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American Family vs. USAA: Which Car Insurance Is Cheaper?

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Jeffrey Johnson graduated summa cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law and has worked in legal offices and nonprofits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman University and worked in film, education, and publishing. His professional writing has appeared on sites like The Manifest and Vice, and he is the author of a novel ...

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UPDATED: Jun 3, 2021

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Key Takeaways

  • USAA car insurance is available only to active and retired military and their family members
  • USAA’s rates are often 20%-30% cheaper than those of other car insurance companies
  • American Family offers a higher discount for using its driving app than USAA
  • American Family doesn’t have a military or garaging discount

You’re researching American Family and USAA car insurance, but you have questions. What is USAA? What does USAA stand for? Is there a catch?

USAA stands for United Services Automobile Association — which means you’re eligible for coverage if you or your family member serve in any branch of the military.

A cheap car insurance policy with this company is available only to active and retired military and their family members.

In our American Family vs. USAA car insurance guide, we compare car insurance rates by age, driving record, and credit score. Which company will provide the best and cheapest car insurance for you?

We also compare available discounts and ratings from agencies with a credible and trustworthy view of American Family vs. USAA car insurance companies.

Before jumping into this American Family vs. USAA car insurance review, enter your ZIP code to start comparing multiple companies in your area.

Is American Family car insurance or USAA car insurance cheaper based on age?

The more we drive, the safer and more aware we become behind the wheel. For this reason, car insurance companies use age as one of the most influential factors in quoting your car insurance rates.

In most states, it’s legal to base car insurance rates on marital status and gender; however, some have banned this. What’s easier to find, affordable American Family vs. USAA car insurance quotes?

Let’s compare American Family insurance rates and USAA insurance rates based on age, gender, and marital status.

American Family vs. USAA Average Annual Car Insurance Rates based on Age, Gender, and Marital Status
DemographicAmerican Family Average Annual RatesUSAA Average Annual Rates
Single 17-year-old female$5,997$4,808
Single 17-year-old male$8,131$5,386
Single 25-year-old female$2,289$1,989
Single 25-year-old male$2,695$2,126
Married 35-year-old female$2,203$1,551
Married 35-year-old male$2,224$1,540
Married 60-year-old female$1,993$1,450
Married 60-year-old male$2,014$1,449
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Generally, expect USAA car insurance rates to be about 25%-30% cheaper than most other car insurance companies.

Wondering about USAA vs. American Family car insurance for teen drivers? Insurance rates for teens will always be higher because they lack experience.

USAA insurance rates for teen drivers are significantly lower than American Family rates for this demographic, especially for male teens.

If you have a teenage boy on your policy and you’re eligible for USAA, this should be an easy choice.

Is American Family car insurance or USAA car insurance cheaper based on driving record?

Speeding tickets, accidents, or DUIs on your driving record will raise your car insurance rates no matter what company you pick because these infractions make you look like a high-risk driver.

American Family vs. USAA Average Annual Car Insurance Rates based on Driving Record
InfractionAmerican Family Average Annual RatesUSAA Average Annual Rates
Clean record$2,694$1,934
With one speeding violation$3,026$2,193
With one accident$3,723$2,516
With one DUI$4,330$3,506
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When it comes to rates by driving record, USAA car insurance quotes are about half the amount of American Family car insurance quotes.

However, USAA takes accidents and DUIs much more seriously. Rates with USAA will increase your rates by 30%-81% if you are in an accident or get a DUI.

American Family will only raise your rates by 12%-61% if you are in an accident or get a DUI.

Is American Family car insurance or USAA car insurance cheaper based on credit score?

If you experience some type of financial trauma such as incurring medical debt or going through a divorce, your good credit score can drop in a matter of months.

In most states, it’s legal for car insurance companies to factor in your credit score when determining your rates; however, some are banning this practice along with factoring in gender and marital status.

Car insurance companies justify checking your credit score based on the assumption that those with higher credit scores are more responsible and less likely to file a claim.

Let’s take a look at how American Family and USAA set rates for drivers with different credit scores.

American Family vs. USAA Average Annual Car Insurance Rates based on Credit History
Credit HistoryAmerican Family Average Annual RatesUSAA Average Annual Rates
Good Credit (670-739)$2,692$1,821
Fair Credit Score (580-669)$3,170$2,220
Poor Credit Score (300-579)$4,468$3,691
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Again, USAA will usually have the cheapest insurance rates compared to other car insurance companies.

Your rates with American Family will increase 18%-66% if your credit score drops significantly; rates with USAA will more than double.

You may live in a state where basing car insurance on credit score is illegal. Be sure to check out our car insurance by state page before judging American Family vs. USAA car insurance rates based on credit score alone.

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Does American Family or USAA have better car insurance discounts?

If you have a bad driving record or a low credit score, getting good discounts will offset your high rates.

USAA has more discounts than American Family based on our records, but it never hurts to ask an agent to make sure you’re taking advantage of as many discounts as possible.

American Family vs. USAA Car Insurance Discounts
DiscountsAmerican FamilyUSAA
Adaptive Cruise Controln/an/a
Adaptive Headlightsn/an/a
Anti-lock Brakesyesn/a
Anti-Theftyesn/a
Claim Freeyes12
Continuous Coverageyesn/a
Daytime Running Lightsn/an/a
Defensive Driver103
Distant Studentn/an/a
Driver's Edn/a3
Driving Device/App405
Early Signingn/a12
Electronic Stability Controln/an/a
Emergency Deploymentyesn/a
Engaged Coupleyesn/a
Family Legacyyes10
Family Planyesn/a
Farm Vehicleyesn/a
Fast 5yesn/a
Federal Employeeyesn/a
Forward Collision Warningn/an/a
Full Paymentn/an/a
Further Educationyesn/a
Garaging/Storingyes90
Good Creditn/an/a
Good Studentn/a3
Green Vehiclen/an/a
Homeowneryesn/a
Lane Departure Warningn/an/a
Life Insurancen/an/a
Low Mileagen/an/a
Loyaltyyesn/a
Marriedn/an/a
Membership/Groupn/an/a
Militaryyesn/a
Military Garagingyes15
Multiple Driversn/an/a
Multiple Policiesn/an/a
Multiple Vehiclesn/an/a
New Addressn/an/a
New Customer/New Plann/an/a
New Graduateyesn/a
Newer Vehicleyes12
Newly Licensedn/an/a
Newlywedsn/an/a
Non-Smoker/Non-Drinkern/an/a
Occasional Operatorn/an/a
Occupationn/an/a
On Time Paymentsn/an/a
Online Shoppern/an/a
Paperless Documentsn/an/a
Paperless/Auto Billingn/a3
Passive Restraint30n/a
Recent Retireesyesn/a
Renteryesn/a
Roadside Assistanceyesn/a
Safe Drivern/a12
Seat Belt Usen/an/a
Senior Drivern/an/a
Stable Residenceyesn/a
Students & Alumnin/an/a
Switching Providern/an/a
Utility Vehiclen/an/a
Vehicle Recoveryyesn/a
VIN Etchingyesn/a
Volunteeryesn/a
Young Drivern/a$75
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American Family car insurance company offers discounts of 10%-40% for taking defensive driver training, having airbags, and using its driving device or app.

American Family and USAA both offer up to a 20% discount for using their driving app or device.

USAA car insurance company may offer lower discounts, but those that are offered are pretty good. You can save 10%-12% by being a family legacy, signing early, driving a newer vehicle, being claim-free, and being a safe driver.

And, with USAA, if you’re an active military member and get deployed, you will get a 90% discount for garaging your vehicle while you’re away.

Our records show that American Family doesn’t have a military or garaging discount, but it still pays to get a quote because car insurance companies are offering new discounts daily to keep up with the competition.

If you’re interested in USAA vs. American Family home insurance, be sure to ask an agent about bundling discounts.

Does American Family or USAA have better car insurance mobile apps?

Usage-based car insurance has become a hot trend in the car insurance industry in the last decade or so, and all of the best car insurance companies have a driving app that uses your mobile phone or a device installed into your vehicle.

Large car insurance companies also provide a more general app to enable you to pay your bill, make changes to your coverage levels, and provide electronic verification of insurance in states that permit this.

How do American Family and USAA car insurance compare in financial strength and customer satisfaction?

Purchasing car insurance is an important financial responsibility, so you want to make sure you’re selecting the right company that will be there for you when you need it most.

A company’s financial strength, customer satisfaction with the claims process, and customer complaints should be reviewed prior to making your decision.

The following three agencies provide insight into these factors:

A.M. Best scores companies based on their ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations, such as balancing premiums collected and claims paid. The highest score A.M. Best awards is Superior A++.

Consumer Reports collects annual data from its subscribers regarding customer satisfaction of the claims process, step by step. In its 2017 survey, 27 insurance companies were rated, and scores ranged from 86 to 96.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners collect (NAIC) a complaint ratio based on the total number of customers vs. the total number of complaints.

In 2017, the national average complaint ratio was one. The lower the ratio, the better.

American Family vs. USAA Company Ratings
Rating AgencyAmerican FamilyUSAA
AM Best RatingAA++
Consumer Reports8995
NAIC Company Complaint Ratio0.790.74
NAIC Total Complaints73296
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With A.M. Best, American Family comes in strong with an excellent rating, but USAA has the highest possible rating. This should be helpful when deciding to buy American Family vs. USAA car insurance.

The two companies are also highly competitive when it comes to customer complaint ratios. Both are below 1.0, which is a good sign of customer satisfaction.

Also a strong sign of customer satisfaction through the claims process, USAA has a much higher score than American Family from Consumer Reports.

Before you choose between American Family vs. USAA car insurance, enter your ZIP code to compare multiple car insurance companies in your area.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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