USAA is above average as compared to other insurance companies. I’m talking about how USAA handles insurance claim payouts. Here, I’ll discuss USAA settlements and verdicts. We’ll talk about car accident claims, and the average dog bite settlement amount with USAA.
That’s not it.
We’ll talk about other USAA injury claims as well.
What is the Average Settlement with USAA in a Personal Injury Case?
Over a 3 year period, my average personal injury settlement with USAA was $41,667. (Further below, I talk about my USAA car accident settlements.)
In my career, my average settlement in injury cases with USAA has been for $63,981.
My average settlement with USAA is much higher than my average injury settlement with all other car insurers combined.
(When calculating my average settlement with USAA, I used the total settlement in cases where USAA was a bodily injury liability (BIL) auto insurance, and there was additional BIL insurance that I recovered from another insurer. For example, I settled a case with USAA for $100,000, but another insurer paid an additional $100,000. I used $200,000 as the settlement figure, even though USAA only paid $100,000.)
There are two reasons that my average injury settlement with USAA has been much higher than my average settlement with all other insurance companies combined.
The first reason is that USAA typically has larger bodily injury liability (BIL) auto insurance policies than many other car insurers. For example, none of my recent USAA settlements have involved a BIL policy with less than $25,000 per person in coverage.
The second reason is that USAA tends to pay better than other car insurance companies. USAA has a reputation for paying better than Progressive (Uber’s insurer in Florida), State Farm and GEICO and Allstate. I’m referring to the personal injury part of a claim.
It depends on the state where the accident happened. For example, Florida has bad faith laws. Bad faith laws put pressure on USAA to pay the policy limits if the case is worth the limits or more.
If USAA fails to pay the coverage limit and protect its insured driver/owner, USAA may be on the hook for the entire judgement (after a verdict).
In Florida, bad faith laws also apply to uninsured motorist claims with USAA.
However, to have a valid bad faith uninsured motorist (UM) insurance claim, the injured party (or his/her attorney) must file a civil remedy notice of insurer violation. Additionally, 60 days must expire after filing the notice against USAA. In other words, USAA has 60 days to cure the bad faith and not face an excess judgment.
Driver Gets $200K Settlement with USAA (and Another Insurer)
Mary (not real name) was driving her car in Miami, Florida. She was heading through a green light. Unbeknownst to her, a driver of another car ran a red light. Mary t-boned the other driver. Mary’s damaged car is above.
An ambulance took Mary to the hospital. An x-ray showed that she had a broken wrist. At the hospital, a doctor performed surgery on her wrist. Specifically, they put a plate and screws put in her wrist.
Shortly after the accident, Mary hired me as her attorney. USAA insured the at-fault driver with a $100,000 bodily injury liability limit. But I didn’t stop there. Through aggressive representation, I was able to discover that the other driver was working at the time of the accident.
This was big news!
Old Dominion (Main Street America Group) insured the employer of the at-fault driver.
Tip: Jurors tend to award more for intersection accident cases than for rear end cases. This is because intersection crashes have more jury appeal (more “exciting”). Tell the adjuster that you know this.
Also, surgery greatly increases the full value of a car accident injury case. And this case was no exception. Without surgery, Mary’s case may have settled for under $100,000. If Mary wouldn’t have learned that the at fault driver was working at the time of the crash, she would’ve been limited to a $100,000 settlement.
$100K Settlement with USAA for Bike Rider Hit By Car (Miami-Dade County)
Check out my $100,000 settlement for a bicyclist who was hit by a pickup truck. The accident happened in Cooper City, Broward County, Florida.
She suffered facial fractures and collapsed lungs.
$70K Settlement with USAA (Pedestrian Hit By Car)
Watch an interesting video about this settlement:
A passenger, Daisy (not real name), was in a car driving down the street in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was daylight outside.
Daisy saw a hose in the middle of the street. She decided that she wanted to get the hose.
The driver (Barbara) of the car that she was in made a u-turn. The driver stopped the car.
Daisy got out of the car and walked to the middle of the street. Thus, she was a pedestrian. She was walking on her way back to the median. Before reaching Barbara’s car, another driver (William) hit her.
USAA insured the driver of the car that hit Daisy. They paid us $70,000 to settle her personal injury claim.
Here is a settlement check:
On the bottom left of the settlement check, you can see that it says “Fed-Ex Overnight”.
I told the USAA claims adjuster that I would only accept the $70,000 offer if they sent the check via overnight delivery. And they did so. It never hurts to ask.
This is one of my many settlements for a pedestrian who was hit by a car.
USAA Pays $52,500 to Bike Rider Hit By a Car (Compression Fracture)
A young bicycle rider was cut off by a car that he then crashed into. He was thrown of his bike and landed on his back.
The car failed to yield the right of way. It happened in Key Biscayne, Miami-Dade County, Florida.
He also had a small disc protrusion. USAA, the UM insurer, settled the claim for $42,500.
United Automobile Insurance Company (UAIC) insured the driver of the car that caused the accident. United Auto paid $10,000. I represented the injured bicyclist.
$30K Settlement for Meniscus Tear from Orlando Car Crash
Check out my $30,000 settlement after a driver was rear ended in Orlando, Florida. She claimed that the accident caused a meniscus tear in her knee. USAA insured the at fault driver.
USAA Pays Car Passenger $25K (Herniated Disc, Shoulder Tear and Other Injuries)
See a case where USAA paid a car passenger $25,000 after a car rear ended him. The crash happened in Key Largo, Florida.
Thus, the only available insurance was my client’s USAA UM coverage on his car insurance policy. We settled with USAA for $25,000.
Most of the settlement was for pain and suffering. Here is the USAA uninsured motorist insurance settlement check:
Watch a video where the injured man talks about his case and experience.
USAA Pays Driver $25K for 6 Bulging Discs and Annular Tear
USAA Pays $9,850 (of $19,850) to Driver Hit By Car (Herniated Disc)
A driver failed to yield the right of way and crashed into a car, driven by a 29-year-old man.
State Farm insured the car that caused the crash.
The 29-year-old man claimed that the accident caused his herniated disc with impingement. The careless driver was driving a friend’s vehicle at the time of the accident. State Farm paid its policy limits of $10,000.
The car that the claimant was in (“host car”) had UM coverage with USAA. USAA paid $9,850.
USAA argued that my client was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.
I’ve also had other settlements with USAA.
USAA Offers $44,500, Gets Hit With $173,250 Judgment for Golf Cart Accident Case
I’ve said that USAA pays better than the other big auto insurers in Florida. However, they still pay less than the fair value of the case. Here is one example.
This isn’t my case. Roslyn Posner claimed that on January 13, 2009, Linda Berger-Buvitt ran a stop sign at the intersection of the golf cart path and pedestrian sidewalk.
Posner was allegedly 82 years old at the time of the crash. USAA insured Berger-Buvitt.
Posner claimed that the accident caused a compression fracture of the vertebrae in her thoracic spine. She sued USAA’s insured, Berger-Buvitt.
Posner also sued The Polo Club for failing to maintain the bushes in the area. Berger-Buvitt blamed the bushes for blocking her line of sight. Zurich insured The Polo Club.
USAA offered $44,500 to Mrs. Posner to settle her personal injury case. She didn’t accept this offer. At trial, the jury found Posner 25% at fault.
The good news for her?
They found USAA’s insured, Berger-Buvitt, 75% at fault. Thus, after reducing the value for Posner’s fault, she got a $173,250 judgment against USAA’s insured.
This is crazy:
Settlement isn’t an exact science. However, USAA’s offer was too low by $128,750. It’s not like USAA’s offer was off by $1,200. Or even $12,800.
USAA was off by over $128,000!
Point this case out to USAA the next time they try to lowball you.
Wife’s Death Results in $10 Million Dollar Judgment Against USAA Insured
This is not my case. USAA issued an automobile insurance policy to Andrew Booth Buckman.
In November 2010, Buckman was involved in an automobile accident that resulted in the death of Dennis Lee Kemp’s wife. Kemp sued Buckman for wrongful death in a Florida state court. He got a $10 million dollar judgment against Buckman.
USAA Offers $100K to Settle Injury from Fall (from Dog Encounter)
This is not my case. In 2011, a claimant sustained personal injuries when the claimant fell. She fell after an encounter with dogs owned by Colleen Brennan, a USAA insured.
The claimant made a pre-suit demand for the $100,000 policy limit of Brennan’s insurance policy. USAA accepted the demand and tendered its check for the policy limits.
Rather than cashing USAA’s settlement check, the claimant, in March 2013, filed a personal injury lawsuit against Brennan. She sued Brennan and others in the Palm Beach County.
USAA Argues That PIP Doesn’t Have to Pay Off a Workers’ Compensation Lien
If you have PIP insurance with USAA, and were working at the time of a car accident, should you still give all of your medical providers your USAA PIP information?
Yes. Even if workers’ compensation pays your bills and/or lost wages.
Otherwise, USAA may argue that USAA PIP doesn’t have to pay a workers compensation lien. USAA is has a reputation for making this argument.
If a court agrees with USAA, this would put less money in your pocket.
Hit by a Drunk Driver Insured With USAA (Claims and Settlements)
What happens if a drunk driver (insured with USAA) hits you and injures you?
First, hopefully the drunk driver’s USAA car insurance policy has bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage. Unfortunately, BIL coverage is not required on Florida auto insurance policies for private passenger autos.
If you are from out of state and you’re in a Florida car accident, you may or may not have PIP. It may depend on whose car you were in at the time of the accident. If you were in your own car (from another state), you need to see whether your out of state car insurance covers you with PIP. It will depend on the language in your auto insurance policy.
Either way, the hospital should bill your PIP or Medpay coverage before your health insurance. Failure to give your PIP or Medpay insurance to the hospital can delay your settlement. Also, give the hospital your health insurance information.
If Medpay pays your medical bills, your car insurance company may be entitled to get reimbursed. One of the 13 advantages to hiring a personal injury lawyer is that a Medpay insurer often has to reduce the amount that you’ll pay it back by your attorney’s fees and costs. In Florida, the Medpay insurer must do this. Thus, if you have an attorney, you get a benefit. If you don’t have an attorney, you don’t get this benefit.
The solution is simple:
Get an attorney.
If you’re from another state, whether you’ll have to pay back Medpay may depend on the other state law.
If the DUI driver who hit you has BIL coverage, this is good news. DUI means driving under the influence. Of course, you can make a claim with the DUI driver’s insurance company for your out of pocket medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. This assumes that the DUI driver’s carelessness caused your injury.
You can also tell USAA that you are also making a claim for punitive damages against the DUI driver. A Florida auto insurance policy won’t cover punitive damages against the DUI driver. However, USAA as a duty to settle claims against the drunk driver if it could and should.
A punitive damage claim increases the full value of the personal injury case against a drunk driver. Thus, a punitive damages claim against the drunk driver adds pressure for USAA to settle for more money (and quicker).
I have lots of experience making a claims against drunk drivers. Check out some of my drunk driving accident settlements.
USAA May Not Be Able to Remove an Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cases To Federal Court
Many car insurers like to remove UM injury cases from state court to federal court. They believe that having a UM injury case in federal court means that they will owe less money than if the case was in state court.
Different rules of procedure apply in federal court. If you sue USAA for uninsured motorist insurance benefits, they may not be able to remove your case to federal court.
It will depend on which USAA entity you are dealing with. Look at the USAA declarations page to see if USAA is listed as United Services Automobile Association (“A Reciprocal Interinsurance Exchange”). If they are, they won’t be able to remove the case to federal court.
On the other hand, USAA Insurance Inc. can remove to federal court.
Is Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company the same as USAA?
Yes. Although they are different businesses, your claim is basically handled the same way, and by a USAA adjuster.
In Florida, USAA issues liability policies as:
- USAA Casualty Insurance Company
- USAA General Indemnity Company
- Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company
You can go to Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Company Search to get USAA’s current mailing address for Florida claims.
You can go to A.M. BEST to get USAA’s main fax number.
However, sending a fax to the main corporate office may not speed up a claim. From my experience, USAA adjusters do not give out their email address.
As with larger insurers, USAA adjusters tend to me more educated than adjusters at smaller insurers.
The USAA Property and Casualty Insurance Group is the sixth largest private passenger auto insurer and fifth largest homeowners insurer based on 2011 direct written premiums. To put it simply, they are a huge insurance company.
How Do I Submit a Claim To USAA?
You can call USAA at 1-800-531-USAA (8722) to report a car accident claim.
However, I can’t emphasize this enough…
An injured person should not give a recorded statement if he or she is making a claim against someone who USAA insures.
The injured person doesn’t legally have to. The statement can be used against them. It can decrease the full value of the case.
As with every insurance company, the representative will ask you some basic questions.
The USAA representative will then give you a claim number. The claim will be assigned to a particular adjuster. If you have a more serious injury, the claim will be assigned to a higher level adjuster.
USAA Claims Adjusters Tend to Be Nice
The USAA insurance claims adjusters whom I’ve dealt with have been nice. Below are just a few of them:
- Christine Gutierrez
Southeast Regional Office
USAA General Indemnity Company
- Many others
Bodily Injury Liability
- Kathy Gegan
- Jodi Weaver
- Shannon Luker
What types of liability insurance does USAA offer?
USAA offers many liability insurance products. Some of them are:
USAA also offers enters Insurance, Homeowner Insurance, Rental Property Insurance, Home and Property Insurance, Umbrella Insurance, Motorcycle, RV and Boat Insurance, and Small Business Insurance.
Did someone’s carelessness cause your injury in a Florida car crash or other type of accident?
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated.