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USAA Roadside Insurance Review

The TRUTH about USAA Roadside Assistance: Review

updated Mar 7, 2022

Cost of Roadside Assistance

Perhaps you are one of the 12.4 Million active duty, guard, reserve, or veteran military members that have a United Services Automobile Association (USAA) car insurance policy for yourself and/or your family. If so, are you considering adding the USAA roadside assistance plan to your existing auto policy? Do you need a little more background before making the decision to purchase USAA’s emergency road service coverage?  

If so, our review should help you understand what to expect from USAA Roadside Assistance and how it compares to other roadside assistance programs.

How Does USAA Roadside Assistance Work? 

USAA Roadside Assistance is a 24-hour service offered to all of their car insurance policyholders. Customers have the option of adding the emergency roadside program to their policy upon purchasing vehicle coverage or adding at a later date. Of course, there is a minimal cost to the roadside assistance which we’ll get into a little later. In some cases, USAA has offered discounts for adding the service but that’s really a case-by-case basis so you’ll have to ask your USAA representative for more information. 

It’s a great relief knowing you can access the USAA emergency assistance from the side of a highway miles from home or right from your own driveway. However, it has been reported by various sources that USAA’s roadside technicians don’t always arrive as quickly as members would prefer. So if you’re looking for a speedy response time then you may want to pass on USAA’s roadside plan as it isn’t always the quickest. However, if you and your family have a work-around plan (i.e. additional vehicles available or carpooling) then waiting a little longer for help may not be much of an inconvenience after all.  

All things considered, it’s very important you know that USAA 24-hour Roadside Assistance is intended for vehicle breakdowns that are NOT related to a car accident or collision. 

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about USAA emergency assistance plan.

How Much Does USAA Roadside Assistance Cost?

Purchasing USAA’s roadside service will cost you $1.00 to $1.25 per month. Of course, you must already have an active USAA car insurance policy to purchase the emergency plan. The good news is there are no additional annual or monthly dues in addition to the basic charge we mentioned. This is quite different than many of the more popular auto clubs or associations that charge higher prices (think more than five times the USAA cost) on a monthly or yearly basis. 

Of course, we encourage you to consider the services offered versus the cost you’ll pay to have an emergency roadside plan. You’ll also want to think about the price you’ll pay for things like labor and towing if you decide not to get any 24-hour roadside assistance program. How much does towing cost when it’s out-of-pocket?  What about the cost of having someone come out to give your battery a jump or hiring a locksmith?

Remember, if you opt to call an independent towing company then you should save your receipts for possible future reimbursement. 

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What is Included in USAA Roadside Service?

Let’s break down what is covered under the USAA Roadside Service program. 

  • Up to 1 hour of mechanical labor at the site of the breakdown
  • Locksmith service to access your vehicle
  • Towing to the nearest repair location 
  • Delivery of gasoline or oil
  • Change of flat tire
  • Jump start of battery

Now let’s review what is NOT covered under USAA’s roadside services. 

  • Winching and/or Extraction
  • Towing is applicable only if you’re stranded on or near a public road
  • Changing tires is only covered if you have a good quality spare in your car
  • Locksmith service fee is covered but the price for making a new key is not covered
  • Delivery fee for fuel or oil is covered but you’ll pay for the actual fluids

Remember, if you opt to call an independent towing company then you should save your receipts for possible future reimbursement. 

How to Contact USAA’s Roadside Service?

You can reach out for roadside help by using the USAA mobile app, the online customer portal, or calling USAA’s roadside service provider (Agero) at 1-800-531-8555.

If you’re traveling outside of the United States, access USAA’s international phone directory online. Remember, your USAA plan guarantees the same services outside the United States. However, there is no way to be certain your roadside service experience will be equivalent to what’s available in the U.S. 

How Does USAA Roadside Assistance Compare to Other Providers?

As you’ll see in the chart below, USAA 24-hour Roadside Assistance is comparable to all the other popular emergency programs currently available. Granted you are paying significantly less for this USAA coverage in comparison to other plans so that does mean you’ll miss out on a few perks. 

The number one difference is a lack of winching/extraction under USAA’s roadside program which is a common benefit under other roadside programs. 

In comparison to AAA’s extensive benefits, USAA roadside assistance is lacking somewhat but AAA members also pay significantly more to be part of such a robust auto club. AAA members that travel frequently appreciate their extensive discounts on hotel stays, car rentals, airplane tickets and other amenities which are not available through USAA. Of course, if you are still able to access active duty or veteran discounts then you may not have a need for such discounts. 

In addition, AAA offers coverage for bicycle breakdowns, emergency electric car charging, identity theft, and trip interruption. None of these are a part of USAA, Geico, State Farm, or Progressive’s Roadside Assistance policies. 

The below table is a great tool for determining if USAA is the best value. 

USAAGEICOProgressiveState FarmAAA
Yearly Cost$12-15$14$23$48$79
Winching/ Extrication1 hr100 ftFree if reachable from roadFree if reachable from road
TowingNearest100 miles15 milesNearest7 miles
On-Site Mechanical AdjustmentFree if possible1 hr1 hr1 hrFree if possible
Car Locksmith$1001 hr1 hr$50
Fuel Delivery
Jump Start
Flat Tire Service
Battery Delivery & Installation
Trip Interruption ReimbursementUp to $250
Auto/Stereo Theft Reward$500 auto/ $200 stereo
Legal Defense Reimbursement$50 – $300
Emergency Electric Vehicle Charging
Bicycle Breakdown
Identity Theft Protection
Products/Services Discounts

Which Roadside Assistance Should You Choose?

In the end, it is important to select a roadside assistance plan that will meet your needs and remain cost-effective. There are a few useful questions to ask yourself when shopping for the best option. 

  • How far do you drive on average? 
  • Does your vehicle still have a manufacturer’s warranty? 
  • Which services will you be most likely to use? 

In the end, it’s really about selecting a 24-hour roadside assistance program that will benefit each driver within your household. It makes good sense to pay for a policy that has the services you’re most likely to use in the near future. Remember, you can certainly make changes to your roadside assistance plan down the road. 

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