Purchasing life insurance can be one of the most important decisions that you can make. This is because life insurance proceeds can help to ensure that those you love and care about can go on in the case of the unexpected. Funds can be used for paying off debt, paying living expenses, and / or for making sure that your financial promises are kept, even if you are no longer there.
When buying a life insurance policy, there are several key criteria to keep in mind. These can include the type and the amount of coverage that you are obtaining, as you want to ensure that there will be enough.
You will also, however, want to be sure that the insurance company you are purchasing the coverage through is one of the best rated life insurance companies, strong, and stable financially. This is because if or when the time may come for your loved ones to file a claim, you will want that company to be there to make good on its promise. One insurer that has been there for nearly a century is USAA Life Insurance Company.
The History of USAA Life Insurance Company
USAA Life Insurance Company initially began its operation in 1922, in San Antonio, Texas. The company got its start when 25 U.S. Army officers insured each other's vehicles. Soon afterwards, the company came up with the motto of providing “Service to the Services,” meaning that the company promotes its insurance to members of the U.S. armed forces.
Over time, USAA Life Insurance Company has grown – including during difficult economic periods. For example, after the Great Depression, the company actually profited by nearly $145,000.
By 1936, roughly 60% of all eligible U.S. military officers were members of USAA. The company grew quite rapidly during the early 1940s – and by the end of the decade, it reported a net profit of more than $3.2 million, before dividends.
By the 1950s, USAA expanded outside of the United States, and started to write insurance policies in Europe. Expanding the company's growth, USAA ended this decade with a net profit that was in excess of $14.3 million.
In the 1960s, the company continued to expand, moving into Southeast Asia. The firm also added to its product line, including mutual funds and an investment management company. In the mid-1970s, the firm opened a new headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, that was located on 232 acres. Continuing to expand over time, USAA ended the 1980s with more than $16 billion in assets managed and owned, and nearly $59 billion by the end of the 1990s.
USAA Life Insurance Company Review
Throughout the years, the company has expanded its offerings to more than just insurance coverage. Today, it provides “membership” to those in the U.S. military who are able to participate in insurance products, as well as product and service discounts, investment products and advice, and other types of savings.
The company has also won many awards due to its top-notch customer service, as well as its timely payment of policyholder claims. Based on Fortune 500 rankings, USAA Life Insurance Company was ranked #49 in terms of net worth, #53 in terms of assets, and #122 in terms of overall revenue in 2014 and 2015. The company was also voted “Best of the Best” in terms of Top Veteran Friendly Company in both 2012 and 2014, by U.S. Veterans Magazine.
The company was also voted by Fortune Magazine in 2016 as one of its “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the 7th year, as well as voted as one of Infoweek's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies. The company has been voted as one of the World's Most Admired Companies (2014-2016) by Fortune Magazine, as well. In addition, USAA is also the Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL.
USAA is also known for being diverse in terms of its customers, as well as its employees. In order to maintain a diverse workforce and client base, the company collaborates with a number of diverse organizations, institutions, and sources in order to obtain talent, and it maintains Affirmative Action Programs.
According to the USAA website, in order to become a member of USAA, there are several criteria that must be met. These include the following individuals:
- Active, retired and honorably separated officers and enlisted personnel of the United States military
- Officer candidates in commissioning programs
- Adult children of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy
- Widows, widowers and former spouses of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy while married
In addition, there are some products – including investments, financial planning, and life insurance – that are available to the public.
As of year-end 2015, USAA had in excess of 11.4 million total members who held more than 47.2 million products. The company had paid out $1.7 billion to its members and customers – thus, continuing its positive reputation for paying out its policyholder benefits.
USAA Life Insurance Company Ratings and Grades
USAA Life Insurance Company is considered to be a strong and stable company from a financial standpoint – and because of that, the insurer has been provided with high ratings from the insurer rating agencies. These include the following:
- A++ (Superior) from A.M. Best Company. This is the highest possible out of 16 total ratings.
- Aa1 (Excellent) from Moody's Investors Service. This is the second highest out of 21 total ratings.
- AA+ (Very Strong) from Standard & Poor's. This is the second highest out of 21 possible total ratings.
In addition, although USAA is not an accredited company through the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the company has been given a grade of A+ (on a total grade scale of A+ through F). Over the past three years, USAA has closed a total of 1,268 complaints via the BBB (563 if which have been closed within the past year).
Of these 1,268 complaints, 938 have had to do with the company's products or services. Another 224 have had to do with billing and / or collection issues, 49 dealt with advertising / sales issues, 31 were in relation to delivery issues, and 26 had to do with the company's guarantee/warranty issues.
Life Insurance Products Offered By USAA
USAA Life Insurance Company offers a variety of different life insurance products to choose from. This can be a positive in that its members can opt for the coverage that suits their needs the best – and, members can change their coverage as their needs change over time.
The company offers a regular term life insurance option, as well as term life for the military. With term life insurance coverage, an insured will obtain death benefit coverage only, without cash value build up. Because of this, term life insurance coverage is oftentimes quite affordable.
Term insurance is sold for a set amount of time, such as 10 years or 20 years – and because of that, this type of life insurance is often considered to be good for covering “temporary” needs, such as the balance of a home mortgage.
A term life insurance policy can provide a good way to obtain a large amount of death benefit protection at an affordable price, such as someone needing a 1 million dollar life insurance policy. At USAA, regular term life insurance coverage may be obtained for as little as $14.15 per month, while term life for the military coverage can be obtained for the same monthly price.
The company's regular term life insurance product offers a level premium throughout the length of the term's coverage, along with the option to also cover the insured's children within the policy. In addition, the term insurance policy may be able to be converted over to a permanent form of life insurance coverage without the insured having to prove insurability.
There are additional features that those who are active military members may be able to obtain, such as:
- An expedited application
- Up to $25,000 if a severe injury is suffered in the line of duty – at no additional premium cost
- Replacement life insurance coverage if SGLI coverage is lost upon leaving the military
- Coverage – even if death is the result of war
Members of the military may also be able to obtain future insurability with no medical exam when they return to civilian life. This can allow an increase in benefit amount, without the need to undergo a medical exam.
USAA Life Insurance Company also offers permanent life insurance coverage. This type of insurance provides death benefit protection, along with cash value build up. There are several types of permanent life insurance coverage to choose from via USAA. These include:
- Whole Life Insurance – Whole life insurance offers a death benefit that is guaranteed, along with a cash value that grows based on a set interest rate that is declared by the insurance company. The premium that is paid into a whole life insurance policy will generally be locked in throughout the entire life of the policy. Therefore, the policyholder won't have to worry about it increasing – even as they get older, and even if they contract an adverse health condition. The cash value in a whole life insurance policy grows tax-deferred. The whole life insurance options at USAA Life Insurance Company offer the ability to make premium payments for 20 years, until the insured turns age 65, or for the lifetime of the policy. These plans can be obtained for as low as $70.74 per month.
- Universal Life Insurance – Universal life insurance also offers a permanent death benefit and cash value build up. However, these policies are more flexible than whole life. This is because the policyholder is able to increase or decrease the amount of their coverage (within certain limitations), and they can also select how they want to pay their premium. Universal life insurance policies can be purchased through USAA Life Insurance Company for as little as $84.57 per month.
Other Products and Services
USAA is a large and diversified company – and it offers a wide array of products and services to its members. These members are primarily those who are in the U.S. armed services and their families.
In addition to life insurance coverage, USAA offers:
- Long-term Care Insurance
- Property and Casualty Insurance
- Investment products and advice
In addition, for those who are members of USAA, there are a variety of other benefits offered as well. These include the following:
- Auto Loans
- Credit cards
- Renters insurance
- Supplemental health insurance
- Travel insurance
- Free nationwide ATMs
- Home security and monitoring discounts
- Savings on car rental
- FedEx Shipping discounts
- Turbo Tax assistance
- Home improvement discounts
- Utility marketplace
- Travel discounts such as flights, hotels, resorts, and cruises
- Car buying service
- FTD discounts
- Vehicle storage discounts
How to Find the Best Life Insurance Rates
The best life insurance premium rates can typically be found by working with a company or an agency that has access to more than just one single life insurance carrier. If you are ready to see what type of plan you qualify for – and the best rate you can get – we can help.
We work with many of the top life insurers in the market place today, and we can assist you with obtaining the information that you need in order to make an informed purchase decision. In order to move forward, just fill out the quote form on this page.
Should you find that you still have any questions regarding USAA Life Insurance Company – or even if you just have a question about life insurance in general – then please feel free to contact us directly. We can be reached via phone, toll-free, by dialing 888-836-7071. While there may be many life insurance options out there, we can work with you in narrowing down the one that is right for you. So, contact us today – we're here to help.