USAA vs Geico

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USAA is known as the nation’s primary property and casualty insurer for military personnel. To get coverage, you must be an active duty or retired service member, or an immediate family member of someone who served. USAA was founded in 1922 and has about 13 million members. As of 2020, USAA was the fifth largest auto insurance provider in the U.S., with 6.3% of the total market share, according to National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) data.

Geico is a household name in car insurance. Most people know the company from its gecko mascot and signature motto, ”Fifteen minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.” Geico was founded in 1936 and currently insures more than 28 million vehicles across the country. It is the second largest U.S. auto insurer, with a market share of 13.6%, according to NAIC.

USAA vs. Geico: car insurance rates comparison

Geico and USAA both carry A++ “Superior” financial strength ratings from AM Best and have good overall customer satisfaction scores. In terms of rates, most drivers will pay less with USAA vs. Geico. We used 2021 data to compare average premiums and calculated the Bankrate Score based on factors such as customer satisfaction, financial stability and online tools. The table below highlights Geico vs. USAA in terms of ratings and average annual premiums:

Car insurance company Bankrate Score AM Best financial stability rating J.D. Power customer satisfaction score Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
USAA 4.7 A++ 890/1,000 $384 $1,225
Geico 4.6 A++ 871/1,000 $582 $1,509

Rates by credit score

In most states, your credit-based insurance score will impact your auto insurance rate. The only states that prohibit auto insurance companies from using your credit history in premium calculations are Hawaii, California, Michigan, Washington and Massachusetts. The table below includes the average cost of car insurance from USAA vs. Geico based on your credit-based insurance score:

Car insurance company Poor Average Good Excellent
USAA $2,270 $1,277 $1,225 $1,030
Geico $1,978 $1,505 $1,405 $1,312

Rates by age

Young drivers pay the highest car insurance rates because they are riskier to insure. If you are recently licensed or are adding a teen driver to your policy, in general, Geico is going to be a cheaper option than USAA for newly licensed teen drivers. In the table below, you can see each company’s average annual premium for full coverage auto insurance based on age:

Car insurance company Age 16* Age 18 Age 25 Age 30 Age 40 Age 60
USAA $2,186 $3,361 $1,510 $1,295 $1,225 $1,073
Geico $1,897 $3,672 $1,674 $1,465 $1,405 $1,326

*16-year-old cost when added to parents’ policy, 18-year-old renter

Rates by driving record

Geico vs. USAA car insurance rates differ based on your driving record. Whether you have a clean driving record or not, USAA is likely going to be the most affordable option. In the table below, we show the average rates from each company for drivers with a clean record, one speeding ticket, one accident and a DUI conviction:

Car insurance company Clean driving record Speeding ticket Accident DUI conviction
USAA $1,225 $1,463 $1,742 $2,177
Geico $1,405 $1,734 $1,971 $3,064

USAA vs Geico: discounts

Another important point of comparison between USAA vs. Geico are the discounts they offer. These two insurers have some of the best car insurance discounts in the industry, but each company offers different savings opportunities. Here are some of their most notable ones:

USAA

  • Annual mileage discount: USAA may give you a lower auto insurance rate based on the number of miles you drive in a given year.
  • Military installation discount: If you garage your vehicle on a military base while you are deployed, you might save up to 15% on comprehensive insurance.
  • Family discount : Drivers whose parents have a USAA policy can save up to 10% when they open their own USAA policy.

Geico

  • Vehicle safety discounts: Geico offers numerous discounts for having a vehicle with safety features, like anti-lock brakes, an anti-theft device, airbags and daytime running lights.
  • Federal employee discount: If you are a federal employee that works for the U.S. government, you can save up to 12% on your car insurance premium.
  • Emergency deployment discount: Drivers who are in the military and go on emergency deployment can save up to 25% on their auto insurance with Geico.

USAA vs Geico: Online and mobile experience comparison

Geico and USAA both have a good online and mobile user experience. Both insurers allow customers to get a quote online without contacting an agent first. You can also file a claim online through Geico and USAA’s websites. Geico and USAA do not offer any advanced online tools, like a personal coverage calculator or policy comparison tool, but they both have user-friendly mobile apps. We included a brief comparison of the Geico vs. USAA mobile apps below:

USAA

  • App Store (4.8 stars): USAA’s iOS mobile app is highly rated, but the features are pretty basic. You can get your ID cards, request roadside assistance and report a claim on the app. You can also view a checklist of what to do if you are in an accident.
  • Google Play (4.5 stars): With USAA’s Android app, you get access to all the same features that are included with the iOS app. The company has had a number of negative reviews recently, but most customers complain about the app’s banking features, not its functionality.

Geico

  • App Store (4.8 stars): Geico’s free iOS app allows users to make payments, get roadside assistance and file claims. If your car gets damaged, you can get a repair estimate in about 20 minutes by submitting photo evidence via the app. Users also like that you can create a maintenance schedule for your car and get reminders when you need to take the vehicle in for service.
  • Google Play (4.8 stars): Geico’s Android app is the top-rated insurance app in the Google Play Store. It has all the same features as the iOS app, but the Android app also includes Geico Explore, which uses artificial intelligence to help you find places like gas stations in your area.

Frequently asked questions

Where is car insurance legally required?

Car insurance is legally required in most states. The only states that do not require drivers to carry auto insurance are New Hampshire and Virginia. However, drivers must provide some proof of financial responsibility if they choose not to buy traditional car insurance in these two states.

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company is hard to identify because the best carrier is different for every driver. Most people will choose what is the best based on what kind of features, discounts, company contact options, pricing and other elements are most important to them.

How much does car insurance cost?

The average full coverage auto insurance premium in the U.S. is $1,674 per year. However, average car insurance premiums are personalized based on more than a dozen rating factors, according to the Insurance Information Institute. These factors include your state, ZIP code, age, credit-based insurance score, claims history, the amount of coverage you need and deductibles.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Credit: Rates were calculated based on the following insurance credit tiers assigned to our drivers: “poor, average, good (base), and excellent.” Insurance credit tiers factor in your official credit scores but are not dependent on that variable alone. The following states do not allow credit to be a factor in determining auto insurance rates: California, Hawaii, Michigan, Massachusetts and Washington.

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 18-60 (base: 40 years) applied. 16-year-old rates were factored as the added cost to their parents’ policy; 18-year-old rates were calculated as drivers who live separately from their parents and rent their primary residence.

Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction (BAC of >= .08) and lapse in coverage.

Written by
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth has two years of experience writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, The Simple Dollar, Coverage.com and NextAdvisor, among others. In addition to auto insurance, Elizabeth regularly writes about home insurance, renters insurance and life insurance. She also covers industry trends and general insurance education.
Edited by
Loans Editor
Reviewed by
Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute