fighting back
Occasional Contributor

What is the total number of Suscriber Accounts at USAA and what percentage of members actually have these? Also can anyone describe the membership tier system. I know that Tier 1 is reserved for officers and E07 and above and their spouses. I am in Tier 2 and obtain my insurance through USAA CIC. Can anyone explain this system and the purpose for it? Why doesn't USAA have only one p&c insurance company and share the risk ? Thanks.




I've not heard of this caste system before now. Could you elaborate on where you're getting this information from please.

Fighting Back,


To better understand how your eligibility was determined, I'll need to put you in touch with an insurance specialist.  I have located your account and will have someone reach out sometime today.

n8tureboy, what's he's describing is an actual thing. I was surprised to hear about it as well. USAA divides the insurance risk pool by rank (I think they take other factors into consideration as well.) Most get their car insurance through USAA directly but some (mainly junior enlisted or those with bad driving records) are insured through a subsidy (i.e. different pot of money.) Only those insured directly with USAA have subscriber's accounts. 

From my understanding: USAA (the insurance side, not USAA FSB) is considered a member-owned company. That means that when USAA members pay insurance premiums, it doesn't go into the company's coffers: it technically goes into an account that's under our own names (that's the subscriber's accont.) You only get to see the balance once a year, but there's money continously going in and out of the account as you pay premiums and USAA pulls money out to pay costs. It's a bit like a co-op in that regard. Your subscriber's account is used to pay for all of the claims everyone else is filing. 


Legally, USAA has to keep a certain amount in those subscriber's accounts to ensure they can still pay out claims even if a major disaster hit. So, if you have a subscriber's account, they actually overcharge a bit for premiums. That's why you usually get a subscriber's account refund. It's not free money ... it's because they overcharged you for your premium. 


Originally, USAA was only open to a limited pool (military officers) which enabled this co-op structure to offer insurance at lower rates because the risk level wasn't that high when you have a small pool. When USAA expanded the eligibility, they decided to deal with the higher risk level by limiting who was eligible for the member-owned USAA insurance. Thus some people are only eligible for USAA CIC and other subsidary insurance. Those insurance companies are run like a traditional company (i.e. not member-owned.) When you pay your premium to them, that money goes to the company's coffers. There's no subscriber account in your name. That means you don't get a "subscriber's account refund" every year but it also means they're not tacking on extra to your premium to make sure the balance in your subscriber's account stays at a certain level. 


I am still waiting to hear from someone at USAA as promised and will update when I do - even though I don't understand why USAA 1. doesn't disclose this when you join 2. has no information about this on its website and 3. just doesn't respond itself on this site directly and explain the tier system.

I actually spoke to a USAA claims adjuster a few months ago and he explained to me that membership is classified into four different tiers. Officers and NCO's E-07 and above are in Tier 1 - they are the lowest risk group plus which means they have lower premiums. I am in Tier 2 as a grown child of an officer. I believe this tier includes all other NCO's and instead of USAA insuring me I am insured by USAA Casualty Insurance Co. My daughter is in Tier 3 because she is a third generation of a military officer and she is considered to be a higher risk than I am. She is insured by USAA General Indemnity Co and her premiums are presumably higher than mine. The lowest tier is the highest risk which is insured by USAA Garrison Property & Casualty Insurance Co. My understanding is that most of the active enlisted personnel are included in this lowest tier because they are younger and considered the highest risk. I think we all benefit from auto dividend payments and credit card rebates etc like many other consumers receive from their credit cards or auto insurance companies.

Only the members in Tier 1 are "real" members of USAA because they are the only ones insured directly by USAA per the USAA By Laws. The rest of us are insured by one of their operating companies so we don't qualify. Real members have voting rights, ownership and participate in profit sharing through the Subscriber Accounts and Senior Bonuses. The rest of us are really just customers and are referred as such when you read USAA's membership disclosures. If you're not an officer or high ranking NCO check your account and see if there is any listing for a subsribers account - there isn't believe me.

USAA is not transparent about this because they want us to believe that belonging to USAA is a real honor and priviledge that has either been passed down or "earned" as they say in their ads. In reality we are just an easily targeted consituency that they have been profitting off of for years -- about 2 billion dollars a year since 2011.

USAA - if any of what I have reported here is incorrect - please correct me. USAA hasn't changed for their "members" over the years its just added products and increased its revenue source by including the rest of us.

By the way - why don't the "members" with voting rights ever demand to know what the salaries are for the Board of Directors and senior employees ?? 




I apologize for the last post - I accidently sent it before having a chance to edit it. The bottom line is that Jessie M is correct - accept that only Military Officers and high ranking NCO's are real members with ownership in USAA and the only ones who have the Subscriber Accounts and Senior Bonuses. USAA never really opened its membership up to the enlisted or lower ranking NCO's - they are just customers and the marketing and ads are extremely misleading.


The real members buy their insurance directly from USAA and they receive the benefit of the net profits from not only their insurance company but from the rest of ours. We get ours from one of the operating companies USAA CIC, USAA GIC or USAA Garrison PCI.


I believe that the Tier system is something like this:

Tier 1 - Officers and NCOs E07 and higher

Tier 2 - Adult children of Tier 1 and NCO's up to E-06.

Tier 3 - Adult grandchildren of Tier 1 and lower risk enlisted

Tier 4 - Active duty enlisted and other high risk retired or discharged enlisted.  Highest premiums !!!


USAA can disclose the exact tier system classification and should.


USAA is not living up to its motto Service, Loyalty, Honesty, Integrity








To INA USAA -- I don't really expect to hear from anyone at USAA. Can you please research this subject yourself and explain it on this site ??


I am particularly interested in knowing how many Subscriber Accounts there are versus the total "membership" which was 11.4 million in 2015.


I know that in 2012 there were 16.4% officers and 83.6% enlisted. Thats a lot of enlisted to benefit from and USAA is conducting an aggressive marketing campaign. And believe me they aren't spending a nickel advertising to the officers - 96% of all active duty officers were already USAA members by 2003 and it was pretty much all word of mouth.


They are luring in enlisted under false pretenses using false mottos, military jargon and a history that hasn't and doesn't apply to them in order to make them feel that they are on equal footing in USAA with the military officers and NCO's they trusted and serve(d) under.


There is very little federal or state oversight of USAA and members should be concerned when USAA can't even be honest and open before you even join !!!

fighting back,


Thank you for sharing in Member Community.  We will have a business specialist reach out to you in order to address your questions and concerns.

@Robert USAA


Why do you need to answer the question in private? I think it would benefit everyone here if USAA can clearly explain your tiering structure and who qualifies for what, not to mention the differences per tier. The fact that USAA is publicly silent on the matter sounds suspicious and as if you are hiding something.