I haven't made a claim on USAA since 1989 and they were great back then yet, if my recent encounters with customer service are any indication, I am not at all surprised by your father's experience. Most people probably don't realize that USAA has become a (leftist) poliitcal activist organization, and part of that seems to be lots of heartwarming smiles in their public personna but otherwise treating members as if they are necessary annoyances that exist only to fund their real business of No Justice! No Peace!
Don't think this is some leftist plot but that it's now, as opposed to in the past, a much more profit-driven company. We were turned down on a claim for ridiculous reasons as well. We too have been members for a long time--the 1970's--now they are denying claims when we are old and vulnerable. No longer about taking good care of members--the bottom line is profit. That is how they are re-paying our loyalty.
How I long for the USAA that was run by General Robert McDermott. What a fantastic company! Today's USAA doesn't compare at all to the USAA run by General Robert McDermott. What an absolute shame.