Insurance

AAA Auto Insurance Review: Benefits and Savings for Members

Founded in 1902, the American Automobile Association (AAA) was a collection of motor clubs based in Chicago. Today, its headquarters is Heathrow, Florida, but the organization is still made up of individual clubs that represent different parts of the country. AAA is well-known for its membership roadside assistance service and travel-related discounts. Additionally, as a member of an AAA club, you may be eligible to purchase multiple types of insurance, including auto, homeowners, renters and life insurance policies.

ProsCons
Offers many types of insuranceInsurance options depend on where you live
Lots of discount opportunities Must be an AAA member
May offer gap and rideshare coverage
AAA Insurance Customer Service

Varies by state

Experian Review

When you visit an AAA website, you'll enter your ZIP code and then be redirected to the club represented in your area. AAA's insurance options will depend on your area's auto club and its insurance group partner.

The two largest AAA insurance groups are the CSAA Insurance Group, which serves AAA club members in 23 states and Washington, D.C., and the Auto Club Group, which offers insurance to members in 11 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

J.D. Power includes both insurance companies, along with another AAA insurance provider, Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group (ACSC), in its auto insurance satisfaction and auto claims satisfaction studies. The 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study breaks down the results by certain states and regions, and ranks companies based on customer satisfaction with the billing process, policy information, claims, interactions with the company, offering and price.

The results show AAA auto insurance satisfaction can depend on where you live and which AAA auto insurance company services your area.

For example, in California, the ACSC scored the second highest of all the insurance companies with a score of 848, while CSAA Insurance Group scored 810—below the 821 average in the state. In Texas, ACSC had the lowest score (803) of the included insurance companies. (CSAA Insurance Group doesn't offer auto insurance in Texas.)

While it might not be the highest-scoring company in your region, it could still be worth looking at AAA's offering in your area and getting a quote to see how much an auto insurance policy will cost you.

Car Insurance Coverage Offered by AAA

Before you can purchase auto insurance from an AAA provider, you'll need to become a member of your area's auto club. The fees vary depending on where you live, and the benefits could include roadside assistance, legal defense reimbursement, identity theft monitoring and a variety of other travel-related benefits and discounts.

If you're looking for auto insurance, AAA providers offer all the required insurance coverages and may offer several optional add-ons. The required types of auto insurance could include:

  • Liability: Covers you when other people are injured or their property is damaged in an accident where you were determined at-fault. Liability coverage can also help pay for your legal defense, and most states require drivers to have a minimum amount of liability coverage.
  • Collision: Pays for damages when your vehicle is damaged or totaled during a collision with another car or object, such as a tree.
  • Comprehensive: Covers you when your vehicle is stolen, damaged or totaled from something other than a collision, such as a fire, wind or flood.
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist: Covers you if your car is damaged or you're injured and the other person doesn't have insurance, their policy's limits are too low or there's a hit-and-run.
  • Medical payments: MedPay or medical payments is similar to health insurance in that it can cover you and your passengers if you're injured in an accident. However, MedPay might not have a deductible, and you might even be able to use the coverage to pay for your health insurance's deductible or copay.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): Also covers expenses due to injuries, but it may cover more than medical expenses. For example, it could include lost income, funeral costs and child care.

The requirement to carry these types of insurance can depend on where you live and whether you own your vehicle or have a loan or lease. For example, most states require liability coverage, while only a few require medical payments coverage. And, while it's not a legal requirement, your lender or lease holder may require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage.

The Insurance Information Institute has a chart with state insurance requirements and minimum liability limits, although you may want to check your state's website for more up-to-date information.

In addition to the required coverages, AAA insurance providers may offer optional types of coverage. You can save money in the short term by passing on these, but it's a trade-off, as the coverage could also help you cover expenses if you get into an accident.

  • Total loss replacement: Get a new vehicle if yours is totaled.
  • Enhanced exterior repair: Covers the higher cost of original manufacturer parts, rather than aftermarket parts, if you need to get your car repaired.
  • Gap coverage: Can fill in the "gap" if your vehicle is totaled and you have a loan or lease. Your collision or comprehensive coverage may only pay the actual cash value of the vehicle, which could be lower than your outstanding loan.
  • Rideshare coverage: Standard auto insurance policies might not cover you if you're working as a rideshare driver. This optional extra benefit could help cover what your rideshare company doesn't.

Ample Discounts Available to Help You Save

You can also save money by qualifying for one or more of the many discount opportunities that are available to eligible policyholders. The offering can vary depending on where you live, but the options may include discounts for:

  • Having a AAA membership
  • Enrolling in paperless documents
  • Paying for your policy in full
  • Making electronic payments
  • Having multiple cars
  • Having multiple policies from AAA
  • Adding a young driver to your policy
  • Being a student with a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Installing anti-theft devices in your vehicle
  • Completing a defensive driving course

Periodically check your eligibility for discounts, as you can sometimes save money by contacting your insurance company and letting it know how your situation has changed and that you're now eligible for a discount.

Some AAA auto insurance plans may also offer additional savings opportunities. For example, you may get a cash back reward, and the deductible on your collision and comprehensive coverage may decrease if you don't file a claim. If you do file a claim, a small-claim forgiveness benefit could keep a small claim from leading to higher premiums.

How to Get a Quote From AAA

You can get a quote from AAA by calling, visiting a branch office or filling out a request online. If you visit an AAA website, you'll be prompted for your zip code and then redirected to the proper club's page. From there, you can navigate to the auto insurance section and request a quote.

You'll need to share basic information about yourself, other drivers (if applicable) and the vehicle you want to insure. These will include your name, address, date of birth, driver's license information, and the make and model of the vehicle.

How AAA's Auto Insurance Claim Process Works

If you get in an accident or discover your vehicle has been stolen or damaged, you can start the claims process online or over the phone. Be prepared to share your insurance policy number and as many details as possible, including the date, time, the other person's information and license plate number, and a description of what happened. You may also need to fill out a claim form and submit any applicable documents.

For example, it can help to take pictures of the incident or accident (as soon as it's safe) to share with the insurance adjuster who reviews your claim. You may also need to share a copy of a police report, and you'll want to keep records of all your related expenses after the incident.

Your claim adjuster may visit you to inspect your vehicle and the damage before determining an estimate for the repairs. Or, you may be able to take your vehicle to an approved shop to get an estimate. The adjuster may also contact the other party to make sure there are no disagreements about what happened.

Once the adjuster approves your claim and an estimate, you can get your vehicle repaired. You'll need to pay the deductible, but your insurance would cover the rest of the expenses.

Homeowners, Life and Other Insurance Available

In addition to auto insurance, your AAA insurance provider may offer a range of other insurance products. Depending on where you live, the options may include:

  • Motorcycle
  • RV
  • Home
  • Mobile home
  • Renters
  • Flood
  • Earthquake
  • Umbrella
  • Life
  • Boat
  • Travel
  • Commercial and business

Purchasing more than one policy from AAA may make you eligible for a multi-policy discount, which sometimes applies to all your policies.

AAA Member Benefits

Becoming an AAA member does more than make you eligible for purchasing insurance. The auto clubs offer a variety of benefits and services, including roadside assistance, DMV services at AAA branches, travel planning and discounts. Some AAA clubs also have financial services, such as credit cards, savings accounts, and home, auto and student loans.

Because the benefits and services can vary widely depending on where you live, check your local AAA auto club's website to see what's available in your area. Membership costs can also vary depending on the club.

Can an Auto Insurance Quote Affect Your Credit?

Getting an auto insurance quote may result in a soft inquiry being added to your credit reports if the insurance company reviews your credit. However, soft inquiries never impact your credit scores.

If you live in California, Hawaii or Massachusetts, those states ban the use of credit-based insurance scores, and getting a quote might not even result in a soft inquiry. In Michigan, insurance companies can't use a credit score to determine your insurance rates.

Is AAA Auto Insurance Right for You?

If you're already an AAA member, it's certainly worth looking into AAA's auto insurance from your club to see how much a policy will cost. If you're not already a member you can still get a quote, but remember to factor in the AAA membership cost. As you compare the quote to other insurance providers, also factor in the benefits of the AAA membership and consider how much it may cost to get roadside assistance (or one of the many other benefits) elsewhere.