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ByDena Landon Contributing Writer

Dena Landon is a professional writer in the home, real estate, and business market. Her bylines have appeared in The Washington Post, Salon, Good Housekeeping, and more.

USAA Homeowners Insurance Review

USAA, or the United Services Automobile Association, serves members of the armed forces and their families. Due to this tight focus on its customer base, it's risen to the top in customer service and claims satisfaction. Policies have options for active-duty personnel, such as the option to pause or reduce coverage while deployed.

USAA’s home insurance policies offer standard coverage, such as dwelling coverage and personal liability, with some nice extra options like identity theft protection that’s available in most states. Unfortunately, USAA restricts membership to current and former members of the armed forces and their direct family members. If you fall into this bucket, however, it's worth getting a quote from USAA as you shop around for homeowners insurance.

Pros
Cons
Ranks high in customer satisfaction surveys
Bundle discounts by having multiple insurance policies and banking accounts
Excellent coverage options
Only sold to current and former service members and their families

The Homeowners Insurance Factors We Analyzed

Pricing

Many factors impact the price of homeowners insurance, not all of which are under your control: Your home’s geographic location could dictate a need for earthquake or flood insurance, for instance, and living in a ZIP code with a higher crime rate may drive up your premiums. Electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems in an older home are more prone to breakdowns, as well, and the replacement cost to rebuild will be higher — thus, higher premiums.

Homeowners can exercise some control over their policy’s premium when selecting their deductible and coverage amounts, but it's impossible to know exactly how much you'll pay with any given company before getting a quote for yourself. We always recommend pulling quotes from a few different companies to see which offers you the most competitive price for your individual situation.

Customer experience

USAA is one of the best in the business for customer satisfaction. It's ranked at the top of the list in customer satisfaction surveys from J.D. Power, receiving five out of five stars in property claims satisfaction.

The majority of the complaints about USAA’s customer service for the past two years have related to auto claims, followed by homeowners insurance. Overall, though, USAA receives fewer complaints than average for a homeowners insurance company. Given the size of USAA and the number of policies written, it’s remarkable that USAA has so few dissatisfied customers.

If you need to file a claim, you can do so online by logging into your account. Support is available through USAA’s online forum and community, through its mobile app, or over the phone. It even has special phone numbers specifically for deployed policyholders.

Coverage

USAA offers all of the standard homeowners insurance, like coverage for garages, fences, sheds, and personal belongings, as well as loss of use coverage, which pays for you to live elsewhere while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

However, USAA also extends its coverage with a few more uncommon options. Most policies include up to $5,000 in identity theft protection, and people who rent out rooms in their home will appreciate the unique Home Sharing Coverage. Additionally, lost military uniforms or equipment owned by the policyholder while on active duty or reserve duty are exempt from the policy's deductible.

To make sure you have the best coverage for your needs, it’s best to work with an agent to determine the value of all your assets. Still, you can prepare a rough estimate of how much coverage you’ll need by doing an inventory of major possessions and considering their replacement costs. USAA offers a Home Value Monitoring tool to help you track changes made to your home to keep your coverage updated.

Deals, discounts, and add-ons

USAA doesn't advertise many discounts for its homeowners insurance, but there are still a few easy ways to save. You can save up to 10% on homeowners premiums if you also have an USAA auto insurance policy and up to 10% more for remaining claims-free. You can also receive a credit for installing a home security system; to facilitate this, USAA offers a discount with ADT for signing up for its home security.

USAA Homeowners Insurance Overview: Financial Strength, Availability, and History

USAA is a financially strong insurer with close to 100 years of experience serving military families. Founded in 1922, it operates in all 50 states. Despite the limitations to membership, USAA has captured 6.2% of market share for homeowners insurance.

An insurer’s financial strength will matter if you ever need to file a claim. In short, you want to know that your insurance company will be there to pay out. Moody’s, A.M. Best, and S&P Global, which provide financial strength rankings for investors, have all given USAA high financial strength scores.

The Competition

A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating
J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Home Insurance Study Score
J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study Score
NAIC Customer Complaints
USAA
A++
5/5
5/5
Fewer complaints than average
Allstate
A+
3/5
3/5
Average number of complaints
Geico
A++
N/A
N/A
Close to no complaints
Amica
A+
5/5
5/5
Close to no complaints

All information accurate as of January 15, 2020.

USAA Homeowners Insurance FAQ

What other property insurance does USAA offer?

In addition to its standard homeowners insurance policies, USAA also offers renters, condo, rental property, and farm and ranch property insurance. Mobile home insurance is offered through an agency alliance. If you own more than one type of property, you could save money by bundling policies.

How much homeowners insurance do I need?

You will need enough home insurance to pay for any damage or destruction to your house and its contents. This amount will depend upon your home’s age, size, and condition. When deciding on homeowners insurance, make sure to choose the coverage that you truly need; saving a few dollars per month on premiums isn’t worth the hefty costs you could face if your coverage comes up short.

Where is USAA homeowners insurance coverage available?

USAA sells policies nationally, but coverage options vary by state.

How does USAA underwrite its homeowners insurance policies?

USAA underwrites all of its home insurance policies itself. In the event of a claim, you’ll work directly with USAA throughout the claims process.

What does USAA's homeowners insurance typically cover?

USAA home insurance typically covers the following; dwelling coverage, personal liability, other structures, contents, and loss of use. It sells riders that you can add to your policy as well, including earthquake insurance and valuable personal property. A valuable personal property rider will cover specific items that may not be covered under the standard homeowners insurance policy.

The Bottom Line

If you qualify for membership, USAA is most likely your best choice for homeowners insurance. While some service members might be able to find cheaper insurance elsewhere, USAA’s strong customer service and focus on the unique needs of the military outweigh small cost savings. USAA has built a company that deeply understands the reality of military life, from relocating to different states or deploying abroad. Those insured with USAA can trust that their home and belongings are properly covered.

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