I have been insured by USAA for 35 years.  They are not even remotely the company I remember.   All that said here is my experience to share and let folks make up their own mind.  I called approximately 6 weeks ago for a new homeowners quote on a house I wanted to buy.  I got the numbers and it was high and I knew it but I was loyal.   Loyalty is a 2 way street and with these shenanigans I'm certainly not seeing it from them..  Anyway back to the quote.  They calculated a rebuild cost on this house at that time I felt was at least 200k too high but figured lumber was high so whatever.  They offered to lower it to 80% but I'd lose the inflation protection.  I said fine leave it at the ;ridiculous number.  Fast forward to today when I called to give a start date and they claimed they had to requote the policy and didn't do anything but remove 1 extra fireplace they had listed incorrectly.  That ridiculous number had gone up over 100k in 6 weeks.  No explanation and again offered to remove the inflation protection which you lose if you go below 95%. I asked it be reviewed by a supervisor same result. You could probably rebuild the house almost twice for what they claim it will cost.   So I called my father and asked him what his experience in this area has been.  His house much nice build quality, larger and built to hurricane standards (mine is not in a different part of the country) was almost 300k less than my quote today.   His house would sell today for almost twice what I paid for mine.  This experience has led me to start shopping ALL my insurance needs. Do yourself a favor and do the same.  

9 REPLIES

Hello, @justme8675. I am saddened to read about your experience. I am going to forward your account with your concerns for review. While I can't provide a specific time, I appreciate your patience while waiting for a response from this area. -Nick

Nick, unfortunately I am closing on this property and don't have time to waste.  All other quotes figured the rebuild around what I did which is over 40% less than what USAA claims.  That is well past ridiculous.  I tried to get it fixed for several hours on the phone.  I'm not overinsuring my new house just to beef up salaries at a company that has changed so much I don't recognize it.  If someone calls me I'm willing to talk but if they work on 'when they get to it' time they won't like my answer.  You guys are hemorrhaging badly losing a lot your long time (15+ yrs) clientele for very valid reasons.  First and foremost the business core philosophy flipped almost 180*.  The rates used to be competitive and aren't any longer and you're trying to overinsure people by almost 90% which is legal theft in my book.  That's just raising my premium for no valid reason.  I'd love to talk to senior management.  

( Thank you for that suggestion ) mine was 380,000 for a year and now it's 400,000 next year it will probably 450,000. and that just rebuild cost.

I have to agree with you—I too was shocked when I received my homeowners policy renewal. USAA claims a “total loss/rebuild” amount that is almost 3 times the amount I could ever sell my home for at this time. I called USAA as well, inquiring as to why there was such a dramatic rebuild cost jump from last year. I was told USAA is now using “new software” to compute rebuild estimates. They claim it is “more accurate” than what they used to use. Like you, I also inquired about ways to lower my premium. I was told basically the same as you were: I could lower the amount of coverage for a total loss/rebuild, but I would have to sign a waiver acknowledging I was choosing the lower amount against their advice, would loose the “inflation protection”, and be “putting myself at risk” if the unthinkable happened. I had the rep run the numbers for me, and the really sad part is that it would have lowered my premium by a minuscule amount. I too decided it was not worth the risk. <br>I think there is a much bigger issue, however, which is a problem with the entire industry, not just USAA. Almost everybody’s homeowners insurance costs have jumped the last few years, way beyond the yearly increases we have habitually seen. I am paying almost three times the amount of premiums that I paid 7 years ago. The entire property insurance industry has had to pay out major claims, for major losses, the past few years, and I do not think it will be getting better any time soon. We are seeing catastrophic “100 year” events more and more often: huge, uncontrollable wild fires, major hurricanes, droughts, then sometimes almost record setting rain, causing flooding, landslides, the unexpected appearance of sink holes, etc. My biggest gripe is that I live in an area which sees none of those disasters (other than low rainfall/semi-drought conditions), but all of us are having to pay more and more in premiums, due to all of the losses. A large part of this is the denial by a certain political party, and powerful industries, who still want to pretend they are ostriches regarding climate change. I’m also starting to question why us taxpayers should have to bail out and pay for rebuilding homes in coastal areas that are destined to be flooded again. We dropped the ball on climate change decades ago, and continue to do so. These catastrophic events are only going to get bigger, more frequent, and more costly, even if we attempt to start and try to move away from fossil fuels in earnest now. We are rapidly approaching the tipping point, if we have not already passed it. <br>This is our “new reality”—like COVID-19. I think you would be surprised and disappointed to find that if you shop around for lower premiums, with comparable coverage, you are most likely going to have sticker-shock wherever you go. Also, don’t forget, the insurance industry is regulated by each state, and the regulatory commissions are allowing these huge increases. We wouldn’t want to impose on any giant company’s profit margin, right?

My understanding is we are all separate pools by state and at one time customer type (officer, dependent etc but that may have changed now given some articles I've read.). Anyway if we go by state pool our rates should be calculated based on payouts in that state if I understood their explanation correctly some time back.  I've lived in the same house 16 years and for the most part my rates were fairly stable with a little creep.  They were higher than other companies but I always felt secure with USAA insurance which may have been naive but it was how I felt. It was a privilege I appreciated when they weren't the big conglomerate they've become.  I live in the Midwest where we don't see hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and the like.  Usually we see wind and hail at worst.  I'm sure they have had to pay out a lot in states out west and hurricane prone areas.  Supposedly that shouldn't affect me though if I understood and retained their explanation accurately.

 

The experience above just floored me.  I tried to get it fixed and basically no one could which was why I resorted to this forum.   As it stands I have quotes that were 50% of the premium they had quoted all open perils and as close to apples:apples comparison.  Car insurance was about ~35% reduction.  Their new software iis ridiculous and in my opinion trying to over insure people for no good reason for the member at least.  We would just be paying higher premiums for a level of insurance that would never pay out which is good for the company bottom line I suppose. 

 

I did receive a call from the office of the ceo sometching or other today with a promise my contact (name and number given) would call once they have researched the problem.  We will see how that goes.  I will post a follow up just to complete the saga.  

@justme8675, thank you for reaching out with this info. I understand the frustration with your policy. I want to confirm I do see your account was forwarded for review. I'll send this follow up message to be included as well. We'll reach out as quickly as possible to discuss more info together. I appreciate the opportunity to assist further. - Lori

I agree. USAA makes it impossible to spend more than 3k at a time and there are so few locations for regular banking services that you become a slave to their wishes. Their online account updates are slower by days than my other banks. RBFCU and SSFCU and MACU. The service is terrible. You know what you have to do to get a certified check from them? You don't. The auto voice lady when you call will hang up on you if it can't figure out what you're calling for or if you can do it online. By online they don't mean the app, they mean the web site although the customer service chatters and callers think you can do anything on the app.
My home owner's insurance is double what other insurances are quoting. There's no help with it at all. These guys have no empathy while speaking with you and I've been told many times that they are doing this or that for me " as a favor". That boils my blood. I have sold one of my homes and the one I live in will be sold in the next week or two. Then I am going to close all my accounts with them. I'll take my average balance 30k and home insurance and auto insurance and forget these corporate clowns that are preying on military and veterans making them think they are being treated special and hiking there products through the roof.

GOOD RIDDANCE!
The same thing happened to my Homeowners. I can understand inflation and all. However, inflation does not provide an adequate reason why my homeowners increased over 20%.

Remember those insurance refunds we got last year and also the account refunds that have been going out that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made USAA pay for violations. USAA is recouping all the money refunded by raising premiums.

I am filing a grievance of USAA with the CFPB.

Shop around.  USAA can easily be beaten on every product they offer.