My father, a career Air Force officer, recommended USAA to me when I left home and married. I researched rates and reputations (this was in the days before the Internet, so it was harder to do!) and followed his recommendation. I've never regretted it.
USAA has been there with me through a couple of fender-benders, a serious accident, near-bankruptcy in the 80's, a difficult negotiation with a car dealership which damaged our handicapped-equipped van...
I have always found both sales and claims personnel friendly, courteous, sympathetic and ready to listen; and I was never so glad of that when I needed to call when my husband passed away.
USAA' bereavement service department is wonderful--they were sympathetic without being cloyingly sweet on the phone, they sent me a number of useful informational pamphlets and a checklist to help me take care of all the hundreds of paperwork details involved when someone dies, and they followed up without being pushy. Oh, and they provided badly-needed financial services and information!
I cannot recommend them highly enough--USAA comes through when you need them.