USAA SafePilot Review: Is It Worth It?

Safe drivers can save up to 30% with USAA SafePilot. But all phone usage impacts your score, even if it's hands-free.

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USAA SafePilot

What is the USAA SafePilot program?

USAA SafePilot is a discount program that uses a phone app to track your driving habits and rewards safe driving.

SafePilot is available in 47 states. You can't get it in California, Delaware and New Jersey.

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To find out if USAA SafePilot is a good fit for you, ValuePenguin editors analyzed driver-tracking discount programs from six of the top national insurance companies. We compared them based on savings, privacy concerns and other requirements to determine if they will fit your driving style.

Good for
  • Drivers who want multiple chances to increase their discount
  • People shopping for the cheapest possible rates
  • Current and former military and their families
Bad for
  • People who regularly use their phone while driving
  • Drivers who prefer to lock in their discount
  • USAA members living in California, Delaware and New Jersey

How does SafePilot with USAA work?

USAA SafePilot uses a mobile app to track and score how safe your driving behavior is.

The better your score, the bigger your discount.

You have to download the USAA SafePilot app to start the program. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Once you sign up, USAA automatically gives you a participation discount of up to 10%.

The first 14 days after you sign up serve as a trial period. SafePilot will track your driving behavior and offer tips to help you improve. Your habits during these first two weeks don't count toward your final driving score or impact your discount.

After the trial period ends, SafePilot starts to score your driving. Scoring lasts for the entire policy period. Your score determines the discount you'll get when you renew your policy.

How much is the USAA SafePilot discount?

The maximum discount you can get through USAA SafePilot is 30%.

When you sign up for the program, USAA will give you a participation discount of up to 10%. You'll only get the participation discount until your regular discount kicks in at the start of your next policy period.

Poor driving habits won't raise your rates with SafePilot, but your rates could change for other reasons. For example, your rates could go up if you get a speeding ticket, even if your SafePilot discount stays the same.

In addition, the number of drivers on your policy and the state you live in can affect your discount.

For example, if you have four drivers on your policy but only two use SafePilot, USAA will reduce the discount by half.

What does USAA SafePilot track?

USAA SafePilot tracks three driving behaviors to calculate your discount.

  1. Using your phone while driving
  2. Harsh braking
  3. Hours driven per year

Both handheld and hands-free phone usage affect your USAA SafePilot score. So, your score will drop even if you make a hands-free call or use voice-to-text messaging. Not all companies penalize you for hands-free phone use. And some don't consider phone use at all when calculating your score.

USAA also collects other data from your phone that may not impact your SafePilot score, including:

  • Location
  • Time of day
  • Whether you are the driver or passenger
  • Potential accidents
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Because the mobile app follows you as the driver rather than the car, USAA will know your location at virtually all times. The company shares this data with its third-party partners to improve its services.

If you're uncomfortable with sharing your location data with USAA and its partners, consider another program that uses a plug-in device to track your car.

Additionally, USAA may use your SafePilot data to analyze accidents. So, if you're in a crash, USAA may use the data to determine whether the accident was your fault.

Is USAA SafePilot worth it?

USAA SafePilot is worth it for most USAA members. You can earn a discount of up to 30% off your total car insurance bill, and USAA won't raise your rates if you get a bad score.

USAA SafePilot is worth it if:

USAA typically has very affordable car insurance.

Safe drivers can save up to 30% on their auto insurance bill with SafePilot. That could mean a savings of around $30 per month on a full coverage policy if you earn an excellent score.

Only Allstate and Nationwide offer higher maximum discounts with their usage-based programs. And both companies are typically much more expensive than USAA before any discounts. Once you add your SafePilot discount, USAA will likely be the cheapest choice for many drivers.

Unlike some other programs, USAA SafePilot won't raise your car insurance rates if you have poor driving habits. So it's worth it for drivers to try out the program to see if they can save.

In addition, people looking to improve their driving can use the feedback from the SafePilot app to practice safer habits.

USAA SafePilot may not be worth it if:

USAA SafePilot penalizes drivers who use their phones while driving, even for hands-free phone calls.

If you regularly use your phone while driving, you could get a better discount from a company that doesn't factor phone usage into your score. This includes Allstate, Liberty Mutual and Nationwide.

SafePilot tracks your behavior and adjusts your discount based on your performance each term. That means you'll need to share data with USAA for as long as you want to keep the SafePilot discount. And your discount could change each policy period if your SafePilot score is inconsistent.

Some programs, like Liberty Mutual RightTrack and Travelers IntelliDrive, only monitor your driving for one policy period. These programs are a better choice if you want your discount to stay the same from one policy period to the next.

USAA SafePilot uses the number of hours you drive per year to help calculate your discount. People who drive more often save less money with the program. That's because more time on the road means you're more likely to be in an accident.

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Other USAA car insurance discounts

Aside from the SafePilot program, USAA offers several discounts to help make rates even more affordable, including:

  • Safe driver discount for having a clean driving record for five years
  • Defensive driver discount for passing an approved course
  • Driver training course discount for drivers under 21 years old
  • Good grades discount for teen drivers with a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Multicar discount for insuring more than one vehicle with USAA
  • Multipolicy discount for buying home, renters or another type of insurance along with your auto insurance from USAA
  • New vehicle discount for cars less than 3 years old
  • Anti-theft device discount if you install an anti-theft device in your car
  • Garaging your car on a military installation can save you up to 15% on your comprehensive coverage
  • Deployment discount of up to 60% if nobody drives your car while you're away

Frequently asked questions

What is USAA SafePilot?

USAA SafePilot is a program that rewards safe driving behaviors with a discount of up to 30%. Using a mobile app, USAA tracks your driving habits, like hard braking and phone usage. Then, it uses the data to determine your discount.

How does USAA SafePilot work?

USAA SafePilot tracks driving habits through an app. To determine your discount, USAA considers the amount of time you spend on the road and the number of times you brake harshly, touch your phone while driving and place hands-free calls.

Is USAA SafePilot good for teen drivers?

USAA SafePilot can be a good way to lower car insurance rates for teens and get them to practice safe driving habits. USAA won't raise your rates if your teen driver has poor driving habits, so it's worth trying to get a discount. In addition, the feedback from the app could help your teen improve their driving habits.

Where is USAA SafePilot available?

USAA SafePilot is available in all states except California, Delaware and New Jersey. However, drivers in these states can still buy USAA car insurance.

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