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Updated Apr 27, 2024

Exploring the benefits and services of USAA and AAA can help determine which insurer aligns best with your specific insurance needs and eligibility.


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USAA is the second-largest auto insurance company by market share and has been providing insurance since it was founded in 1922. Unlike most standard car insurance companies that are available to the general public, USAA specializes in coverage for military members, exclusively serving active-duty military, veterans and qualifying family members. Although eligibility for coverage is limited, the company is known for offering affordable policies and tailored savings opportunities for military members, such as discounts for garaging a vehicle on base.

AAA, formally known as the American Automobile Association, is another top auto insurance company, positioned as the 17th-largest provider by market share. The company was founded in 1902 and similar to USAA, has eligibility requirements for its insurance offerings. AAA offers membership for an annual fee that varies based on your selected plan. As part of the association, members gain access to the company’s insurance options, as well as several other benefits including savings on rental vehicles.


Our verdict

Our insurance editorial team identified several key highlights when comparing USAA vs. AAA. Both companies have eligibility requirements: AAA involves a membership fee, while USAA requires a military connection. Both carriers have a fairly standard selection of coverage options and discounts, but your policy choices may vary with AAA based on your state. USAA typically has lower average rates than AAA, so if you’re eligible, you may find it to be a more affordable option.

USAA vs. AAA comparison

Because both USAA and AAA are membership-based companies, you may be wondering how their offerings stack up against each other. While each company has its strengths and weaknesses, comparing their AAA vs. USAA pros and cons side by side may provide a clearer picture of which carrier best suits your individual needs.

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Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5


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AAA offers relatively affordable auto insurance options, as well as membership perks. Those who like convenience may also appreciate that some of AAA’s offices also offer DMV transactions, notary services and travel planning.
Local agents available
Auto Insurance
Robust roadside assistance
Dollar Coin
Access to additional AAA perks

USAA pros and cons

  • Unique military-geared discounts

  • Average policy rates are below the national average

  • Consistently high-scoring in J.D. Power auto insurance customer satisfaction studies

  • Flexible payment options that can align with military pay schedules

  • Coverage not available to civilians who are not immediate family of a military member or veteran

  • No local agents available for members who prefer an in-person experience

  • Customer service is not available 24/7

  • Limited customization options for policy features

AAA pros and cons

  • Membership comes with additional benefits, such as vehicle rental discounts

  • Regional clubs may have tailored coverage options

  • Above-average score from J.D. Power for claims satisfaction for some specific clubs

  • Robust roadside assistance coverage

  • Coverage limited to the states AAA is available in

  • Average rates are above the national average

  • Membership comes at an annual fee

  • Customer complaints per NAIC vary based on underwriting company

Is USAA cheaper than AAA?

Price is often a top priority when it comes to choosing a car insurance company. To help drivers compare AAA vs. USAA, Bankrate’s insurance editorial team analyzed annual quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services for each company across several driver profiles and situations. On average, USAA offers cheaper rates for both full and minimum coverage, coming in below the national average. AAA average rates are higher than both USAA and the national average for full and minimum coverage.

Driver profile USAA avg. full coverage premium AAA avg. full coverage premium
Young driver (age 25) $2,618 $2,702
Senior driver (age 70) $2,085 $2,244
Good driver, good credit $1,931 $2,369
Good driver, poor credit $3,800 $5,127
Speeding ticket with good credit $2,410 $3,043
At-fault accident with good credit $2,920 $4,094
DUI conviction with good credit $3,622 $4,094

Bankrate's take

Based on the data reviewed, USAA typically offers lower rates than AAA across various driver profiles, suggesting it could be a more cost-effective choice for eligible policyholders. While both insurers provide valuable services, USAA's more competitive pricing might make it a preferable option for those who qualify. It's important to consider individual needs and circumstances when choosing an insurer, but for those eligible, USAA generally provides affordable premiums without compromising on the quality of coverage and customer service.

USAA vs. AAA: discounts

Both USAA and AAA have robust discount offerings. AAA is perhaps best known for its discounts relating to roadside assistance and available trip planning tools, but there are other member discounts, as well. USAA has several discounts aimed at savings for active military members.

Discounts available from both carriers

Both carriers offer a variety of discounts that can help policyholders reduce their insurance costs. These USAA and AAA discounts reward responsible behavior and the bundling of services, which can make managing multiple policies more convenient and cost-effective. Here are some common discounts provided by both insurers:

  • Home and auto bundle: Policyholders can typically save on their overall insurance costs by bundling auto and home insurance policies with the same provider.
  • Good student discount: Available for students who maintain a high academic standard, which is generally recognized as achieving a B average or better.
  • Multi-vehicle discount: Savings may be available for those insuring more than one vehicle under the same policy, which can simplify management and reduce overall premiums.

USAA discounts

  • Vehicle storage: Policyholders who are deployed or who choose to store their vehicles long-term for another reason could save up to 60 percent on their policy.
  • Garaging a vehicle on base: Policyholders who live and garage their vehicle on base could save up to 15 percent on comprehensive coverage.
  • New car: Drivers with a car less than three years old could earn a discount on their policy due to the vehicle’s modern safety features.

AAA discounts

  • AAA membership: Drivers could save up to 10 percent on their auto policy because of their AAA membership.
  • Professional/association: Policyholders within certain professions or educational associations may receive an extra discount on their car insurance.
  • Loyalty: Drivers who maintain AAA auto insurance for more than a year may be eligible for a special loyalty discount.

USAA and AAA telematics programs

Both USAA and AAA offer usage-based telematics insurance programs that policyholders can choose to participate in for potential discounts. USAA SafePilot and AAADrive track your driving habits and provide feedback, as well as ways to improve.

USAA SafePilot AAADrive
Device Mobile app Mobile app
Can it raise your rate? No Increases depend on accidents and other events but not on driving performance alone
Availability Select states Select states
Discount 10% for signing up, up to 30% at renewal based on driving score 5% for signing up, up to 10% for enrolling all family members and up to 25% at renewal based on score
What it monitors Location
Time of day
Phone handling
Harsh braking
Hours driven per year
Time of day
Distracted driving
Harsh braking
Driver fatigue
Route traveled
Distance driven

USAA vs. AAA: customer experience comparison

USAA scores highly in the 2023 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, with 900 out of 1,000 points. However, it’s technically ineligible for ranking based on the company’s eligibility restrictions.

AAA is more complex to analyze, as multiple subsidiaries are scored in the J.D. Power Study. One AAA company, Auto Club of Southern California, performs well at 889/1,000, while CSAA and Automobile Club Group come in below the industry average at 874 and 848, respectively.

Both companies have highly rated mobile apps in both the App Store and Google Play Store, with over four-star ratings. In addition to insurance account and claims handling access, the USAA app also provides access to its banking and investment services while the AAA app provides access to other membership benefits like AAA-approved restaurants, hotels and auto repair centers.

Apple store 4.8 of 5 4.6 of 5
Google play 4.0 of 5 4.6 of 5
J.D. Power claims satisfaction 900/1,000 Auto Club of Southern California: 889/1,000
CSAA Insurance Group: 874/1,000
Automobile Club Group: 848/1,000

Customer complaints

When choosing an insurance provider, it's helpful to consider how they handle customer complaints. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Complaint Index serves as a valuable tool for this assessment. This index measures an insurance company's customer complaints relative to its size, calculated by comparing the number of complaints a company receives against its share of premiums in the industry. An index score of 1.00 suggests an insurer receives complaints proportional to its size. Scores higher than 1.00 indicate more complaints than average, while scores below that suggest fewer complaints. Understanding this index can help you gauge an insurer's reliability and customer service effectiveness.

USAA auto insurance customer complaints

For USAA, the NAIC Complaint Index has shown some variability over the past few years. These figures indicate that USAA's complaint index was below the industry average in 2022, but complaints increased in 2023. This fluctuation highlights the importance of speaking with current customers and reading insurance reviews to gain insight.

AAA auto insurance customer complaints

Analyzing customer complaints for AAA auto insurance involves considering the NAIC Complaint Index for various underwriting companies due to AAA’s structure of multiple independent clubs. We focus on three of the largest AAA insurers: Auto Club Property-Casualty Insurance Company, Automobile Club Group and CSAA General Insurance Company. Among these, CSAA General Insurance Company has consistently shown the most positive results. However, across all the mentioned entities, trends suggest a general improvement in how customer grievances are being managed and resolved.

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Auto Club Property Casualty Insurance Company NAIC Complaint Index

Automobile Club Group NAIC complaint Index

CSAA General Insurance Company

Frequently asked questions


Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze July 2024 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a single, 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 coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2022 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-based insurance scores: 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. Four states prohibit or limit the use of credit as a rating factor in determining auto insurance rates: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan.

Incidents: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket and single DUI conviction.

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 25-70 (base: 40 years) applied. Depending on age, drivers may be a renter or homeowner. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.

Bankrate Scores

Our 2024 Bankrate Score considers variables our insurance editorial team determined impacts policyholders’ experiences with an insurance company. These rating factors include a robust assessment of each company’s product availability, financial strength ratings, online capabilities and customer and claims support accessibility. Each factor was added to a category, and these categories were weighted in a tiered approach to analyze how companies perform in key customer-impacting categories.

Each category was assigned a metric to determine performance, and the weighted sum adds up to a company’s total Bankrate Score — out of 5 points. Our scoring model provides a comprehensive view, indicating when companies excel across several key areas and highlighting where they fall short.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Overall Score
  • Cost & ratings 50%
  • Coverage & savings 30%
  • Support 20%
  • Tier 1 (Cost & ratings): To determine how well auto and home insurance companies satisfy these priorities, average quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services (if available), as well as any of the latest third-party agency ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best, Demotech and the NAIC, were analyzed.
  • Tier 2 (Coverage & savings): We assessed companies’ coverage options and availability to help policyholders find a provider that balances cost with coverage. Additionally, we evaluated each company’s discount options listed on its website.
  • Tier 3 (Support): To encompass the many ways an auto insurance company can support policyholders, we analyzed avenues of customer accessibility along with community support. This analysis incorporated additional financial strength ratings from S&P and Moody’s and factored a company’s corporate sustainability efforts.

Tier scores are unweighted to show the company's true score in each category out of a possible five points.