• Report:  #1532214

Complaint Review: USAA Auto Insurance Unwilling to Settle - Statute of Limitations - San Antonio Texas

Reported By:
Michael - Oceanside, California, United States

USAA Auto Insurance Unwilling to Settle - Statute of Limitations
9800 Fredericksburg Rd. San Antonio, 78288 Texas, United States
800-531-USAA (8722)
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I am one half owner of a Dodge Spinter van.  As it is older and one we were in the process of building out we only had liability coverage.  The van was parked on the side of the road in front of my partners home and wasn’t being driven.

On August 25, 2023 at 20 minutes after midnight a Drunk driver, insured by USAA, came through the residential neighborhood and wiped out four parked vehicles.  The police came, took the accident report and arrested the Drunk.  All of which is documented. After seven months of waiting with almost no contact - they are adept at avoiding people at USAA - I finally caused enough problems on either their Facebook page or by writing letters to multiple executives and  the “Executive Council” that their Claims and Arbitration people did call, told me that they would look into the issue and call me back within a week.  Which, they did.  They told me that they needed to “work on it” and that they had no time frame in which they would be paying off this claim.  They needed to work with the Drunk to get him to “sign off”, and obvious lie. 

We expected to be lowballed but  not completely stiffed.  Since they failed to make an offer to settle it appears stiffing us is their preferred method of telling us to shove off.  At the end of my last conversation with their Claims “Manager”, on or about March 23, 2024 he became incensed with me for asking one last time when we could expect a settlement. I was informed that they would stiff us through the Statute of Limitations, meaning that they would never pay.  Now we are approaching the end of the eighth month with no word, no returned calls and obviously no settlement.. So, we are left with taking USAA to Small Claims, screwing around for another few months and then having to enforce a judgement for a lesser amount than they had orignally appraised the vehicle at.

USAA has treated us horribly and the comment about the Statute of Limitation was particularly galling, but was final proof that USAA is a dishonest and abusive organization.  We were not inflating the cost of repair or total and only wished to be treated fairly and expeditiously.  That seems to be beyond USAA’s ability.  There is no question who is at fault and no question that this company has no morals.  

USAA says that they record all phone calls so any proof they may need as to the abusive behavior of the “Claims” person they already have.

7 Updates & Rebuttals


United States
Small claims

#2General Comment

Wed, April 24, 2024

First, have you filed a complaint with the CA Dept of Insurance?

Second, file a small claims case (or a real court case, if your damage is above the small claims limit) against the drunk driver.  Get an estimate for the damage (if you haven't fixed it already) and bring that to the hearing, along with police reports and any other documentation.  Most likely once you file suit, the insurance company will call you PDQ (assuming the guy still has any liability coverage left).  California's courts are so backed up that it will take probably close to a year to get to a hearing, so you'll extend the statute of limitations and encourage USAA to settle.

If I had to guess, this guy most likely only had the minimum liability insurance, which in California is $5000.  It hasn't been increased in decades.  So that's not going to pay for even a fender bender, given the prices for body work.

Finally, insurance companies are under no obligation to settle any case.  If you don't have a lawyer, they will drag things through the mud.  They know that if they delay and drag things out, a good percentage of claims will just disappear.  They are in the business of selling insurance, not paying third-party claims.  That's literally every insurance company I've ever dealt with.  That's why it's wise to have your own insurance.  Most insurance companies will charge very little if the mileage is low.


United States
Well Considered Reply

#3Author of original report

Mon, April 22, 2024

Thank you for the information.

We have filed a complaint with the Ca Insurance Commissioner, the Texs Department of Insurance and the Better Business Beaureu of San Antonio... California wrote us a nice letter and told us to go to Small Claims and the last two haven't got back with a final word.   The most action I have gotten so far is by hitting their Facebook page, or so  it seems - although I have writted to the CEO, the Director of Customer Service, the CEO Support Person and the "Exectutive Council".  I'm not sure which effort paid off but A Claims Specialist and a Aribtration Person called and then blew me off.

Filing against the drunk driver is going to be difficult as he is a bit of a criminal and transient.  The San Diego PD requested and were granted a "Gun Violence Restraining Order" a month before he destroyed the vehicles.  I would meet him in court and serve him but, like you said, they are backed up with cases and I can't find the DUI case on the Court Docket.  The SDPD said that it could be months. 

We did, and still do,  have our own insurance which was Liability.  We weren't going to be driving it for a while and (after the weekend of the collision) it had been our intent to take it to an industrial space serving as a garage so Liability seemed adequate.

I have, today, contacted a law firm that works on these issues and I have a conference call with them tomorrow.  To date we have only gone by what USAA's adjuster said the value of the van was so an actual quote is in order, you're right.  We do have the accident report, the arrest report and the USAA claim number.

Having hardly ever dealt with insurance companies I had no idea they could jerk people around like this.  It is surprising that they are allowed to do this.  You have to buy it but they don't have to honor it.

Thank you for the note and the advice. 


United States
One additional comment

#4Author of original report

Mon, April 22, 2024

As added information: of the four cars that were wrecked by the drunk one vehicle, which is/was owned by an 84 year old veteran.  He also only carried Liability Insurance and they won't settle or communicate with him either.  The ironic part is that he is now and been, for decades, paying USAA for all of his insurance, home, cars all of it.   USAA is totally disreputable.


United States
USAA's Failure to Settle

#5Author of original report

Mon, April 22, 2024

In short order:

We are in California

Obviously, our vehicle was involved, otherwise why would I bother?

The Drunk was taken to jail.  San Diego Police don't simply arrest people.

They never said that he was under-insured.  They have said very little and have been completely unhelpful.

Rather than nit pick the victim you might be concerned with how USAA can be unresponsive and sell insurance throughout the nation.  I guess being from Texas they are all cowboys.



United States
USAA's Failure to Honor Drunk Driver's Fault

#6Author of original report

Mon, April 22, 2024

No one sat around waiting.  We had to give them reasonable time.   As I stated we had liability insurance not comprehensive/collision as we would not be driving it for a while.  Our insurance company won't touch it. That was explained in my note.  Also, we contacted lawyers.  Since no one was injured and the overall potential settlement was small no one would take the case.  It is the smallness of the settlement  and the overall callousness of USAA that irks us the most.  This is our cash not USAA's and their insured's fault, 100%.  So why blame the victim? 

Thanks for posting.  Are you in the insurance industry?


United States
Lacking Details

#7Consumer Comment

Mon, April 22, 2024

You wrote, “Drunk driver… wiped out four parked vehicles,” but you never stated that the drunk driver damaged your vehicle. You also failed to tell us the state where the incident occurred and the reason USAA provided for not paying your claim. Perhaps the at-fault driver was underinsured, your vehicle was not legally parked, or the insurer suspects your damage claims were not a result of the accident. You most definitely have omitted crucial information in your post.


United States
Comedy of Errors

#8Consumer Comment

Sun, April 21, 2024

 When it was very obvious they were not going to work this matter to your satisfaction, WHY DID YOU JUST SIT THERE??? You have insurance on your vehicle, right? YOU TURN IT OVER TO YOUR COMPANY. That's why you pay them premiums! Also, YOU could have gotten an attorney to guide you thru this!

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