AAA is one of the most popular vehicle insurance providers in the country, but are their coverage options right for you?
Finding car insurance quotes is one thing but it is also important to find the type of insurance package that can meet your needs in the real world.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know when considering a policy from AAA.
What is AAA Insurance?
You might already be familiar with the flagship roadside assistance program that AAA offers to its members. A lesser-known fact is that most AAA clubs will also offer a full range of auto insurance packages, as well as member-only access to a range of products provided by regional and local insurance companies.
The first American Automobile Association, which is commonly referred to as either “AAA” or “Triple-A” was founded over a century ago in 1902.
A group of 1500 Chicago-area auto owners banded together to form a motor club that would help give them the political swing that they needed to make the roads more suitable for their vehicles.
Today, AAA clubs are dispersed all over the country, and the services offered have expanded well beyond the fight for better road conditions.
AAA is currently over 60 million members strong and offers up a full range of insurance services and member benefits. Since each AAA brand functions separately under the overarching umbrella of a federated club, the specific services available to you will depend on what your local AAA branch has to offer.
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AAA pros and cons
- Multiple insurance products and useful services
- Holding a membership will often translate to discounted insurance rates
- Provides exceptional roadside assistance service
- In most cases, an AAA club membership is required to access insurance services
- The services offered will often vary from branch to branch and state to state and may not transfer across state lines if you move
What is an AAA Auto Club membership?
When you sign up for an AAA Auto Club membership, you will receive a variety of services, support, and discounts. This includes 24/7 access to roadside assistance, a range of convenient travel resources and guides, as well as super-handy repair shop ranking lists.
Another major perk of an AAA membership is that they offer up a great supply of member-only discounts through local and participating businesses.
In most cases, you will only be able to access AAA car insurance policies by becoming an AAA member.
What are the most common policies AAA offers?
While the specific auto insurance policies offered up through AAA vary according to state and region, most AAA auto insurance policies will be available once you purchase an AAA membership.
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability Coverage
Auto liability policies are designed to protect you up to your policy’s limit should you be found at-fault in a car accident.
Basic liability insurance covers the expenses associated with the accident for the other party involved.
Liability coverage is legally required in most states. There are two types of liability coverage: bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. To make sure you have adequate coverage, it’s generally a good idea to purchase both.
A collision coverage insurance package is designed to protect you if you are involved in a collision.
A standard collision policy will typically cover the following situations:
- Incidents where you hit another car or stationary object
- Damage that occurs when another vehicle collides with your parked car
- Vehicle damages incurred during a rollover
- The cost of repairs or vehicle replacement should you collide with an object on the road, such as a fallen tree
A comprehensive car insurance coverage plan is designed to protect you should something happen to your vehicle that isn’t covered by a collision policy. This could include situations like hitting an animal while driving, damage to your vehicle by floods or fire, or your vehicle being stolen or vandalized.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage will help protect you if you are in an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn’t have sufficient liability coverage.
This type of insurance is legally required in a handful of states so it’s important to make sure you have the mandated amount of coverage.
Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection Coverage
Medical payment coverage is a common insurance add-on that will help cover the costs of any medical or funeral expenses for you, your family members, or your passengers. Medical payment coverage will kick in regardless of who is found at fault.
Personal injury protection plans will cover the cost of medical expenses associated with an accident no matter who is at fault and may apply in some cases to cover lost wages as well.
While basic liability coverage only applies to the other party, medical payment coverage or personal injury protection coverage will ensure that your medical expenses are also taken care of up to your policy’s limit.
Optional insurance coverage options
Since AAA auto insurance services available differ from branch to branch, you may have access to the following features and optional services.
OEM Exterior Repair Coverage
Original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, coverage will help you cover the cost of original manufacturer parts and equipment for your vehicle up to your policy limit should you need to claim for repairs.
Rideshare insurance fills the gaps where rideshare or delivery app drivers may not be fully covered by their company or personal insurance packages while on the job.
Rideshare insurance is commonly sold as a policy add-on but may function as an independent hybrid commercial-private policy as well.
Custom Equipment Coverage
Custom equipment coverage will cover the cost of aftermarket items that have been installed in a vehicle according to the policy limits.
This might include items like upgraded stereo systems, aftermarket camera installation, or upgraded rims. This type of insurance is often sold as an add-on for an existing collision or comprehensive package.
Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
Mechanical breakdown is an add-on insurance coverage option designed to protect you should you experience a vehicle breakdown that is not covered by standard car insurance policies. The situations and parts that are covered will often differ according to the specific package offered.
When you join AAA, you automatically gain access to their industry-defining roadside assistance program. You must be a member, but do not have to hold an existing policy to access the following 24/7 emergency roadside assistance services such as:
Battery boosting Battery replacement services Extrication & winching services Fuel delivery service Lock-out services Minor mechanical first aid services Tire service Towing service
Keep in mind that all of the above services will be subject to limits that may vary from provider to provider.
Depending on the specifics of your AAA car insurance policy, you may enjoy an accident forgiveness program that will allow you to claim your first accident, in a certain number of years, without having to worry about the cost of your policy increasing after your claim.
A typical pet coverage package will cover the vet bills up to the policy limit for any cat or dog that is injured in a car accident if they are listed in your existing car insurance collision policy.
Rental Reimbursement Coverage
Rental reimbursement coverage options are typically sold as an optional policy add-on and will help cover the cost of a rental vehicle, cab fare, or public transportation should you experience a claimable incident and require temporary replacement transportation as a result.
New Car Replacement Coverage
The value of new vehicles depreciates quickly, meaning that anybody needing to make a claim for a new vehicle might lose much of the vehicle’s original value in the process. New car replacement coverage is an optional policy add-on that will help make up the difference so you can afford to replace your car with one of equal value (minus the depreciation) if you experience a total loss.
Similarly, gap insurance coverage will help cover the lost depreciation value vehicle that is deemed a total loss following a claimable incident should there still be outstanding payments left to make toward the cost of the vehicle.
You might have the option to purchase an umbrella policy, which will go beyond your standard insurance offerings to help provide an extra level of protection on your vehicle.
First Aid Reimbursement
Depending on the specifics of your car insurance package, you may be eligible to receive reimbursements for participating in approved first aid or driver safety programs.
Electronic Key & Lock Replacement
Most AAA providers will cover up to $100 dollars in approved locksmith services that are required to replace a vehicle lock or lost key.
Glass coverage is a type of coverage or add-on offered by some insurance providers to cover replacement or repairs or vehicle windshields up to the policy limit.
AAA’s auto insurance discounts
Since AAA insurance policies will vary according to what is offered by your local provider, you may be able to take advantage of a full range of discounts that could help you save anywhere from 5 - 59% on your insurance package.
Here are some potential discount options that might be offered with your car insurance package through AAA:
- Farm vehicle discount
- Student away at school discount
- teenSMART discount
- Good driver discount
- Anti-theft device discount
- Good student discount
- Multiple vehicle discount
- Multiple policy discount
- New car discount
- Good credit discount
- Advance shopper discount
- Paid in full discount
- Loyalty discount
How much does AAA car insurance cost?
Since AAA insurance policies will differ from state to state and some branches may simply act as brokers for local companies, the rates will often differ.
Policy prices can also differ according to a wide variety of factors including the type of vehicle you drive, your location, your driving record, your age, and the type of tailored options you add to your policy.
That being said, the average California resident can expect to pay somewhere around $158 a month for a standard policy from AAA.
That rate shoots up to about $250 for the same standard monthly auto insurance policy if the driver has been involved in an accident for which they had to file for a claim in the past few years.
AAA vs. other insurance companies
Since the prices and offerings of AAAs auto insurance policies will differ according to your location, the way your AAA auto insurance policy stacks up in relation to what the other major competitors have to offer will vary according to the policies and prices available to you.
Using the same average California rate listed above, you can expect to pay comparable rates to Progressive for a full-coverage plan.
Meanwhile, it might cost you slightly less to go with Geico and more to go with State Farm. However, these policy prices have significant potential to vary so be sure to take this comparison with a grain of salt.
How to get an AAA car insurance quote
It can be tricky to get an AAA car insurance quote if you aren’t already a member. You can call up a local branch or request a quote online via their website or app.
The best way to compare car insurance quotes from major providers is to use an intelligent online tool like Jerry to make the process quick, painless, and worthwhile.
How do customers rate AAA auto insurance?
According to the 2018 J.D. Power Associates U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, AAA customers report average satisfaction in the following categories:
- Claim Servicing
- First Notice of Loss
- Overall Satisfaction
- Rental Experience
- Estimation Process
According to the same survey, customers tend to rate AAA as better than most in terms of the Repair Process category:
- Estimation Process
- Repair Process
Similarly, the 2018 U.S Auto Insurance Shopping Study has found that State Farm clocks about average in all of the following categories.
- Call Center Representative
- Insurer Website
- Overall Satisfaction
- Policy Offerings
AAA scores better than most in the Local Agent category in the same study:
**Note: Remember that there is a lot of potential for policies and services to differ in quality and price when you purchase your car insurance through AAA, so the above results are not necessarily representative of what will be available to you.
AAA’s services and features
24/7 Roadside Assistance
Only AAA members may purchase insurance through AAA, and if you are a member, you automatically enjoy access to AAA’s stellar roadside assistance program. Keep in mind that you do not need an active AAA auto insurance policy to benefit from this service.
The AAA Mobile App
The AAA mobile app provides easy access to your AAA services including roadside assistance and easy on-the-go insurance policy management.
It includes a mobile version of their TripTik® Travel Planner, which will help you find the AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels, restaurants, and attractions that will ensure a high-quality experience wherever the road may take you.
Online Account Management
You can use your AAA online account login to easily and efficiently manage your AAA membership and insurance policy options.
Preferred Repair Services
The AAA Approved Auto Repair Locator tool provides access to a list of highly-ranked auto repair shops in your area that you can trust with your vehicle.
How to file a claim with AAA
The best way to submit a claim with AAA is to call up an agent or visit your local branch in person. Since AAA’s policies vary so drastically from region to region the online claim filing may not be accessible. Remember that the sooner you file your claim after an incident, the more likely you are to enjoy an effective claims process from start to finish.
Once you begin the claims process, you will receive a claim number that you will need to keep handy throughout the course of the claims investigation process.
Be prepared to provide the following information during the claim investigation process:
- The location, date, and time of the accident
- The names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance policy numbers of anybody else involved
- A summary of the weather conditions
- Photo evidence of the accident scene and damage
- Any relevant copies of the police and/or accident reports
Once the claim is filed, it’s a good idea to review your policy so you have an idea of what to expect with regard to your particular coverage. Once your claim is approved, you can proceed with the repairs and secure a replacement vehicle (if it is part of your coverage plan).
Most AAA branches will accept the following payment methods for your car insurance package.
- Automatic online payments
- Credit card payments
- Debit card payments
- Electronic Checks
- Online Payments
AAA’s car insurance cancellation policy
The only way to cancel your existing insurance policy is to call up or visit your local AAA branch where you purchased the policy. Most AAA branches will not charge cancellation fees and will reimburse you on any remaining unused premiums.
Make sure you have the effective policy cancellation date written down so that you can ensure a smooth transition to your new policy.
Depending on the circumstances, an agent might ask you to provide information on your new policy as well. It doesn’t hurt to ask about potential discounts that might be available to you should you choose not to cancel your policy.
The Takeaway: is AAA right for me?
To sum it all up, most AAA branches will offer up affordable packages that come with a range of handy member benefits. The downside is that you will almost always have to purchase a AAA membership in order to access their car insurance offerings.
If you are already an AAA member or are considering becoming an AAA member, AAA car insurance could be a good choice for you, especially if you want to enjoy 24/7 roadside assistance without having to purchase an additional policy or add-on.
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