First, I've been with USAA for close to 20 years or plainly, thousands upon thousands of dollars paid to USAA to help me when I need it. I went with USAA like many others because of their military 'support' and emphasis in their advertisement. I will say they have been good, but good as long as they get money from you in banking, mortgages, etc. But as soon as you try to make a claim or 'use your insurance' to repair, replace or fix, I've found they will do everything they can to avoid paying or lowball estimates to continue to grow their bank accounts. This is what lead me to write this. Continue reading to hear my story.
I have a 2018 Audi S5 Sportback; I was rear-ended. Because of the accident, like many other not-at-fault claims, I am going through the diminished value (DV) claim with USAA after someone rear ended me. Unfortunately, the other person's insurance only had $10k of liability resulting me going with USAA to cover the expenses with uninsured/underinsured. I presented the signed documents back to USAA with a pre and post accident appraisal. The rear end collision costs $16k in repairs. I had my car appraised pre accident at approximately $40k, and post accident appraisal at about $30k, respectively. The dealership provided the appraisal. I also referenced other car value websites i.e. NADA, Kelly Blue Book, and True Car value taking into account pre and post accident appraisals. Everything came back about the same DV from theses sources. I provided that to USAA as part of the DV claim. In ALL pre and post accident appraisals, it showed about a $10k delta in non-accident value and trade-in/personal sale of my vehicle. USAA came back today with only $1,100 dollars in DV. Talk about my heart sinking. See USAA uses this formula called 17c to calculate the DV based on the value of the car, cost of repairs, and some other factors accounting for mileage, age, etc. The one IMPORTANT factor it does not consider is the post accident appraisal value if I was to trade it in or sell it myself. In further research about 17c, I found it is designed to work in favor of the insurance company for the lowest payout for DV leaving us, the consumer, potentially thousands of dollars short of the actual diminished value. In my case, I lost $8.5k dollars in value (not including the $1,100 they offered) if I trade in or sell my car because of an accident I did not cause.
In my recourse, I immediately disputed this DV asssessment and provided all the pre/post appraisal information again for reconsideration. However, it was sent back to the same people who calculated the original DV claim, so I am doubtful anything will change given they work for USAA and USAA is about making money not giving it back when a claim is made; or they hope people are uninformed and will accept the pitttance they offer. Fortunately, I have an attorney helping me with this in the hopes that I actually get the DV I deserve for an accident I did not cause.
Is USAA a good broker when it comes to taking care of their military members? We shall see. For others on this journey or who will go through this, good luck on your efforts. The plot thickens - I'll keep you updated.
@AudiS5 Thank you for sharing your claims concerns. I have escalated this to a subject matter expert to review further. They will be following up with you in the next 2 to 3 business days.
It comes as no surprise that USAA isn't going to provide me an adequate diminished value for my car after I was in a no-fault rear end collision in the underinsured/uninsured portion of my insurance. The 'reviewer' refused to tell me how they came up with the valuation as it's proprietary. Clearly 17c-like formula was used and it screws good people like me and benefits the insurance company. How do I know it was used, because I did the calculations myself with 17c and come up with the same DV they did +/- a couple of dollars. He told me I could provide additional information to support why I think it's more (which i did based on pre and post accicdent appraisals), and he failed to identify what specific documents i needed. Still USAA offering ~$1,100 dollars of DV when the resale/trade-in is nearly $10k less than what it should be. It's time to seriously consider changing insurance. And yes, the DV reviewer is a third party company that works for USAA. There must be some back door incentive to low ball, saving USAA money. You say you are favor of helping military and veterans, but all you are focused on is your bottom line. I drank the kool aid. I am fed up with you as a company. Not only do I have to deal with my car accident and medical issues, now I have to fight on my own behalf. I'll be sure to share and provide my 'recommendation' about my 'great' experiences with this business.
For others out there, be weary. They happily take your money but be prepared to fight for what is owed to you when you make a claim or hire a lawyer to help you