As a young man and a recent college graduate, I had a very unpleasant experience with an insurance company. It made me distrustful of the entire insurance industry. There was a war going on in Vietnam and most young military officers such as myself were stationed overseas, primarily in Asia. I didn’t own a car at that time but was looking forward to buying one upon my return to the states, when my overseas military duty was completed.
I knew I would be required to buy automobile insurance and I dreaded having to deal with another insurance company. It was at that time of my life that I learned of an insurance company named United Services Automobile Association. It was known as USAA. Several of my military officer friends raved about the company and the quality of service that USAA provided. I was convinced that this was going to be my new car insurance company when I returned to the United States. However, there was a problem. USAA would only provide insurance for “active duty” military officers. I knew that upon my return to the United States I was going to be discharged from the Army. I was then going to return to my home state of Florida and purchase a car. But when I purchased that car I would do so as a civilian as I would have already been discharged from being an “active duty” military officer. So how was I to overcome this dilemma? I solved this problem by writing a letter to USAA in San Antonio Texas, while still overseas as an “active duty” military officer. I sent USAA a personal check for $10 with all of my personal information (social security number, military officer ID number etc.) and asked to have an account opened in my name while I was still on active duty. They did as I requested. I now had an account with the insurance company USAA.
It has now been 51 years since I became a USAA customer. We have grown together over the past 51 years. USAA has provided policies for me, my wife, my children and my grandchildren. We have had as many as 16 active accounts and policies at the same time for:
Homeowners contents insurance
Wind (Hurricane) insurance
Umbrella insurance (Lawsuit coverage)
Home equity lines of credit
Over the years USAA expanded their client acceptance requirements and became more inclusive.
USAA policies for my family have been issued for:
Daughter in Law
Why do I tell you this story? I tell you this story because customer loyalty matters. It is the difference between success and failure. USAA has been successful because they were loyal to me and I was loyal to them. And we grew together.