USAA homeowners insurance

One of the unheralded benefits of serving in the armed forces is that a person becomes eligible for USAA membership, including the chance to buy homeowners insurance from the company. The insurance products are excellent, but they are out of reach for anyone who has not served the country in uniform. Families of service people also qualify.

Begun in 1922 by 25 Army officers who got together to insure each other’s cars, the organization has grown to about 4 million members with tens of millions of dollars in assets. This financial strength is put to good use in its insurance offerings with coverages that exceed some companies’ offerings in terms of coverage and provisions.

One of the features that separates USAA from some other companies is that it offers full replacement cost coverage. This means that if a home is destroyed or damaged in a major way, the company will helps underwrite the rebuilding of the home based on current construction costs, subject to some provisions. This gives homeowners great peace of mind.

In respect to coverage for contents, USAA homeowners insurance differs from many companies in that it provides up to 75 percent of a home’s insured value for personal property coverage at today’s market value—without factoring in depreciation. That is a more generous coverage schedule than most insurers offer.

It is not a perfect insurance provider—is there such a thing? But it consistently ranks high in scoring by companies that evaluate financial strength and service. The Better Business Bureau gives it an A+ for trustworthiness. It is one of just three home insurance companies to earn the top rating (A+) by Weiss Ratings, the most stringent ranking service.

Financial strength is a consistent hallmark of the company. It grew and survived through the Depression. Its membership and product sales growth was a sparkling 9 percent in 2011, part of its steady growth through the current recession. The company is well-grounded in purpose and operation and military families are the beneficiaries of it all.

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