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.
|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)
|Standout features|| AAA member discounts|
Other features vary per auto club
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 Auto Insurance Pros✓ AAA member discounts. ✓ Great for drivers who qualify for coverage.
AAA Auto Insurance Cons✗ Not ideal for non-AAA members. ✗ Not ideal for drivers whose local clubs don’t offer many savings. ✗ Unpredictable customer service.
AAA Auto Insurance Overview
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.
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 review of the best auto insurance companies.
The Competition[sc_module feature=”insurance_monetization_widget” id=”559454jwasjfps”]
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 Allied Group||West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Connecticut, Kansas|
|AAA Carolinas||North Carolina, South Carolina|
|AAA Central Penn||Pennsylvania|
|AAA East Central||Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, West Virginia|
|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 Oregon/Idaho||Oregon, Idaho|
|AAA Pioneer Valley||Massachusetts|
|AAA Schuylkill County||Pennsylvania|
|AAA Shelby County||Ohio|
|AAA South Dakota||South Dakota|
|AAA South Jersey||New Jersey|
|AAA Southern Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania|
|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 review of the best auto insurance companies before settling on a single provider.