Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Apr 1, 2019

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Auto Insurance companies are all unique. Each offers a different line of products, different amounts of coverage, different procedures for dealing with claims, and, of course, different prices for their products.

It pays to compare companies so that you can make an informed decision about which company you want to spend your money with and to consider what others are saying about each company you review.

While there are always going to be some negative reviews, an overwhelmingly positive customer response generally means the company is customer-friendly.

Use our FREE quote tool to compare auto insurance rates today!

Two major insurance companies, Liberty Mutual and USAA, both offer automobile insurance. However, there are some facts about the two companies that should be compared before choosing your auto insurance provider.

About Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual Group is the fifth largest insurance carrier in the United States and 71st on the Fortune 500. The company began in 1912 as the Massachusetts Employee Insurance Company, and began selling auto insurance in 1914. The company has substantial holdings and offers both personal and commercial insurance for life, home, auto, and liability.

The company is based in Boston, Massachusetts, and employs around 45,000 people. Due to the large size of the company, paying claims is generally not an issue.

About USAA

USAA, or United Services Automobile Association, was founded in 1922 by a group of Army officers for self-insurance purposes. Private insurance companies had failed to provide coverage for these high-risk individuals, so they decided to start their own insurance firm. The company began by offering automobile coverage to members of the armed services.

In order to get insurance from USAA, a person must be an active or former member of the armed service or the immediately family member of such a person. USAA is not as large as some other insurance companies, but is a pioneer in direct marketing and internet policies, reducing the need for agents.

Liberty Mutual vs. USAA—Customer Review

While both companies offer automobile and other personal insurance, there are some differences in customer satisfaction and ratings. Liberty Mutual scored three out of five on each of the categories of J.D. Power’s 2011 automobile insurance ratings, which included pricing, billing and payment, contact with the insurer, and policy offerings.

Liberty Mutual’s total ranking was 750 on a 1000-point customer satisfaction index. USAA was not included in the rankings due to the fact that the insurance is only offered to a limited group of people, but the assessments gave it five out of five in each category on the J.D. Power’s scale.

If USAA had been scored, it would have received a customer satisfaction score of 898 out of 1000, making it the company with the highest customer satisfaction in the nation.

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Liberty Mutual vs. USAA—Car Insurance Rates

When comparing rates, it is not only the dollar figure that matters. Some companies may charge slightly higher rates, but have a large, solvent company backed by many investors and customers. If you have an accident, these companies will pay quickly and with little hassle. On the other hand, small, “cheaper” insurance companies may not be able to cover your claim.

Looking at the cost of insurance is not just a matter of premiums, but of security with your company.

Both Liberty Mutual and USAA are large enough to safely cover any claims that you might make on your auto policy. Because rates depend largely on individual factors, such as driving history, age, and location, it is almost impossible to give a side-by-side comparison of the two companies’ rates, but customers overall seem to be more satisfied with USAA’s pricing structure than with Liberty Mutual’s.

However, since only service people and their families are allowed to purchase USAA insurance, this preference is not really transferable to a one-on-one comparison with Liberty Mutual. It is probably safe to say that USAA’s pricing structure is slightly better than Liberty Mutual’s.

Which One is Better?

If you are an active service person, veteran, or a veteran’s family member, it certainly makes sense to explore USAA as an auto insurance option. Customer satisfaction alone makes USAA the company to beat—if you can get their coverage.

Be aware that there are few agents in USAA’s infrastructure, so you will probably have to do a good bit of your interactions with them online or on the telephone.

On the other hand, if you are unable to obtain USAA coverage, Liberty Mutual is a successful and well-established company that has fairly good customer satisfaction ratings and a sound infrastructure that can well serve your automobile and other insurance needs.

Liberty Mutual will have agents available to explain your options to you in person or on the phone, providing a personal level of customer care.

Use our FREE quote tool to compare auto insurance rates today!

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