May 18, 2022

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CSAA Auto Insurance Review 2022

Pros Explained

  • Rideshare insurance available: Policyholders may be able to purchase an additional endorsement if they drive for companies such as Uber and Lyft.
  • 17 available discounts: Depending on your state of residence, you may qualify for a reduction on your premium, including discounts for bundling policies, being a safe driver, and more. 
  • Robust mobile app: AAA’s app is easy to use and offers a myriad of benefits. You can set up bill reminders, search for local gas prices, and file a claim, among other features.


Cons Explained

  • Coverage may vary between states: Some states may not include coverage for all counties. Insurance for additional riders and customized coverage options may vary depending on location.
  • AAA membership required: Applicants will need to become AAA members in order to purchase an auto insurance policy. Pricing tiers vary depending on your state of residence. 
  • Need to purchase through an agent: CSAA doesn’t give applicants the ability to purchase a policy online. Going through an agent may take longer compared to purchasing a policy completely online.


Introduction

CSAA Insurance Group offers insurance coverage, including auto insurance, for its AAA members. Depending on where you live, you’ll find many opportunities to receive a rate reduction on your premium, as well as coverage options such as rideshare insurance.

Although you can receive an online quote, applicants will need to purchase a policy through a local agent. Plus, you’ll need to be a AAA member to purchase a policy, though you’ll receive benefits such as hotel discounts and roadside assistance as part of your membership. 


Company Overview

CSAA Insurance was founded in 1914 to provide financial protection from auto accidents. What started off as the California State Automobile Association has since branched out to 23 states (it may not be available in all counties within certain states) and Washington D.C.


Types of Coverage

CSAA auto insurance offers the following types of coverage, though availability could vary depending on location. 

Collision

Your collision coverage may pay for auto repairs if you get into an accident and your vehicle was damaged, regardless of who was at fault. Damage caused by falling objects, theft, and animal collisions, among other sources, is not covered (look to comprehensive coverage for help with that). CSAA insurance will pay for the current value of your vehicle if it’s declared a total loss.

Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability

If you’re found legally responsible for causing property damage or injury to another person, your liability insurance may pay for repairs and medical coverage for the injured person (up to certain limits). Your policy may also pay for legal expenses if another person or entity files a lawsuit due to a vehicle accident. 

Medical Payments

This type of coverage (known as MedPay) kicks in if you get into an accident and either you or your passengers need medical attention. Coverage is typically provided whether or not you caused the accident. Depending on the situation, MedPay may also provide coverage if you’re hit by a car while walking, biking, or riding in someone else’s vehicle.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive coverage may provide repairs or cash for replacing your vehicle in the event of a covered peril such as extreme weather, theft, vandalism, or fire. Basically, it covers certain damages not related to vehicle collisions; it won’t cover you against accidents where your vehicle is hit by another car. 

Rental Car Reimbursement

CSAA may reimburse you for a rental car if your vehicle needs eligible repairs (eligible repairs are those covered by collision or comprehensive insurance). How much you’ll receive will depend on the daily allowance in your policy—it’ll generally be enough to rent a vehicle to get to and from where you need to go. Leisure rentals may or may not be covered.

Underinsured Motor Vehicle

In the event of an accident, an underinsured motor vehicle means the driver at fault doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for the other person’s vehicle repair or medical bills. If this is the case, CSAA’s underinsured motor vehicle plan may provide coverage for expenses such as repairs, medical expenses, and lost wages (the plan is split into bodily injury and property damage coverage).

Rideshare

When you’re actively driving for companies like Uber or Lyft, your standard AAA coverage is not available; instead, you’ll use the insurance provided by the rideshare company. Rideshare coverage from CSAA provides extra protection on top of the insurance policy from the rideshare company. Purchasing this add-on can help fill coverage gaps in your rideshare company insurance. 


Discounts

CSAA offers multiple opportunities to receive discounts on your auto insurance premium. Keep in mind some states may not offer every discount. 

Payment Discounts

  • AAA Member Discount: You can save up to 5% depending on location.
  • Advance Purchase Discount: By purchasing a policy seven days before the effective date, you can receive a reduction in your rate.
  • Multiple-Product Discount: Combining multiple policies through CSAA will get you a discount of up to 20%. 
  • Pay-in-Full Discount: Receive up to a 5% discount for paying for your entire policy in full.

Driving Habits and History

  • Driver Training Discount: You’ll need to complete an approved driving course for this discount.
  • Defensive Driving: If you complete an approved defensive driving training course, you may save up to 5% on your premiums. 
  • Good Student Discount: Students who maintain a certain grade point average may get a discount. 
  • Student Away Discount: If a student on the policy lives at least 100 miles away and won’t be driving, you may receive a discount depending on the type of coverage. 
  • Garage Parking Discount: If you park your car in a garage, you can save on comprehensive coverage.
  • Verified Mileage Discount: Depending on your annual mileage, save up to 9.1% on your premium by providing current odometer readings when asked.

Vehicle Equipment

  • Air Bag Discount: You may be able to save up to 40%, depending on your coverage.
  • Anti-Theft Device Discount: Vehicles with anti-theft devices may qualify for a discount on comprehensive coverage. 
  • AAA OnBoard Discount: Drivers who activate AAA OnBoard and/or have a sufficient driving score will save up to 20%. 
  • Multiple Car Discount: Drivers who insure more than one vehicle through CSAA can save on select coverage options. 

Other

  • Group Affinity Discount: Rate reductions will vary based on your education level or occupation. 
  • Original Owner Discount: Receive up to a 5% discount if you’re the original owner of the vehicle you want to insure. 
  • Persistency Discount: CSAA will reduce your rate if you’ve been with your insurer for at least two years.

Payment Options

CSAA policyholders can pay for their auto insurance policy in several ways:

  • Via the CSAA website, by debit or credit card
  • Conducting a bank transfer
  • Mailing a check

Depending on location, you may be able to set up autopay. 


Loss Ratio

Looking at an insurer’s loss ratio can give you insight into how financially stable the company may be. This ratio looks at what a company has paid out in claims compared to the premiums it’s received. In general, the lower the ratio, the more profitable the company; a low ratio usually indicates stronger financial performance all around. Make sure any insurance company you go with has a high percentage of paying out claims (look for a lower loss ratio). 

CSAA Insurance Group has a loss ratio of 63.42%, on par with other major carriers. Meaning, the company is likely to pay out claims for its policyholders.


Other Features

CSAA offers additional coverage depending on location, including: 

  • New Car Added Protection: This coverage will pay for repairs or a vehicle replacement without factoring in depreciation.
  • Gap Insurance: CSAA will pay the difference between what you owe on your auto loan and the actual cash value of your vehicle when it’s declared a total loss. 


Customer Service

Drivers can contact the CSAA Insurance Group’s representatives by submitting a request via the mobile app, speaking with their local agent, or by calling 1-800-207-3618. Phone assistance is available 24/7.


Customer Satisfaction

Satisfaction Ratings

CSAA Insurance Group was ranked 9th in customer satisfaction in the California region and 15th overall in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. It ranks below the industry average, with a score of 868 out of 1,000. The insurer also scored 862 in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, above the segment average of 858.

As for CSAA Insurance Group’s financial stability, the third-party rating agency AM Best gave the company an A grade (Excellent). All of these ratings mean this company is likely to honor its insurance contracts and has an acceptable level of customer service. 

Complaint Index

Understanding the typical number of complaints about insurance companies is helpful when determining what your experience may be like with any particular company. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is a reputable third-party rating agency to use in your research. Its complaint ratio is based on all consumer complaints received from various insurers. 

Consumers can compare an insurer’s complaint index to the industry average of 1.0. CSAA Insurance has a complaint ratio of 0.34, much lower than average for a company of the same size. 


Account Management

Drivers who have a CSAA auto insurance policy can manage their account by logging in online or through the app, calling 1-800-207-3618, or contacting their local agent.


How CSAA Insurance Compares to Other Auto Insurance Companies

According to our research, the average premiums for CSAA Insurance’s auto policies are higher than many other companies, like Allstate, Farmers, and Progressive. However, your policy may be priced higher or lower depending on factors such as qualifying discounts, driving history, and location. 


Final Verdict

CSAA Insurance is a great fit for those who live in areas the insurer services, and those who can qualify for most of the discounts. Rideshare drivers may appreciate the additional coverage options, along with drivers who currently have an auto loan and want gap insurance.

However, you’ll need to be a AAA member to purchase a policy—if you qualify for discounts you may be able to recoup the costs. Given the lower-than-average number of customer complaints and its reputable roadside assistance program, it might be worth looking into an auto policy with CSAA.


Methodology 

All of our reviews of auto insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company’s coverage, customer service, pricing, years in business, accreditation, and more. To rate CSAA Insurance Group and other providers, we developed an auto insurance review methodology that compares the auto insurance coverage types, additional features, discounts, account management, and reported customer experiences to help us provide insights into things like customer service and the strength of each company’s offerings.


Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .

  1. CSAA Insurance Group. “About Us.” Accessed Jan. 27, 2022.

  2. A.M. Best. “A.M. Best Downgrades Ratings of Members of CSAA Insurance Group.” Accessed Jan. 27, 2022.

  3. CSAA Insurance Group. “Clubs and Counties.” Accessed Jan. 27, 2022.

  4. CSAA Insurance Group. “Our History.” Accessed Jan. 27, 2022.

  5. CSAA Insurance Group. “Insurance Discounts.” Accessed Jan. 27, 2022.

  6. NAIC. “NAIC Market Share Reports 2018-2020.” Accessed Jan. 27, 2022.

  7. J.D. Power. “Auto Insurance Claim Satisfaction Rises on Combination of Soaring Vehicle Values and Growth of Straight-Through-Processing Claims Management, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed Jan. 27, 2022.

  8. J.D. Power. “Auto Insurance Shopping Surged during Pandemic in 2020 but Little Brand Differentiation Apparent, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed Jan. 27, 2022.

  9. NAIC. “CSAA AFFINITY INS CO National Complaint Index Report.” Accessed Jan. 27, 2022.