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Old 03-20-2009, 02:11 AM
Location: Haines, AK
1,121 posts, read 3,913,607 times
Reputation: 668


Anyone else out there having problems with USAA insurance company? I've been a member for over 20 years, but recently came close to dropping them entirely. They've got a new computer program called "geo-coding" that's apparently red-flagged most of coastal Alaska as a "brush fire risk area". Yeah, right...especially down in SE where I live. It's a friggin temperate rain forest, fer cryin out loud! I bought a new house less than 1/4 mile away from my old one (that they've insured for almost two years) and they initially declined to write a homeowners policy because of "brush fire hazard". After much angry complaining up the manager food chain they changed their minds, but I'm doubting my luck at renewal time.

Most of the year it's so soggy here you probably couldn't set the forest on fire with a napalm strike. Even in the dry spells it's still wetter here than the rest of the U.S. ever gets. Where in the world are they getting the impression that SE Alaska is a fire hazard? And what's in store for S. Central and the interior where there really ARE fire hazard areas?

I'm curious to know if anyone else out there has been declined coverage lately, and what excuses they're getting from USAA.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:54 PM
Location: Fairbanks, AK
67 posts, read 185,482 times
Reputation: 57
my husband and I were members for years before we met, and combined our accounts when we married. EVERYTHING is with USAA- banking, investing, insurance...

we love them. so much, in fact, that i wrote them a love letter a few days ago Not one time have we ever had an experience short of outstanding. Great company.

They did drop our friends for vehicle insurance... but they totaled three cars in ten months... i'd drop them, too.

They were going to drop me for vehicle insurance last year for non-payment... my own fault, I thought the payments were debiting automatically and wasn't monitoring my account balances.... but since I'd been a loyal customer for so many years, they reversed their decision. They are not unreasonable, in my opinion.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:37 PM
2 posts, read 13,805 times
Reputation: 11
My wife and I have had USAA for insurance and banking for many years as well. The pros outweigh the cons but USAA does have some issues. Our previous three homes were insured through USAA and when we left NC to buy a home in TX we were told by USAA that they were getting out of the homeowner's insurance game altogether. We had never filed a claim even through 4 hurricanes. When we bought our house in TX we went with Farmers Insurance. The agent called me the day before we were suppose to close on the house and said that they could not insure us because of a claim that USAA had said that we had reported. The claim was coded as someone was hurt on our property and had died as a result. What a nightmare. I finally was able to convince Farmers that we had never filed a claim and luckily they believed us. USAA still has not taken this off of their records to this day. They acknowledge that there was never a claim filed, go figure.

Their car insurance is great however there is one issue. I had GEICO and called them one day to see how much it would be for our 16 year old son to be on our insurance once he got his driver's license, and he had his learner's permit. GEICO immediately added him on our policy stating that if he had a learner's permit and living in our house that he would have to be added onto our policy. Our rates went through the roof! When I got off the phone with GEICO, I did an online quote through USAA. To my surprise, USAA was $475 more per year than GEICO. I was confused because I had never been in accident, no speeding tickets etc. and my credit score is around 799. Then I did an online quote in my wife's name and her quote was $600 cheaper! I called USAA to find out why and come to find out my wife's rate was cheaper because she is an officer and I am enlisted, plus she had a speeding ticket!

Bottom line is that we have stuck it out with USAA and their banking is hard to beat.
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:16 AM
Location: Haines, AK
1,121 posts, read 3,913,607 times
Reputation: 668
Default generally good, but...

Overall, our past experiences with USAA have been generally good, but...it won't matter much if they won't write the policies we need.

I'm getting the feeling that they're trying hard to minimise any risk exposure on the property and casualty side, and given the general economic situation it's not hard to theorize why. I'm sure that their investments have tanked like everyone elses, and they're feeling cash-poor as a result.

The part that upsets me is that USAA is a member-owned company, so there are no shareholders to consider. In essense, since I'm a long-time member, I've been a stockholder for over twenty years. I feel that they're clamping down unnecssarily hard on risk exposure, to the detriment of their members.
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:26 PM
1,688 posts, read 6,417,746 times
Reputation: 1971
Originally Posted by rotorhead View Post

I'm getting the feeling that they're trying hard to minimise any risk exposure on the property and casualty side, and given the general economic situation it's not hard to theorize why.
I'd say it goes back past that.

I'm a second generation USAA member. The consensus seems to be that they are no longer what they used to be. I've had a run-in or two with them (their errors on credit cards and rather snotty people on the other end when I pointed out the error of their ways) but, in fairness, we have had good results with renters and auto policies.

However, when we bought our place (summer of 07) and I called about insuring it... The reply was polite, but it was one of those situations where you suspect the person on the other end of the phone pushes the mute button so he/she can bust a gut laughing... "You want to insure WHAT?! It's WHERE?!"

We're far too "unusual" it seems... lots of land, too little house, and out in the middle of (sort of) nowhere. All we wanted was coverage (more or less along the lines of total loss) for the house and were willing to take large deductibles. Nothing doing, wouldn't go near it. We ended up going local with a mutual that's been established in the area for eons. I was delighted with the premiums and the coverage we did end up with.

I was told by someone that USAA will no longer insure property in Florida - or at least they wouldn't a couple of years ago. I never bothered to look into it as Florida is one place I have no intention of residing!
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:55 PM
Location: Alaska
24 posts, read 67,224 times
Reputation: 57
Default USAA Insurance

I have been a member for over 30 years and have nothing but praise, except when it comes to homeowners insurance in Alaska. They have been consistently higher than Allstate, Countrywide, etc., for many years. They are somewhat competitive in the lower 48 but not in Alaska.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:39 PM
Location: Midwest
3,200 posts, read 6,437,611 times
Reputation: 4239

My wife has been a member for over 20 years, and I got aboard when we were married. Her daughter also has it, as the offspring of military.

Their "moving assistance" service was a joke when we called. Just a pest of an agent who never did anything.

The real issue is how they treated my d-i-l when she was T-boned by a red light runner.
There were numerous rude people who never returned calls. They said the settlement check would be in her account within two (business) weeks of the agent's seeing the car.

It dragged out to over a month. They seemed to not know an LX from an EX model. All the cars they used as comps had much higher mileage than d-i-l's. Her car was under one year old and at about 15,000 miles.

They fiddled and dawdled and took their sweet time before finally declaring the vehicle a total. Anything, other than an M1 tank, is going to be a total if T-boned behind the B pillar.

The primary agent spoke with her a couple of times, said call anytime. D-i-l did call. "I will be out of the office until next Monday. Do not leave a message."

Rude people, incompetent people, disrespectful people.

I am in the process of writing a letter to their ombudsman, with names and dates. CC with cover letters will go to the insurance commission in Texas and the state where the wreck occurred. A letter to the local San Antonio newspaper may also go out, depending on how they act.

We are ready to get out of USAA country. I've seen elsewhere that USAA is not what it used to be, that things have been too good for too long and now customers are taken for granted.

That seems to be the attitude too often today. Everywhere.
What ever happened to "The customer is always right"? Seems an endangered species.

I haven't heard much good about GEICO. I am suspicious of companies that spend that much on ads. Every ad dollar is a dollar that will not be used in claims.
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:05 AM
Location: Haines, AK
1,121 posts, read 3,913,607 times
Reputation: 668
Default SSA withdrawls

Wabbit...you are not alone.

I've insured about a dozen vehicles with USAA over the years, and have never had an at-fault accident. They've had over twenty years of premiums collected and never had to pay out a dime until about three years ago when my wife got hit from behind by an uninsured driver (no insurance, no US drivers licence, no English) in the middle of a five-vehicle chain collision. Since there were several insurance companies involved USAA seemed to go out of their way to complicate things. Predictably, all the companies involved tried to blame it on the uninsured guy so nobody would have to pay anyone else.

Long story short, they tried to scrimp by using a poorly qualified shop, with sub-standard non-factory repair parts (for a Volvo, no less), and it took forever to sort out both the rental car bill and the repair bill. I was very disappointed at how much legwork I had to do and how long it took to sort things out. We finally did end up getting it fixed by a qualified shop with the correct factory parts, but it was a struggle to get them to do it right.

I don't know about you, but my Subscriber Savings Account is up in the thousands now. If they drop my homeowners policy at the renewal, I'm going to cancel ALL the policies we have through USAA and demand that they pay that SSA back to me (which they drag out for six months, BTW). If enough members decided to do that, it would definately get their attention. That SSA money is used as their operating capitol, but it really belongs to the individual members, not to USAA.

The cops in NM let the uninsured Mexican driver go, BTW. He had a proof-of-insurance card all right...but it turned out that he was specifically excluded by name on the policy, a fact that doesn't show up on the card.
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:21 AM
3 posts, read 16,851 times
Reputation: 10
I think they are trying to get out of policies in Alaska in general. We have been members for 18 years with very few claims. We have auto, homeowners, and life with them. In the past we have had amazing service and great rates. Recently I called to inquire about an umbrella rider for my very small home business. I was told by other people who do what I do that USAA covered their business as well. When I inquired they said they would mail some information. When I got the information it basically said htey do not underwrite business policies in alaska period. AND that because I was operating a business out of my home they were dropping us all together in 30 days.

After many many phone calls, and coming within 3 days of being dropped, we got them to change their mind. But they certainly were looking for any out. Bottom line is I called around and got several quotes on homeowners with other companies and no one came close to their coverage, so we decided to fight for it. I had to provide a TON of proof that I had obtained a liability policy for my business with State Farm, jump a TON of hoops, and demand to speak to regional supervisors. When i called around for other quotes several of the insurance agents told me that they were getting more calls like this and they were under the impression that USAA was trying to back out of any policies in Alaska. Certainly makes sense because we are a great client for them insuring our RV, home, 3 cars, motorcycle, life insurance, etc. with no claims to speak of.

So it might have nothing to do with you, or your situation. If this is true then they are just using anything they can find to get out of policies in Alaska. Apparently we are a very expensive state to underwrite policy wise.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:32 PM
2 posts, read 43,057 times
Reputation: 18
Exclamation USAA no more

Check your deductibles... we found out the hard way... we have been with USAA for 39 years, all cars and homes insured with them... when we bought our most recent home and called in the policy change the agent on the phone said "just stay with everything the same" okay we trusted USAA... a tree fell on our home, the deductible is 1%... $5500!!! We had been led to believe all these many years that a lower dedcut would be cost prohibitive... well guess what the difference is annually... less than $200! USAA is NOT the same company it once was beware... not very good. we are currently getting quotes for everything... shame on us for not checking this out... it won't happen again!
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