Find out which provider should earn your business.
When we researched the best car insurance companies in the nation, USAA and Geico topped our list. Ultimately, both companies provide great coverage options and affordable premiums. At the end of the day, it’s all about which is better for your individual situation.
Today, we’re going to compare Geico vs USAA in terms of coverage, discounts, customer satisfaction, cost, and more. Read on to find out which auto insurance provider will work best for you.
In this article:
At A Glance: Geico Vs USAA
|Eligibility||No restrictions||Military and family members|
|Military Discount||15% at all times, 25% during emergency deployment||15% when vehicles are garaged on base, 60% during any deployment|
|Usage-Based Discount||DriveEasy in Connecticut and Pennsylvania||SafePilot in Arizona, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia|
|AM Best Financial Strength Rating||A++||A++|
|J.D. Power Insurance Shopping Rating||848 / 1,000||896 / 1,000|
|J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Rating||879 / 1,000||900 / 1,000|
|Extras||Roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, mechanical breakdown insurance||Roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, accident forgiveness, total loss protection|
*Market share statistics are from a 2018 report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. J.D. Power statistics are from the 2019 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study and the 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.
Geico Auto Insurance
Geico – also known as the Government Employees Insurance Company – has been around since 1936. When comparing Geico vs USAA, you should know that Geico is the second largest auto insurance company in the United States and has a superior financial strength rating from AM Best. That’s a good thing, and it means Geico can easily manage its $33 billion in premiums.
Geico provides everything you’d expect from a national car insurance company. You can get quotes online, over the phone, or by visiting an office in person. You can also reach someone at the company 24/7 to talk about your policy or claim.
Geico makes filing claims, paying your bill, and viewing your insurance card easy with its mobile app. The app has a 4.8-star rating on both Google Play and the App Store, and it even comes with a virtual assistant named Kate to answer your questions.
Geico Coverage Options
With a policy from Geico, you can get all of the following standard coverages:
- Liability: Bodily injury liability provides compensation for other drivers and passengers in accidents you cause. It comes with per-person and per-accident limits. Property damage liability pays for repairs to other cars in accidents you cause. States typically require liability coverage.
- Collision: This option covers damage to your car no matter who causes the accident.
- Comprehensive: This option repairs your car after events like floods, vandalism, and falling branches. States don’t require collision or comprehensive, but most people add these options for full coverage.
- Medical Payments (MedPay): This covers your hospital bills no matter who was at fault. MedPay usually doesn’t have a deductible, and you might be able to pay your health insurance deductible with it.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This option is similar to MedPay, but it also covers lost wages and some other services like childcare. PIP usually has a deductible and is required in no-fault states.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM): This coverage protects you if you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
In addition to the standard options, Geico offers a few more types of coverage – important considerations when comparing Geico vs USAA auto insurance.
- Roadside assistance: Get coverage for towing, jump starts, spare tire installation, and lockout services.
- Rental reimbursement: Geico covers specified rental car costs after a claim. Geico can bill Enterprise directly, or it can reimburse you if you use another rental company.
- Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI): This coverage is similar to an extended car warranty. It only applies to cars that are newer than 15 months and 15,000 miles. MBI covers the failure of mechanical parts on your car, not regular wear and tear or maintenance.
Geico does not offer gap insurance, unlike other companies on our top 10 list.
Geico Customer Service
Overall, Geico has good customer service reviews. The company scored high on J.D. Power’s Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, though it had an average score on J.D. Power’s Insurance Shopping Study. If we had to pick between a company with a strong claims process or a strong shopping experience, we’d pick the one with the strong claims process. After you purchase a policy, you want to know that the company will make things easy if you have to file a claim. Geico responds to claims quickly, and that’s what matters.
No reputable business is immune to negative reviews, and Geico has a number on its Better Business Bureau (BBB) page. However, Geico representatives resolve complaints in a timely manner – earning the provider an A+ BBB rating. Some complaints are about poor customer service. Others are about issues with a policy not covering certain things, like a rental car before a repair has been authorized. Policy documents always say what is and is not covered, so it’s a good idea to read them when you purchase a policy.
Geico Average Cost
Cost is an important consideration when comparing USAA vs Geico. You’ve probably seen a hundred TV commercials with the company’s gecko proclaiming that people can save money by switching to Geico. The provider’s website also says new customers save an average of $500 when they switch – a number that is based on company surveys of new customer savings.
In our research, we found that Geico does provide affordable rates for many people. It’s always good to check quotes from multiple sources before you buy, but chances are Geico could be one of your cheaper options. If you’re a federal employee, Geico should definitely be on your list. You can get an eight percent discount as a federal employee grade GS-7 and above.
USAA Auto Insurance
USAA has a track record for great customer service and affordable prices. The San Antonio-based company was formed in 1922 by 25 United States Army officers who sought to insure themselves when other companies saw the army as a high-risk group.
To be eligible for USAA, otherwise known as the United Services Automobile Association, you need to meet one of the following requirements:
- Be an enlisted, active, honorably separated, or retired member of the U.S. military
- Be enrolled in a military commissioning program
- Have a parent or spouse who has had a USAA auto or home insurance policy
If anyone in your family is a military member, you might want to ask them to sign up for a policy with USAA. Even if they switch companies down the road, they can still pass eligibility on to their family members.
Like Geico, USAA has a mobile app for paying your bill, filing a claim, and requesting roadside assistance. The app has a 4.8-star rating from the App Store and a 4.7-star rating from Google Play. If you have other accounts with USAA, you can also use the app for banking and investing. In this Geico vs USAA comparison, the app offerings are pretty even. USAA’s app even has an AI assistant named Eva to rival Geico’s Kate.
Coverage Options With USAA
Like most insurance companies, USAA offers all of the same standard coverages as Geico. You can also add on a few extra options:
- Roadside assistance: This can cover lockout services, towing, fuel delivery, and spare tire installation.
- Rental reimbursement: This option pays for a rental car after a covered claim.
- Accident forgiveness: In some states, you can purchase an add-on to keep your rates the same after one accident.
- Total loss protection: USAA will cover the difference between the value of your car and what you have left to pay on your loan.
USAA Customer Service
When comparing Geico vs USAA, USAA really stands out in customer satisfaction. It was the highest-scoring company on J.D. Power’s Auto Claims Satisfaction Study and the second highest on J.D. Power’s Insurance Shopping Study. The company has a similar ratio of complaints-to-size as Geico, and it has resolved all its complaints at this time.
Two types of military discounts are available with USAA auto insurance, plus some perks that make life a bit easier for military personnel:
- 15 percent discount for garaging your vehicle on base
- 60 percent discount for insuring a vehicle during deployment
- Deployment FAQ
- Personalized military timeline
- Military pay calculator
- Permanent change of station moving checklist
- Military separation assessment and checklist
However, comparing USAA vs Geico for military discounts isn’t so simple. If you’re a retired veteran, you probably won’t be garaging your vehicle on a base or leaving for deployment anytime soon. In that case, you might want to take advantage of Geico’s 15 percent military discount that applies at all times.
As a USAA member, you get a few more benefits outside of the realm of insurance:
- Discounts on FedEx shipping
- Discounts on fitness centers
- Discounts on TurboTax
- Discounts on FTD flowers
- Discounts on USAA auto loans
Is USAA Cheap Car Insurance?
For many people, USAA is the cheapest car insurance around. The average auto insurance expenditure was around $935.80 in 2016 – and has only risen since then – but many USAA customers pay less than national averages. The only way to find out exactly what you’ll pay is to get a quote. That’s because insurance prices are always unique to your situation, from your age to your location, driving history, credit score, and vehicle.
USAA Vs Geico: Which Is Best?
We think you should definitely get a quote from USAA if you meet its eligibility requirements. While USAA doesn’t have a military discount outside of deployment or garaging a vehicle on base, many drivers still find USAA to be cheaper than Geico.
Even if you do qualify for USAA, Geico is still a great option. If you’re not military or family of military, Geico is our first choice. Also, if you have poor credit or a not-so-clean driving record, you might find better rates with Geico than USAA.
Best for Military Families
Our best overall pick: Offers great customer service to military members and their families.
Best Company Overall
Our 2nd favorite and best for those ineligible for USAA: Offers competitive pricing and great coverage.
Other Top Insurance Companies
It’s always a good idea to get at least three car insurance quotes when you’re shopping around. If you can’t find a good price when comparing Geico vs USAA, State Farm and Progressive should be on your list too.
State Farm is the largest car insurer in the U.S., and it offers a number of discounts on policies. In our opinion, it’s the best option for students. Good students can find a 25 percent discount with the company. Plus, drivers under 25 years old can complete the Steer Clear educational in-app course and get another 15 percent off their insurance.
Comparing Geico vs USAA, neither offers much availability for usage-based insurance discounts. If you’re looking for providers that will give you discounts based on your driving, try Progressive car insurance. Progressive’s Snapshot program is available to drivers across the country (except drivers in California and North Carolina). The website says drivers can get about $26 off their first premium for signing up. After that, people save about $145 on their next six-month premium. However, if you aren’t a good driver, Snapshot could raise your rates.