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USAA homeowners insurance
Old 07-19-2010, 04:48 PM   #1
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USAA homeowners insurance

Not sure how many have USAA homeowners insurance, but I recently received a notice from them saying that my current policy would not be renewed, but they would provide a new version, and would automatically go to the new version unless I opted out.

Since I suffered over $30,000 water damage this year (broken water line), I thought "Oh no, here it comes." I then went to the new policy they were offering me and, lo and behold, almost every item was an improvement. Examples: Other structures protection goes to 25% of dwelling limit vs 10%/ Watercraft losses go to $1500 vs $1000. Etc etc. At no increase in cost.

I love USAA
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:57 PM   #2
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Ours renewed in April and many of the previous coverages which used to cost "extra" such as 125% replacement cost coverage and water backup damage was now standard in the policy with no extra charge. Last October we put up an impact resistant metal roof and that knocked our premiums down by about 20% as well. The total effect was to knock our annual homeowners premium down from about $950 to a little over $600.

They were really good when my wife was responsible for an auto accident in 2008, too. They handled everything, settled the property and bodily injury claims quickly and provided the peace of mind that came with quick closure. And when it was time to renew, I saw that not only was the accident "forgiven" for having five years without any accidents, but the renewal premium was 10% lower than it was previously.
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:17 PM   #3
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I just added a new (used) car to my USAA auto insurance online. Do all insurance companies have this feature where you can completely avoid talking to an agent or rep in order to add/delete a car to your policy?

Insurance agents seem to always make this process seem so complex, but USAA makes to almost too simple...
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:19 PM   #4
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Were either of you provided with an approved contractor list for the home repairs? I was recently told by a claims adjuster that only two companies did this. USAA and Amica.
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:33 PM   #5
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Were either of you provided with an approved contractor list for the home repairs? I was recently told by a claims adjuster that only two companies did this. USAA and Amica.
Yep. I was given a list of their "approved" contractors, and was given a choice of using them or anyone of my choosing. I went with their approved contractor and it went very smoothly.

The benefit of using their contractors was minimal paperwork. Their work was 100% covered, with guarantee, no questions asked, and the contractor dealt directly with USAA, so I never had to submit estimates or get approvals. And yet I still had a lot of choices regarding issues such as carpet choice and upgrades. I upgraded a floor repair from formica to hardwood and the contractor took care of it all with USAA, I only had to pay the cost of the upgrade.

Since USAA deals primarily with current and retired military officers, they have the advantage of minimizing bogus claims.
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:43 PM   #6
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Yep. I was given a list of their "approved" contractors, and was given a choice of using them or anyone of my choosing. I went with their approved contractor and it went very smoothly.

Thanks, that's good to know. This is our first claim with Amica and the approved contractor list was something I wasn't aware of.
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:43 PM   #7
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I love USAA too. They have been very good to us. We do all of our insurance and banking business with them.
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:47 PM   #8
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I had a similar experience on my last renewal. All I could say was "Wow! These people are actually on my side!"

I've been a USAA member for over 40 years for insurance, and I've been their bank customer for nearly 30 years. Despite a few minor annoyances from time to time, I have always been pleased enough with their service to keep it up.

Once about every 10 years or so, I'll check competitive rates for car and/or home insurance, and I have never (seriously) found a better rate for the same coverage.

The only time I have not been insured by USAA was back in the 80s, when I spent some years in South America. They don't operate there, so I found a local guy who set me up with insurance through Lloyds of London. That was kind of cool, but fortunately I never had to make a claim.
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:53 PM   #9
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Since USAA deals primarily with current and retired military officers, they have the advantage of minimizing bogus claims.
While this was once the case, membership eligibility has expanded over time to include anyone who served honorably in the US military. Here is a summary from Wikipedia:

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Historically, only U.S. military officers (among certain other federally sworn officers) were eligible to join USAA, with descendants of USAA members able to purchase insurance from USAA-CIC. It did not matter if one was an active duty or retired officer; one could join at any time. In 1973, membership was opened to members of the National Guard and Reserves, and in 1996, eligibility was expanded to enlisted members of the armed services. As the number of persons who have served on active duty in an enlisted status in the U.S. Armed Forces is quite large, USAA chose to limit the establishment of eligibility to those who were currently on active duty or who had recently separated. The same time limit on establishment of eligibility was then applied to military officers. As USAA's capacity for taking on new members expanded, eligibility criteria relaxed. In 2008, USAA expanded membership eligibility to all military personnel and retirees, and all veterans who separated after 1996. In November 2009, USAA expanded eligibility requirements to offer coverage to anyone who has ever served honorably in the US Military.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:06 PM   #10
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I've been a USAA member for over 40 years for insurance, and I've been their bank customer for nearly 30 years. Despite a few minor annoyances from time to time, I have always been pleased enough with their service to keep it up.
This mirrors my opinion as well. I've been both a banking an insurance customer for 40 years. USAA hit a rough spot a few years ago under new CEO Robert Davis. It was the same time I had an unpleasant experience on a homeowner's claim when a hailstorm trashed our three year old roof. Thankfully Davis was escorted to the exit in 2007 and things have improved - as witnessed by all the warm fuzzies on this thread.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:22 PM   #11
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My homeowners was changed too, and it looked like for the better. Still, I did not read the entire thing looking for details.

some of the stuff they changed were my extra rider for guns. They increased standard coverage so I didn't need to pay extra.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:53 PM   #12
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USAA hit a rough spot a few years ago under new CEO Robert Davis.
Yes, Davis was clearly not a "fit" for USAA's culture and customer base. It seemed like he wanted to run it like other insurance companies, ignoring that USAA has a very high level of customer satisfaction and loyalty by NOT being like all the other insurance companies. Looks like Joe Robles is righting the ship, though.
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:28 PM   #13
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Like others I am going on 45 years with USAA, and do my banking and investments through them. I too had several real bad experiences with them 5 or 6 years ago. At that time USAA sold itself as 'The friend of the service member'. Their entire advertising campaign was and is based on USAA being the best thing the service person would ever encounter. They have your back. However, under Davis they ran claims and services like a third rate, fly by night company that believed all their clients were distrustful and crooked. I stayed with them because of price, knowing it would be a fight to get them to live up to their adds and reputation. I believe things might have changed, but I have had no reason to do business with them other than pay my bills in five years.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:52 PM   #14
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Glad so many here agree with the good service we get from USAA these days.

I also have one of their Master Cards that I use for convenience. They don't make any money off me on that card, since I pay it off every month, but at least three or four times they have contacted me to tell me of unusal activity. Two of those times I've found it was a fraudulent charge, and even though it was a PITA to cancel the card and get a new one, they did it quickly and was much better than having some crook run up charges.

The fraudulent charges were small, under $20, small enough that I may not even have noticed. Once the crooks validated the card was good with the small charge, they may have gone for the big one. Since those incidents I check every charge on my card every month, but kudos to USAA for catching that.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:18 PM   #15
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I love USAA
Last time I checked, USAA was only writing homeowner's policies in Hawaii for first-time buyers. But I'll keep checking.

When our kid got her license I expected our auto insurance rates to go through the roof. But since we stayed a two-car family, USAA elected to treat our kid as an "occasional driver". No rate increase.
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