Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
While both companies are known for affordable rates and good customer service, USAA has more coverage options to choose from, industry-leading customer satisfaction ratings and lower rates for most drivers. A full-coverage policy from USAA costs $1,170 per year, which is $748 cheaper than Geico.
However, USAA only offers auto insurance to active-duty members of the military, veterans and their families, so not all drivers have access to its affordable rates.
Geico is the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., and USAA is the fifth largest. Both companies have strong financial stability scores and offer car insurance in all 50 states. We recommend comparing quotes from both companies to find the best policy for you.
Geico vs. USAA car insurance rates: Who's cheaper?
USAA is cheaper across every category we looked at. On average, drivers can save between 34% and 101% by choosing USAA over Geico.
Cheapest for most drivers: USAA
USAA offers cheaper car insurance rates than Geico for most drivers. A minimum-coverage policy from USAA costs $437 per year on average, which is $230 per year less than the same policy from Geico and 44% less than the average cost nationally.
A full-coverage policy also costs less from USAA — at $1,170 per year, it's $748 cheaper than a policy from Geico and $888 less than the national average.
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Minimum-coverage car insurance satisfies your state's requirement to drive legally. However, it may not offer enough coverage to protect you financially if you're involved in a serious accident. For example, a minimum-coverage policy does not include comprehensive and collision coverages, which pay for damage to your vehicle, regardless of who is at fault in an accident.
For that reason, we recommend full-coverage insurance to most drivers.
Cheapest rates for drivers with prior incidents: USAA
Drivers with a traffic violation, accident or DUI on their record will find USAA's rates to be much more affordable than Geico's.
The companies raise rates by a similar percentage after a single speeding ticket — drivers insured with USAA can expect a 21% increase, while Geico raises rates by 22%. However, a full-coverage policy with USAA still costs $919 less per year.
Drivers with a recent at-fault accident or DUI receive a much greater rate increase from Geico than USAA.
After a single accident, USAA increases rates by 38%, while Geico customers see a 65% increase. Driving under the influence results in the greatest increase from both companies — rates go up by 90% with USAA and 132% with Geico.
Drivers with traffic violations on their record are usually charged higher rates by insurance companies because they are statistically more likely to cause an accident in the future. Not all companies raise rates by the same amount, which is why it's important to compare car insurance quotes after a ticket or accident.
USAA and Geico both offer accident forgiveness programs, which drivers can purchase for an additional fee. However, both insurers will reward your household with free accident forgiveness after five years of accident-free driving.
With Geico, accident forgiveness applies only to your first at-fault accident, while USAA stipulates that it can only be applied to one at-fault accident at a time per six or 12-month period. Both USAA and Geico limit the program to select states.
Best rates for drivers with bad credit: USAA
USAA offers better car insurance rates for drivers, regardless of your credit score. A full-coverage policy with USAA is $661 cheaper for drivers with poor credit than the same policy with Geico. This is despite the fact that drivers with a bad credit score pay 67% more with USAA than those with average credit, as opposed to Geico, which only charges 37% more.
Similarly, Geico customers with very good credit scores pay 20% less than those with average credit, as compared to USAA, where rates are only 14% lower. But the larger discount doesn't equal better rates — a policy with USAA still costs $520 less per year for these drivers.
Cheapest car insurance rates for young drivers: USAA
USAA offers cheaper car insurance rates than Geico for young drivers across the board. An 18-year-old driver pays $802 less per year for minimum-coverage insurance with USAA, and $2,344 less for a full-coverage policy.
Young drivers with a ticket or accident on their record will find better rates with USAA than Geico as well. Minimum-coverage insurance for an 18-year-old with a single speeding ticket is $855 cheaper with USAA, and a policy is $1,138 cheaper after an at-fault accident.
Young drivers can find cheaper rates by joining their parents' car insurance policy. Although having a joint policy will cause your parents' rates to increase, it's usually more affordable than purchasing your own policy.
Geico vs. USAA car insurance rates by state
Where you live can impact your auto insurance rates as much as your age and driving history. Of the 35 states in which rates from both companies were available, the cost of a full-coverage policy from USAA is cheaper than a policy from Geico in 34 states and Washington, D.C.
The amount of savings with USAA varies by state, ranging from $18 per year in South Carolina to $8,851 per year in Louisiana.
Hawaii is the only state in which Geico offers more affordable coverage than USAA.
Geico vs. USAA auto insurance discounts
Similarly to coverage options, Geico and USAA both offer the common car insurance discounts that you would expect from a major insurer, like multi policy and good student discounts. However, each has a handful of unique discounts available as well.
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When it was originally established, Geico insurance targeted government employees and military officers. Some of its discounts are still tailored to that group, including the federal employee discount (12%) and military discount for active-duty military members and veterans (15%).
Geico also offers an emergency deployment discount, which includes a 25% rate reduction for service members who are part of an emergency deployment to an imminent danger zone.
Additionally, Geico gives a discount to drivers who have completed a defensive driving course, the amount of which varies.
It's important to note that, while USAA does not offer a military discount, policies from USAA are only available to active-duty service members, veterans and their families. This means that any military discount is already built into its low prices.
While Geico offers 15% off for military members, its rates are between 34% and 100% more expensive than USAA in all of the categories that we studied.
USAA auto insurance discounts
USAA discounts are also geared towards military members. It offers a storage discount, which includes 15% off the cost of comprehensive coverage to drivers who garage their car on base, and a 60% discount for deployed service members.
Drivers can also save more if their family members are already insured with USAA — the company offers a 10% discount if your parents have a policy with USAA, along with a loyalty discount based on how long you're insured with them.
USAA SafePilot vs. Geico DriveEasy
Many major insurers have adopted usage-based discount programs that reward policyholders for safe driving behaviors. The USAA SafePilot program and Geico DriveEasy program both track driving habits using an app, which drivers must download on their mobile device. Although they are not available nationwide, these programs can result in significant savings for safe drivers.
|Availability||25 states and Washington, DC||37 states and Washington, DC|
|Maximum discount||25%||10% participation discount, 30% performance discount|
|Can rates go up?||Yes||No|
|Driving score factors||Handheld phone calls, active phone use while driving over six miles per hour, hard braking, acceleration smoothness, road type, distance driven, time of day and weather||Handheld phone calls, hands-free phone calls, phone handling, harsh braking, location, time of day and annualized hours driven|
There are a few major differences between DriveEasy and SafePilot.
Safe drivers are eligible for a discount of up to 25% with Geico DriveEasy, but the company may actually increase rates for those who practice unsafe habits, like driving late at night or sudden braking.
On the other hand, USAA does not raise car insurance rates based on the data it collects through the SafePilot program.
While both companies factor phone usage into your driving score, USAA tracks hands-free phone calls, which may be prohibitive for those who regularly use this feature while driving.
USAA vs. Geico auto insurance coverage
USAA and Geico both offer the standard car insurance coverages that you would expect, like bodily injury liability and uninsured motorist coverage. Both companies also offer additional coverage options that some drivers may find useful. USAA has more coverage options than Geico.
*Although Lyft references rideshare insurance from Geico, we were unable to find information about this coverage from the company.
USAA car insurance coverage options
USAA offers a number of optional coverage add-ons that you can use to enhance your policy.
- Car replacement assistance helps replace your car in the event of a total loss by paying an additional 20% above the actual cash value of your vehicle.
- Essential services expenses helps cover the expense of hiring someone to clean your home, grocery shop and perform other essential services if you're injured in an accident.
- Funeral expense coverage pays for funeral and burial expenses if you or one of your passengers pass away due to an accident.
- Rideshare insurance extends your coverage to protect you and your vehicle while you're driving for a rideshare company, like Uber or Lyft.
- Work loss benefits compensates you with a portion of your income if you are unable to work due to an accident that results in an injury or disability.
Geico car insurance coverage options
Geico offers fewer coverage enhancements than USAA. The only notable add-on is mechanical breakdown insurance, which can replace an extended warranty for new or leased cars that are 15 months old or newer with fewer than 15,000 miles.
Personal injury protection, also known as PIP insurance, can provide the same coverage as USAA's work loss benefits, essential services expenses and funeral expense coverage. Therefore, Geico customers are able to purchase these add-ons in the form of PIP coverage if it is available in your state.
However, some drivers may find it beneficial to have the option of purchasing these coverages separately.
USAA vs. Geico customer service
Customer service is fairly comparable between USAA and Geico. Both companies have above-average NAIC Complaint Index and J.D. Power claims satisfaction scores, along with the highest possible rating available from A.M. Best for financial strength.
|NAIC Complaint Index||0.79||0.85|
|AM Best financial strength rating||A++||A++|
While the numbers are very close, USAA differentiates itself with an excellent rating from our editors due to industry-leading customer service paired with a wide range of coverage options and affordable rates.
Geico scored well with our editors, but its coverage options are not as customizable as those from USAA, and rates for drivers with prior incidents are high. Geico also works with 31 partners to underwrite its homeowners insurance policies, so drivers looking to bundle home and auto policies may receive varied levels of customer service.
In addition, USAA received industry-best scores on J.D. Power's claims satisfaction and insurance shopping studies. While Geico performed well in the claims satisfaction study, it received a below-average rating for its shopping experience.
Frequently asked questions
Is USAA car insurance cheaper than Geico?
USAA auto insurance rates are cheaper than Geico's. A minimum-coverage policy from USAA is $230 less expensive per year on average, and full-coverage insurance is $748 less expensive per year.
How much is USAA car insurance?
A minimum-coverage car insurance policy from USAA costs $437 per year, and a full-coverage car insurance policy costs $1,170.
Does USAA offer accident forgiveness?
Yes, USAA has an accident forgiveness program. You can add accident forgiveness to your policy for an additional charge, but after five years of accident-free driving, USAA offers it as a free policy feature.
Does USAA offer mechanical breakdown insurance?
USAA no longer offers mechanical breakdown insurance, also known as a vehicle protection plan or extended warranty.
For this study, we used car insurance quotes from thousands of ZIP codes across the U.S. Our sample driver was a 30-year-old man driving a 2015 Honda Civic EX.
All quotes are based on a full-coverage policy and clean driving record unless otherwise noted. Full-coverage auto insurance quotes include the following limits:
|Bodily liability||$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident|
|Property damage||$25,000 per accident|
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury||$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident|
|Comprehensive and collision||$500 deductible|
|Personal injury protection (PIP)||Minimum when required by state|
For our minimum-coverage policy, we referenced the minimum required limits in each state. Young driver, ticket and accident quotes were obtained using minimum-coverage limits.
ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes may be different.