It is time for USAA total loss to be more transparent.


I have been a customer of USAA for 16 years and during my tenure never had an automobile claim until now. USAA is great when things are going right, but when you need them to be there for you when you have a claim you will realize how quickly things turn. This post is no different then the many other ones on here about total loss, the difference I have is I have most of my communcation in writing and via the messaging service USAA provides. I think it is important to capture the issues and problems I have run into since my vehicle was totaled.


1. CCC one comps are not comparable to your vehicle; options are not factored in at fair market value

2. CCC one comps are higher than what USAA offers; but USAA does not have a reason for this

3. CCC one tells USAA that factory options are personnal preference, not what your average consumer would purchase- so in my case that included the factory options with air ride suspension; skid plates; trail rating; air conditioned seats; etc. 

4. USAA assigns a total loss adjuster to you, and they are allowed to be rude (in my experience); when asked to reassign an adjuster they tell you no

5. USAA total loss advises you to provide receipts for any/all maintenance and repair work done, they will then tell you in a later email that labor is not covered, then in another email tell you only parts are covered but not any fluids.

6. USAA total loss will tell you to provide additional VINs to show value of your vehicle if you disagree with the CCC one quote, but they will do nothing with it. 

7. USAA total loss will disconnect the call when it is close to closing time and not call you back

8. USAA total loss will tell you they want to help, but then tell you that the phone system crashed and to call back after you have been on the phone with them over 20 minutes

9. USAA total loss will put you on hold over 30 minutes to talk to a manager and then one will never come on the line and disconnect

10. USAA will not value you as a customer as you ask for information about the arbitration clause; or about how to close your accounts


*I have phone records and other records to show each and everyone of these comments, these are not complaints but facts of the service I received. 


I understand that USAA has a business to run and needs to be profitable to stay in business, but for the difference USAA is off on the vehicle total cost, is less than what I have paid in fees for my accounts in the last two years. My issues here are about customer value and follow through, rather than monetary. I only wish they would have done more to satisfy and explain the reasoning behind all of these issues with total loss. I wish I would have felt like a valued customer after our time together. I am guessing that time is coming to an end, and this post is my last resort before i say goddbye USAA!



I am so sorry to hear about your recent experience with your total loss claim.  I definitely want to have all your concerns reviewed further regarding the valuation of your vehicle.  I have escalated your situation to a member of management who will be reaching out to you to address your concerns. Thank you, Mike

This is the way USAA operates. They advertise how they support the military community--we are "members"--they are a for profit bank! The moment you need something they are not there. When the company I worked for closed and I was selling items to pay my mortgage payment I needed a loan to repay my car to get to a job interview. They refused and of course went from "we are here for you to" .."well we are a BANK and have criteria that must be met and no we will not help you. They must pay for testimonials--that is the only reasonable explanation. Usaa is a horrible bank and amazing they manage to get worse every year! This is from a 23 year customer (I refuse to buy into the "member" propaganda they use for marketing purposes)

But wait there is more... after more digging, I found documentation on what USAA is supposed to cover as it does not matter how many times you ask for a copy of your policy they will give you a run around. Ask for them to define something, and you will not get a straight answer but 3 different answers.


Per USAA Policy:

 Total loss to your covered auto. Our  limit

of liability under Comprehensive Coverage

and Collision Coverage is the actual cash

value  of the vehicle, inclusive of any

custom equipment , and the cost to

transfer or replace any equipment,

furnishings or parts designed to assist

disabled persons.

D. Under Rental Reimbursement Coverage, our

 maximum limit of liability is the reasonable

amount necessary to reimburse you  for

expenses incurred to rent a vehicle in the

applicable class shown on the Declarations:

1. Economy Class. For purposes of this

endorsement, Economy Class means

"mini," small or compact 2- and 4-door

cars that are not considered sports or

luxury vehicles and are not the station

wagon type.

1. The maximum amount we  will include

for loss  to custom equipment  in or on

your covered auto  is $5,000.


So, where in the policy does it say anything about personal preference or customer preference. Additionally, I looked up each one of the vehicles that CCC one provided as a comp and found several discrepancies where the report states it has a feature that the vehicle does not. How can USAA utilize a report that is inaccurate and does not reflect the proper condition or options on the comped vehicles and still give the customer a lower valuation of his vehicle against the other comped vehicles? 


Lastly, there is an arbitration clause that you can request arbitration after 30 days in most states. Also, in some states you can file grievances with the state against the insurance company. Every state has insurance regulations to help protect the customer... check out your states to see what other coverages you have.

As I have been reading the posts on the forum, I am finding that many people do not update them on if the issues have been resolved. I wanted to be the first to walk through how it has gone for me.


14 July 2017, accident occurred, sent notification and photos of accident

18 July 2017, total loss- settlement amount provided, told that personal preference options are not added, requested that be defined as it is not in my policy

19 July 2017, requested review of claim, submitted comps, copy of actual window sticker

20 July 2017, new review of valuation, still did not take into account options per policy or other VINs that had comparable options

21 July 2017, disconnected on telephone call; left negative feedback on app, followed up by USAA on compensations and receipts for maintenance

24 July 2017, provided receipts for vehicle maintenance, advised they would only cover parts, then advised parts must add value to vehicle 

25 July-1 Aug, silence on the wire, nothing happened, posted to social media

2 Aug, finally some resolution---


I was called today by the manager, and she was very courteous. She provided information and explained the process and what the next steps were that would be taken. She explained to me that the factory options would actually be included into my valuation and that they had not due to them not being added to the CCC one report. They expected to get a new valuation based on the options that came from my manufacturer within 24 hours. If you plan on going to arbitration, do not accet any settlement payments or you may end up resetting the arbitration timeline which is usually 30 days after the incident. 


After our conversation, I asked that I explain my frustrations, which she listened to, did not interrupt me and seemed to be caring about the situation. My biggest complaint was with the term personal preference that CCC one, a third party, has determined based on no concrete data or proof. My policy is with USAA not CCC one, and USAA should be representing my best interests and ensuring that what a third party company is saying is accurate with data to back it up. My policy states I have collision insurance that covers options, CCC one should not determine what options are covered if they are factory options. 


Here is what the policy states on Actual Cash Value: means the amount that it would cost, at the time of loss, to buy a comparable vehicle. As applied to your covered auto, a comparable vehicle is on of the same, make, model, model year, body type and OPTIONS with substantially similar mileage and physical condition. 


Additionally, most policies discuss custom equipment which means equipment, furnishings and parts permanently installed in or upon your covered auto, other than: OEM; OEM like parts or furnishing to assist the disabled, anti theft devices or tires of substantially similar sizes. 


If all else fails, you have the option of Arbitration (based on state guidance) or an appraisal. The appraisal clause states if we and you do not agree on the amount of lss, either may demand an appraisal. In thi event, each party will select a competent appraiser. The two appraisers will select an umpire. The appraisers will state separately the actual cash value and the amount of loss. If they fail to agree, they will submit there differences to the umpire. A deciision agreed to by any two will be binding. Each party will pay it chosen appraiser and share the expenses of the umpire equally. Neither we nor you waive any rights under this policy by agreeing to an appraisal. 


At the end of the day, if anyone is in the same situation as me, go to your signed contract/policy, read all 52 pages and provide your coverage back to USAA verbatim. In the future, USAA could add the personal preference into its policy or something about CCC one, but until that happens your state policy should cover your factory installed options. 





47 year "member" having the same kind of total loss experience. Factory option being called a no-value "personal preference". Absurd.  I understand the concept of "personal preference" as in things people do to modify or redecorate cars after purchase. But all genuine factory-installed, factory options are equipment and part of the car as purchased. Especially when purchased brand new just 2 months earlier.

So here's the explanation I received about  factory equipment options having no value:  Reply says the value of a factory option in a total loss is based on "dealer surveys" (no explanation of how that happens).  Apparently what that means is that if only a few new car buyers purchased the same car with a particular factory option, then even if you did purchase a new car and paid for that option and then the car is a total loss, the value of that particular option you bought is zero because other people did not buy it.


I find no language in the policy document to support this explanation. I only find language stating that all factory equipment is covered. And also that "Custom Equipment" (I have none) added by an owner is covered up to $5,000.


The more questions I ask, the more dismissive are the answers. Not the USAA I've known over the past 47 years. But then this total loss of a 2-month old new car  is my first total loss experience.


Update...USAA is still trying to force the total loss claim on me even after I provided 3 different paint repaint options with the highest estimate being a total repaint of my car with 3 layers of clear coat and Ford factory paint. My estimate for the total repaint is $1700 LESS than USAA's appraisal from SCA but USAA won't accept it. I asked why and USAA won't respond in writing. They instead want another USAA appraiser to re-inspect my vehicle to verify their paint damaged assessment and asked me to give my estimates to their appraiser to see if he can use them or explain to me why USAA can't accept them based on "repair policies for the state I live in". This when the applicable state regulation states you do not factor the cost of paint of labor associated with the cost of painting a vehicle as damage to consider the car a total loss or salvage. I sent this information to USAA and asked them to drop the total loss assessment based on these facts and USAA will not acknowledge me. Instead, they are insisting on pressing the total loss over paint chips. USAA is not advocating for me as their customer and seem intent on totaling my car even when the facts clearly show it isn't warranted. Buyer and USAA insured beware. Seems like bad faith action by USAA to me. I'm still extremely dissatisfied with USAA and how they're handling my claim especially when they respond and say they'll 'elevate your claim and follow up'' but only continue to give you the run around.

I had a total loss claim a year ago, I completely agree with It's time for USAA to be more transparent. I fortunately had a friend that is an insurance adjustor, I consulted with him and I'm glad I did. USAA starts offering rediculous low ball total claim offers before the vehicle is even inspected, which by the way you have to request. Making an offer based on 6-8 photos is inappropriate and rediculous. I pushed the issue to get an estimate from a live person and body shop, they still wanted to total and offer an insane offer. First offer was for approx 5K, after a few rude phone calls and 3 reps later and submitting receipts they offered a little over or 6k.....frustrated knowing my vehicle was worth 21k+ (had the comps to back it up) they still continued to refuse to come close with an offer. INVOKE YOUR APPRAISAL CLAUSE!!!!  I got 21k for my trk.

@bepersistent, I hate to hear about your concerns regarding your total loss experience. I have located your information and I am escalating this to a specialist. They will look into your situation and reach out to you. Thank you.