USAA Membership is Not as Exclusive As You May Have Thought

by Azannette C.
(San Antonio)

The United Services Automobile Association calls their policy holders "members". The insurer has a closed market, or limited membership opportunities. The traditional perception is that the company only considers former or active members of the US armed services or their spouses eligible to purchase USAA products.


However, probably due to the poor state of the economy which has left many individuals and businesses looking for ways to maintain their bottom lines, membership opportunities with USAA have opened up. There are a good number of ways to qualify for membership with USAA. Since USAA's policy premium rates make them very attractive as an insurer, it might be worth looking into your eligibility.

Former spouses of USAA members or even former spouses of former USAA members may become members. Note, that we said USAA members, not members of the military. Since USAA members may be the spouses or children of military, this opens up a slew of possibilities. You may be the grandchild of a former member of the military and qualify for membership.

Consider my case: I am the ex-wife (divorced over 15 years) of a man whose father was in the military and had a USAA policy. When I recently contacted USAA to see if I could get an insurance policy comparable to my policy with one of the bigger insurance companies, but at a better price, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I could qualify for membership because of my former father-in-law.

The USAA official website states that only un-remarried spouses of former USAA members qualify for membership, but I am remarried. Apparently my former marriage made me a group member even though I was not aware of it. I have now been able to parlay that into an automobile policy, homeowners and an umbrella policy, as well as a checking account that earns me interest and a credit card with a rewards program.

If you have anyone in your family related to you by blood or not who was ever a member of the military, including the National Guard or the Coast Guard, call USAA or go on their website. It doesn't even take fifteen minutes to find out whether you are eligible to become a member or not.

This article is written for informational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel. This staff writer is not employed by USAA, nor affiliated with the company with any way other than as a member. This website does not recommend any insurance company over another.

Comments for USAA Membership is Not as Exclusive As You May Have Thought

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Jun 05, 2017
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Michigan dependents not eligible NEW
by: Mike from Michigan

I have been with USAA for well over 35yrs. My 24yr old son is not eligible in Michigan. But if he moved out of state, he would be. I was not given a satisfactory reason other than Michigan would not allow it. But yet USAA shows commercials all across the State, saying dependents are "Eligible".

Apr 07, 2017
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Banned NEW
by: Blake Davis

What I do not understand, is that an honorably discharged veteran is banned from USAA and they refuse to give a reason.
While it bothers me that a company operates that way, I do not lose sleep over it and I am sure I can get better rates than from them. I also own a business where my company and personal line of insurance exceeds 20K per year. My company also uses financing on occasion. Our gross billing for 2016 was nearly 1M.
So bottom line, I sleep well at night, have a successful business and I do not need the likes of USAA. I believe that they may have actually done me a favor

Jan 29, 2017
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Eligibility NEW
by: Edward Walsh Sr.

Served National Guard in late 1950's & was honorably discharged yet did not serve during wartime conflicts. Father was in World War 1 plus 3 uncles served WW1. Would like to know if I qualify to purchase auto insurance from USAA. Thank You, Edward Walsh Sr. edan62@gmail.com

Jan 29, 2017
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Eligibility NEW
by: Edward Walsh Sr.

Served National Guard in late 1950's & was honorably discharged yet did not serve during wartime conflicts. Father was in World War 1 plus 3 uncles served WW1. Would like to know if I qualify to purchase auto insurance from USAA. Thank You, Edward Walsh Sr. edan62@gmail.com

Jan 09, 2017
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need cheap car ins. NEW
by: Anonymous

my father was in the military honor discharged

Jan 02, 2017
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Dependent Ineligibility NEW
by: Anonymous

I recently found out that Michigan and Florida do not meet the criteria for dependents to secure USAA insurance. The key phrase is "Garrison Exception." My understanding from USAA is only military personnel in Michigan and Florida who were "officers" are allowed to have their dependents secure insurance. If the military person was enlisted, dependents are not allowed coverage. USAA tells me it is because of Michigan's "regulatory environment", and my best guess is because of Michigan's unlimited catastrophic claims industry.

Nov 15, 2016
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Discouraging NEW
by: Anonymous

I have read almost every comment written on the USAA subject and was perusing enrolling.
Now that I have had a few moments to reflect back on everything it sounds like a scam. I just don't and can't, for the life of me, understand why people think they can mislead the public in such a way.
I served in the Navy and am from the Viet Nam era. So coming back from that war was a little like coming to another country. Everything was different to me and I had very little trust in anyone or anything. As time went on I did become accustomed to our different and confusing ways but as far as the trust issue goes...well...it's still needs some work. I guess I'll keep searching for the right company, if one even exists. Sad.

Oct 28, 2016
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wholesale candle boxes NEW
by: Anonymous

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Jul 18, 2016
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am I eligible for insurance
by: Anonymous

my grandson is in the military, does that make me eligible.

May 31, 2016
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What a load
by: Brad

Nice to know that there's really no screening, and anyone generations later, can jump on the bandwagon.

May 31, 2016
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Denied membership
by: Glen

Denied membership for unknown reasons.. When I requested those reasons in writing I was told we are a private company and dont have to give you a reason. I provided them my DD-214 at their request and an offer of a deposit of $10,000.00 and was told to just take my business elsewhere. I served with honor and have an honorable discharge. Why wont they accept me?? My credit score is above 780.

Apr 13, 2016
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beat the system
by: noodles

you could always just open a checking account together with a usaa member. this makes you fully eligble for full membership.

Nov 02, 2015
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My father was in the Army 20+ yrs + 2+Wars YnotMe?
by: SFC Daughter

I called USAA to find out if I could get any USAA products, they said they have no record of my father having their insurance. How did people find out about USAA? If it is so good why is it that several people in 2 different families who have served in the military never hear of it.

I sent off for my father’s military papers, 20 + years worth. Months later they said the building that had the paper work burned down & I got less than 10 sheets, much blacked out, duplicated. The only information understandable was his 5 bronze stars. Countries, wars, 20 + years of service, zip, and I can’t get USAA??!!

Apr 29, 2015
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Sudden Premium Increase
by: Anonymous

So, after consideration by "upper management" I no longer qualify for auto insurance under the USAA CIC carrier. I qualify under USAA Garrison. This resultd in a 30% premium increase. Here is their response in part: " As you already know, the former dependents of officers, such as your now ex-wife, are written by USAA Casualty Insurance Company (USAA-CIC). We absolutely value your military service, however, the former dependents of members written by USAA-CIC are written by Garrison."
This makes little sense to me. Sounds like they don't really value my service, at least not enough to give me a fair rate.
I would encourage USAA members to look at your policy documents and shop around. A couple of phone calls could save a lot of money.
I am now saving more that $550.00 on auto insurance and $750.00 on RV insurance. Being A USAA member is not all it's cracked up to be!!

Apr 20, 2015
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Waiting on Eligibility Status
by: Anonymous

Thx for this website I found out my husband's status might get me disqualified from USAA. I wish they would have told me this before I cancelled my home/car insurance with a company I have been with for a long time. I will not tell anyone to use them if I get disqualified! The hype is not real!

Apr 07, 2015
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Not actually eligible
by: Michael Palmer

Apparently the standards for being eligible for USAA insurance are better for spouses and family members of those who have served than they are for the ones who actually signed on the bottom line. My service in the Navy did not qualify me for home or auto insurance through USAA since I received a "general-under honorable conditions" discharge. Apparently my actual service is not good enough.
Previously the only thing my general discharge disqualified me from was my G.I. Bill, but now I have found a second item.
Guess I'll have to insure my house, purchased with my VA loan, somewhere else.

Mar 30, 2015
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Sudden Premium Increase
by: Anonymous

My auto premium went up by 30% with USAA. I shopped around and found a policy for much, much less. Here is the text I sent to USAA, asking them to address the problem. To date, I have received no response form them.
None-the-less, I hope USAA understands my issue is with how my placement was changed and the fact that no one could really explain why this happened. Again, I originally became a member through my former father-in-law, who was a retired naval officer. Last year, on the USAA website, under my log-on credentials, I updated my personal information by completing the section pertaining to MY military service. I served as an enlisted man during the Vietnam era and was honorably discharged in 1974. This is what apparently changed my placement. I was not notified of the change until I saw the increase in my auto premium. There was no notice on the website that completing the information could or would ADVERSELY affect premiums. I completed that section in good faith. I was misguided in thinking that USAA valued MY military service, rather than that of my former father-in-law. No one with USAA has really addressed this issue of "placement".
I strongly feel that I should be placed back with USAA CIC rather than Garrison. this is based on my original membership criteria some 30 years ago and the additional criteria that I have a daughter married to a Marine Captain. If there is some one that can address this issue of "placement", I would very much like to discuss this with them.
I do not feel like I have received fair treatment or consideration from USAA. In spite of MY military service and the military service of my family members, I have not received the fair or the best rates from USAA.

Mar 03, 2015
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Apply to USAA early and often
by: Anonymous

If you are considering USAA for insurance, be ready to jump through their hoops. Some people are told they are eligible and that they will be covered, only to find out several months later that they are not. The reason for dropped coverage or closed bank accounts: no military records on file, or that person was discharged "under honorable circumstances" or the "umbrella" that covered all family members closed when that person passes away. USAA outsources its "military verification" and "fraud investigations" to "offshore analysts", meaning that the people who determine who gets in and who doesn't DO NOT reside in the United States. They are not any where near San Antonio. This company is deceptive in their "service to the military and their families". 92% stay for life, ever wonder what happened to the other 8%? They got screwed. Be careful and order up your DD214 from the national archives now so you can get your insurance or bank account by July.

Feb 20, 2015
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so sad to say
by: Anonymous

My father is a World War 2 veteran and both he and I am 27 family members have been active USAA. My son, his grandson, is a member but when he applied for auto insurance today was told that in our state Michigan, only sons and daughters and wives of military qualify and that he was denied access to any loans. In other words the eligibility stopped with me. All 27 of us now plan to find other resources. After over 40 years of membership we're all very disappointed.

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