USAA – Pros and Cons

Most of us have seen the commercials on TV about USAA insurance and how it can be passed down through military families. It all sounds very nice. But what does the company really offer? And are there any downsides to having the coverage? Let’s go to USAA online to see.

Once we log onto USAA online, we see the USAA login box at the top and also a panoply of products and services on the home page. At first glance, it looks like it has everything we could be looking for in the insurance or financial arena: insurance, banking, investing, real estate, retirement planning, health insurance, shopping and discounts, credit cards, and auto loans.

If someone should go to USAA online, what insurance products would they see offered? Right off the bat, we see auto, renters, homeowners, life insurance, flood insurance, valuable personal property insurance, umbrella, motorcycle, RV, and boat insurance, and small business insurance. There is another tab that says additional insurance, and there we find special event insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, and personal and commercial bonds. A definite advantage to USAA is that you can find all of these services and solutions in one place. But a disadvantage is that they do not offer disability insurance, and that is one of the most important types of insurance you can have. A younger person is more likely to become disabled than to die. If someone does not have long term disability insurance, they are leaving themselves open to financial disaster.

Next on the USAA online site, we see the banking tab. These products include the typical checking, savings, auto loans, credit cards, and credit monitoring and identity protection, but also goes beyond in offering CDS, mortgages, home equity, youth banking, college loans, and auto and home buying services. The advantage here is that USAA can offer all of these products and at competitive rates. But a disadvantage in this category is that there are no physical locations, so you have to make all of your deposits and transactions online.

Members can also use their USAA login to make and manage investments, and not have to go to another trading site, which is convenient and another advantage. USAA products in this category include mutual funds, stocks, bonds, funds and ETFs, IRAs, managed money accounts, 529 college savings plans, and annuities. Many of the mutual funds available are rated 4 and 5 star by Morningstar. USAA also has an extensive investor education section that has articles about retirement, education savings, investing principles, taxes, and personal finance. There are also numerous online courses you can take to find out more about investments, compounding, financial statements, and other topics. This service is definitely an advantage for USAA online!

Under their retirement planning section, they offer help with rollovers and transfers, financial planning, wealth management, and trust services. Again, this is another wonderful advantage.

Maybe you need to go to your USAA sign in to look for health insurance. Here you could sign up for coverage for dental, vision, Medicare, major medical, and the very important long-term care insurance. But again, there is no disability insurance coverage, which seems to be the biggest disadvantage of USAA online. Members would have to go to another insurance company to sign up for this coverage.

As an added benefit for its members, USAA online helps in a number of other areas: home and rental searches, real estate agent finder, and a car buying service. Through USAA online, members can also get access to various discounts: home and security (home security systems, care providers, contractors, and locating utility services and moving services); Travel discounts (book and save on car rentals, hotels/resorts, cruises/tours, and travel insurance); and other discounts for floral delivery, shipping, autos and boats, jewelry, and other merchandise.

A separate tab on USAA online takes you to a comprehensive advice center that is one of the biggest advantages. Here you can find advice on anything from retirement (Am I on track? Growing your retirement); personal finances (saving and budgeting, managing credit and debt, and refinancing a home); family life (becoming a parent, kids money and college, getting married, getting divorced, loss of a loved one, and health); disaster and recovery (earthquakes, floods and storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and winter storms); military life (joining the military, deployment, military spouses, leaving the military); your car (insure your car, maintain your car, driver safety); your home (buy a home, sell a home, rent a home, maintain your home, owning a rental property, and home safety); and work life (starting your job search, landing your new job, and making a fresh start.)

One of the biggest disadvantages of USAA coverage is that it is only available to those in the military. Their advice center and various calculators, however, are available to all who go onto USAA online, so that is an advantage. To find out more, go to USAA online sign in.

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