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GEICO vs. USAA: 2020 Review

  • USAA offers great flexible payment options and customer service but is limited in its availability.
  • GEICO has a strong industry standing and easy-to-use communication tools but has had some issues with customer service in the past.
  • Read our comparison between these top two providers to make the best choice for your auto insurance needs.

Affiliate disclosure: Automoblog and its partners may be compensated when you purchase the products below.

With the landscape of auto insurance changing constantly, it can be tough to decide what company is right for your needs – especially if you’re choosing between two leading providers like GEICO vs. USAA. To make things a little easier, we’ve researched 32 of the best auto insurance companies in areas like customer satisfaction, cost, and coverage.

Now we’re comparing GEICO vs. USAA side by side. Find out how each car insurance company handles claims and protects its customers, as well as how the top providers perform in terms of affordability.

To get free quotes from both providers, fill out the form below. 

Overview of Geico vs. USAA

  GEICO USAA
Overall Rating 87% 87%
Best For Most drivers Military and their families
Availability 50 states 50 states
Coverage 90% 80%
Cost 90% 80%
Customer Service 80% 95%
Military Discount Yes Yes
Usage-Based Discount Yes Yes
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating A+ B+
AM Best Financial Strength Rating A++ A++
Market Share 13.4% 5.9%

What Are the Pros and Cons of Each Company?

Below, we’ve outlined the most important factors that set GEICO and USAA apart. 

GEICO

  • Pros: High number of discounts, advanced Geico mobile app, and access to insurance representatives anytime
  • Cons: Mixed customer reviews 

USAA

  • Pros: Low rates for military families, payment flexibility, and accident forgiveness 
  • Cons: Limited to military families

Created in 1936, GEICO is one of the leading car insurers in the United States. Aside from auto insurance, the company offers homeowners and life insurance policies. GEICO has received strong industry ratings from AM Best and the BBB. One of the defining features of GEICO car insurance is 24/7 access to representatives and support.

With a similar reputable standing, USAA started in 1922. USAA car insurance is available to active military members, veterans, and their families. It extends coverage to pre-commissioned officers as well. The auto insurer has also received strong industry ratings from AM Best and J.D. Power.

GEICO vs. USAA: Coverage

Both GEICO and USAA offer the six standard types of coverage, including:

  • Liability coverage (BI/PD)
    • Bodily injury liability (BI): If you cause an accident, other drivers and their passengers are covered.
    • Property damage liability (PD): If you cause an accident, other vehicles involved are covered.
  • Medical payments (MedPay): Medical costs are covered for you as well as your passengers.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): This covers medical costs, lost income, and funeral benefits for you and your passengers, regardless of fault. If you drive in a no-fault state, you’re expected to have PIP coverage.
  • Collision: Your vehicle is covered regardless of fault.
  • Comprehensive: This covers damages caused to your vehicle by theft and vandalism, as well as environmental factors like floods.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM): If you’re involved in an accident with a driver without insurance or too little insurance, you’re covered. In some states, hit-and-runs are also covered.

When comparing GEICO vs. USAA, you’ll want to look beyond standard coverage. The top providers differ in the additional coverage that you can get.

Additional Coverage from GEICO Additional Coverage from USAA
Emergency roadside assistance: You can request 24/7 roadside assistance for battery jump-starts, flat tire services, and lockout services up to $100. Roadside assistance: This extra protection covers things like towing, flat tire services, lockout services, and gas delivery.
Rental reimbursement: If you’re in need of a rental car and have a covered claim, GEICO will help pay for the rental car costs. Rental reimbursement: This optional coverage can pay for the cost of a rental car after a covered claim.
Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI): If you own a new or leased car with fewer than 15,000 miles, you’re eligible to purchase GEICO’s mechanical breakdown insurance. A replacement for an extended warranty, MBI covers repair costs for up to seven years/100,000 miles. Accident forgiveness: A highlight of USAA’s additional coverage options, its accident forgiveness coverage keeps your premium costs the same after one at-fault accident. The catch? Remain accident-free for five years.

GEICO vs. USAA: Cost

According to the Insurance Information Institute, average car insurance costs in the U.S. in 2017 were $1,000.68. So, how do GEICO and USAA stack up against the average?

According to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study based on customer satisfaction, GEICO was considered “about average” in most regions of the U.S. On the other hand, USAA was considered “among the best” in all regions of the U.S. The survey considered price as one of the key factors in customer satisfaction.

What Discounts Should You Expect?

Beyond the base price you pay for auto insurance, you want to know what discounts you can qualify for between Geico vs. USAA. A few good discounts can greatly reduce your monthly or annual premium.

GEICO Discounts USAA Discounts
Multiple policies Multiple policies (up to 10%)
Multiple vehicles (25%) Multiple vehicles
Military (15%) Military installation (up to 15%)
Emergency deployment (25%) Vehicle storage (up to 60%)
Good student (15%) Good student
Good driver (26%) Safe driver
Driver’s education course Driver training
New vehicle (15%) Defensive driving
Federal employee (8%) New vehicle
Membership/employee Annual mileage
Anti-theft system (25%) Family discount (up to 10%)
Anti-lock brakes (5%) Length of membership
Air bags (25 to 40%)  
Daytime running lights (1%)  
Seat belt use (15% off MedPay or PIP)  

GEICO vs. USAA: Customer Service

We’ve given GEICO an 80-percent satisfaction rating for customer service, reflecting some issues customers have had with local agents and company representatives. According to the above J.D. Power study, GEICO’s overall customer service experience was rated “average” compared to other car insurance companies. However, the auto insurer offers customers many ways to get in touch with representatives, including the GEICO Mobile app and GEICO Voice.

On the other hand, USAA received a 95-percent satisfaction rating in our industry review. Although the car insurance company doesn’t have any physical locations, it earned one of the highest ratings for claims satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. To get in contact with a USAA representative, you can reach out online, by phone, and through the mobile app. The USAA mobile app lets you request roadside assistance, file claims, and review an accident checklist.

Final Thoughts on GEICO vs. USAA

GEICO and USAA are two of the biggest names in auto insurance for a reason. Both providers have comprehensive choices for coverage, reasonable costs, and high ratings from industry experts. If you are an active or retired member of the military, USAA is likely the better choice for you. For drivers who don’t qualify for USAA, GEICO was recognized in our industry review as the Best Overall car insurance company.

Get free, personalized quotes from both companies by entering your zip code below.

Other Top Recommendations for Car Insurance 

Before committing to any auto insurance plan, it’s best to get quotes from multiple providers. That way, you ensure you’re not only getting the best coverage but also the best deal. Auto insurance quotes are based on many factors, including the age and mileage of your vehicle, your driving history, and your location. Here are two more providers that you should consider while shopping for insurance.

Progressive: Best Online Experience

Progressive has an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best and high scores from us in many categories, including coverage options and price. The popular auto insurance company has one of the most streamlined and well-rounded tech experiences of any insurer. On Progressive’s website, you can use the Name Your Price? tool to find a plan that fits your budget. There’s also a price comparison tool that lets you compare Progressive to competitors side by side.

State Farm: Best for Students

State Farm is another great choice for auto insurance, especially for student drivers. The insurer offers many different discounts, including the Drive Safe & Save and Steer Clear? safe driving programs. By braking efficiently and avoiding late-night driving, you can save money on your car insurance even if you’re a young driver faced with traditionally high rates.

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