The American Automobile Association (AAA) provides its members with towing services, special retail and travel discounts, and deals on flights and hotel bookings. But AAA also offers several insurance products, including car insurance. Getting your roadside assistance and insurance needs from one provider may seem like an easy and obvious choice. But are there downsides?
Let’s explore what coverages and discounts AAA offers and whether its auto insurance could provide you protection while saving you money.
AAA auto insurance: Is it worth it?
|Our verdict: If you’re already a AAA member, its auto insurance policies might offer a cost-efficient advantage. You may qualify for coverage that includes additional perks like claim forgiveness and a disappearing deductible. Still, your options and service are dependent on the AAA auto club issuing your policy. If you aren’t an AAA member, paying for the membership only to get AAA auto insurance might not make sense.|
What is AAA?
In 1902, there were only about 23,000 cars in the U.S. Some were owned by members of the 50 motor enthusiast clubs of the time. In March of the same year, 9 of these automobile clubs joined forces to create the American Automobile Association (AAA) in Chicago.
Today, AAA isn’t a single entity. It’s an insurance group that grew from the nine initial clubs in 1902 to 32 independently run motor clubs throughout the U.S. and Canada in 2022. It's commonly referred to as "Triple A."
The association aims to support transportation's future by improving driver safety and aiding road development. Since its inception, AAA has expanded to answer 30 million calls for roadside assistance on average every year and operates over 1,000 branch offices throughout North America.
AAA is a membership organization that provides its members more benefits than roadside assistance, such as banking, travel services, and insurance products.
|Types of coverage||Coverages and options vary by location but may include:
|Discounts available||Available discounts vary by location, but may include:
|Where you can use it||AAA website, Android app, iOS app|
|Customer support||Varies based on your local club, but AAA provides an online tool to find your auto club|
|Availability||Available nationwide in 50 states and Washington D.C.|
What insurance does AAA offer?
Depending on your location, the AAA auto insurance policy you get might be issued by the local auto club or partner auto insurance companies. That’s why coverage options may vary from one location to another.
Standard AAA coverage options
While coverage may vary by location, you might find the following coverage types available through most AAA clubs:
- Liability protection: AAA clubs provide bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. Liability insurance helps you pay for injuries and damages you’re legally liable for when you get in an accident. Liability protection is required in most states.
- No-fault coverage: Also known as personal injury protection (PIP), this type of insurance is required in certain states. In these states, this coverage helps pay the cost of medical care regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
- Collision: Collision coverage helps you pay for vehicle repairs after getting in an accident with a stationary object or another vehicle. Collision insurance is often optional unless you’re leasing or your car is financed and your lender requires it.
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage assists in paying for damage to your vehicle for reasons other than collisions, such as storm damage or theft. Comprehensive and collision are also known as full coverage and are optional unless you have leased or financed your car with a loan.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance: This coverage helps pay for damages to your vehicles caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage pays for damages the other driver is liable for but cannot pay.
- Medical payments: Medical payment coverage works with your health insurance to help pay for medical expenses resulting from injuries in an auto accident.
Optional AAA coverages
AAA has add-on insurance options you could include to your policy to customize your coverage. Depending on your regional auto club, optional coverages may include:
- Car rental reimbursement: If your car is damaged in an accident and needs to be repaired, rental car reimbursement helps pay the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is at the repair shop.
- Enhanced total loss replacement: If your car is declared a total loss after an accident, enhanced total loss replacement helps to pay for its replacement with a new model.
- Loan or lease gap coverage: Gap insurance helps to cover the difference between the current value of the car and what you owe on the loan or lease if the vehicle is a total loss after an accident.
- Enhanced exterior repair: With enhanced exterior repair protection, you would get original exterior parts from the manufacturer rather than relying on aftermarket parts. Window glass and mechanical parts are excluded from this protection.
- Transportation network company coverage: This coverage is available if you join the ridesharing market through a company like Uber or Lyft. If you get in an accident, it helps to cover the gap between what your rideshare company covers and the actual cost of the damages.
Additional AAA benefits
As a AAA policyholder, you may be eligible for additional insurance benefits. These benefits also vary depending on your local AAA club. Still, they might include:
- Claim forgiveness: AAA offers three levels of claim and accident forgiveness depending on your insurance policy, continuous coverage, and claim-free status. Insurance claim forgiveness provides no increase in your premium following a claim process. The forgiven claim size increases with each level.
- Claim-free rewards: These rewards give you cash back or a renewal credit for every claims-free policy year, up to $50.
- Disappearing deductible: This benefit offers gradually decreasing collision and comprehensive deductibles, the amount you might pay out of pocket before your insurance benefits kick in. When offering this benefit, AAA would reduce this amount with every claim-free year.
AAA availability and insurance products
AAA offers different forms of insurance and benefits in all 50 states and Washington D.C., but you need to be an AAA member to purchase a policy. Since AAA insurance policies are issued by local agents and clubs, available coverages and benefits might significantly vary.
Each local club may offer insurance products you could bundle with your car insurance policy. For example, some of the insurance policies you might be able to get include:
- Homeowners insurance.
- Renters insurance.
- Condo coverage.
- Motorcycle, recreational vehicle, and off-road vehicle insurance.
- Life insurance.
- Flood insurance.
AAA auto insurance: how cheap is it?
AAA offers comprehensive, collision, liability, and other types of insurance through its federation of auto clubs.
However, policies and premiums vary by region and even zip code. Local differences between clubs add to other factors that affect car insurance premiums. These factors include your age, gender, vehicle use, and the make and model of your car.
Another element that affects the cost of AAA auto insurance is that you must be a member to qualify. Membership is available to the general public, but it isn’t free. Depending on your membership tier, the cost ranges from $70 to $133 per year.
How to find discounts
AAA has a wide range of discounts available that would reduce your premium if you qualify. Available discounts vary based on location but often fall within three categories.
Vehicle and driver safety discounts include:
- AAA safety inspection discount: Vehicles with certain safety features that pass a AAA safety inspection would qualify for this discount.
- New car discount: You might qualify for lower premiums if you bought your car fresh out of the factory instead of going with a used car.
- Vehicle safety discount: You may get a lower car insurance rate if your vehicle has factory-installed safety devices, such as a rear-view camera or a blind spot detection system.
- Anti-theft device discount: Vehicles with anti-theft devices may be eligible for a premium reduction.
- Defensive driver discount: AAA rewards safe drivers with a discount. If you take on driver training and complete an approved defensive driver course, you might qualify for this discount.
- AAADrive discount: By allowing AAA to track your driving habits and build a picture of your driving record using a mobile app, you may qualify for 5% to 30% off your auto insurance premium.
AAA also offers discounts based on your education status or occupation, including:
- Education and occupation discounts: Depending on your job or education, you may be eligible for additional discounts. For example, some clubs offer discounts for engineers, teachers, and medical professionals.
- New young driver discount: You may get this discount if you add a new driver under the age of 20 to your existing policy.
- Good student discount: Students that maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher might qualify for a reduction on their insurance premiums.
- Student away discount: If you have a student on your policy who is attending school 100 miles or more away from home while keeping their car at home, you may be eligible for the student away discount.
Lastly, there are several discounts based on your loyalty and the type of business you conduct with AAA:
- AAA member discount: The longer you stay an AAA member, the bigger the car insurance discount you may receive.
- Bundling discounts: You may be eligible for multi-policy discounts or multi-vehicle discounts if you sign up for other forms of insurance or add more than one car to your insurance policy from AAA.
- Advance purchase discount: This discount is offered when you purchase your AAA car insurance policy a certain number of days before its effective date. The exact number of days varies by club.
- Discount for automatic payments: Sign up for automatic payments to save money on your premiums.
- Paperless discount: You may get the paperless discount if you opt to receive all policy documents and communications electronically.
- Discount for paying in full: You could save money by paying your insurance policy in full rather than dividing it over monthly payments.
How to maximize savings
To save money on car insurance, talk to your insurance agent to ensure you’re taking advantage of every possible discount.
If you own a home or condo or are considering purchasing life insurance, you could bundle your policies for more discounts. Bundling your insurance policies through AAA could help you save more money.
Enrolling in the AAADrive driving tracking program could also give you a good discount depending on your driving habits. This discount alone could be as much as 30% off your premium
How to get an insurance quote from AAA auto insurance
Learning how to get car insurance through AAA doesn’t take much time. In many states, you could get a car insurance quote online. However, some local clubs may require you to speak with an agent to finalize your policy.
In general, you may need the following information to get a quote:
- Your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN).
- Your driver’s license number.
- The address of your primary residence.
- The number of miles you drive per week or month.
- The make, model, and year of your current vehicle.
- Details about your car if you have installed aftermarket accessories like anti-theft devices.
Once you gather the information you need, get your quote through these steps:
- Choose to get a quote online on your local AAA club website: Some clubs allow you to get quotes without becoming a AAA member first. Instead, you can continue as a guest.
- Enter information about you and your vehicle: Enter your zip code, address, and date of birth. You’d also enter the make and model of your vehicle as well as your estimated annual mileage.
- View your eligible discounts: Once you complete your part, AAA lists the discounts you may be eligible for, and you can choose which drivers to enroll in each discount program.
- Choose an effective policy date: Decide when you want your new policy to go into effect. Choosing a date a few days in the future — such as seven days or more — may allow you to qualify for a discount.
- Review your quote and modify your coverage: AAA issues you an immediate quote based on the information you submitted. You may modify the quote by adjusting your coverage, such as your deductible or coverage limits, to find a policy that fits your budget.
Once you’ve customized your car insurance coverage and are satisfied with the quote, you could finalize your coverage and make your first payment. Keep in mind that paying your policy in full may qualify you for an additional discount.
AAA auto insurance FAQs
Is AAA the same as USAA?
Despite the similarities in names, AAA is a separate entity from USAA. AAA stands for the American Automobile Association, an association made up of 32 local motor clubs that provide roadside service, insurance policies, travel services, banking products, and more. It's commonly referred to as "Triple A."
Unlike AAA, which is available to the general public, USAA is a membership organization that caters only to military service members and their families. It offers financial services such as bank accounts, investment products, and insurance policies.
Does roadside assistance increase AAA insurance premiums?
Using AAA roadside assistance should not increase your AAA insurance premium. Roadside assistance provided to AAA members is a separate program from AAA auto insurance. Getting a towing service or help with a flat tire would not affect your insurance premiums.
Is AAA membership the same as having AAA car insurance?
Becoming an AAA member doesn’t mean you have car insurance. AAA members are entitled to benefits like towing services, battery jump-starts, fuel delivery, and travel discounts. Being a AAA member is also required to be able to buy an AAA insurance policy, which you’d get separately and at an additional cost.
If you are shopping around for car insurance and are already a AAA member, AAA auto insurance may be beneficial. The same might be true if you consider becoming a AAA member to take advantage of its roadside assistance and benefits.
AAA car insurance offers multiple coverage options and has discounts that may help reduce your premium. Depending on your specific case, this may make your premium with AAA competitive compared to other providers. However, it’s essential to account for the AAA membership cost.
If you’re unsure if AAA suits you, you could compare what it offers to the coverages and premiums the best car insurance companies may provide.
FinanceBuzz researches several factors in each auto insurance provider to create our reviews. These factors include cost and discounts, complaints and customer satisfaction, coverage, and ease of use. We also gather information from sources such as J.D. Power, AM Best, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and the Better Business Bureau to ensure we provide the most useful information to our readers.