San Antonio-based auto insurer USAA announced that it has “already reduced, or has plans to reduce, automobile insurance rates by an average of 7 percent in almost all states.”
“As a result, USAA auto policyholders will save more than $900 million in annual premiums over the next five years,” said the announcement. The company sells policies in 44 of the 50 states, has approximately 3.6 million auto policyholders in the U.S., and is ranked as the country’s seventh-largest auto insurer.
“USAA’s mission is to provide the best products at the best possible price for our members,” stated Henry Viccellio Jr., president of USAA Property and Casualty Insurance Group. “By improving operational efficiencies and establishing a range of insurance rates based on the individual risk, we’re able to pass on savings to members.”
USAA noted that its move to lower rates “bucks an industry trend.” It cited an Insurance Information Institute forecast issued in March 2004, which indicated that “auto insurance rates are expected to increase an average of 3.5 percent in 2004. III expects most consumers to see an increase of $29 per vehicle, with a total average cost for auto insurance nationwide estimated at $871 for 2004. III estimates are based on U.S. Bureau of Labor CPI data, National Association of Insurance Commissioners data, company filings and trend projections.”
USAA also announced that is “eliminating its extended billing fee for members who opt to pay auto insurance premiums on a monthly basis in an effort to pass additional savings to members. This fee elimination, which will occur automatically without any required action from members, will save policyholders nearly $42 million annually.”
It also noted that the “rate reductions will vary by location and coverage and may not be available in all locations. Average rate reductions assume no change in insured individuals, vehicles, coverages or benefits. Rates will not change for existing insured individuals until their policies renew.
More information may be obtained on the company’s website: www.usaa.com.