Who Is Eligible to Get Car Insurance from USAA?

Last Updated on November 14, 2023

The United Services Automobile Association, or USAA, is an insurance company that serves active-duty military, veterans, and family members. Originally founded as a car insurance company, USAA now offers a wide variety of banking and insurance services.

You may have noticed great prices on USAA auto insurance when comparing quotes online. However, not everybody is eligible to receive USAA car insurance. Who’s eligible for USAA car insurance? Who qualifies for coverage through USAA? Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about getting car insurance from USAA.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Eligibility for USAA’s services has expanded beyond military officers to include all active and retired military personnel, their immediate families, and descendants of USAA members.
  2. Many individuals with military lineage, including those related to veterans or active duty personnel, may qualify for USAA membership but are often unaware of their eligibility.
  3. While non-military individuals cannot access USAA’s full suite of services, such as auto insurance and banking, they can still utilize some services like investment and life insurance.

What Is USAA?

The United Services Automobile Association, or USAA, was founded in 1922 by a group of 25 officers from the U.S. Army. The officers founded USAA to solve a problem: many military officers were paying high car insurance prices because they were perceived to be a high-risk group. The USAA was launched to provide mutual self-insurance for military personnel unable to secure affordable auto insurance.

Today, USAA is a Fortune 500 group that serves customers all over the world. Headquartered in San Antonio, USAA offers a diverse range of insurance, banking, and financial services. You can use USAA for everything from life insurance to car insurance to credit cards to retirement savings accounts. Many military personnel depend on USAA for virtually all their financial services.

Originally, USAA was only available to members of the military. In fact, up until the 1990s, USAA eligibility was limited to officers in the military or those who were preparing to become commissioned officers.

Over the years, however, the company has expanded to offer financial services to past and present members of the U.S. military and their immediate families, including commissioned and non-commissioned officers and their relatives.

Who Qualifies for USAA Auto Insurance?

Virtually all active and retired members of the U.S. military will qualify for USAA membership. You may also qualify if you’re in training to become a commissioned officer – like through ROTC. In addition, the immediate family members of active and retired service personnel may qualify. Here are the specific eligibility requirements, according to USAA.com:

  • Active-duty, retired, and honorably separated officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military
  • Officer candidates in commissioning programs, including Academy, ROTC, and OCS/OTS
  • Adult children whose eligible parents have or had a USAA auto or property insurance product (children must be 18 years of age or older to qualify for membership, and they must purchase products in their own name; children under the age of 18 can be listed as family members under the auto insurance policy of an eligible parent, however)
  • Widows and widowers of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy

Many People Are Unaware They Qualify for USAA Membership

Did your great-grandfather fight in World War II? Did your grandfather fight in Vietnam? Do you have a parent who fought in the Gulf War, Iraq, or Afghanistan? Whatever your situation may be, you may qualify for USAA membership if you have a direct lineage to a US military veteran.

If you’re not a veteran or active duty, but your parents or grandparents are, then ask them if they’re USAA members. If not, encourage them to sign up. If your grandparents served, then you may need to get them to sign up, and then get your parents to sign up, and then you’ll qualify. Many veterans can save a considerable amount of money by getting insurance products and other financial services through USAA.

Here’s the great thing about USAA: once you’re in, you’re in. Even if your veteran grandfather passes away, your USAA membership stays active. You will never lose it.

You Can Access USAA Products and Services Even If You’re Ineligible

So you’re not former or active duty military and not immediately related to anyone who is. What’s next?

Unfortunately, you don’t qualify for the full suite of USAA financial and insurance products. However, you can still access certain USAA products even if you don’t qualify for membership.

You can still use USAA’s investment services, for example. You can also purchase life insurance policies.

However, if you don’t qualify for USAA membership based on the rules we listed above, then you will be unable to access auto insurance, roadside assistance coverage, non-owners auto insurance, property insurance, and other popular insurance products. You are also ineligible to open a USAA bank account.

Final Word on Who Is Eligible for USAA Insurance

USAA offers some of the best prices on car insurance in the United States. However, only certain people will qualify for USAA insurance – including active duty military and veterans, as well as their immediate family. You qualify if your parents are USAA members, for example, regardless of whether or not you’ve ever served.

If you are still unsure of your eligibility, the fastest way to see if you qualify is to contact USAA directly. Remember, millions of Americans qualify for USAA membership and don’t know it.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for InsurancePanda.com and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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