USAA Commercials

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by NMMI PREP DIRECTOR, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. NMMI PREP DIRECTOR

    NMMI PREP DIRECTOR Member

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    Maybe I'm "venting" or just confused. In either case, I'd like to read your thoughts. For the last several years USAA has really increased their TV advertisments. This includes Super Bowl commercials - which are not cheap.

    I've been with USAA Insurance (car) since 1979 and Bank since 1983. In the "old days" USAA advertising was primarily spread by word-of-mouth. Everybody loved their service and rates were great. Most officers were affiliated with USAA in one form or the other.

    I realized that they have changed over the years - no longer "officers only" and dependents are fully eligible.

    So here is my $.02: If this organization is still controlled by the membership, why don't we unite and say, "Enough spending on the TV commercials! Give us lower rates."

    So......... how am I off base with this?

    -Don
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    You're not off base, although, I'm only grounded in "the new days" and don't think the rates are horrible. Each year (or maybe quarter) USAA has a big meeting. I believe a portion of those meetings are open and you would be free to voice your concern.

    That said, the odds are against the masses. It is much easier to advocate for a vocal minority than the silent masses.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Not a member, but am aware of them through (prior?) in-laws who served and used them. I agree with your post though. I would also add that I'm sure they are reaching out to folks who've just joined and are unaware of them because they don't have family who have served... like my kid.
     
  4. USAFretired1996

    USAFretired1996 Member

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    My retirement gig for the last 17 years has been with one of the largest property and casualty insurance companies in the country. All insurance companies need to grow in order to remain profitable. Back in the day when we had a large military, it was easy for USAA to increase their membership with the pipeline of new officers being accessed. With the drawdown of the early 90’s, the potential membership pool began to dwindle which is why they opened up their membership to senior NCOs. As the military continued to shrink, USAA increased their membership field to all enlisted and most recently to any veteran who was discharged honorably. The reason for the national advertising campaign is to make sure that all of those veterans out there who no longer have any affiliation to the military are aware that USAA is not just for officers anymore. If USAA does not grow, their products will be more expensive for the remaining members. Even with the employee discounts that are available to me through my company, USAA is still cheaper and a better product. (Full disclosure – I am NOT a USAA employee).

    When I was on active duty it used to burn me that as an E9, I was not eligible for USAA insurance but some 18 year old ROTC kid was. I swore that if USAA ever opened their membership to enlisted personnel, I would never avail myself of their insurance and financial products. I had to eat a lot of crow when they started insuring senior NCOs and I switched both my home and auto to USAA in the late 90s.
     
  5. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    That makes perfect sense to me and explains the advertising need.
     
  6. NMMI PREP DIRECTOR

    NMMI PREP DIRECTOR Member

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    Thanks!

    Thanks Chief! Your explanation made a lot of sense. I never begrudged USAA for opening up to the senior NCO's. Generally speaking, the officers and senior NCO's were resposible drivers who helped keep the rates low. I don't know about today but in our day (retired the same year you did) , a DUI/DWI would end your career. I do understand the need for advertising in a "shrinking" military. Thanks again. :thumb:

    That said............. I really feel somewhat emabarressed because I was on line with my USAA Bank checking account and found that my USAA Ins. deposited a nice sum from my "subscriber savings account" yesterday! :redface:

    -Don
     
  7. USAFretired1996

    USAFretired1996 Member

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    Maj Hanak – glad I could share some of my civilian expertise.

    Small world story that I don’t think you will mind me sharing. Maj Hanak is prior enlisted. In late 1972/73 we were assigned to the same squadron for technical training at Keesler AFB MS but in different courses. His then girlfriend/future wife was in the same course as me. Fast forward almost 40 years and we realized the connection when my son received a USAFA Falcon Foundation scholarship and decided to use it at NMMI.

    BTW, he is doing phenomenally well at USAFA in large part because of his year at NMMI. Best wishes for the upcoming holidays. Please give my regards to Lt Col Hitch.
     
  8. NMMI PREP DIRECTOR

    NMMI PREP DIRECTOR Member

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    Good to hear your DS is doing well. We were happy to have him for a year.

    I smiled at the "small world" story. Seems that the older I get, the smaller the world gets. Also noticed that weeks (and months) seem to fly by much quicker.

    -Don
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    We used to say "choose your rate, choose your fate."

    When Navy Federal refused to offer universal service to Coast Guardsmen, I walked in to the NFCU branch, withdrew a few thousand dollars and closed my account.

    It used to burn me that an overweight GS-4 with no military experience, who's greatest feat in life has been getting to work on time in Washington, D.C., at the Pentagon, would be covered, but the E-4 on a 110' Island class cutter in the North Arabian Gulf getting kicked around in 15 foot seas wasn't.

    At every event with a NFCU booth I voiced that general opinion (scrubbed, as not to offend).

    Now, of course, Navy Federal has openned up to the Coast Guard. I hate MOST of their commercials (I think they're demeaning to service members, make them look like bafoons) but I think the "Even the Coast Guard showed up" one was pretty funny.

    I never went back to the NFCU. I've been happy with USAA.

    It may be important to point out that USAA was not created primarily as a bank. That is part of the reason there are "members" which I initially found confusing, until I did a little digging.
     
  10. USAFretired1996

    USAFretired1996 Member

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    Another factor that separates USAA from other mainstream P&C insurance companies is that USAA is a Mutual company owned by its "members". Hence the subscribers refund that Maj Hanak referred to. Cant' beat it - low rates and a refund of money that USAA didn't have to pay out in claims the previous year that they then share with members.

    I probably ought to stop tooting USAAs horn so much since I need my company to grow and remain profitable until I can retire again in 2016!
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I was going to say NMMI maybe your opinion would change when you get your SSA check!

    You have to love USAA in December, especially if the stock market has had a strong yr in growth, and it wasn't a bad hurricane season. Hurricanes matter because so many bases are located in areas that get hit by hurricanes. I can't remember, but I think it was the yr of Katrina where they even sent a letter stating due to the cost of insurance policies paid out, and the stock market collapse it was a very low return for their members. It may have been Floyd though, but I remember seeing the check cut by 1/2 from the prior yr.
     
  12. DHinNH

    DHinNH USMA 1989

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    I also work in P&C insurance. USAA is not a mutual, it is a reciprocal insurance exchange. USAA members are subscribers, not owners. Hence the Subscriber Savings Account.

    Hopefully no one here will ever experience one of the most significant differences between a mutual and a reciprocal exchange. In a mutual, if the company becomes insolvent, the policyholder-owners are not responsible to make up the shortfall. In a reciprocal exchange, the policyholder-members are responsible.

    { Like USAFretired, I am not a USAA employee. }
     
  13. USAFretired1996

    USAFretired1996 Member

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    Whoops - DHinNH is correct. I should have known better.
     

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