View Full Version : USAA home insurance property inspection

06-24-2012, 07:46 PM
I wanted to ask if anyone on this forum has had USAA contact them and want to have a third party inspector go through the interior of a home and attic.

I have a few web posts detailing what they are doing and it seems a wholly specious way of accessing a home and driving up the insurance costs and in turn their revenue. I doubt I would be willing to let some third party go through my house like some landlord and look it over. I currently pay them for protecting the debt I have associated with the property and the contents based upon an agreed upon value. I will not have them inventorying the contents.

It makes me wonder if the Auto policy I have with them will also include a MOT/vehicle worthiness inspection. Why would they want to cover my car if I made a bad choice in tire fitment.


06-24-2012, 07:49 PM
We've had USAA for decades, and they've been stellar. Never heard of this.

06-24-2012, 07:52 PM
Another USAA member here. Haven't had this happen to me. Use them for banking as well as auto/home insurance. Their service is second to none in my opinion.

06-24-2012, 07:54 PM
That has also been my experience multiple decades and homes. This is a new one on me.

06-24-2012, 07:56 PM
40 year member, haven't heard of this either.

06-24-2012, 08:05 PM
We've had USAA for decades, and they've been stellar. Never heard of this.
Same here.

Maybe you should try calling USAA independent of whoever is calling you to see if it's for real.

06-24-2012, 08:06 PM
I will be calling them tomorrow, the original communication is in the form of a letter from USAA.

Taylor 339
06-24-2012, 09:24 PM
Happened to us. Shortly after purchasing our home in 2008 they sent a letter like you got and an inspector showed up one day who walked around with me and went in the attic. He told me it was "something new" USAA was doing on homes exceeding a certain price. It may have been 250K. I don't really remember. I never heard anything more of it afterwards. We had just moved in this house and from what I remember, our rates didn't change as a result of his "inspection".

06-25-2012, 09:42 AM
Well to report back. I spoke with USAA this morning and was less than happy to find that this practice is genuine. As stated before it appears to be a way to increase insured value and drive up revenue. USAA will acount it in other ways. They will come into the home and inspect it for worthiness. This will include most of what is in a home inpsection. Structure electical etc, got a bad outlet plan to fix it. I find it intrusive and not something I am willing to tolerate. With other options in the market I will take my business elsewhere. I have had USAA since the 1980's and they are far from the company they once were. I understand the need to verify the home but this should be done at the time of purchase and maybe at some more reasonable periodicity. My home was built three years ago.


06-25-2012, 09:46 AM
Another USAA member here. Haven't had this happen to me. Use them for banking as well as auto/home insurance. Their service is second to none in my opinion.

+1 on this...

06-25-2012, 09:50 AM
Keep us up...let us know if they either raise your rates or make you fix stuff..To be honest I'd probably aprreciate finding if my house was not up to code... not a rate hike however...

06-25-2012, 09:52 AM
Have had other insurance companies do exterior drive by inspections of some of my properties.

Actually got cancelled once. Inspector did the drive by while we were in the middle of a difficult tenant eviction. Tenant was growing pot in various rooms of the house. I evicted him and he retailiated by making a mess inside and outside the house. Inspector saw the mess and that was that.

I asked about it and they're trying to get an idea of their risk exposure.

06-28-2012, 08:59 AM
Keep us up...let us know if they either raise your rates or make you fix stuff..To be honest I'd probably aprreciate finding if my house was not up to code... not a rate hike however...

I agree with you frank4001, also I think if they're going to come into your home it should at least be someone directly from the insurance company and should be a situation which is of more benefit to the home owner after all having the home for years and paying them almost all of your hard earned cash the least they could do is come pay you a courtesy visit and see how the home is structure wise.

Not saying that they should, I myself isn't interested in anything walking around the house evaluating my stuff. Time to compare rates (http://www.quotes-center.com/homeowners-insurance-reviews/) with other insurance companies :D.

06-28-2012, 09:08 AM
I used to work for one of those third party companies that would do property inspections on behalf of insurance companies. The intent is to primarily confirm that the existing conditions of the property warrant the level of insurance on the property as well as to review safety conditions and other hazards that might increase the risk of a claim. I never saw the end results, so I can't say for sure if the inspections drove up rates (I suspect they did), but I'm sure that the insurance company required some properties to fix unsafe elements.

06-28-2012, 09:09 AM
Pretty standard. No big deal. They can verify if you're over or under insured, and notice any obvious liability issues (dogs, trampolines, rail-less steps,etc). Property inspections are normal. About 10%-25% of properties are inspected

smiert spionam
06-28-2012, 09:13 AM
We've had USAA for years, and never have had an inspection -- though honestly it doesn't seem unreasonable for them to require one. We're very satisfied -- good rates, and the one time we called for a claim, they bought us a new roof (hail damage) with a generous pay-out. Far better than my experience with any other insurance company.

07-02-2012, 12:40 AM
Well then maybe it’s time for a switch. Take a look at the online home and auto insurance quotes from the AARP Hartford. We’ve been insured by them for about 14 years now and we’ve never had to worry about sudden premium increases. In fact, if you’re 50 or over you get some great discounts which make it all the more affordable.

02-10-2013, 10:42 AM
I also just received a letter requesting a home inspection. Thought stange myself as we have been with them for 30 years! This is on our rental property though of which we have had only say 10 years. Haven't had the inspection but do wonder why? Anything I should be alert for?

02-11-2013, 04:20 PM
I just got a letter over the weekend asking for an inspection. Have been with usaa over 25 years and never has this happened. how did yours go. should i ask anything or what were they looking for

Backporch Guy
02-11-2013, 05:17 PM
Insurance companies have the right to inspect the property they insure. Generally, an inside inspection is only done on higher end homes to verify the quality of construction, condition, and whether the amount of insurance requested is within 80% of the actual replacement cost. It will not increrase your premiums, unless they determine that the home is underinsured, at which pint they will probably request that you increase the coverage. Also, USAA may be required to do this because of reinsurance requirements.

02-11-2013, 05:32 PM
USAA is continuously rated the number one insurance company for a reason.

I agree, they have the right to take a look at what they insure, and frankly I'm glad they do. They have a responsibility to all the members to make sure their money is not being wasted.

Little known factoid - If you have an aftermarket supercharger or NOS system in your car and USAA finds out, they won't insure that car.

I'm not sure what that has to do with this thread, other than to speak of what they will and won't insure.

02-11-2013, 05:32 PM
We've had USAA for decades, and they've been stellar. Never heard of this.


09-06-2013, 10:17 AM
talked to them today Sept 2013 and they basically told me that they might cancel my insurance and I told them to go ahead, but no one was going to be inspecting my interior and the attic to determine my insurance. If I am underinsured, then that is my problem. Been with this company for decades and I am totally disappointed at their attitude toward long time, multi-insurance policy holders.

09-06-2013, 10:31 AM
Been a USAA member for 20 years but their home owners insurance was extremely expensive when compared to Liberty Mutual.

09-06-2013, 10:37 AM
Time to call State Farm.

09-06-2013, 10:58 AM
Been a USAA member for 20 years but their home owners insurance was extremely expensive when compared to Liberty Mutual.

I was going to say the same. My wife insists we keep them for insurance but I'm not sure the service is in line with the premium. Also I tried to do a mortgage with them, they must 3rd party it because the mortgage service was really poor, I ended up going with a regular bank.

09-06-2013, 11:33 AM
I've been with them more than 30 years, as was my father before me and now my kids. They are not the cheapest out there, but IMHO in most ways they are the best, particularly if you move around a lot (as so many military do).

The suggestion that they are doing something underhanded "to increase revenue" is a bit silly. They are a business, of course they are interested in their revenue. But they are also looking out for the customers. The inspection process for higher value homes is not unique to USAA, and has a very specific purpose. Once you get to a certain price point, there is a large variation (even within a given neighborhood sometimes) in terms of how houses are trimmed out, from basic to over the top. So simple square footage and neighborhood comps aren't always enough to accurately establish what the rebuild costs of a home are. Your neighbor might have formica and linoleum while you might have granite, hardwood, and all kinds of other upgrades.

My neighborhood is a perfect example. It's gated, but rustic, 2-5 acre lots, no curbs, more deer than people, etc. Some homes are very basic. Some are over the top luxe. One home has a $100k wine cell (really a room) added on. A house with the same square footage in my neighborhood can vary by a hundred thousand dollars or more in price depending on trimout. Likewise, the cost to rebuild that house can vary by that much. When I last built a home, USAA asked me a bunch of questions regarding trimout. When I moved into this neighborhood, they did one of those inspections to get a handle on how my house was constructed and trimmed out. They also had some advice about hazards regarding construction and on the property and such. I was happy to oblige them.

If your house is underinsured, you are not getting the same house when it burns down, despite what you may think. Sure, it increases their revenue if your premiums go up, but it also increases your protection. If your homeonwners policy indicates $250k to rebuild but it would really cost $350k because of lots of marble, granite, and Wolf applicances that USAA didn't know about, you are underinsured. You were saving on your premiums, but when your house burns down they are under no obligation to rebuild it exactly as it was, because you weren't insured for adequate value. You get what you pay for.

Part of the reason they do this is because folks can manipulate data to keep their premiums low, but then cry foul when the rebuild is not as nice. So after a certain price point, they want documentation of how the house is trimmed out. The attic inspection is to look at insulation and construction standards and also a quick check for electrical hazards or obvious code issues that would increase risk.

Although I've never asked, I have to wonder if USAA (or any company) would be willing to cap your reimbursement to lower your premiums. In other words, let you underinsure yourself. I know they do it with home contents so I have to wonder why they wouldn't do it with rebuild costs.

09-06-2013, 12:14 PM
Been a USAA member for 20 years but their home owners insurance was extremely expensive when compared to Liberty Mutual.

Timely thread...

Got a renewal notice yesterday.
Current provider wanted to increase my premium 12.5%.

Just now called Liberty Mutual.

Same coverage limits and deductibles @ 25.7% reduction from current providers quote.

Time for a move.

Adam A
09-06-2013, 12:35 PM
USAA is the last company on Earth I would think is out to screw me. There is just no way.

Boris Bubbanov
09-06-2013, 01:21 PM
Keep us up...let us know if they either raise your rates or make you fix stuff..To be honest I'd probably aprreciate finding if my house was not up to code... not a rate hike however...


I wouldn't treat the inspection as a 100% bad thing.

If the guy undervalues your house or demands repairs, get your own man and double check him. But remember, once you pass, if you do have a claim they'll be liable to pay you super fast.

And I've seen situations where frankly the homeowner had 300% of the right amount of coverage and that much excess was a waste of money unless it is a stated value policy or something. When you have a claim, you normally still have to make proof of your loss.

The other thing you could do is contact your state's Insurance Commission and try to read between the lines; see if USAA is trying to withdraw or curtail policies in your state or portions of your state. Seen many many companies trying to get out of states with bad pasts and terrible futures.

09-06-2013, 01:31 PM
We've been happy with USAA for a couple of decades. Outstanding service when we needed them (eg auto, homeowner policy/hurricane Fran, etc).

Haven't gotten an inspection notice (yet). I certainly wouldn't like it but I think I understand why they're doing it.

If some jackass blows up his (or his landlord's) house cooking crank, making the house unsalable without tens of thousands in hazmat cleanup & possibly injuring/killing others... what is USAA's liability? Liable or not, wouldn't the possibility that they would have to fight this more than a couple of times make this sort of inspection a cheaper way to deal with the problem?

09-06-2013, 01:42 PM
I suspect they want to know what they are insuring and their level of exposure.

We've had two of our homes inspected when applying for insurance, I wouldn't be so shocked about it unless there's something to hide.

09-06-2013, 05:26 PM
I work for a big insurance company. USAA, has for decades, only insured the "cream of the crop" customers. Now, they're also insuring your ordinary Americans. The ones who aren't always the most conscientious homeowners/drivers. Because of this, their losses are starting to mount. The only way to stem the tide of rising losses, is to mitigate risk before the losses happen. An inspection like they're proposing, is going to hurt the "Good Will" image they've worked hard to build. Now, they'll be "Big Brother".

09-06-2013, 09:36 PM
I just got homeowner's insurance through USAA and didn't have to have an inspection of any kind. Home value is less than $250K, though. When I was getting my mortgage USAA was awful, it seems like mortgages are not their strong suit at all. The reviews on their website confirm this. I ended up going with Wells Fargo.

09-07-2013, 08:05 PM
USAA is good/great for auto insurance. Not impressed with their homeowners insurance. It seems like a totally different operation. I had a nightmare claim experience and will never use them for homeowners insurance again.

09-11-2013, 07:43 PM
For us USAA has been the best in town. I think it is normal to have home inspection (http://www.yepmarket.com/average-homeowners-insurance-cost/) at a given time just to be sure or updated with something relevant to your policy. You just have to hope that the result isn't something that could make your rate increase though.