Horrible experience with USAA total loss claims

Frequent Contributor

I have read comments from others and I agree that USAA claims, specifically their total loss claims processing is horrible.  First of all, they want to only use the phone as a method of communication to protect themselves and give them the advantage in the ACV negoitiations because if it isn't in writing it is much harder to validate who said what, when, etc.  This tactic is unprofessional and has left me with an unpleasent view of USAA as a whole.  I have asked multiple times for the Total Loss team to follow up with me through their own secure messaging system or through email or through mail, they have not.  Even more so I sent a certified letter to USAA Total Loss team on 19JUL and they have not responded to a single question that I asked them about how they came to their ACV caluclations, how my policy works in the claims process and how they handle the salvage title valuation.  USAA has shut me out, they stopped communicating with me, I have replied to their secure messaging system since 19JUL and recieved no responses!  It might as well be an echo chamber (secured) because they don't want to even use it to communicate with policy holders to answer their questions!  When asking a detailed question they simply respond, 'call us'.  Ya, I get you USAA, you don't want to be fair and reasonable, you want to maintain your profit margins at the policy holders disatvantage.  You are making me wait more than a month to settle my claim, you are making me hurt by catching a ride to work or renting a car, you are making me continue paying off my loan monthly on a totaled vehicle, excelent service!!!  I expect much more from USAA, I'm a veteran, served my country and I see when I'm being taken advantage of and I DO NOT APPRECIATE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Also, policy holers beware of a potential scheme by USAA insurance, it is true for me and may be for you as well.  My full 72 page insurance policy is not available to me online anywhere.  I had to talk to the auto insurance department several times, they only referred me to my 'renewal documents' that were online, this isn't the full policy.  I only discovered this issue after the guy on the phone mentioned my policy is 72 pages, cause the renewal documents are only about 12.  I was bounced around over the phone until I spoke to a claims representative who didn't make the full policy available to me in my USAA documents but only emailed it to me.  To date the full auto policy isn't available to me online.  I believe this could be a deceptive practice on the part of USAA to yet again ensure their large profit margins at the expense of its policy holders.  What a great company!  If you want my continued buisness USAA better fix my claims issue and resolve these deceptive practices and take care of its policy holders instead of trying to get a few bucks over on its customers, the majority of whom are veterans!!!


@ Nate123,

It's disheartening to hear about your recent claim experience, and please know that it's never our intent for you feel this way when you file a claim.  I have escalated your situation to a subject matter expert who will be reaching out to you to address your concerns.  Please allow 2-3 business days for contact.  Thanks~Mike


Don't patronize me with your canned email response.  Fix the problem!

From the claims communication instructions:


Claim Communication Center

You can exchange claim-related information, including photos, PDFs, Word and Excel documents, here. Please allow up to four hours for us to respond. During catastrophes, we'll do our best to answer inquiries as quickly as the situation allows.


I last sent a message to USAA through thier secure messaging on 1AUG, does it really take more than 8 buisness days for USAA to come back to me with a response?  The truth of the matter is, USAA doesn't care about my unfortunate situation, they would rather put me on the back burner and handle seemingly easier cases (in their oppinion) dealing with people who are ok with discussing everything over the phone.  You know what that kind of situation reminds me like, it is very comparable to how a drug dealer operates or common criminal.  They want nothing on the record, talk a few facts and figures add some jargon and sweet talk you until you feel compled to accept their offer.  What other industry operates like that?  NONE, at least ones that are legit organizations who intend to do right by their customers!  USAA, stop wasting time, reassign someone to my case (as you have probably taken away labor hours and applied them elsewhere) and close out my case in a fair and reasonable manner.  I supplied a lot of documentation, facts and proper paperwork regarding the ACV, your move!

I've heard good things about Navy Federal.  Maybe its time I give them a try.


I am currently a company commander for one of the largest units in MN.  Just a few months ago I ran into a USAA rep who offered to come to some of our social events, help us out a little with the MWR fund and also sign up interested individuals for USAA products.  I will not be pursuing working with this USAA rep, I will not be referring anyone from my company or in my sphere of influency, both in military and out to use USAA.  I will refer individuals to use Navy Federal, State Farm insurance or a local credit union.  I signed up with USAA through such a USAA rep coming to speak to an ROTC unit, USAA has had my business for 10 years now.  I will begin looking to get all of my current products set up with other companies.  USAA is counting more on new clueless individuals signing up for their service, doesn't give a darn about members with 10-20 years of service with their company.  This focus will erode the base of customers with USAA and they don't seem to care!

Update 16AUG:


I have finally received some answers to the questions that I have asked regarding my claim in the secure messaging app as well as by certified mail.  The only reason that USAA took time to respond to me was because a paralegal with a lawfirm called the company, stayed on the phone for 3 hours while they resarched my questions and provided answers in writing.  I never asked the paralegal to do this action but stated that I wanted the answers in writing, I don't trust to speak to USAA claims reps about my case over the phone from my own experience and reading similar stories here, shady buisness.  USAA, why do I need to take such measures in order for you to respond?  Why can't you be professional and prompt to respond, it would have taken care of so many issues, but you gambled thinking you could maximize profits while I twist in the wind!  I don't appreciate this treatment in the least!  Finally now you are responding to my concerns, I figured a certified letter would get a prompt response, I was wrong, it has taken all of these steps.  I believe the paralegal mentioned that I also filed a complaint with the state insurance department about the handeling of my case.  This may have also motivated you to be responsive.  My claim is not over yet and I will not roll over, I expect fair treatment, honoring your commitments and following your policy and regulations, not taking shortcuts, not lying, not being deceptive!

Update 20AUG:


USAA's original total loss ACV was a low ball offer, I was told last WED the 25th that a new ACV valuation would be calculated by the adjuster and they would get back to me in 24-48 hrs.  It is well past that time frame and I reminded them of it today.  In reply I get a statement saying that they raised the ACV about $1000, not near where it should be.  They provided no ACV calculation sheet as they did for the first calculation.  I wonder how they came up with that number, was it based solely upon what I still owe on the vehicle?  Probably so!  As USAA claims team like to point out, what I owe on the vehicle has no bearing on what the ACV is, plus or minus!  If USAA fails to provide me a fair ACV valuation base upon the documents I submitted them with comparable vehicles I will use a licensed independent adjuster to provide a fair quote using all of the options and custom equipment that I provided.  I have no doubt that an independent apprasial will be much closer to the comparable vehicle quotes that I found rather than the low ball offers that USAA claims team put together.  I also know the costs for obtaining an independent apprasial, even with these costs the ACV calculation from an independent apprasier would offset the low ball offer by USAA.  Such poor service!

It's a funny thing, the total loss team told me 22AUG they had sent my documents to an adjuster to be worked within 24-48 hours.  When I get the new ACV valuation I see that the total loss claims rep called the adjuster at 10AM this morning, right after I emailed them reminding them that they are deliquent!  So when they told me they were working my new ACV, they were not, they they knee jerked after they realized they were late, told the adjuster most likely, to raise the price a little and do it quickly.  I see that their new valuation took appx 40 min.  None of the fair market ACV's that I found were even used.  There is another adjuster with name 'unknown' on the report, thanks for the upfront honesty and integrity USAA!