« on: August 10, 2014, 06:42:13 PM »
I've been a USAA member since 1985. At that time USAA membership was limited to commissioned officers. In 1996 membership was opened to military personnel of all ranks.
Now before I start and get flamed all over the place, let me preface by saying I was an enlisted airman from 1977 until my commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1985. I was in a demanding and difficult career field and that period of my service is something I'm particularly proud of. So I have no class biases here.
Having said that, in my view, the quality of service offered by USAA has steadily declined since the membership changed. I've had occasion to finance and refinance homes as well as file several auto claims during those years and while the service started out on a stellar level that could not be matched, my recent transactions (a home refinance and auto claim) have left me feeling like I was dealing with a run-of-the mill insurance company in which the agents and adjusters were just in it for the paycheck rather than really interested in helping me. I won't go in to all the details of why.
Again, no class bias here, but simple actuarial science would dictate that when you take a risk pool that consists exclusively of older, degreed professionals (i.e. commissioned officers), and add to that an entirely new population that consists in large part of young kids, many who barely made it out of high school, with little to no prior work or professional experience (i.e. young enlisted troops), then the insurance risk profile of the entire pool is going to go up significantly. And when that happens, costs go up as well.
It's just a theory but I believe USAA is now reaping the harvest for the decision they made in changing the membership criteria. Costs go up, losses go up, and as a result, they can no longer be the premier service provider they once were.
This year I've actually started thinking about moving away from USAA to another insurance provider after 29 years of membership. I don't mind paying more money when I receive superior service but it's becoming somewhat debatable as to whether USAA can provide that superior level of service to justify any higher rates I might be paying.