USAA and Geico – How do they Stack Up?






There are dozens of insurance companies to choose from in any given area. The prices can vary greatly from one carrier to another, as well as the customer service. One well-known company is Geico. Catering to drivers with good records and offering low prices for more than 75 years, it is a fast growing company. A lesser known company that caters specifically to military personnel and their family is USAA. Here’s a quick comparison to show how the two companies stack up.

History

Founded in 1922, USAA is the insurance that caters to members of the military. It started with 25 Army officers who banded together to insure each other’s vehicles when they were denied insurance through traditional companies. The United Services Automobile Association is a privately held company that is actually owned by the members.

Geico has been around almost as long as USAA. The company was founded in 1936 and continues to flourish today. It was started by the Goodwin couple and was founded on the principles of ingenuity, innovation, honesty, resilience and perseverance. Geico is a publicly held company.

Products

Geico is strictly an insurance company, although they will insure almost everything in your home. Almost anything that rides on wheels or has value to it is eligible for coverage. This includes your home, RVs, commercial autos, collectible autos, boats, your life, collectibles and even your identification.

USAA has grown over the years and is currently more than just an insurance company. However, their insurance offerings are more limited than Geico’s. Boats, motorhomes and collector cars are not insured directly through USAA. The company has partnered with Progressive, however, so that members can still enjoy great discounts on these products.

However, the company does offer property insurance, life insurance and they will provide riders for valuables such as jewelry and electronics.

USAA also offers banking, investment and retirement products to help their members stay on track. With USAA, your car could be financed with the same company that is insuring it. You can even make the payments from a free USAA checking account.

Ratings

JD Power rates insurance companies based on several criteria. They look at the overall satisfaction of policy holders and ease of contacting the insurer. They view the policy offerings, pricing and how convenient the billing and payment is. A.M. Best reviews the financial strength of a company and their ability to meet responsibilities.

Geico has average ratings in all areas reviewed by JD Power. They have four out of five stars for policy offerings and pricing. Ease of contact, billing and overall satisfaction are all three stars for this insurance giant. Their rating from A.M. Best is an A++ (Superior) for their strong performance, brand name recognition and excellent market position.

USAA receives five stars across the board from JD Power. They also have an A++ (Superior) rating from A.M. Best for their low cost structure, impressive customer retention and excellent use of technology.

Membership

There is one area where Geico beats USAA and that is in membership. Geico is open to all member of the purchasing public. They will review driving record and may turn down drivers with poor records, but they are open to military personnel and civilians.

USAA was created by and continues to cater to the military services. Membership is open to all people who have served in the armed forces including active duty personnel and veterans. Membership is also open to spouses, widows, widowers and former spouses of USAA members. Children of USAA members can also become members and take advantage of the excellent discounts.

Dividends

USAA stands apart from most other countries with their private ownership and payment of dividends. A portion of the profits are returned to members on an annual basis. This is a feature Geico can’t offer that USAA members greatly enjoy.

Discounts

Most insurance companies offer discounts to reward their customers. Geico and USAA both offer a wide range of discounts that customers can take advantage of, including the following:

• Safe driver
• Vehicle safety equipment
• Security alarms
• Good student
• Multiple cars
• Multiple products
• Basic driver training

USAA offers additional discounts for owners of new vehicles and people who are second, third or fourth generation members. The bottom line is that both companies offer competitive, attractive rates.

State Coverage and Overseas

Both companies are active in all fifty states and can provide you with coverage regardless of where you live in the country. Only USAA can also provide you with long-term insurance coverage should you be required to move overseas. However, Geico does offer short-term insurance coverage in some overseas locations for people who are traveling there on vacation and might want to do some driving.

There are pros and cons to either company. If you own an RV or motorcycle and want the convenience of only having one bill, then Geico might be the company for you. However, USAA typically offers lower rates and is well-known for their excellent customer service.

Each company has a long history and has withstood the rigorous test of time. Both agencies are fiscally responsible and financially sound. Reviews of each are generally positive and both companies are definitely worth taking a closer look at if you are in the market for insurance.


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