Formed in 1922 by a small group of Army officers seeking auto insurance, USAA now has more than 13 million members. The company, based in San Antonio, offers a wide range of services, including insurance, loans, and retirement planning.
After starting as an auto insurance company, USAA began offering other forms of insurance as well, including coverage for renters and homeowners. In 2020, USAA’s insurance group handled more than 270,000 disaster claims totaling more than $2.4 billion. Read more about USAA’s homeowners insurance in our separate review.
4.1 out of 5
Ranked #1 in Best Renters Insurance Companies of 2022 (tie)
Affordable rates starting at $10 per month
Policies include flood and earthquake insurance coverage
Coverage in all 50 states
Eligibility limited to military members, their spouses, and their children
Roommates not covered
USAA is No. 1 in our rating of the Best Renters Insurance Companies of 2022. USAA renters insurance is currently offered in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, the U.K., Italy, plus other international locations. Policies start as low as $10 a month for standard coverage. Unlike other insurance companies, USAA includes flood and earthquake coverage in its policies.
Because USAA was created to serve military members and their families, policies have a few features specifically for this demographic. For members who are deployed or live abroad, personal belongings – even those in storage – are covered with overseas insurance. Plus, active-duty members who live on base or post can save up to 28% on their policies.
In order to purchase a renters insurance policy, USAA requires all customers to be members. Only current and former U.S. military members, their children, and their spouses can join. Former spouses of USAA members are also eligible, as long as they’re not remarried (with the exception of widowers).
The following is included in renters insurance from USAA:
- Personal property coverage. A renter’s personal property is covered from a loss that results from a listed peril such as fire or theft. USAA offers replacement cost coverage, meaning it will pay to replace lost or damaged items with new ones rather than just reimbursing you with the items’ depreciated value.
- Medical payments. If a guest is injured on a renter’s property, that guest may be eligible for medical payments.
- Personal liability. Someone who suffers an injury in your rented space is covered by most standard USAA renters insurance policies up to $100,000, which can include the cost of the renter’s legal defense.
- Additional living expenses. If your rental property becomes unlivable after a covered peril causes long-term damage, your renters insurance policy will cover normal living expenses and possibly more.
Renters insurance from USAA covers damage to a renter’s personal property due to:
- Fire and lightning
- Floods. Renters insurance covers inland or tidal waters that overflow; surface waters from any source that accumulate rapidly under usual circumstances; or mudslides caused by inland or tidal waters overflowing water seeping through building or basement walls, roofs, windows, doors, foundations, or floors isn’t covered.
- Windstorms or hail that makes an opening in the roof or wall
- A building collapse
- Volcanic eruptions, including land shock waves or tremors before, during, or after an eruption
- Smoke damage, unless it’s caused by agricultural smudging or industrial operations
- Freezing damage to plumbing, heating, air conditioning, sprinkler systems used for fire protection, or household appliances. If the unit is unoccupied, basic steps need to be taken for this coverage to apply, such as keeping the heat on, shutting off the water, and draining water from pipes and appliances.
- Falling objects that first damage the roof of the building
- Riots and civil commotion
- Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging
- Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current
- District Of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
USAA has several renters insurance discounts that will decrease your premium, including discounts for:
- Membership in the U.S. military
- Bundled coverage
- Property location
- Security measures, including smoke detectors, alarm systems, and deadbolt locks
USAA offers additional coverages for renters and other individuals for an additional premium. The cost of each of these will vary, including the deductible, so check with an agent for details.
Available additional coverages include:
- Umbrella insurance. An umbrella policy provides additional coverage for the renter and members of their household. These add-on policies can include increased liability coverage, which would help protect the renter’s assets from major claims or lawsuits. In some cases, renters are required to have both renters and auto insurance from USAA to qualify for umbrella coverage.
- Collectibles insurance. This is additional coverage for personal collections with a value that may exceed standard renters coverage. Eligible collections include military, sports, entertainment, and pop culture memorabilia, stamps, coins, vintage dolls, classic toys, model trains, figurines, and wine, among others.
- Valuable Personal Property. This additional coverage is designed for items that cost more than $100 and can be used to cover items like musical instruments, jewelry, guns, and camera equipment. It doesn’t cover things like collectibles (which are covered by its own policy), gaming systems, electronics, or mobile phones.
- Mobile phone protection. USAA offers full coverage for mobile devices for $99.99 per year. Damaged, lost, or stolen devices will be replaced within 48 hours for a $199 fee.
- Small business insurance. Renters who work from home can protect their business-related equipment with a small business insurance policy. Based on the selected policy, coverage can include the replacement of expensive computers and other electronics as well as liability costs
To purchase renters insurance from USAA:
- Log into your existing USAA account. Or click on the “Join USAA” link on the company website to become a member.
- Get a quote for renters insurance. You can do this by entering details such as the policyholder’s name, address, and phone number. USAA will give you an initial quote based on the information you entered.
- Adjust the policy to best suit your needs. You can do this by adjusting policy limits, deducting, and choosing replacement cost coverage. Once you’re happy with the policy, you can proceed to the next step.
- Select the final details. Finalize your payment method, when you want the policy to start, and you’ll receive details for your new policy.
For more information read our guide on How to Buy Renters Insurance.
Policyholders can file a claim online through USAA’s website, using its mobile app, or by calling USAA’s main phone line. To file a claim online, head to the claims section of their website and click on the link “File a Claim.” Information you’ll need to provide includes your policy number, date, information on the event or loss, and a brief description of why you’re making a claim. USAA has a virtual inspection tool where you can upload relevant documents, photos, and videos to help expedite your claim.
Policyholders will then need to wait for USAA regarding further instructions. Policyholders can also check the status of their claims at any time by logging into their account or via USAA’s mobile app.
For more information read our guide on How to File a Renters Insurance Claim.
Am I eligible for USAA renters insurance?
Membership in USAA is open to:
- People who currently serve in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, National Guard, or Reserves
- Those who have retired or been honorably discharged from the U.S. military
- Widows, widowers, and single former spouses of USAA members who joined the company before or during their marriage, and people whose parents joined USAA
- Cadets and midshipmen at U.S. service academies or affiliated academy preparatory schools, in advanced ROTC or on an ROTC scholarship, and officer candidates within 24 months of commissioning
Does USAA renters insurance cover theft?
Yes. USAA’s theft coverage includes attempted theft, pilferage, larceny, burglary, robbery, and holdup. In addition to items stolen from the renter’s home, coverage also includes theft of an item from a known place, such as a car, workplace, or school. Covered property must be stolen, not lost or misplaced.
Does USAA renters insurance cover flooding?
USAA’s renters insurance covers inland or tidal waters that overflow, and waters from any source that rapidly accumulate or run off under unusual circumstances.
Does USAA renters insurance cover broken windows?
Broken windows, when caused by storms or accidents, are often covered by the building owner’s insurance. In some cases, a broken window may not be covered if the damage occurred due to negligence or voluntary destructive behavior.
Does USAA renters insurance cover fire?
Fire coverage is provided in USAA renters insurance.
Does USAA renters insurance cover bedbugs?
Bedbugs, like certain other pests, often result from a lack of maintenance. As a result, bedbug removal is not covered.
Does USAA renters insurance cover mold?
Yes, but only if the mold is caused by flooding or water damage. It doesn’t cover the removal of existing mold that’s not a direct result of excessive rain, flooding, or other water-related incidents.
Does USAA renters insurance cover moving costs?
USAA insurance doesn’t cover moving costs, but it does cover items that may be damaged during the move. Exceptions are weather-related damage, including damage that occurs when items are in storage.
Does USAA renters insurance cover roommates?
USAA renters insurance covers family members only. If roommates aren’t related, they will have to purchase separate renters insurance policies.
How do I cancel USAA renters insurance?
Policyholders can cancel in writing by using the app or calling USAA’s customer service number.
Does USAA have a mobile app, and what can you do with it?
Yes. Policyholders can manage their payments, file claims, and follow the progress of their claims on the app, as well as use other USAA services.
Does USAA cover college dorm rooms?
Yes. USAA renters insurance covers college room dorms. Its policies cover both liability and personal property coverage, but it’s possible to choose one or the other to suit your needs.