June 17, 2021

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USAA vs. Geico: which is best in 2021?

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Comparing USAA vs. Geico can be difficult. Both of these auto insurance providers score well across many areas like customer service and cost, but each company has its unique strengths. In this article, we’ll compare USAA and Geico side by side.

We’ve reviewed the best car insurance companies on the market, and USAA and Geico hold our top two positions. We recommend getting a quote from both companies to ensure you find the coverage you need at a price you can afford. Use the free tool below to get car insurance quotes from several leading insurers in your area.

In this article:

  • Comparing USAA and Geico
  • USAA vs. Geico coverage
  • USAA vs. Geico pricing
  • USAA vs. Geico customer experience
  • Final thoughts
  • Our methodology
Comparing USAA and Geico

After comparing every major car insurance company on the market, we named USAA the Best for Military Families and Geico the Best Overall. If you’re eligible for coverage from both auto insurers, we recommend comparing quotes.

USAA began when 25 Army officers decided to insure each other’s vehicles in 1922. Today, the company still serves military personnel and their families. You’re eligible for USAA if:

  • You are active duty military personnel or a retired veteran
  • You are a cadet or officer candidate
  • Your spouse or parent has had a USAA auto or home insurance policy

Geico began as the Government Employees Insurance Company in 1936 and initially insured government employees. Today, it provides coverage to drivers nationwide and still has discounts for federal employees.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Geico is the second-largest car insurance provider in the U.S., while USAA is the fifth-largest. USAA and Geico both hold A++ (Superior) financial strength ratings from AM Best, the highest possible rating. However, looking at the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction StudySM, USAA ranked fourth out of 25 auto insurers included.

USAA Geico
Year Established 1922 1936
Availability 50 states 50 states
AM Best Financial Strength Rating A++ A++
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating A- A+
J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study Score 890 out of 1,000 871 out of 1,000
Our Award Best for Military Families Best Overall
USAA vs. Geico coverage

USAA and Geico both provide the six standard car insurance coverages to drivers nationwide. These insurers also offer several add-on coverage options, including roadside assistance, rental car coverage, rideshare coverage and usage-based insurance in some states.

The main difference between USAA and Geico car insurance policies is that Geico offers mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI), which is similar to an extended car warranty. If defective materials or workmanship cause damages, the program pays for the repair. USAA, on the other hand, has coverage for glass as well as leased vehicles.

USAA Geico
Bodily Injury Liability (BI)
Property Damage Liability (PD)
Collision
Comprehensive
Medical Payments (MedPay)
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM)
Roadside Assistance
Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage
Rideshare Insurance
Usage-Based Insurance Available in 4 states* Available in 19 states*
Accident Forgiveness
Glass Coverage
Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP)
Car Replacement Assistance (CRA)
Mechanical Breakdown Insurance

*Accurate at time of publication.

Usage-based insurance comparison

USAA and Geico both offer usage-based insurance programs that provide discounts based on your driving habits. However, neither program’s eligibility extends to every state.

USAA SafePilotTM Geico DriveEasy
Device Mobile app Mobile app
Can It Raise Your Rate? No Yes
Availability 4 states 19 states
Discount Up to 30% Varies
What It Monitors Speed, acceleration, braking, swerving, cornering, distance, location, phone use and more Distracted driving, hard braking, cornering, smoothness, road type, distance driven, time of day and weather

SafePilot is available in Arizona, Ohio, Texas and Virginia. You can get DriveEasy if you’re based in one of the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia or Wisconsin.

USAA’s SafePilot won’t raise your rate. The program can only give you a discount, which can extend up to 30%, or maintain your current rate. On the other hand, Geico can use data from DriveEasy to recalculate your rate and increase your insurance premium if you’re deemed a risky driver.

USAA vs. Geico pricing

Comparing USAA vs. Geico car insurance costs, both options are affordable. However, USAA tends to provide cheaper car insurance to people with good driving histories. We rate USAA 9.5 out of 10.0 points and Geico 8.5 out of 10.0 points for affordability.

Geico offers more discounts, but that doesn’t mean policyholders get the lowest car insurance rates. USAA is often the cheapest option even though it offers fewer discounts in total.

USAA Discounts Geico Discounts
Multi-Policy
Multi-Vehicle
New Vehicle
Good Student
Good Driver
Driver’s Education
Defensive Driving
Family
Length of Membership
Low Annual Mileage
Military Installation
Vehicle Storage
Air Bags
Daytime Running Lights
Anti-Lock Brakes
Anti-Theft System
Passive Restraint
Seat Belt Use
Membership and Employee
Federal Employee
Military Discount
Military Deployment

Keep in mind that car insurance costs are highly variable and depend on factors like your vehicle, location, credit score, driving history and more.

USAA vs. Geico military discounts

If you’re a military member or veteran, there are key differences to note between USAA and Geico.

USAA does not offer a military discount that applies to veterans, but it does offer a 15% discount for garaging your car on a military base. Comparatively, Geico provides a 15% discount to active members of the military and veterans as well as a 25% discount for deployment into an imminent danger pay zone.

Since USAA is built around supporting military life, it offers an extensive knowledge base and checklists for joining the military, deployment, changing stations and leaving the military. USAA also has a job-finding program and discounts on various partner services.

USAA vs. Geico customer experience

Customer satisfaction is another category where USAA comes out on top. The J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study rated auto insurance companies on their repair process, estimate process and rental experience. Based on this criteria, USAA received 890 out of a possible 1,000 points, while Geico received 871 points. This ranked USAA in the top four providers overall and Geico in the middle of the pack.

According to NAIC data, USAA has a smaller number of complaints relative to its size than Geico. Still, both companies offer strong mobile app experiences with high ratings on Google Play. Though USAA and Geico BBB customer review ratings may seem concerning, these low scores are common among insurance providers and only represent a small number of customer experiences.

USAA Geico
BBB Customer Review Rating 1.26 out of 5.0 1.15 out of 5.0
Mobile App iPhone App Store Rating 4.8 out of 5.0 4.8 out of 5.0
Mobile App Google Play Rating 4.5 out of 5.0 4.8 out of 5.0
Final thoughts

So, if you’re comparing USAA vs. Geico, which is the better auto insurer? We rated both companies with a score of 9.1 out of 10.0. However, we named Geico the Best Overall for the average driver and USAA the Best for Military Families.

USAA Geico
Overall Rating 9.1 9.1
Reputation 9.0 9.5
Availability 9.0 10.0
Coverage 8.5 8.5
Cost 9.5 8.5
Customer Experience 9.5 9.0

Other recommendations for car insurance

Even though USAA and Geico are excellent car insurance providers, it’s a good idea to get a few different auto insurance quotes. We also recommend reaching out Progressive and State Farm.

Progressive is a great option for high-risk drivers. The company gives affordable coverage to people who have a recent at-fault accident, ticket, or DUI on their driving record. State Farm is great for students, as it provides a generous good-student discount and offers insurance products for young drivers to save money.

To see how much you would pay for auto coverage, get free quotes from top providers in your area.

Our methodology

Because consumers rely on us to provide objective and accurate information, we created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings of the best car insurance companies. We collected data on dozens of auto insurance providers to grade the companies on a wide range of ranking factors. The end result was an overall rating for each provider, with the insurers that scored the most points topping the list.

Here are the factors our ratings take into account:

  • Reputation: Our research team considered market share, ratings from industry experts and years in business when giving this score.
  • Availability: Auto insurance companies with greater state availability and few eligibility requirements scored highest in this category.
  • Coverage: Companies that offer a variety of choices for insurance coverage are more likely to meet consumer needs.
  • Cost: Average auto insurance rates and discount opportunities were both taken into consideration.
  • Customer Experience: This score is based on volume of complaints reported by the NAIC and customer satisfaction ratings reported by J.D. Power. We also considered the responsiveness, friendliness and helpfulness of each insurance company’s customer service team based on our own shopper analysis.
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