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USAA Subscriber's Act SR Bonus
Old 04-04-2009, 11:35 AM   #1
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USAA Subscriber's Act SR Bonus

This has been noted here before, but every time that it happens to me I am still amazed and walk away with a little smile, sometimes with a big smile.

I have been a member at USAA for over 40 years, as many on this forum have. I have had my auto and HO with them since 1966. Since USAA is considered a reciprocal insurer, members (policy owners) pay as part of their premium extra money in order for USAA to raise & maintain capital to satisfy legal and regulatory requirements. Annually they send you a statement showing how much is in your account, but as long as you are with USAA, you can not withdraw the money. I have always considered it kind of a tease to receive the statement and be told that I can not get at the cash.

When a member has been with USAA for 40 years, you are given an option annually to get back 10% of your accumulated account in what is called a Senior Bonus. It's not really a "bonus", but a distribution of part of what's yours already.

I opt to have my Senior Bonus applied to reduce my HO and auto premium each year. My Feb 2009 insurance statement indicated that my balance owed was $606 however, my subsequent Senior Bonus was applied to reduce the balance to $194. My Bonus that was applied was $412!

The Senior Bonus paid 66% of my entire bill!
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:54 PM   #2
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That would be OK, but if they had given you the money each year and you had invested it, the return on your investment each year would be able to pay 100% of your premiums for both auto and home for the forseeable future.
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:59 PM   #3
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When a member has been with USAA for 40 years, you are given an option annually to get back 10% of your accumulated account in what is called a Senior Bonus. It's not really a "bonus", but a distribution of part of what's yours already.
What did you have to do to exercise the option to receive the SB? I checked the USAA web-site and it said that if the SB option were authorized, payments would be made in mid-Feb. I didn't receive anything (but I just received my "40 Year Member" decal, so I assume I'm eligible.) I didn't see anything on the web site about positively exercising the option. Can you give any more detail?

Thanks very much in advance.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:24 PM   #4
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That would be OK, but if they had given you the money each year and you had invested it, the return on your investment each year would be able to pay 100% of your premiums for both auto and home for the forseeable future.
And then if they had a couple of super-cat incidents and had some problems with investments at the same time, they'd be at risk of going insolvent because they refunded stuff from their reserves too soon.

I'd prefer my insurers to be able to pay claims.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:32 PM   #5
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I have been a member at USAA for over 40 years, as many on this forum have. I have had my auto and HO with them since 1966. ..

When a member has been with USAA for 40 years, you are given an option annually to get back 10% of your accumulated account in what is called a Senior Bonus. It's not really a "bonus", but a distribution of part of what's yours already.
You say what I've been with them since 1966 also and have never been given this option. I do get annual SSA checks but not a bonus. Did they tell you, or did you have to ask?
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:40 PM   #6
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I hit the 40 yr. mark with USAA last month. They told me the my bonus would be paid after January 2010.

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Old 04-04-2009, 03:42 PM   #7
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It is not a "bonus" it is just that they (after 40 years of membership) will give you a payment (with the option of applying it to your "account") which is 10% of the balance in your SSA (they are going to change the name of this account to Savings Account, if approved at the next general membership meeting). Those with LESS than 40 years get a lesser payment (although the accrual in you SSA is the same dollars that the over 40 crowd gets - so in the strictest sense there is no "bonus" they just get the payout faster).

Also they have a policy whereby the surviving spouse can receive 100% of the balance in the SSA within 6 months of the demise of the other spouse - and still retain eligibility to remain a USAA policy holder.

Since they have been paying claims for AT LEAST the last 40 years, and through 9/11 and more than a few hurricanes, I think they will be around paying them for the foreseeable future.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:47 PM   #8
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What did you have to do to exercise the option to receive the SB? I checked the USAA web-site and it said that if the SB option were authorized, payments would be made in mid-Feb. I didn't receive anything (but I just received my "40 Year Member" decal, so I assume I'm eligible.) I didn't see anything on the web site about positively exercising the option. Can you give any more detail?

Thanks very much in advance.
As I recall, I received a notification from them via US mail that I was qualified for the SB. I was unaware of such a kickback program @ USAA. I called the phone # given, 800-531-3027, and said that I wanted it used to be applied to my bill. Every year around this time since 2007 they automatically apply 10% of my SSA to my account.

They don't make much of a production of the credit being applied to your bill, in fact I had to go online and take a look at my P&C insurance billing history to find out that it had already been applied on 2/19/09.

Give them a call if you are still mystified by the process.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:54 PM   #9
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(they are going to change the name of this account to Savings Account, if approved at the next general membership meeting).
It appears to me that they have already changed the name. I received an insert with a recent mailing that refers to it as "Subscribers Account", as well as the use of that term on the monthly statement and annual statement for 2008 that is dated 2/19/09.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:59 PM   #10
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It appears to me that they have already changed the name. I received an insert with a recent mailing that refers to it as "Subscribers Account", as well as the use of that term on the monthly statement and annual statement for 2008 that is dated 2/19/09.
Thanks, I do everything on-line with USAA, so I miss those inserts and, of course get behind on the news.

BTW the phone number for SA information is 1-800-495-5957 (for friar1610).
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:02 PM   #11
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You say what I've been with them since 1966 also and have never been given this option. I do get annual SSA checks but not a bonus. Did they tell you, or did you have to ask?
If you have been with USAA 40 years and are receiving a check from them, you are probably receiving the 10% "bonus" in the form of a check rather than as a credit, as I have opted for.
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:05 PM   #12
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I get an SSA surplus check from USAA every year (in December I think). I will have to look into applying it directly to my premiums. Seems more efficient that way.
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:05 PM   #13
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Thanks, I do everything on-line with USAA, so I miss those inserts and, of course get behind on the news.

BTW the phone number for SA information is 1-800-495-5957 (for friar1610).
I got that phone # (800)531-3027, from the actual letter that I received in December 2006 advising me of my windfall. It may have changed by now.
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:14 PM   #14
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I get an SSA surplus check from USAA every year (in December I think). I will have to look into applying it directly to my premiums. Seems more efficient that way.
It looks like they have 5 different options to choose from now. One of the options is still "Leave your Subscriber's Account balance intact". Not sure why you'd do that, but it's available for all.
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:35 PM   #15
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I may be wrong on this, but I think USAA has at least two types of customers. One that is a 'member' i.e. part of the co-op so to speak, and another that is buying insurance but is not a member. More like the classic insurance company. Military Officers were the 'member' class, when they were forced to expand their coverage, they started issuing the other class. Dependents and such. Therefore, Members have and account and get a distribution, and others do not.
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:34 PM   #16
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If you have been with USAA 40 years and are receiving a check from them, you are probably receiving the 10% "bonus" in the form of a check rather than as a credit, as I have opted for.
I don't think the check I receive compares with your "senior bonus." You said you got a $412 bonus against a $606 bill. My yearly SSA check is only about $150 and my yearly auto insurance bill is over $1400. My yearly bill with homeowners and umbrella is over $2500. I'm going to give them a call next week to see what they say about this senior bonus.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:16 PM   #17
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I don't think the check I receive compares with your "senior bonus." You said you got a $412 bonus against a $606 bill. My yearly SSA check is only about $150 and my yearly auto insurance bill is over $1400. My yearly bill with homeowners and umbrella is over $2500. I'm going to give them a call next week to see what they say about this senior bonus.
I received from USAA a document entitled "Subscribers Account Annual Statement for 2008" that is dated February 19, 2009. That statement indicates a year-end balance of $4121.91, and I received 10% of that number as my "bonus". If you received this statement, you should easily be able to see where you stand and possibly figure out why you are being short-changed.

I agree that giving them a call would be your best bet. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:23 PM   #18
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Thanks for the info provided IRT my post/question.

I called USAA and found that although I recently hit the 40 year mark, I missed out on this past SA Senior Bonus. (I did get the normal SA check.) I should receive a letter in Dec 2009 advising me of my options and receive the SB in accordance with my chosen option in Feb 2010.

Again, many thanks for the OP and the follow up info.
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:34 PM   #19
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If you have been with USAA 40 years and are receiving a check from them, you are probably receiving the 10% "bonus" in the form of a check rather than as a credit, as I have opted for.
I called, and they confirmed I should be receiving a senior bonus. They put me on hold to find out why I hadn't been, then came back to tell me it's been applied to my subscriber account. So they changed that, and beginning next Feb I will receive that as a check into my account.

Thanks for the tip!
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