USAA SafePilot Review (2022) | Usage-Based Auto Insurance

The USAA SafePilot program uses an app to monitor your driving habits and rewards you with a discount for driving safely. Learn about how SafePilot works and which habits are monitored to save the most on your USAA auto insurance.

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UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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Written By: Mathew B. SimsReviewed By: Daniel WalkerUPDATED: Jun 29, 2022Fact Checked

Things to Remember

  • Drivers get a 10% discount for signing up for USAA SafePilot and can save up to 30% for safe driving
  • The app monitors driving habits like speed, distracted driving, and hard braking
  • USAA only offers coverage to members of the military, veterans, and their families

With USAA SafePilot, you can save up to 30% on your auto insurance. However, savings depends on how safely you drive. The SafePilot app tracks multiple safe driving behaviors and offers a discount based on how well you score.

Although USAA won’t raise rates if you score poorly, you may lose other discounts, which may cause your rates to increase.

More: Does GEICO offer GAP insurance?

Remember that USAA only provides insurance to military members, veterans, and their families. In addition, SafePilot isn’t available in all states.

Most auto insurance companies offer similar telematics programs along with military discounts. So, be sure to compare multiple companies to find the best fit for you.

Keep reading to learn more about USAA SafePilot and other ways to save on USAA auto insurance.

What is USAA SafePilot?

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Auto insurance companies are very concerned with how safely you drive since safe drivers are in fewer accidents. So, they offer incentives to increase good driving habits.

USAA SafePilot is one program that allows drivers to lower their auto insurance rates simply by practicing safe driving skills. Drivers with the best driving save up to 30%, with an additional 10% discount for signing up.

This usage-based car insurance program allows you to control how much of a discount you get. The better you drive, the higher the discount. And, USAA won’t raise your rates if you score poorly.

More: American Auto Insurance Review

In addition, your discount can change when your policy renews. So, if you didn’t score well the first time, you can always improve to get a better discount.

If you have USAA auto insurance, SafePilot is available to all drivers on your policy. However, not everyone has to participate. Also, keep in mind that their scores can affect your discount if your family members participate.

SafePilot is only available in 37 states, even though USAA auto insurance is available in all 50 states.

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How does SafePilot work?

More: Insurify Auto Insurance Review [2022 Rate Quotes]

SafePilot monitors specific driving behaviors through an app downloaded to your smartphone. This app runs in the background all of the time, so you don’t have to turn it on for each drive.

Let USAA know you want to participate and download the app to get started. The app tracks your drives and behaviors during the drive to issue a score. This score determines your discount.

The first 14 days are considered a trial. The app doesn’t count your habits against you during the trial and offers safe driving tips to help you improve your score. If you don’t like the app or don’t think you’ll save enough, you can cancel. However, you do lose that 10% sign-up discount.

More: Safeco RightTrack Review (2022)

While the app is free and your rates don’t increase if you score poorly, there are some downsides. 

First, the app does track you constantly. Although USAA says it doesn’t sell your data, there are some privacy concerns.

Next, your battery and data usage can be a problem. Since the app runs continuously, it can drain your battery and use significant data. 

More: Metromile Auto Insurance Review

Finally, although USAA doesn’t raise rates because of your score, your rates can still increase. For example, you can lose your discount if you currently get a low-mileage discount, but the app records high mileage. Then, your rates go up.

The SafePilot app also has mixed reviews. While it scores a 4.0 in the Google Play Store and a 4.3 in the Apple App Store, there are some complaints about how well the app works. In addition, users complain that the app doesn’t tell the driver from a passenger very well.

What driving behaviors does USAA SafePilot monitor?

Auto insurance companies know that certain behaviors are more likely to lead to accidents. So drawing attention to those behaviors lets drivers make conscious decisions to be safer drivers.

Habits USAA SafePilot tracks include the following:

  • Location. Driving in high traffic areas leads to more accidents.
  • Time of day. More accidents occur late at night and early in the morning. Additionally, rush hour driving leads to more accidents.
  • Phone usage. This includes handheld and hands-free calling, texting, and interacting with your phone in any way.
  • Mileage. More miles on the road equals a greater chance of being in an accident.
  • Hard braking. Hitting your brakes hard indicates aggressive driving or a lack of attention.
  • If you are the driver or passenger. The app tries to differentiate between drivers and passengers so you won’t lose points if you’re riding with someone else.

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USAA SafePilot also monitors other behaviors that don’t affect your score, such as speeding, fast acceleration, and swerving.

While other telematics programs don’t monitor phone usage, SafePilot does. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. However, if you tend to pick up your phone or make calls while driving, SafePilot isn’t for you.

Not only can SafePilot save you money, but it also keeps you safer.

The goal of SafePilot is to encourage safer driving and avoid accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 100 people died each day from car accidents in 2020. 

Telematics like SafePilot are a great way to teach safe driving habits to teen drivers. Since the app monitors driving skills, you can see if your teen engages in risky behaviors, like phone usage or speeding.

What are other ways to save with USAA?

Auto insurance discounts are an easy way to lower your rates. Companies offer discounts based on the driver, policy, and vehicle, so most drivers qualify for multiple discounts.

Whether or not SafePilot is suitable for you, other USAA discounts can save you money. 

If you score well with SafePilot, you may also be eligible for other savings, such as safe driver, low mileage, and claims-free discounts. Don’t worry if your score isn’t great. There are many other discounts available.

This table shows available USAA discounts. If the savings amount is known, it’s included.

USAA Auto Insurance Discounts
Auto Insurance DiscountsUSAA (%)
Anti-lock Brakesx
Anti-Theftx
Claim Free12
Daytime Running Lightsx
Defensive Driver3
Distant Studentx
Driver's Ed3
Driving Device/App5
Early Signing12
Family Legacy10
Garaging/Storing90
Good Student3
Low Mileagex
Loyaltyx
Marriedx
Militaryx
Military Garaging15
Multiple Policiesx
Multiple Vehiclesx
Newer Vehicle12
Occasional Operatorx
Paperless/Auto Billing3
Passive Restraintx
Safe Driver12
Senior Driverx
Vehicle Recoveryx
VIN Etchingx
Young Driver$75
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USAA allows you to bundle discounts as well. If you combine the SafePilot discount with other eligible discounts, your savings will be significant.

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Is USAA SafePilot worth it?

USAA SafePilot offers up to a 30% discount, depending on your driving habits. Safe drivers save the most, but scoring poorly won’t raise your rates. Additionally, you get a 10% discount for signing up.

USAA recalculates your discount at each renewal, so your discount can vary for each term. Although you can score better each time, your score can also drop, which reduces your discount.

SafePilot is a good fit for drivers who don’t use their phones while driving, don’t drive during certain times, and who keep their mileage low. However, if you drive more than reported, you can lose your low-mileage discount.

Many car insurance companies offer telematics programs like SafePilot, but each one monitors different behaviors. For example, many don’t monitor distracted driving, but USAA does. 

Keep in mind that USAA only provides coverage to military members, veterans, and their families. Also, SafePilot is only available in 37 states.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Written by Mathew B. Sims
Editor-in-Chief Mathew B. Sims

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

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