  31. Robert Winebrenner says

    Stephen, it was a different company in 2002. The last 14 years have not been kind. Try that again today, and I’m willing to bet you would have different results. That’s essentially what many people are saying: It used to be very good, but not anymore.

  32. Stephen says

    It has been many years ago (2002), but I moved from Texas to Fort Polk, LA and in the process managed to not pay my car insurance for over 60 days before they called and asked what was going on. I resolved the issue and there was no laps in coverage or negative results from not paying my auto insurance for 2 months.

  33. Charles says

    I left USAA after 32 years. My car was stolen and the service I received was very poor. (I never made a collision claim and only 2 comprehensive claims)
    I looked at other companies and was shocked to see every company was lower. My auto premium dropped from $1900 to $1000 when I switched to State Farm. And when I switched homeowner policy, the auto premium dropped another $150. Half Price!

  34. Chris says

    Wow! 14 year customer here. I’ve never had a problem with them. In fact, I was sure they were the best. Thanks for opening my eyes. I will be shopping around for better rates and service. The “bankruptcy” comments don’t concern me, but some of the others are pretty serious oversights on USAA’s part. I will give them a chance to beat any rates or coverages I’m offered, but if they can’t, it sounds like they don’t deserve a premium over the other large insurance companies based on their services alone.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Chris, Personally, I’ve always had excellent experiences with USAA. But you’re right, you should always shop around for insurance rates to see how much other companies charge. you may be able to save several hundred dollars per year (especially if you bundle auto and homeowner’s insurance policies). All things being equal, I’m happy to stay with USAA, based on the experiences I’ve had with their customer service. But I would definitely consider moving my policies elsewhere if I could save a substantial amount of money.

  35. RS says

    I am also in the process of leaving USAA. I had been with them for about 12 years when I started seeing problems, about the time they started advertising and loosening their membership rules. In the past USAA used to work with me and others but interest rates started climbing and my vehicle insurance started going up every 6 months on a vehicle that was getting older even though I had no claims. My IRA, checking, savings, vehicle loan, and vehicle insurance have all been moved. Just a loan and credit card to move and I will be done with them.

    Here are a few things I have picked up regarding USAA:

    – When you get your vehicle fixed on a claim the parts used will probably not be factory or proprietary. Off brand replacement parts are cheaper which keeps rates lower. Probably not a big deal but they may not fit as well or the quality may be questionable.

    – A co-worker has USAA home owners insurance, his deductible is around 2% of house value, mine, with another company, is a flat $1000 on roofing and $500 on everything else. He pays more than twice as much in premiums as I do. It cost me $1000 to have my roof replaced after a hail storm, he paid about $2500.

    – A USAA Rep told me the more accounts you have with them the lower your insurance rates are. Bank rep even transferred me to the insurance side to tell me what the effect of closing my bank accounts would be on my insurance.

    – A USAA Rep told me the insurance side is separate from the bank side. Membership is “looser” on the bank side than the insurance side. (When I shut my insurance down I was asked not the judge them because I had issues with the banking side.)

    – When I canceled the vehicle insurance I was told I would get my SSA back in 60 days after all insurance policies were closed. Still waiting. Called them back and was told December each year. Then she changed her mind and checked with someone else and now it’s 90 days. Now I see some info that it is 6 months.

    Back in the 90’s I was with First Command, seems like I couldn’t throw a rock without hearing about them and how they catered to the military. Now I rarely hear anything about them even though they are still around. (I think they got into trouble with front loading mutual funds or something.) I believe USAA is going to so alienate it’s base in the coming years they will have to go public. I say goodbye and good riddance to them.

  36. Robert Winebrenner says

    Alex, I can answer those questions.
    1. You get your balance in a statement every February. If you are refunded anything from your SSA, that is paid out to you in early December. Check your online documents, you may have opted for online delivery in which case your latest statement will be buried in your insurance documents archives.
    2. Yes, you may rejoin and if so you would start building your SSA balance anew. However, there is a six month waiting period before you get your SSA back. So if you rejoin during that 6-month period, then no. You need to remind them at the appropriate time to get the refund.
    3. The SSA will be yours after 6 months regardless of who terminates the insurance coverage. Make a mark in your calendar 6 months after termination, call them, go through 17 transfers to get a “supervisor” and a few more to get a “supervisor” who knows what you are talking about, and they will cut you a cheque.

  37. Alex says

    Wow indeed. I was happy enough with USAA all these years (25), even though I’ve only had auto insurance with them. Until, that is, I recently decided to shop my auto insurance rate – I had always just assumed they had the lowest rate, as well as the highest rating. Well, turns out they don’t have the lowest rates, not even close! And apparently they don’t “rate” so well in customer service anymore either, as I found out when I asked if they could beat (or at least match!) their competitor’s quote. No dice. Take it or leave it. Wow… here I’ve been over-paying all these years, out of a misplaced sense of loyalty and trust (or is it naivete and stupidity?), and they can’t even work with me? I’m profoundly disappointed. I’m still in shock, actually, but I’m going to do something about it. I will try one more time to work with them, and if still “no”, then I’m gone.

    I have just a few questions – hopefully some of you can help?

    1) How do I find out the balance in my SSA? I never even knew about this.

    2) If I cancel and ask for my SSA balance, will I be able to re-join USAA again in the future (if they come to their senses and go back to their old way of treating loyal customers as valued members instead of stupid prey), or is leaving USAA a permanent decision?

    3) If they were to “cancel” me before I decide to quit them (as they appear to be doing to so many good, long-time customers lately, judging from the above comments), would they still give me my SSA balance? If not, I guess I should hurry up and quit on them and just take my SSA before they cancel me, right?

    Many thanks to Ryan and all those who shared their stories – I had no idea!


  38. Mike N. says

    Wow! I had no idea that things had gotten so bad at USAA. I have never had a problem with them, but I am growing tired of the ever increasing amount they force me to keep in my SSA. The current balance is almost $8,000.00.

    I had compared coverage against other companies for years and USAA was always the lowest. I have not done that comparison for several years, but with all this negative feedback, and the 8K of mine that they are holding, I believe I will revisit that practice.

  39. Dante says

    I too dropped USAA after 22+ years due to auto insurance premiums going up every 6 months. BHW, I only filed one claim with them during all this time for one of my vehicle’s that was rear-ended while it was parked outside my residence. I also went with GEICO; their 6 month premium was about 1/3 of what USAA had been charging me for the longest time. While attempting to close my policy, I was transferred to a special department, where someone tried very hard to presuade me to stay with them…telling me other insurance providers were not what they seem. I’ll tell you this, the quote I got from GEICO didn’t change when I signed up with them; USAA is no more than a insurance bully.

  40. Pablo says

    I’ve been with USAA continuously from 1984 when I was an ROTC cadet, but I’m gone as soon as I find a competitive homeowner policy. I moved my auto policies to GEICO last month. I’m getting better coverage for significantly lower rates than USAA.

    Every USAA member should get quotes from other companies. The idea that their rates are always better is simply not true.

  41. Gregg says

    I am a Vietnam veteran and have been with USAA for 42 years. Before I explain why, after 42 years I am leaving USAA, I wanted to say a word about divorce and the subscriber’s savings account. During my divorce mediation, my ex-wife’s attorney, who was also a USAA member, made me list the balance in my subscriber’s savings account as an “asset.” At that time, I didn’t even know that I had a savings account, let alone what the balance was. He admitted that I could not receive the funds unless I left USAA (or died), but, I was required to give my ex-wife $2,500 real dollars in exchange for the phantom dollars in the SSA. So, just a note to other members to beware of the asset claim if you are in a divorce.

    Back to why I am leaving USAA. It is unfortunate, really. As I mentioned, I have been with USAA for 42 years and was quite pleased with the level of service and the quality product for many of those years. Recently, I feel like USAA’s objective is to merely recruit their next new client. They readily pay out vehicle claims to the other parties, without really investigating what happened … yet, in the ONE TIME that I actually had a homeowners claim because of a plumbing problem … I was made to feel like a sheister during the process … it was a $5,800 claim.

    USAA provides its boat coverage under Progressive. They will not insure homes in Florida that were built before a certain date (sometime between 2002-2006 – I’m not for sure on those dates) … so, once I close on the sale of my home, I am closing my remaining policies with USAA and am going to Progressive.

    It really is a shame because once upon a time, they were the best of the best – but, not now.

  42. Robert Winebrenner says

    Wow! This has been an eye-opening read. I’ve been with USAA for 33 years, never a late or missed payment, never an overdraft, and I think my last and only automobile claim was for a couple hundred back in 1982. When you look up “low risk” in the encyclopedia, it has my picture… Anyway, I am one of those who was always singing the praises of USAA over the years and I, too, ignored the warning signs of a formerly excellent organization that got too big and started chasing too many higher risk customers to the detriment of the former core customers. I’ve had two extremely negative experiences this year, one with Mortgages as I started construction of a new home, and later with Property Insurance as I tried to insure it. In both cases, it seemed to me as though decision makers have been moved behind a wall, well insulated from the customers, protected by 17 layers of middle management, not one of whom is empowered to actually make a decision. Essentially, USAA left me standing at the altar twice on this real estate deal, and that’s something I can’t forgive. I have begun the process of moving all my USAA business — banking, credit cards, auto / property / life insurance, investments, you name it — to other firms. After 33 years. I thought it was just me. But I see I am not alone.

  43. Jim says

    Total Agreement with the reviewers who state that USAA is no no longer the premium company it once was. We have been with USAA for over 40 years and I do get the 10% distribution from my SSA (Senior Bonus) each February. But in late April 2012, USAA Federal Savings Bank made a huge mistake and closed our business account BY ACCIDENT. They had failed to log in the receipt of a form they had requested about our business account, a form which we had completed and faxed back in a timely manner. They totally goofed, and several employees (one of whom works in the CEO’s office) admitted the error. They closed the account with no notice in April even after two different people told us they DID have the form in the file. BTW, we learned the account was closed by inserting an ATM card in a machine and receiving a receipt that said “Invalid Account.” If you think we are flakes, I should tell you that we have never had a bounced check or late payment with any line of business with USAA in over 40 years. It was entirely the error of the bank, and so after 90 days and three letters to the bank president Boehne and CEO Robles, we have finally received a written apology letter from the President of the bank saying they are sorry for the confusion and frustration their error caused. But for the past 3 months, they have ducked and hidden and made excuses and failed to return phone calls. We were told by one of their reps that there were hundreds of business accounts that were closed by mistake (others whose forms were not logged in properly), and we presume they are facing lawsuits over that and therefore tried to control the comments made to us by phone. (USAA quit offering business accounts some time ago, but allowed all open accounts to stay open.) Disgusted with this fiasco, we have chosen to move our banking to the new Chase military free banking program. It is apparent from our recent research that the USAA bank has indeed grown to0 large, too impersonal, too weighted down with bureacracy, and poor service. It’s sad to see USAA become “just another bank.” They seem more interested in attracting new business than taking care of the loyal folks who sang their praises for so many years. For those who only hear the positive side, keep in mind that the CEO only posts the positive reviews about USAA on his comment page, so most USAA members have no idea that there are terrible situations occurring for many “members.” Time for us to accept that the “old” USAA is no longer ….

  44. Jason says

    It is funny to see the trends on these comments from when USAA was good to now. I have been with them for 11-12 yrs and I absolutely loved them up until recently. Now they are rude and not very helpful. I went with Navy Fed and closed all my accounts except for checking. The only reason I keep the checking open is in case they pull their head outta their A@# and go back to what made them awesome. Its a shame to see them fall so far.

  45. FlyingHigh says

    I have to agree with what many others have said about USAA’s negative treatment to loyal customers. I’ve been with USAA for 23+ years and have banking, investments, insurance with them and have slowly started moving several products elsewhere. I recently received my homeowners renewal (+21%) and was quoted $1100+ for one year with a 2% deductible ($4100). The only option I was given to increase my deductible. So why do I have insurance if USAA continues to shift the burden on me to pay more for my premium and damages that cost less than $4100? I sure wish my pay went up 21% every year. They also discourage you (or put road blocks) from reducing the amount of the property. They tend to overestimate the value of properties to force up premiums. Well, I’m now shopping for other alternatives.

  46. SingleMom12 says

    I am closing my USAA accounts this week after 23 years, which I never thought I would do. I had to declare bankruptcy after an ugly divorce; my husband filed and if I didn’t, all of the debts were going to fall on me and the children, effectively burying us. This week, a whole year after I filed, a big red message came up every time i tried to sign in USAA saying that I had filed bankruptcy and redirecting me to the mobile site, which as you know, has limited capabilities and visibility of your accounts. I called and they said I was “caught during a random sweep” like I was a criminal or something. So, since I can’t access what I need, and I don’t want to see the red reminder of my sad past everyday, I chose to end the service my Dad gave me when I was 17 years old. Disappointed in you, USAA. Members have tough times too, and your humiliation does not help.

  47. Andy says

    I been using USAA for over 20 years, my insurance policy is always been the cheapest than anywhere else. I have had one collision claim but 5 rock chip claims where they replaced my windshield on my Honda Accord 3 times :). The collision claim was in 2002 and the dealer did a lousy job and now I have called them to fix it again, I believe the dealer was a preferred provider at the time, still no word on whether they are going to fix again for free. I am patient though. I should know next week. Was worth a try. As for my homeowners policy ( I got that about 8 years now), that is expensive, $774 a year, Farmer just quoted me $284 for really close to the same coverage, I believe USAA was over insuring but they go by a program in their computer. With both these policy, my SSA has climbed over $2000. So even if I took in consideration the SSA every year my home policy is still way high using the average of three other quotes , Liberty Mutual was $681 and State Farm was $335.00 , and Farmers at $284.00. Of course, I am going with farmers in January with a whopping $490 difference. In today’s times I would not get a home equity, I would consider a HELOC or refin but not a home equity, just too much money, and shop around. My house is paid for so I won’t take money out because now it cost me $250 a month to live here with taxes, insurance, and utilities. Can’t beat it.

  48. Robert Biller says

    Recently I tried to obtain a home equity loan of $80,000 on a paid off home valued at $300,000 from USAA. Despite having been a client of USAA for banking and insurance for 30+ years, having a guaranteed income (military retirement) and having a credit rating of 800, I was denied the loan. USAA’s reasoning was that my homes location is too remote to get an assessor too, to determine its fair market value. I was quite mad and began researching other banks and insurance companies and I found that I had been paying considerably more for auto and home insurance for years and that by going through a local bank I could shave a full 1.5% of interest off of the loan from USAA’s rate. I now have the same coverage as I had before at a 50% savings on my cars, a 60% savings on my house and a 75% savings on earth quake insurance. Thank you USAA for turning me down on the loan or I would hav continued to blindly let you take advatage of my loyalty.

  49. Diana says

    I just discovered that i got a refund on my homeowners insurance because it was cancelleed. It’s sunday and of course I cannot call nobody. I am not in bankcruptcy, just checked last week my credit score is in the 800’s and fnancial stable. I am shocked since I am a memeber of 9 years. no notice, I pay my homeowners in full every year. What if I had a problem with my house and I wasn’t insured? Can they even cancel it without proper notification????? I always had good relations with this company but it seems to me I should start moving my nest somewhere else….:(

  50. Bobbie says

    I have read through each of the comments on here and I must say I’m shocked! My husband and I have been with USAA for over 10 years and have always had superior customer and claims service. We will probably be leaving USAA for other reasons; however, reading these comments is VERY sobering to say the least. We have always had pretty much the bare minimum in coverage through USAA and thought our rates were unbeatable. Well, our financial adviser started looking around for us…low and behold there is another company (a few actually) who quoted 3 times more coverage for less money a year! When it was all said and done, we will be paying nearly $950 LESS a year with the other company than we were with USAA even with MORE COVERAGE in the auto area. I was totally amazed. I am almost glad we are making this move based on the comments above, too. Thank you all for speaking out about your experiences with USAA. It has been helpful.

  51. epador says

    I have had USAA insurance for 14 years. They had been a good service company for me initially, but since 2008 I’ve not had any warm feelings from them in multiple dealings regarding claims and other issues. The final straw came this winter. We had a near fatal auto accident, and the car was totaled. When we tried to call on the weekend while we were stranded 50 miles from civilization, we spent almost all the cell phone battery on hold for 30 minutes, only to be disconnected after 2 minutes of useless banter with folks that had no idea how to help us. (I used the remaining time to call AAA who fixed us up in less than a minute). I repeatedly called and e-mailed them to figure out how to expedite the claim, with multiple contradictory advice and delays. Its been over 4 months since the accident, 3 months since the car loan was paid off, and we still have not received the balance owed us. I hate to use the word “lied” but can think of no other accurate way to describe the statements that USAA has given me about why things are delayed or not happening. I terminated my insurance with them and would strongly recommend that if you ever think you may actually need to file a claim with USAA, you need to find a more customer-friendly company. Unless you live in San Antonio, you have no way of looking your agent in the eye and getting an honest answer from them. After being sold the “we understand service members’ needs” line, let me tell you, they don’t even seem to understand how to do their own job efficiently, are more interested in avoiding responsibility for their errors than serving their customers, and provide poor service. In my phone calls, they have repeatedly tried to put me on the defensive rather than solve my problems. As a professional delivering customer service every day, I can tell your their approach is poor.

  52. Ernie says

    Although my experience with USAA has been mostly pleasant, when I looked to obtain homeowners insurance in Florida, they refused to insure the house.

    I explained to them, that I had PCS orders after returning from Iraq, to Florida. They told me that they will not create any new policies in Palm Beach, Dade and Broward county (south Florida). They offered to provide coverage through one of their subsidiaries or partner companies. The quote was around $8800.00. I stated that this was more than 5 times the highest quote that I had obtained which was around $1700.00. They told me that I needed to take into account the financial standing of the company that was offering the homeowners insurance. I obtained home owners insurance from a local company for around $1400.00. Their may be some risk involved, but USAA’s quote was too high.

    I would have left and transferred all of my accounts to either State Farm or All State, but none of the big insurance companies wanted to insure a house in Florida.

    Just to recap, they do provide a good customer service, when you as a customer provide a good source of revenue, with a low risk as a liability.



  53. DeCarlo says

    I truly LOVE the service they provide to me, the vehicle insurance policies, and the banking is outstanding. I been with them over 10 years and never had one problem. I am very happy with USAA

  54. Kathy says

    I have been banking w/USAA for 16 yrs. I have auto, life and renters insurance along with Credit card, Checking, savings accounts and auto loans with them. I got divorce 2 yrs ago and have been struggling to stay afloat, while raising 3 kids. I recently had to file for bankrupcy and today I find out that USAA has cut my online banking access because of it. This is a bank that I recommend to everyone I meet because of their excellent customer service and willingness to actually talk to their members. I just can’t believe how they are acting.

    • SingleMom12 says

      Same thing happened to me! I have filed a complaint with the ACLU and am in process of cancelling all my USAA dealings as we speak. Very disappointing after 23 years.

  55. Rick says

    I was with USAA for 36 years and got my auto insurance canceled because of my son’s driving record. I asked if I could take him off the policy and just insure my wife and I (CLEAN driving records) and was told it’s everybody or nobody. New quote from their outside company was $1,450 a month, which I can’t afford and will soon be selling all my cars and taking the bus, leaving my son and daughter to fend for themselves.
    Thanks USAA. MY parents were members since 1956 until they passed away a few years ago.

  56. Raynard says

    USAA is the best bank if you dump and continuosly dump all your financial assets into their very big basket. Shop around, talk to your grandparents about where they bank and or invest.

    They (your grandparent) have a lot to lose and don’t take a lot of risk. USAA will open doors but will remove the hinges if you make a economic mistake or shift your eggs around.

    For what it’s worth, they’ve had a positive and negative impact on my life. I’d grade them 65% good and 35% bad. The thing is, the bad or 35% is very powerful and grossly negative. It just may be time to move on. I do thank them for all the positives and educating me with negatives.

  57. Bobby says

    Thanks for the reply Ryan.
    1. His policy with them has been cancelled due to non payment. (20 year old with lack of responsiblity, he wrecked his truck afetr I took him off our policy last year)

    2. They are aware he is not driving any of the vehicles.

    The guy claimed that if he was living at home, which he comes and goes, I have to carry everyone on the policy that has a valid drivers lisense. I find this to be ridiculous. I am not concerned about the rates I am more concerned about my liability if he is under my policy. If he were involved in an accident I woulld/could still be liable because he is under my policy. Thanks

  58. Bobby says

    I just received a call from USAA, I was told that if I did not add my 20 year old son on my policy that there was a chance that our policy would not be renewed. I removed our son 8 months ago because frankly he is not a responsible driver. He had his own ploicy and he has let it lapse. We have been with USAA for 15 years. Not a single ticket, late payment, or claim. We have 3 high dollar cars, an RV, Golf Cart, and 2 utility trailers. Our policies are about 1600 dollare every 6 months. It just not make sense to me that they can force me to add an adult to my policy that I don’t want on. He does not operate any of our vehicles. Anyone else hear about this. We have about 3000 built up in our SSA and i will be calling for quotes tomorrow elsewhere.

    • Ryan says


      I can only think of two things going on here:

      1.) It seems possible they meant that your 20 year old son would lose his coverage with them if he wasn’t added to your policy (if he has his own USAA policy).
      2.) They may believe your 20 year old son is still using your vehicles, and they want him covered.

      I would contact them and get clarification on their meaning. There is no reason they should drop your coverage for not wanting to add someone to your policy. But if they did, I would move on. You shouldn’t be forced to carry another legal adult on your policy, particularly if that person would cause a large increase in your rates.

  59. Bill says

    USAA is NOT what it once was…it has definitely become a vindictive large impersonal uncaring entity. fter 15 years my parents had one their first claim on their homeowners due to a power outage that caused food to go bad in their refrigerator. USAA cancelled their homewoners.

    I had financial difficulties and had to file bankruptcy, and USAA cut off my online access to my insurnce and my abilioty to electronically pay my insurance bill with USAA. INCREDIBLE!! Cut off my electronic access to pay my USAA Insutrance bill on line? I have no idea who is making these policies, but I can’t image the Board of Directors and the Trustees would approve it. THis policy really reflects badly on USAA in my opinion.

  60. Hunter says

    I have recently filed for bankruptcy in order to try and save our home. I am discharging credit cards and surrendering a vehicle through USAA. In essence, they have stated to me in writing on a form that they will:

    And will start the process of discontinuing business relationshipe with me and my wife due to the violation of mutual trust and respect to fellow members.

    I guess there goes my homeowners, life insurance, and vehicle insurance policies due to trying to survive, maintain our home and family and support our children. it does not make sense that they would cancel all my products and services, as I sent them an email to clarify in details. We have been good customers for years into financial chaos hit. Any other company would not be doing this as far as I know, I could be wrong. I guess it is Austa Luego USAA, cause I wont be back!!! If that is the case.

  61. Dana says

    I was an a big fan of USAA, until I got into a car accident in which I was told that I would be not longer allow membership. Here is my question would I still get my SSA balance after 6 months. Total of about 1,700

  62. Tony says

    I banked with USAA for over 3 years and had excellent service. That all changed when I had to file for Bankruptcy and USAA blocked my online access to my accounts. No notice from the bank or anything.I have since switched to Bank of America. I am very disappointed with how this was handled.

    • stan says

      There was probably a court order involved to freeze your accounts since you declared bankruptcy.

  63. Steve W says

    I am in the process of leaving USAA. Started five years ago when they sent me to Progressive to insure my boat. Recently they quoted me a home insurnace premium, in Florida, for 110% of two other viable companies (they won’t directly insure in Florida). Lastly, they want to charge me an additional $150 month for auto insurance. I’m moving from snow/traffic/road rage Virginia to a gated sedate community in Florida. They have basically told me they don’t want my business. I think my SSA account has several thousand dollars in it. It will pay for all my insurance for next year. Yee Haa

    • Ryan says

      Steve, I understand your desire to leave, and it makes good sense. I use USAA because they are still competitive where I live. But I wouldn’t hesitate to go elsewhere if the rates were substantially different.

      I also use USAA for my banking needs, and so far they have been great for that. But I also use a ING Direct and a local bank for my business. It’s never a bad idea to diversify.

      • Brad Leppla says


        I understand your reasoning for staying with USAA but I have just recently gone beyond that point. I have been with USAA for 40 years and have always loved them. Over the past two years I have seen them transform into a mega-capitalized company that has lost sight of their smaller customer base. I won’t go into the issues I have had with them but I am now at the point that I am going to leave USAA totally, EVEN IF MY RATES GO UP! That’s how ****** off I am and I honestly think they do not care. I have over $11K in my SSA and I am going to HOUND them weekly until it gets paid in full. Might even get a lawyer involved. BTW, don’t really think my rates will go up going with a different company! I just want to make sure they never get anymore of my hard earned dollars.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Brad,

        Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m a big believer in shopping around for a combination of the best coverage, rates, customer service, and any other factor that you deem important. Personally, I’ve had good experiences with USAA for my banking and insurance needs. But I also understand that everyone has different needs and different experiences. So, by all means, shop around and go with the company or organization that you feel offers you the best value to meet your needs.

        Best wishes!

  64. Joe Culfa says

    Having just read my post I am adding a note to apologize if I have offended any current USAA members who are NOT military officers. Granted you are many. I did not at all mean to imply that you could not or would not be equal to or above the character of an officer. My simple, poorly stated comment, was to try to emphasize that the company was “smaller” and as a group had members that would be considered “less risk” as seen by an insurance actuarial table. Young, healthy, college educated, no criminal record, and under the thumb of a higher ranking commanding officer who would bring down the hammer if you got out of line. Today, USAA has become like the Credit Union, if you have ever saluted a flag or said the pledge of allegiance, you can probably get insurance from them.

    Again, I apologize for probably offending many good people…

  65. Joe Culfa says

    Regarding USAA, I have been a member since 1978. I will be closing my account and association with them effect 9/15/09 when we close on our home. I think the claim or belief that USAA rates for it’s “exclusive” members is a “myth” based on what was once fact. Of course it continues to get perpetuated. They have grown so fast that they are now just another big insurance company. Granted, they are a well run, extremely stable company, but nothing like it was 35 years ago. When it was a company that limited its membership to military officers, it was a company that had members that were by their very nature less of a risk. College educated, military officers (mostly career or retired) are by and large a more stable group. Better group means less cost to the insurance company. When they expanded their base, they assumed more risk. Their customer service is very efficient, IF you can make your way through the horrible telephone menu system and talk to a person that does not sound as though they are a robot. Their customer service training must involve a brain lobotomy to remove all personal human interaction with customers. Again, very efficient as long as you do not get them off script.

    Last by not least. Met Life, here in their home base of San Antonio, will be beating their quote for auto and home insurance by over 20% a year. In fact their coverage will exceed USAA in a couple areas at that reduced cost. The best part is that when I have a question I call my personal agent and talk to a nice young lady who actually remembers me from previous conversations.

    Good bye USAA, you ain’t what you once was. I look forward to my $3000 SSA check sometime next year.

  66. Lori says

    I have had the very same experience after being placed on disability for a broken back and hip this last year…I called to work out payment arrangements (my account was nearly 30 days overdue) and thought I was given correct information by Customer Service. I received a Cancellation instead.
    I then tried to work things out THREE more times; sending them $850.00 over 3 weeks; following their specific instructions to the letter. Each time I received a Cancellation Notice for my efforts.
    I am a 22 year customer, a widow of a Major killed while on Active Duty. By the third Cancellation and “change” in the terms agreed upon previously? I gave up.
    I think that USAA has just gotten too big to be bothered with those of us who find ourselves in dire straights. I may be wrong here, this is just my opinion; unfortunately, I have found that my experience is not a singular one.
    I am glad that you are happy with them Ryan and wish you all the best.

    • Ryan says

      Lori, I am sorry to hear about your negative experiences with USAA. As I mentioned in the article and comments, I have only had good experiences with them. But I have also read quite a few stories similar to yours, which make me think twice. I will maintain my relationship with them until something happens that convinces me otherwise, and I hope that nothing does.

  67. Sheryl says

    I had a similar experience with USAA closing my account while I was on TDY out of the country and not allowing me to have access to my checking account. My auto insurance was due on March 20, 2009 by March 27 I couldn’t access my account online. I requested that my insurance payments come out of my account automatically. Oh yeah did I mention that I had just set this insurance up in February and paid 20% of the premium up front. So anyway, I thought the payment would come out directly. When I contacted the USAA to inquire about the inability to access my account that’s when I was informed my auto insurance was canceled. And my other accounts would be closed. I appealed it and lost because they asked the representative who set up my account did he remember me asking him to set up direct billing! Naturally he said no. I am a single parent and enlisted and I do want to go back to USAA because of their rates. I received an email for unconditional cancellation for nonpayment and a over a month later a refund check for the amount which was more than my monthly premium. Is USAA just trying to get rid of military personnel. A friend of mine had a similar experience.

  68. Mike says

    I’m currently experiencing the “wrath” of USAA for non-payment–caused by their misinformation. I updated my auto policy by adding another vehicle and was told that I had nothing to pay at that time. My six month premium would reflect the change when it came due. I found out the hard way, when my online access was blocked and I could not access bank account information. After speaking with several departments I finally put the pieces together….my insurance was dropped and that meant that all of my other USAA accounts would be canceled as well. Of course I was notified about all this? NOPE. I was supposedly sent notices in the mail, but not once did I receive a phone call.

    I am beyond disappointed at the customer service and commitment from current USAA. I was a memeber for 12 years with no previous hassles. I often received courtesy calls for bills or account difficulties, but now it seems that this is not the USAA I once trusted.

    • Ryan says

      Mike: You’re the second person who has made a similar comment. It doesn’t make sense to me that USAA would cancel all other accounts, but apparently that has happened to a few other people as well.

      USAA has been nothing but helpful when I have called about issues in the past, but things can always change. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • stan says

      The banking side and insurance side are two separate entities. There is no reason why being late on a policy would affect your banking, there must be more to the story. If you were late on a payment, then of course your insurance could be canceled.

  69. Jim says

    A friend just told me he was a day late with his car insurance payment and USAA cancelled his membership. He was a 12 yr customer. Not just his insurance, but his entire membership was cancelled, which is non-negotiable. He still has his bank account, but can’t access it online. He is now looking for a new bank and insurance company. This is disturbing to me as I have much more invested in USAA, i.e., my mortgage. Any thoughts on this are appreciated.

    • Ryan says

      Jim: I haven’t heard any stories like this, and I don’t work for USAA, so I can’t comment on their policies. In my experience USAA has had exceptional customer service and I have enjoyed banking with them.

      Regarding your friend’s situation:barring a customer from his/her bank account doesn’t seem legal and canceling a customer’s account for a payment that is only one day late seems a little extreme. Perhaps there is more to the story than your friend told you, or than even he knows (perhaps his account was hacked or he was a victim of identity theft?).

      I recommend that he contact a customer service rep and try to get more information about why his account was shut down. There could be other more troubling issues at the root of the matter.

      Best of luck to you both.

      • Steven Paul says

        I had been with USAA for almost 20 years and a few times when I was out of the country my insurance nearly lapsed… All it took was a short phone call and the matter was resolved. I doubt USAA would ever cancel someone’s account without a few notices sent first. I know I received one and I took care of the matter.

    • Bill the Cat says

      I’ve been almost 90 days late with my premium once when my wife’s company closed and we lost her income. They were quite willing to work with us and very flexible with our situation. I have a hard time believing that USAA would do something like he is describing without some other factors being involved.

      • Steven Paul says

        Similar story.. 1 call and USAA was more than willing to help make things easier.

  70. John says

    Always remember this–USAA is just a business, and nothing more. They are out to make money, and nothing more. When they expanded beyond the officer corp it was to make money, and nothing more.
    If you mess with them, and cost them money, they will attempt to get even, as you have cost them the opportunity to make money.
    Don’t think for one minute that they are your ally or pal.
    They are a business, and nothing more.

    • Ryan says

      John: Very true – USAA is a business, and they operate to make money. But what sets them apart in my experience is their great customer service and willingness to work with their customers when they need assistance.

    • Alan Tanner says

      I totally agree with you! I’ve been with USAA for over 35+years and while they used to be a superior company, in the past 15 years or so, just after opening their ranks, they have downgraded to excellent and now to simply just good.

      Auto insurance: In 35+ years I have never been in an automobile accident and I have only made one claim and that was for a cracked windshield 10 years ago (it was struck by a rock thrown up by a truck). Yet, despite my claim record, my premiums continue to rise each year even though I have the very same car as back then!!

      Home insurance: One claim in 35+ years, 13 years ago for damage caused by a small fire in my kitchen attributed to old wiring in a wall. Good grief, given the way I was treated by USAA you would have thought that I was Charles Manson or something! USAA stonewalled me and lowballed me for months, right up until I hired an attorney and they then settled immediately.

      Are you aware that USAA doesn’t offer homeowners insurance in Florida, a state with one of the highest active duty and retired military populations? Why? It’s all about money…

      I have watched USAA go downhill for some time now and my wife and I are contemplating jumping ship soon, if just to collect our almost $6K SSA.

      Best regards.

      • Glenn says

        Same here. I’ve been with them since the mid 80s and never filed a claim, been in an accident or given a speeding ticket be my rates continue to go every time I get a renewal. It’s amazing how many complaints they have been receiving from their members. Their service isn’t the same it was back in the 80s or 90s. I’ve moved almost all my finances to another institution and have had to gut my insurance (on my own) coverage to keep the increases to about 5%. USAA then has the courage to say (on their community website) that it helped me lower my premium. What arrogance. I have over $6k as well and could be making my exit at the end of this year.

  71. Ken says


    Your statement “There is actually no way to get your SSA funds back unless you close all of your property and casualty policies” isn’t 100% accurate.

    While you cannot get all the funds from your SSA, there is a way to get USAA to distribute you an additional 10% of your funds over and above the “normal” SSA distribution amount. The problem is you have to be a policy holder for 40 years or more.

    From a USAA SSA brochure mailed to members in February 2009:
    “To recognize members with more than 40 years of membership, the USAA Board of Directors may also authorize a Senior Bonus, which is an additional 10 percent distribution from the members Subscriber’s Account. If authorized, the funds will be distributed in February.”


    • Ryan says

      Ken, thanks for the info. I was not aware of that clause, but it is good to know. This probably doesn’t affect too many customers though, so for the most part, people will not be able to access those funds without closing their policies.

    • Ryan says

      Hello Jeanne,

      From what I understand, this is money you paid into the system and is not income. So, no, I don’t believe it needs to be reported as income to the IRS.

  72. Allan says

    USAA is great unless you have the misfortune of being unemployed for 6 months and filing for bankruptcy. Then USAA becomes very vindictive and as my attorney stated “they were acting very childish”. They cancelled my auto and other insurance policies despite my excellent driving record and never having filed a claim.

    • Ryan says

      Hello Allan,

      I’m sorry to hear about your unemployment and experience with USAA. All I can say about them is based on my personal experiences, which have been positive.

      I hope you have been able to find a job and get your situation sorted out. Best of luck to you.

  73. Jerry says

    We are just getting back with USAA for our banking (they were our source for insurance a few years back) and we have been impressed so far with their level of customer service! It’s a big selling point for them in all aspects of the financial services arena.

  74. Kirk says

    USAA is the best. When I do a financial plan for someone, I usually shop their car and auto insurance to save them a few bucks. If they are with USAA, I don’t even bother. It can’t be beaten. Or, if it can be, it isn’t worth leaving because USAA serves its customers so well.

    Also, I think it is important to reiterate that USAA is owned by its members. This means the board of directors are working for its members, not shareholders. This difference can not be overstated. It creates a completely different mentality, which only benefits USAA members.

    Vanguard is run this way as well. This is why Vanguard keeps its fees low and puts the interest of its customers first.

    As far as the SSA account, Ryan nailed the article. And, it sure is nice to get the SSA check each year.

The Military Wallet is a property of Three Creeks Media. Neither The Military Wallet nor Three Creeks Media are associated with or endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs. The content on The Military Wallet is produced by Three Creeks Media, its partners, affiliates and contractors, any opinions or statements on The Military Wallet should not be attributed to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Dept. of Defense or any governmental entity. If you have questions about Veteran programs offered through or by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, please visit their website at va.gov. The content offered on The Military Wallet is for general informational purposes only and may not be relevant to any consumer’s specific situation, this content should not be construed as legal or financial advice. If you have questions of a specific nature consider consulting a financial professional, accountant or attorney to discuss. References to third-party products, rates and offers may change without notice.

Advertiser Disclosure: The Military Wallet and Three Creeks Media, LLC, its parent and affiliate companies, may receive compensation through advertising placements on The Military Wallet. For any rankings or lists on this site, The Military Wallet may receive compensation from the companies being ranked; however, this compensation does not affect how, where, and in what order products and companies appear in the rankings and lists. If a ranking or list has a company noted to be a “partner,” the indicated company is a corporate affiliate of The Military Wallet. No tables, rankings, or lists are fully comprehensive and do not include all companies or available products.

Editorial Disclosure: Editorial content on The Military Wallet may include opinions. Any opinions are those of the author alone, and not those of an advertiser to the site nor of  The Military Wallet.

Information from your device can be used to personalize your ad experience.