After a disappointing experience with USAA auto insurance this week, i wondered if I was the only USAA member who is unhappy with what USAA customer service has become. So, I came here to see what others posted. Interestingly, some of the first posts I saw spoke of being displeased, that USAA isn't what it used to be, etc. Perhaps a trend here?
Earlier this week, my vehcile was broadsided by a driver who ran a stop sign as he looked at his phone. The other insurance company immediately accepted liability. When I saw their estimate, I saw that they were putting parts on my car from autowrecking yards--i.e., junkyards. These are parts from wrecked cars. It included fenders, a door, headlight, hinge pillar, mirror, wheel, etc. This car is low mileage, pristine condition, and doesn't even have a scratch or ding---well, before the accident. I wanted the car to be put back in it's pristine condition.
So I turned to USAA--supposedly MY company, supposedly MY agent, who supposedly would have MY best interest as their goal. If they repaired my vehicle, they would merely seek subgrgation against the other company. USAA, and USAA members, would be out nothing if USAA allowed for new, correct parts on my vehicle. But to my disappointment, and amazement of the body shop, and my coworkers, USAA's estimate came back with even worse replacement options, using parts from wrecked/junked cars, and many more after-market parts (which I was told by body shop professionals were even worse, and cheaper in quality.
I talked to the appraiser, and he merely wanted to argue that the parts are just fine and that I should just accept it, as all companies do this. I asked him to just apply the amount they'd pay for a rental car to the new, correct parts, but he declined.
So I next called the adjuster in charge who was handling my claim---multiple, multiple calls and voicemails to him, all without a return call. To this day, he has not returned those calls.
So on the fifth time of calling him, I used the option to speak to "any available agent." When I spoke to this agent, she said I needed to accept this method of repair, because these used parts from wrecked cars (she didn't like that terminology, and told me they were merely recycled) were now the industry standard so they are ok. Here I thought USAA claimed to be better than other companies; different; more customer focused; an industry leader. What I found is they are not different, and they just use the industry to justify their actions. She said these used parts are now ok, are now accepted, and do not have a negative connotation like they used to. They are now good. I pointed out that just because she and USAA tell me these are now acceptable and good, does not make them that. Just as if she told me the sky was blue here Friday, when it was actually raining, doesn't make the sky blue. She did not like the analogy for some reason.
I pointed out that the door, for instance, likely woul not be blue like mine, and that USAA won't pay to have all the red paint removed. Anyone seeing the isnide areas of the door will know it has been painted and not correct. She didn't care--saying this is industry standard. I told her modern headlights eventually fog and get moisture inside, and thus I don't want that in a headlight. But she said they are good lightts, and industry standard.
USAA would recoup the extra $1000 (7500 vs 6500) from the other insurance company, and could make this 25 year customer happy, and fix his previously showroom quality vehicle correctly, and place him back in as close to his original condition as before the collision. None of this mattered. She kept saying their contract allows this, as does Virginia law. I told her this isn't about what they are ALLOWED to do, but what is right. No avail.
So the bottom line is that in my opinion, USAA is no longer focused on customers, but their bottom line. One good thing came from this. I learned my subscribers saving accoutn has $5500 in it, and that if I leave USAA and cancel my accounts, they will send that SSA amount to me 6 months later. Food for thought.
I would like to start by apologizing, we are so sorry for this experience, and I can understand why you are frustrated. It is unacceptable to have unreturned calls from your adjuster. I would like to have a claims specialist take a closer look at this situation. Please send us a message here with your contact information and someone will be in touch shortly.
Thanks for your response, your apology, and your request to have me send my contact information to your complaint section. Since you already have my contact data, and I spoke to the person who wrote the estimate, the local agent handling the claim, and his supervisor, I am confident USAA knows of this matter, knows me, and has determined not to change their policy of using used parts from wrecked vehicles to repair members' vehicles. But I appreciate your note.
At this point, I thought it would just help other members understand what they get from the insurance industry and USAA when paying premiums for repair coverage. Many likely think they get new parts rather than parts coming from wrecked cars from salvage yards. Many likely don't realize that a red door from a wrecked car can be used for their blue car, and that only the outside and edges will be painted. That door may have been stressed in an accident on the donor car, although not dented itself, but USAA and the industry says it is still "like quality, like kind". That door may have been repainted and patched previously, but is still considered LQ/LK. It may have rattles theirs didn't but it is still LQ/LK. Although my vehicle was spotless, and according to the agent and repair shop was showroom quality with no scratches, flaws, etc, the junkyard door is still LQLK according to USAA even with flaws. USAA said my door was "used" and their replacement junkyard door is used, so it is LQ/LK. USAA went further, however, than the insurance company that hit me. While they too will use used parts, USAA will use both the used parts and aftermarket parts. Both the other insurance company and the repair shop told me that this will be even a worse repair than the other company, both saying that the aftermarket parts of even more inferior quality than OEM. That's just one example on one part. This will be done for my lights, fender, quarterpanel, door, hinge post assembly, mirror, wheel, and other parts. Many don't realize that their premiums don't go for new parts, and I thought this was helpful for members to know.
USAA reps said that if they gave new parts to people, premiums would rise. But I am confident the high premiums cover this already, and they also recoup higher costs every time someone has an accident that is their fault by raising rates on that person.
I even offered to waive the rental car cost and apply it to the OEM parts. I was told they won't do that, as they are different pots of money. But of course, USAA owns both pots.
I'm not asking you to do anything, because you cannot. Only USAA can, and they will not. 25 years of membership, multiple cars with them, houses with them, and the loss of my thousands in premiums and loss of the subscriber's savings account if I cancel does not matter to them, because they have now met their goal of growing bigger, and can absorb unhappy, departing members.
I just thought others should know what we get with our premiums. Thank you.
I saw that you replied to my post earlier today, with similar sentiments, but your comment has since disappeared. Perhaps USAA deletes comments they do not like. If so, that's a shame. Regardless, thank you for your comment and encouragement.