CDR J
Contributor

Warning to Members. USAA has changed and no longer looks out for us on auto insurance. Check the other other comments in the forum and other places and you’ll find the same comments lately.   I always thought USAA was the best and have been with them for years since I earned my commission in the 90’s. This is no longer the case. USAA is violating its core principles of service to the members of service, integrity, and honesty. I am writing a letter to the board of directors with a copy to the President. You should do the same. They are required to respond to written letters. This company was formed to provide insurance to our military members and their families at an affordable cost with the highest level of service. This is “our” company. The members; you and me. They work for us. You have a vote every year on leadership. 

 

Here’s my latest experience with USAA. First claim since a typhoon destroyed my Jeep in 2003 in Guam.

 

So there I was, following at a safe distance and pulled over while the two cars ahead of me spun out in the road  while waiting for them to clear the way, I was struck from behind by a driver insured by State Farm. Which denied the claim for several days until they could speak with the driver to admit fault. So I initally filed the claim under my USAA policy, since I’m a military member, long time safe driver with no at fault claims for 20+ years...  so State Farm calls me up a few days later, heard from their driver admitting fault, and is paying for rental car for 20 days.  USAA contracts with a salvage company to tow the vehicle to a salvage yard to evaluate the condition which, surprise, turns out to be totaled. So USAA says they will pay me actual (market) value on my vehicle. And here comes the deceit and dishonesty. USAA uses a company called CCC to evaluate vehicles. My first valuation was one comparable vehicle then a base model. All on Truecar website. Unsat!  So they said send us your market analysis with vins, which I did. This time the company decided to skip Truecar altogether and use autotrader and dealer websites plus old outdated listings.   Some listings were 6 months old and no longer accessible. The second analysis only used one of my vehicles for sale and instead used a database reaching back 6 months of similar vehicles. And please note the “similar” eval few of the vehicles had the same features.  Even the USAA website values my vehicle at $21,050 yet the offer is for $19,000 for the same vehicle?  The convenient CCC company report uses a complex formulation, which you are not privy too, that calculates the final numbers. In my case, I argued their 2car comparison and they conducted a 9 car comparison. Dishonestly, they computed a $1,513.00 across the board loss for condition.  Apparently the dealship vehicles are worth $1,513.00 more because they are dealer ready to sale.  Nonsense!


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Ask your rep to explain the condition cost which in my case was +$1,500 across the board. They can’t. It’s a BS cost included to devalue your payout that you spent years and years on premiums. PEA- paid enough already. “Uh, yea, well that vehicle is dealership ready and it’s ready and stuff and dealership ready and stuff and much better because it’s dealership ready and prepared and spent two nours spraying the tires.  Just pay me the fair replacement cost for the vehicle I had before I was hit by a negligent driver. The insurance will recover their  costs from the other insurer and the other insurer will jack up the prices of they party for the next seven years to reclaim their costs.  Unfortunately the good driver gets screwed with USAA.  This is not the company it was  5 years ago. Changes. Instead of looking out for vets and mil families, working with other insurance companies to rob you of your money. 

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@CDR J - I understand how serious this is for you. This isn't the way we want you to feel. I've requested a Subject Matter Expert look into your situation. Please allow sufficient time for the research to be completed. - Cathleen

Cathleen,  thank you for the reply. The only way for change to go forward is to address this situation thru the Board of Directors. Which I will do with a written letter.  I am. Also filing a complaint with the state insurance commission. And will encourage others to do the same. Too many complaints on the website that the board had never seen nor addressed.   They are the sole authority controlling ethics in the organization. I always thought USAA was dedicated to servicing military members.  That is not happening here.  I am let down as well as my fellow Veterans.  What a shame for a company that publically advertises support for Veterans is instead teaming with outside organizations that attempts to defraud Veterans and steal their money for their own profit. If this gets ignored I’m sure I can find a sympathetic board member to communicate with directly.  I am also reaching out to other consumer advocate websites that recommended USAA and advising them that USAA has changed is no longer serving the best interests of their members. 

Had some outreach from the Advocacy and Resolution Team. Really shouldn’t be necessary if we’re offered a fair settlement up front for a loss.  I reiterated my concerns with the CCC valuations and actual cash value. We’ll see where it goes from here. In short, we pay significant premiums to insure our vehicles as I have done year after year.  Then when some yahoo hits you from behind at no fault of your own here comes the insurance company you trust to look out for you devising ways to minimize the actual value of your vehicle. I’d expect some of that dishonest behavior from the other insurance companies, but not USAA.  And we pay a premium for that trust.  Members shouldn’t have to fight with USAA for a fair settlement. Period!

We bought a used car from a dealer 2 weeks ago.  3 hours after buying it, we were rear ended and the car was totaled.

 

USAA's total loss estimate was based on a comparison to 3 other cars.  And like everybody else that posted on this subject, they did an across the board reduction for "condition" in order to arrive at our payout amount.

 

When I called the Total Loss Department to ask about this condition reduction, I got the same answer from them, which was  "the comparison cars were dealer ready".   (based on the fact that, somehow, the comparison cars were in better shape than the  now wrecked car that I had just bought from a dealer)

 

When I said that mine was just purchased from a dealer in the same condition as the comparison cars, they told  me that the 8+ year old used car that I had just bought "depreciated the moment that I drove it off the lot".  (which doesn't have anything to do with the comparisons, but I guess this is just something that they are trained to say)

 

When I told them that this was true for new cars, but really could not be true for used cars that were as old as the one that I had just purchased, they told me that the "Total Loss Department"  didn't come up with the valuations, but that the "Valuation Department" did.

 

When I asked to speak to the "Valuation Department", they said that this was not possible.

 

Based on the experience of others, it seems like this is not a fluke; rather, it  is how the total loss process is designed at USAA.

 

Maybe this sort of thing keeps the rates low for everybody....but it's less than awesome if you actually need or use your insurance.  

 

 

 

 

 

@MVGSDAD,

I am sorry to hear about the accident and I hope you are okay.  It is never our intent for you to feel dissatisfied with the settlement of a claim, and I would like to review your concerns further.  Can you please email me at [removed link] with your claim number, so I am able to locate your information as well as research your situation.  Thanks ~Mike

Unfortunately, USAA is no different than any other insurance company, they just advertise like they take care particularly of their military members and retirees. This is a way that they get more customers/members but they really are just out to make a buck. My van was rear-ended last year and I actually went with the other guy's insurance company, Liberty Mutual. They gave me more for my totaled van than USAA offered. 

USAA is using multiple tactics to drive down the Actual Cash Value. It doesn't matter how long you have been a member. They try to hide behind the fact that the valuation is conducted by a separate third party (CCC). Nevertheless, USAA fails to state by the language in its own Policy which states that the Actual Cash Value (ACV) will be based on comparable vehicles with substantially similar mileage and condition, yet the comparable vehicles that are used often have been involved in a prior accident(s) or have reported damage, facts that do not include a deduction as part of the valuation. (The report does include adjustments for features, mileage, etc. but absolutely nothing based on whether the vehicle was in accident or had reported damage!).  Of course, neither the CCC report nor USAA informs their insured that the comparable vehicles were involved in accident or were reported as damaged.  When this issue was raised with USAA, they continued to maintain that the valuation by CCC was correct and USAA refused to make any adjustment to the ACV for the use of vehicles that were previously in accidents or were damaged.  I suggest that you check the condition of each of the comparable vehicles used by USAA by running a free report from Car Fax or a similar company. 

Ask your rep to explain the condition cost which in my case was +$1,500 across the board. They can’t. It’s a BS cost included to devalue your payout that you spent years and years on premiums. PEA- paid enough already. “Uh, yea, well that vehicle is dealership ready and it’s ready and stuff and dealership ready and stuff and much better because it’s dealership ready and prepared and spent two nours spraying the tires.  Just pay me the fair replacement cost for the vehicle I had before I was hit by a negligent driver. The insurance will recover their  costs from the other insurer and the other insurer will jack up the prices of they party for the next seven years to reclaim their costs.  Unfortunately the good driver gets screwed with USAA.  This is not the company it was  5 years ago. Changes. Instead of looking out for vets and mil families, working with other insurance companies to rob you of your money. 

I am going through this right now. I have spoken with three different people that state they will not negotiate my total loss offer even after they have me send supports showing similar vehicles with higher values than their offers. They told me today that I had no other option than to accept their offer. The at fault party is also insured with USAA. I feel like this has made a difference in their attitude with my claim. I have been a member for 16 years. They have definitely changed how they treat members.