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By Adam Morgan, Senior Finance Editor

AAA Auto Insurance Review

Believe it or not, the nonprofit American Automobile Association (AAA) doesn’t just provide roadside assistance — it also offers home, renters, auto, and life insurance for members and non-members alike. There is no “national” AAA club, so your coverage options, discounts, and customer service will vary depending on where you live and which club you purchase coverage from. That’s why we didn’t consider AAA in our review of the best auto insurance companies; it’s impossible to compare AAA as a whole to other national providers. But if you’re already a AAA member, it’s definitely worth talking to your local club about auto insurance to see what it offers and to get a quote. Non-members are eligible for coverage, but members will qualify for more discounts.

The Claim

Every AAA motor club makes its own claim. The largest club, Automobile Club of Southern California, promises an average savings of $508 on your annual premium, “legendary service,” and financial stability. The next-largest club, Auto Club Group — which operates in 11 Southern and Midwestern states — claims to provide “more guidance, more dedication, and more commitment” than its competitors, as well as the ability to customize your auto insurance policy.

Is it true?

Like we said with AAA home insurance, it depends on where you live. Because of AAA's size, experience, and financial strength, we definitely recommend exploring auto insurance if you live in right ZIP code to qualify for coverage with the two largest motor clubs — Auto Club of Southern California and the Auto Club Group. Judging from their ratings, their claims of financial stability and policy customization are based on facts. If you only qualify for auto insurance with one of AAA’s smaller clubs, however, it might only be worth considering if you’re already a AAA member. You can still purchase insurance from AAA if you’re not a member, but you’ll miss out on the best savings, which is one of the most attractive things about AAA auto insurance.


AAA

Product Overview

Best for

AAA members and drivers who qualify for coverage with two largest clubs

Not for

Non-members or drivers whose local clubs don’t offer many savings

Features

Price Varies
In business since 1902 (first club)
A.M. Best financial strength rating Varies per club
Moody's financial strength rating Varies per club
S&P Global financial strength rating Varies per club
J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study score Automobile Club of Southern California
868/1,000 (“About average")
Auto Club Group
854/1,000 (“About average”)
AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah
(CSAA Insurance Group)

835/1,000 (Below industry average)
Other clubs
N/A
Standout features AAA member discounts
Other features vary per auto club

AAA member discounts

If you’re already a AAA member, you’ll qualify for a discount on AAA auto insurance. For many people, that might be the deciding factor between AAA and other insurance providers. But the size of that discount varies from club to club. The largest motor club, Automobile Club of Southern California, offers a 5% discount along with a $100 travel certificate, and its policyholders also qualify for dividends at the end of the year (over the past three years, dividends have averaged around $180). Meanwhile, AAA Carolinas offers a 10% auto insurance discount for members, but no dividends for policyholders. Ask your local club about member discounts, or check its website’s auto insurance page. If you’re not a AAA member, the auto insurance discount alone probably isn’t reason enough to join.

Other features vary

We can’t appraise AAA auto insurance as a whole, since every motor club operates independently, with its own coverage options and discounts. Automobile Club of Southern California offers more than a dozen discounts on auto insurance, from policy bundling to alumni association membership. That sounds like a lot, but Auto Club Group offers even more. Coverage options also run the gamut. Most clubs offer accidental death or dismemberment, bodily injury liability, and collision/rollover coverage as part of their basic policy, but Automobile Club of Southern California also offers coverage for car rental or transportation expenses, comprehensive coverage, excess medical payments, and personal injury protection. Auto Club Group, on the other hand, offers add-ons like enhanced total loss replacement, loan/lease "gap" coverage, enhanced exterior repair, and rideshare coverage. To find out what your motor club offers, see our comprehensive list of AAA clubs below.

Possible drawbacks

Unpredictable customer service

One of the primary ways we compare insurance providers — customer service surveys from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports — isn’t available for most AAA motor clubs, so there’s no reliable way to know what kind of customer service you’ll get from your local club. There are a few exceptions: Automobile Club of Southern California, Auto Club Group, AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah (also known as California State Auto Group), and a grouping of clubs called Auto Club Enterprises (which is comprised of Automobile Club of Southern California, AAA Texas, AAA New Mexico, AAA Hawaii, and AAA Alabama).

Automobile Club of Southern California fared pretty well in J.D. Power’s 2018 claims satisfaction survey (868 out of 1,000, a few points higher than the industry average) and 2019 shopping satisfaction survey (867 out of 1,000, well above average). As part of the Auto Club Enterprises grouping, it also did well in Consumer Reports’ latest customer surveys, ranking higher than most national providers except for Amica and USAA.

The second-largest AAA club — Auto Club Group, which serves 11 states — doesn’t rank as highly. In J.D. Power’s latest claims and shopping satisfaction surveys, it scored below average in the former and slightly above average in the latter. But strangely enough, it outperformed Automobile Club of Southern California in Consumer Reports' survey.

Finally, AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah (California State Auto Group) performed very poorly in J.D. Power’s claims satisfaction survey but fared much better in its insurance shopping rankings and with Consumer Reports, where it actually (barely) outranks State Farm and Allstate.

The inconsistency in these customer service rankings are illustrative of AAA’s major auto insurance setback — your experience is hugely dependent on where you live. If you want a more predictable forecast, look at the national providers on our list of the best auto insurance companies.

The Competition

Enter your ZIP code for quotes in your area

AAA vs. Amica

If AAA is the most uncertain auto insurance provider when it comes to customer service, Amica is the most reliable. Every year, Amica has extremely high customer satisfaction scores in auto and home insurance, not to mention great financial strength. If you’re already a AAA member, you might find a better deal on auto insurance, but your customer service and claims experience will be a roll of the dice.

AAA vs. Allstate

It’s hard to compare AAA as a whole with Allstate, since your discounts and coverage options with the former will vary so wildly depending on where you live. However, some of the larger AAA motor clubs we mentioned above (Automobile Club of Southern California, Auto Club Group, AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah, AAA Texas, AAA New Mexico, AAA Hawaii, and AAA Alabama) do score as well or better than Allstate in customer service rankings from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. Check your local AAA club’s website to see how its auto insurance compares with Allstate.

AAA vs. Progressive

Since Progressive is a single-entity national provider, you’ll have a much easier time comparing customer service and financial strength ratings with other insurance companies than you will with AAA. However, Progressive doesn’t score very well, coming in below the industry average with J.D. Power and ranking worse that most of its competitors with Moody’s and Consumer Reports. However, Progressive and AAA are both worth looking into, particularly if you can bundle your auto insurance with another policy.

AAA Auto Insurance FAQ

Which AAA club should I buy auto insurance from?

If you want to buy auto insurance from AAA, you can only do it with the motor club that covers your ZIP code. To find out which club you qualify for, visit the main AAA website and enter your ZIP code. Here’s a complete list of every AAA motor club.

AAA Club Region
AAA Alabama Alabama
AAA Allied Group West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Connecticut, Kansas
AAA Arizona Arizona
AAA Carolinas North Carolina, South Carolina
AAA Central Penn Pennsylvania
AAA Colorado Colorado
AAA East Central Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, West Virginia
AAA Hawaii Hawaii
AAA Hudson Valley New York
AAA Merrimack Valley New Hampshire
AAA Mid-Atlantic Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey
AAA Missouri Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Texas
AAA MountainWest Alaska, Montana, Wyoming
AAA New Mexico New Mexico
AAA North Penn Pennsylvania
AAA Northampton County Pennsylvania
AAA Northeast Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York
AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah California, Nevada, Utah
AAA Northern New England Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont
AAA Northway New York
AAA Oklahoma Oklahoma
AAA Oregon/Idaho Oregon, Idaho
AAA Pioneer Valley Massachusetts
AAA Reading-Berks Pennsylvania
AAA Schuylkill County Pennsylvania
AAA Shelby County Ohio
AAA South Dakota South Dakota
AAA South Jersey New Jersey
AAA Southern Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
AAA Texas Texas
AAA Tidewater Virginia Virginia
AAA Washington Washington, Idaho
AAA Western and Central New York New York
Akron Auto Club Ohio
Auto Club Group Minnesota, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, Virginia
Automobile Club of Southern California California
Findlay Automobile Club Ohio
Hoosier Motor Club Indiana
Ohio Auto Club Ohio

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re a AAA member or not, it’s absolutely worth looking into your local AAA motor club to see what discounts and coverage options it offers for auto insurance. However, for most drivers, AAA auto insurance is probably only tempting if you can get the AAA member discount, or if you qualify for coverage with the larger clubs that have been rated by J.D. Power, A.M. Best, and Consumer Reports (Automobile Club of Southern California, Auto Club Group, and AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah). Either way, make sure to compare quotes with our picks for the best auto insurance companies before settling on a single provider.


AAA

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