Tuesday, August 25, 2009

USAA cancels insurance due to spousal incarceration

A reader sent me this account via email and I thought it was worth sharing (excerpted to protect the writer's identity):
I don't know if you are familiar with USAA. It was originally the United States Army Automobile Association. It is now both an insurance and banking operation that is headquartered in San Antonio. They serve primarily the military and military veterans. My father was a career Naval officer and 40 year member of USAA. His membership qualified me as a member. I've been a member of USAA for nearly 13 years. I have nearly $50,000 in various bank and investment accounts with them. I have two credit cards with them, I have a mortgage with them. I have a car loan. I have previously paid off a mortgage to them, and numerous car loans. (I have very good credit, I'm no risk to them). Anyways, you have be member to be insured by them, etc.

Last week, I logged on to my accounts and decided to update my profile and add my wife. Just added her as a family member (spouse). This caused USAA to contact me (electronically) about updating my auto policies (I have two cars insured with them). I replied that my wife didn't currently reside with me and that she didn't even have a driver's license so they I couldn't add her to my auto policies if I wanted to. USAA then replied that they needed to know why she didn't have a driver's license (was it suspended, revoked, etc.) This kind of irked me, but I went ahead and replied that, although it was none of their business, she was, in fact, currently incarcerated.

I received the following message from USAA this afternoon:

Dear Mr. [Name deleted],

We appreciate your honesty in the matter. USAA has made a business decision not to offer or continue any property and casualty products for individuals with criminal activity, a felony conviction, or previous incarceration. We are of the opinion that this is demonstrative of behavior and judgment characteristics that present an increased and unacceptable risk of loss insured under our policies.

We will review your Automobile and Homeowner's policies as they come up for renewal.

Thank you,
Jeff Tryk

I called USAA to inquire exactly what "We will review our Automobile and Homeowner's policies as they come up for renewal." meant. I was that it meant that USAA would not renew my policies. Even though my wife did not live with me, or that I had asked them for any coverage for her, because she was now a "member of my household," they now longer wanted my business. Mind you now, they have a lien on one car, and hold my mortgage. They'll finance me, but won't insure the very property they've financed.

Needless to say, I was livid. ...

Here is a case of not only punishing someone for their crime they've already served their time for, now they are punishing me for falling in love with her. How is anyone who has ever been in prison, Texas or anywhere else, supposed to succeed in this world with policies like this confronting them?

I understand that a company has the right to set their own policies and procedures. But these policies just perpetuate failure for parolees. ...

Basically I think this policy sucks. For me and for my wife and anyone else to have something like this happen to them.
That's a pretty low blow, especially for a company that services veterans and their families. More than a few vets later have scrapes with the law, the Washington Post reported recently. Once they've paid their debt to society, though, it's counterproductive to shun them from routine, productive commerce.

I try to pretty much stay away from the national healthcare debate but I agree with Barack Obama on one thing - you really can't trust an insurance company to do the right thing.


Bay Area Houston said...

And I thought I was the only one they were screwing. Welcome to USAA.

Anonymous said...

That's a pretty low blow, especially for a company that services veterans and their families

This story left me with a real sick feeling. Here we have an insurance company which is doing the right thing, trying to serve its shareholders and boost its profits. And according to Grits "an insurance company can't be trusted to do the right thing." Wow!

I'm not sure where Grits gets this hostility towards the insurance industry. Insurance industries exist to mitigate risk. They have always served this purpose beautifully, since the first pure insurance contracts were sold in Genoa 700 years ago.

Unlike the military or national healthcare, they don't depend on government subsidies. They are not opressive or parasitic. Why be afraid of freedom?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

8:42, that's satire, right?

Anonymous said...

I talked to my former ins agent when I was thinking about changing back to his company and was up front that a member of the household was a current inmate. He was very helpful as he has always been. He said best to stay where I was and keep the inmate on the policy as if nothing had changed, because he wouldn't be able to insure us. Please forgive me for staying anonymous. Scary!

ckikerintulia said...

Okay, these guys (and gals) getting out on parole can't get insurance. (They can get DLs, I helped one with that). So to get to work if they can get it they drive w/o insurance and get stuck in the Driver Responsibility program. Maybe we need national automobile insurance as well as national health care insurance. No, Grits, I'm not kidding. There are worse things than a little socialism in some areas.

TxBluesMan said...

Minor correction: the original and current name is United Services Automobile Association, not United States Army Automobile Association.

I don't have a problem with USAA's action. Their purpose is not to be a social welfare agency, their duty is to its members. Unlike most insurance companies, the members of USAA pool their money together to insure the other members. When the company does well, these same members receive a dividend check representing their portion of the excess funds. When the company makes bad decisions and losses go up, the rates for the members go up.

USAA has consistently received the highest rating possible from AM Best, Moodys, and Standard & Poor; and is the only financial services company to receive the JD Powers Chairman's Award.

If I were choosing whom to insure (which in effect, by being a USAA member, I am), I would not insure criminals due to the risk involved.

If you and a bunch of your buddies want to form your own inter-insurance exchange, just like the founders of USAA did, you can. Remember, USAA is not an evil business corporation like the other insurance companies. There are no shareholders. The members insure each other. If you and your friends want to self-insure criminals, go for it. Don't get too upset if we don't want to risk our money to do so.

As for me, I'll stick with USAA.

Anonymous said...

"This story left me with a real sick feeling. Here we have an insurance company which is doing the right thing, trying to serve its shareholders and boost its profits. And according to Grits "an insurance company can't be trusted to do the right thing." Wow!"

“Wow!” Is right!!!
How exactly is this insurance company “doing the right thing” by excluding people who possibly are not guilty, but victims of our illustrious judicial system (please note the sarcasm on that description)??? And even if they ARE actually guilty, who says they will screw over their insurance company??? If Billy Bob Smith is in prison on drug charges (possession of less than a gram, say) does that mean when he gets out he is going directly to insurance fraud???
Let’s do a survey… Let’s see how many people on those reality, video “you are SOOO busted” shows-the ones commiting insurance fraud-have been to prison beforehand. If I were a betting girl, which I happen to be, I would bet that the percentage of those idiots who commit fraud who have actually been incarcerated is nil to none. Now I could be completely wrong about this – I haven’t done any research. But it seems as though most of those who commit this type of crime are the upper crust; the rich trying to get richer.
So, I will close by saying your comment leaves me with a VERY sick feeling!! Its people like you (ignorant maybe?) who help facilitate recidivism with your narrow minded views of ex-offenders.
Have a nice day.

TxBluesMan said...

Anon 10:59,

by excluding people who possibly are not guilty

Except in the case that was cited, she wasn't possibly "not guilty." She was incarcerated for and presumably convicted by a jury of her peers.

Again, as I said to Grits, if you and your buddies want to insure criminals (of any type, not just insurance fraud), go for it. Set up your own inter-insurance exchange and y'all can insure them. We (the members of USAA) don't want to take that risk, and it's our company.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Bluesy, this guy was a member of USAA, too, and he got dumped when he posed no financial "risk" to his fellow members. Your comments are just a provocation, not a reality-based argument.

Charlie O said...


I'm the guy who wrote Grits.

Did you READ and COMPREHEND the entire post?

I'm a 13 year member of USAA. I am also a US Navy veteran as was my father. I haven't been convicted of ANY crime. I've been a good and loyal customer. I haven't filed a single claim with USAA. I have a nearly 800 FICO score and other than my mortgage (held by USAA), no debt. All I did was marry someone who is incarcerated.

I didn't ask for any insurance coverages for my wife. The notified of me of non renewal ONLY because she is my wife. (Obviously she can't currently drive, she doesn't live in my house). I find USAA's actions downright INSULTING to me. I find USAA's policy to be morally corrupt. If you support, then you are just as morally corrupt.

And for your edification, the organization started as the United States Army Automobile Association. It was changed to United Services in 1924.

Anonymous said...

Wow,TxBluesMan, your comment really has increased my heart rate(no kidding). The idea 'once a criminal, always a criminal' is full of ignorance and arrogance. Past offenders are not second class citizens. We all are human, and all make mistakes. Yes, some mistakes may be unlawful, and these people are either incarcerated or serve some sort of community supervision,etc, according to the nature of the offense, severity,etc. They pay their debt to society, but most still suffer countless discriminations after this fact. This also occurs for ANYONE with a past offense, whether or not a formal conviction occurred. It is time for all the judgemental attitude and self righteousness to end. Did it ever occur that many people are truly remorseful for any past offense they may have? After serving their punishment, they remain law abiding and contributing citizens, and change their ways of the past. Continuing discriminations prevent people from reaching their full potential and contribute to society in a productive manner. If past offenders are denied respectable employment, inability to obtain an occupational license(of which countless professions require), denied housing and insurance,etc., they are serving their punishment for the rest of their lives. That leaves little hope for anyone, and it does nothing to benefit society in general.

Anonymous said...

Someone in my family got a DUI and USAA raised their insurance rate to $10,000 per year.

TxBluesMan said...


According to the letter you posted, the guys membership was based on his father's service, not his own service ("My father was a career Naval officer and 40 year member of USAA. His membership qualified me as a member.). As such, he was not a Member, but an Associate Member, and was covered by a subsidiary of USAA, not USAA itself. The subsidiary is an insurance company under Delaware law, but is operated for the benefit of the full Members of USAA, which is an inter-insurance exchange under Texas law.

Criminal behavior or associating with criminals does in fact show an increased risk and a lack of judgment, one that USAA chooses not to assume. USAA is not a social club that wants to sing Kumbaya under the palm trees...

Charlie O,

Is your membership based on your father's service or yours? It makes a difference, as noted above. If you are an Associate Member, then you have no say in the running of the company. I do, and help to elect the directors. They are doing what I, and a majority of the full Members want them to do.

No one said that you had bad credit, were likely to default on loans, etc. You did however marry someone that is incarcerated. That shows poor judgment on your part and an increased risk. USAA doesn't want to assume that risk. If you find it morally corrupt, so be it. It really doesn't matter, your policies will still be canceled.

What is your wife in jail for?

You were also correct about the name, my apologies.

Anon 11:32 said:

They pay their debt to society, but most still suffer countless discriminations after this fact.

Being a convicted criminal is not a protected class, and it is legal to discriminate against those individuals based on their past criminal conduct. And you are correct, once you have been convicted, you will remain a convicted criminal unless you receive a pardon.

I know of many people, including myself, that have never been convicted of a criminal offense. The fact that you apparently have (from the we statement) doesn't require me to treat you as a law-abiding citizen, since you have indicated that you are not.

TxBluesMan said...

Anon 12:06 said:
Someone in my family got a DUI and USAA raised their insurance rate to $10,000 per year.

Gee, that sounds low... maybe we should get it raised...

Charlie O said...

You did however marry someone that is incarcerated. That shows poor judgment on your part and an increased risk..

I don't normally result to name calling, but based on that comment, you're a scumbag.

diana claitor said...

TX Man is one of the typical type A for arrogant types
who show up to spout their intolerance any time the rest of us try to talk intelligently about the challenges facing the ex-offender and the many who are incarcerated due more to our messed up justice system than their own behavior.
I am grateful to the original writer; I always had a suspicion I'd not like much about USAA if I looked beyond the statement I get. THANKS to him and tell his wife we are rooting for her when she gets out.

Helga Dill said...

Thanks Diana, well said ! My husband served this country for 20 years including 2 tours in Viet Nam that left him with PTSD that contributed to getting him railroaded into TDCJ. I was by his side for those 20 years and served this country by teaching service children and training Helicopter pilots. That too is a service to this country. We were members of USAA for 25+ years and contributed much. So why was MY insurance cancelled when my husband was incarcerated ? Should I have divorced my husband to keep the insurance? There is some serious discrimination here!

Anonymous said...

Wow. This scares me. I have been a USAA member from the time I earned my butter bar in 1988. My husband paroled in 2008 and I added him to the insurance policy. I, however, have never been arrested and the most serious offense I have is speeding! I guess it fell into that don't ask, don't tell and I sure won't be telling now! I have our house and auto insured through them. I don't know what I'll do if they decide to cancel.

TxBluesMan said...

Charley O said:
I don't normally result to name calling, but based on that comment, you're a scumbag.

Perhaps, but I'm still insured, and my wife is not in prison...

Anonymous said...


Thanks for sticking up for capitalism.

Grits, I'm still deeply dissapointed in your post.

Charlie O said...

Anon. 2:17.

Just don't tell. It's not any kind of fraud if they've never asked. I made the mistake of volunteering the information. So much for being honest. I'm not convinced that lying to corporate America is your best foot forward.

I'm still insured. They just won't renew. I refuse to give them the pleasure. I will have new policies for my home and automobiles by the end of the week.

They have also lost me as a banking customer. I will it take a few months to finalize, but I will be closing a checking account, two savings accounts, three certificates of deposit. I'm transferring my IRA to my local credit union, they have also agreed to assume my car loan with USAA. I'm looking for someone to take my USAA mortgage as well.

There are consequences for corporations having such reprehensible policies as well. Trust me, I won't be stopping with GritsforBreakfast in passing the word about USAA. I work for a HUGE defense company who employs many ex-military, I don't know that I'll have any impact, but I'm respected by my colleagues and company, I'll certainly make them re-consider how much trust to put in USAA.

Above all, DO NOT TRUST USAA in any way, shape or form. I have been a VERY loyal customer for a lot of years. I have paid four car loans to them, one mortgage and never made an insurance claim. For USAA, or TxBlues to declare me irresponsible for marrying someone that I love, is beyond ludicrous and disgusting.

TxBluesMan said...


OK, you don't like USAA, and feel mistreated because you married someone who is now in prison.

Somehow I don't think that USAA will care. I would lay odds that 99% of the officers and NCOs that make up the membership haven't had to deal with that situation since they have better sense than to marry a crook. And since USAA isn't a corporation, but is run by full members who actually own the company, it doesn't seem like your social welfare view is going to catch on there anytime soon.

What did your wife do to end up behind bars?

Anonymous said...

TxBluesMan, you are one very unhappy individual. You seem to lack common sense and reasoning ability, and appear to enjoy insulting others and being very confrontational. You seem to enjoy attacking everyone's intelligent posts. I truly hope you find inner peace- it is possible! Here's a brilliant creed for living one's life. I'm certain you've heard it somewhere...'Do unto others as you wish it be done unto you', or 'treat others as you want to be treated'. Perhaps if you adopt this philosophy, you will enjoy the fruits of your actions- a peaceful and joyful life. I wish to add, it really is none of your business what offense Charlie's wife has committed to incur incarceration. And, furthermore- no, I have never been convicted of any crime, but wish to extend grace those who are past 'convicted' individuals. Geez, with friends like you, who needs enemies??! But seriously, I encourage you to do some serious soul searching, and become the person you were meant to be, not this hostile, confrontational bully. Take care.

Lynn said...

Don't worry, Charlie O. Bluesey is just one of those people whose world is entirely defined by his own experiences. In other words, if it hasn't happend to him personally, it does not compute with his brain and it hurts him to try and understand or empathize so he chooses not to do so. It's much easier that way, I'll admit. And further, he believes that things he has not experienced could never and will never happen to him. It's much easier to view the world in black and white terms and put things in their nice little boxes: good vs. evil, and there is no room in between. Understanding the gray areas of our world takes a lot of effort and a dedication to seeking out and understanding reality, even if it conflicts with what you expected to find. In other words, you have to be mature and in doing so, you may likely become a little wise in the process. And if you read his past posts, Bluesy doesn't appear to have reached that point yet. So don't fret about him.

PirateFriedman said...

Look, Charlie tends to overreact and be belligerent. His first post was typical:

Did you READ and COMPREHEND the entire post?

So Blues got a little tacky, called Charlie's decision to marry his wife bad judgment.

The reality is its quite reasonable to think that those who associate with criminals are at an increased risk. And even if it wasn't reasonable, that's why we have the capitalist system. If Charlie really is a worthwhile client as far as insurance goes, he will eventually get another company to insure him. (Which in fact he did)

Charlie O said...

I keep telling my self I'm giving this thread up. But I keep coming back. It's like watching a train wreck.

Pirate, what you and TxBlues fail to grasp is the betrayal of USAA. I know, to you guys its just business. That's what'a wrong with you conservatives and capitalists, its all business. None of you have any humanity.

I realize loyalty has no meaning to the likes of you but I come from a subculture where loyalty is everything. The crux of my complaint is that after 13 to 14 years of loyalty to this company, I'm tossed aside and insulted by some corporate peon in Phoenix. USAA has been my only source for banking and insurances for over a decade. My mother is a member as was my father for 40 plus years. I have publicly bragged on this company. Whenever I needed a car loan or a mortgage, I never even shopped around, I just picked up the phone and called USAA.

Because loyalty is important to me, I am more than loyal to my wife. I won't sit idly by and let some POS tell me that she is "a bad judgement." If he had said it in person, he'd have been using whatever health coverage he has in short order.

My people have a saying. "Friends will help you move, real friends will help you move a body." That's loyalty.

Poor and Angry said...

Criminally convicted or not, if you get into an accident or there is a fire at your home, the situation will be investigated, and if you were engaged in criminal activity at the time, then you will be denied benefits. I don't see any reason why someone who has been convicted can be denied coverage.

Here's a thought: maybe the company doesn't want to go through the hassle and spending that goes along with an investigation? That is an aside, but it just came to me.

So many people have been convicted for crimes in Texas, they should be able to vote out the ability to regulate policy this way. Grits! Petition! heh.

TxBluesMan, you should at least change your name to TxAllICareAboutIsMoneyMan - take the guesswork out of it... just because you like Stevie Ray doesn't mean you have a concept of the Blues.

Unknown said...

Whoa........this has been a very interesting article and comments. As a former employee and current member of USAA, I am very disappointed in the company. I doubt very seriously that every single member has never made a decision in their lifetime that they now regret and wish they would have used better judgment.

For the ones with the 'better than thou' attitude: The last time I checked it was level at the cross. Your years of service, being a member of USAA for decades, and not having any association with those who have violated the law does NOT make you a better person than one sitting inside a TDCJ unit. For one to have an arrogant attitude and believe he is better than the next person is only fooling himself.

'When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.'---I don't recall Paul specifying an age, but moreso thinking on an intellectual and maturity basis.

TxBluesMan, I think you should speak for yourself as to whom you prefer that you would rather not insure. With more than 1 in every 100 Americans incarcerated, I feel safe to say that Charlie O is not the only (former) member who has a loved one locked up. Also be quick to remember that every person is only a few steps away from being on the wrong side of the law; it doesn't have to be a gradual process.

With Paul being one of my favorite authors, I am going to close with this: 'Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.' Just because the majority (society) feels as if it is okay or the norm to ostracize offenders doesn't make it the right and moral thing to do. Taking precautions are necessary, but to condemn an entire population because they share one characteristic or attribute, is very simple minded.

Until next time, love others as you love yourself.

Anonymous said...

I tried to bring this to your attention about a year ago when I was approached for the umteenth time by USAA insurance sales pitch. I finally thought ...Why not? So as I was answering the question...what does my husband do?I related that my husband was incarcerated. It didn't matter that he had a perfect driving record prior to incarceration and used to drive the generals in the airforce. That he is a non-violent human being who made a mistake and his lawyer was totally on a different page from the prosector. That he has all kinds of prison good time that counts for nothing in Texas and is basically a good driver. No they dropped me like a hot potatoe because he is a "risk". They lost out because I know he is an excellent driver. Another company will benefit from our insurance dollars. Sandra

TxBluesMan said...

Pirate Rothbard,

Well said.


What was your wive sent up the river for? Perhaps, if it were something relatively minor, I would agree with you - but since you don't answer, it would appear to be a felony or crime of moral turpitude. In the later case, marrying her would in fact, show poor judgment.

Poor and Angry said:
I don't see any reason why someone who has been convicted can be denied coverage.

It is because of the increased risk - convicts have already shown a lack of judgment (in violating the law) and USAA is not required by any law to offer insurance to persons who have exhibited criminal behavior in the past. A person may in fact discriminate against people who have been convicted of a crime. You don't have to employ them, you don't have to rent to them, and you don't have to sell insurance to them.


Quoting Paul, referring to the cross, or quoting the Bible doesn't do anything for me.

Whatever one of those (Paul) that created a revealed religion wrote has no bearing on whether Charlie O. used bad judgment or not. The facts speak for themselves - he married someone who was convicted of a crime, and USAA does not want to assume the risk that is inherent with that bad judgment. USAA is not a social welfare company or a church, it is a business. Their actions were appropriate.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Bluesy, USAA didn't ask Charlie what she was in for so it hardly matters. It wasn't part of their thinking at all and it's just a red herring to bring it up here.

TxBluesMan said...


Assuming arguendo that USAA did not care what criminal acts were committed by Charlies' wife, it is really a moot point.

There is no law, no statute, no constitutional right for convicts, or those that show poor judgment by marrying them, to be insured.

If he doesn't like it, he can lobby to have a law enacted.

Most people don't really care whether USAA refuses to do business with convicts or their spouses. Most full USAA members support the decision - and it is our company.

dirty harry said...

Good grief! I didn't know we had so many fascist and socialist thinking people living in Texas. I'm sure Charlie O thinks his wife is the most wonderful person in the world. After all, he married her. And, I say more power to him. However, USAA is in no way obligated to feel the same way. It's still America the last time I checked. And, at least this week, you can still go buy your insurance somewhere else. However, there should still be brass rings to grab for those of us who did our homework, made the hard choices, and walked the straight path. USAA happens to be one of them.

Sorry, but you don't have a "right" to USAA services. They can drop you tomorrow just like you can drop them. It's a two way street. However, being eligible to qualify for USAA insurance and financial services is worth living up to their expectations. If you don't think so, there are reams of other insurance and investment companies out there to do business with. I hear AIG and Capital One aren't too particular. But, after what I went through fighting them off of my disabled mother-in-laws' coin purse, I reccommend you don't turn your back to them.

Poor and Angry said...

Gotcha... I understand that the "risk" that the victims of the penal system pose to this company. I see that the company resides in the upper echelons of business, and that they are not "evil" (smh).

I personally think that the more people are mistreated, the more chance there is for an upheaval and reform. Seems like there are more and more companies that are rewarding the squirrels that eat from Master's Hand.

I suppose the argument cannot be settled by talking, so I will continue to plot.

strawberry6977 said...

That is just wrong on so many levels!! Especially since he was a long-standing customer. Not only is USAA losing money on a good customer, but he was ALREADY a customer (not a new customer) when he informed USAA that his wife was currently incarcerated.

At the very least they could've just said "I'm sorry, but we cannot add your spouse to the policy because if his/her incarceration."...and then still allowed him to keep his policies! Grr, welcome to the cut-throat world of insurance companies!!

strawberry6977 said...

TxBluesMan -
There really is no need to be arrogant and have a "Better Than Thou" attitude. Those that typically dish out negativity from their "high horse" end up having something come into their own lives that knock them off their "high horse", sooner or later. You nor your own wife are perfect people...far from it. Bad judgment and mistakes happen all the time to everyone. The main thing that matters if they pay their debt to society (if we're talking about breaking the law) and they CHANGE for the better because of it (learn from their mistake). You can certainly put in your 2cents towards the topic, but you don't have to cut the poor man down because of his life (and spousal) choices...that has nothing to do with the facts of the article.

dirty harry said...

On 8/30/2009 03:11:00 AM Poor and Angry said...
"Gotcha... I understand that the "risk" that the victims of the penal system pose to this company."

Oh? So, if you are convicted of a crime in this state, you're a victim? Wow! And all this time I thought law-abiding citizens were the victims, and criminals were the predators. Thanks for straightening me out on this.

Angry then said..
"I see that the company resides in the upper echelons of business, and that they are not "evil" (smh)."

No, but they are successful. I would imagine they accomplished this by not making too many stupid decisions, and wasting their members/stockholders money.

Angry then said..
"I personally think that the more people are mistreated, the more chance there is for an upheaval and reform."

We don't need any "upheaval and reform." We have competition. It does a much better job than anything else of keeping quality high and prices down.

Angry then said..
"Seems like there are more and more companies that are rewarding the squirrels that eat from Master's Hand."

So, you think people should be rewarded for NOT obeying the rules and qualifications?

Angry then said..
"I suppose the argument cannot be settled by talking, so I will continue to plot."

There's no argument here that makes any sense. You have a company that does business in the state of Texas. Just like every other insurance company that does business in this state, they offer insurance services to those that meet their qualifications. For those that do, they offer insurance that is better than most others. Certainly, it's better than any other I personally have found.

dirty harry said...

On 8/30/2009 02:01:00 PM strawberry6977 said...
"That is just wrong on so many levels!! Especially since he was a long-standing customer."

How so? Do you throw in an extra $100 everytime you pay your insurance bill? After all, your company needs to have some kind of extra reward for being a long-standing company, don't they?

strawberry6977 then said...
"Not only is USAA losing money on a good customer, but he was ALREADY a customer (not a new customer) when he informed USAA that his wife was currently incarcerated."

Evidently, they didn't see it that way, and they are the ones at risk.

strawberry6977 then said...
"At the very least they could've just said "I'm sorry, but we cannot add your spouse to the policy because if his/her incarceration."...and then still allowed him to keep his policies! Grr, welcome to the cut-throat world of insurance companies!!"

And if they did, what guarrantee would they have that Charlie O's wife would not influence his decision-making when is comes to getting behind the wheel?

Charlie O said...

"And if they did, what guarrantee would they have that Charlie O's wife would not influence his decision-making when is comes to getting behind the wheel?"

Surely, you can't be effing serious? To steal from Barney Frank, "what planet do you spend most of your time on?" I'm over 50 years old, not a teenager.

Update. I've been in contact with the PA Insurance Commission. It seems I've been lied to by this oh so successful company's underwriter who told me that PA law allowed them to do this. It's seems this is very much of line according to PA law. They can only make such a move if the policies were less than 60 days old and in the case of auto policies, my wife's incarceration can only be a factor if her crime involved a motor vehicle.

I've tried for four days now to speak to USAA management. Those cowards are refusing to return my calls. I've been assured by customer service that I'd be contacted with a few hours twice now, but so far, I've heard from no one. No response to messaged posted to them through my account login. As I stated, it seems USAA is managed by cowards.

This leaves me no choice by follow through with the the PA Insurance Commission. I'll let them sort it out. I know this will probably astound those with the attitude that the almighty dollar trumps all and tough shit Charlie, but it seems that if USAA wants to do business in PA, they have to actually follow the laws of PA. Kind of like what they've been saying about my wife and law in Texas.

Thanks to all who've been supportive.

dirty harry said...

Charlie O said...
"Surely, you can't be effing serious? To steal from Barney Frank, "what planet do you spend most of your time on?" I'm over 50 years old, not a teenager."

Then, you should certainly be aware of the influence spouses can have upon each other. However, I would have thought that you would at least raise yourself above the likes of Barney Frank, and deal with a documented issue, instead of running from it.

Poor and Angry said...

Good work, my man. I hope that PA finds them guilty, and I hope that they face repercussion. Somehow, I doubt it - but I hope.

Harry says "we don't need 'upheaval and reform'", but WE don't need an elite class that gets to decide who has a lack of judgement and character based on some automated system with no interview or appeals process. The high quality and low prices he speaks of are things that the coddled get and we see none of. Upheaval and reform would threaten your way of life, just like criminalization of extremely hyperbolic situations is a threat to the less fortunate (the victims, if you will).

Harry, I never said that I think that people should be rewarded for NOT obeying rules and regulations - it's not a black and white issue. The metaphor actually had a deeper connotation...the squirrel that plays cutesy (you) in front of Master (corporations/government) gets the nuts right out of the bag (more metaphor), while the ragtag, untrusting squirrel (us) gets to risk life and limb finding suitable forage.

Most people do not want to live this way, studies show, but they have no choice because they have no decision in making policy. Apparently PA has its own policy, and I hope that this insurance gets the slap that it deserves. It may turn out that they have no jurisdiction, or that they have nothing to do with HQ in San Antonio. I would not be surprised to see some last-minute revisions implemented to save their proverbial asses - another luxury that the poor cannot afford. If there is a reversal of decision, then you will have to examine your own moral standing at that point, because it would be very "socialist" (which America already is to begin with).

Harry, TxAllICareAboutIsMoneyMan, you have both been convicted for heartlessness and questionable demeanor toward your fellow Man. Your views pose a risk to our success, peace, and way of life. Your coverage has hereby been suspended, and we will review your Life and Soul policies as they come up for renewal.

Unknown said...

TX Blues Man, the only implications that I tried to make towards you were: 1) speak for yourself, and not entire company, and 2) I am sure your position will change will you have a loved one make a decision that puts their freedom in jeopardy.

No one knows what Charlie's wife was convicted of and doesn't know the details behind the decision(s) she made. For you to call his judgment 'poor' and assume (for you to assume, you make an ass out of you and me) that just because he is married to an offender that he is now going to break the law is absurd. I am pretty confident to say that his actions and behavior will have this woman see that the criminal activity she once participated in, isn't worth losing him.

USAA doesn't know if a vehicle was used as an instrument for her to break the law. There are millions of things she could be locked up for and for the company to make the assumption that her husband is going to use the vehicle to participate in criminal behaviors is crazy. Other factors need to be taken into account when a (clearly prejudiced) decision like that one is made.

PirateFriedman said...

Poor and Angry said:
WE don't need... uh oh, I can tell this isn't going well.

an elite class All societies have elites.

that gets to decide who has a lack of judgement and character USAA has no intention of deciding this. That's a job for God or philosophers or religion.

based on some automated system with no interview or appeals process Though you have to admit an automated system isn't so bad. I would hate to be ruled by a group of bureaucrats who were Poor and Angry.

Hugh McBryde said...

Mark and I have the same insurance company?

I feel like I'm being watched.

Anonymous said...

Charlie O, you said you would not stop at gritsforbreakfast in voicing your displeasure. Check out indeed.com. Enter USAA, then click on forums, then click on What's the corporate culture (i think that is what it is called), and HAVE AT IT ! YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS THERE ... 99% OF THEM FROM EMPLOYEES !!!!!

Also, I have NO DOUBT that TxBluesMan is a USAA manager; no doubt at all

Anonymous said...

Yes even the almighty USAA has to follow each of the State's rules if they choose to write insurance in that state. They can't just DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO. I hope they did violate PA state law and get fined but even if they do it will be a drop in the bucket to that company. The only cases you ever hear about are the multi-million dollar bad faith cases and even those you have to go out of your way to find information on those, it seems

Anonymous said...

Just came across this...I honestly don't understand the kerfuffle. From what I can tell, the original poster chose to marry someone who was incarcerated at the time of marriage.

It seems to me that marrying someone who is in jail is not exactly the most conservative thing to do. People who do risky things end up paying higher rates or sometimes having their coverages canceled. It just happens. I myself tend to think it would have been more just for USAA to raise the original poster's rates rather than cancel everything outright, but as a private company, they can do that (as long as it is within the law).

I personally was told that my homeowners policy would be canceled when I moved out of my house and left it vacant. I have a multi-year history with USAA, with multiple policies, accounts, etc. through a variety of lines of business. However, I completely understood their standpoint that a vacant house is a risk they were not willing to take. Fortunately I found a tenant and they wrote a fire policy, but I wouldn't have screamed from the rooftops that USAA was horrible if my coverage had in fact been dropped after their 115 days notice.

So...I did something to increase the risk that USAA was exposed to, and they chose to drop me. The OP chose to do something that exposed USAA to more risk, and they chose to drop him. It's business, and it happens. Move on.

Anonymous said...

In the military, if you commit a crime that you would go to jail for, you get kicked out! USAA leadership and members have military values. Why is it surprising to anyone that if it is *possible* (when the convict gets out...what kind of desperate freak trolls prison websites to find a wife anyway? She probably has an ex who will be sleeping with her or stalking your house within days of getting out...) that a criminal will be around your car, home, possessions, etc., then an insurance company feels like you are a risk not worth taking? People in prison made bad choices. The only bigger bad choice is to get involved with someone in prison due to your low self-esteem.

Anonymous said...

I really do not see any issue with this, Usaa is top rated in all products they offer, perhaps before someone commits a crime they should view the full consequences of it, jail usually is not enough for someone. I to would not insure or offer financial assistance to an incarcerated person or previously incarcerated or someone who was dishonorably discharged which they also do not accept!

Anonymous said...

I have worked in the insurance industry for 10 years, and each company has their own set of practices their employees must follow to protect the company. I find it funny that you are naming this poor individual who is just doing his job the company is paying him to do. Yet you remain anonymous! Really?! I am surprised that he hasn't tried to sue you for defamation of character! There are plenty of insurance companies that want your business, go seek out one of them. I'm sure their will be an agent that would love to write you one or more policies. That's how they feed their family too!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

1:13, truth is a defense for "defamation," and if the company wants to maintain that policy, they can accept public criticism for it.

Anonymous said...

Love is blind at times....my Marine had a seizure behind the wheel....his first one. He had taken a Xanax for his PTSD 2 days before the incident...it was still in his system days later. He was convicted of driving while ability impaired! Sadly, he was unable to PROVE this. I know the truth....he knows the truth, but the court convicted him any way. I am sad about this. He lost USAA insurance. He cannot drive due to the seizures now anyway, but still has the stigma attached to him of committing a crime. Our judicial system was wrong, but no matter.....I am sure he will be frowned upon and defined by a judgement against him. He has TBI and may never drive again...but still has been CONVICTED. So, thank you USAA and the MA judicial system for kicking my Marine when he was down. I am with you Grits......take your money else where and do not let anyone convict you on some stupid thread....I see you have mostly a supportive group here....move on and smile....you have love. Blues....don't bother responding to me as I will not be back to read any vicious retort. may a 1000 lice eat away at your groin....and your arms be too short to scratch. You blowhard. Only JESUS CHRIST WAS PERFECT.

Anonymous said...

I know this original post was 3 yrs ago but I just updated my auto insurace with USAA because I bought a new vehicle. They asked if my husbands DL was expired (WHO IS NOT ON MY POLICY) I told them yes but it didnt matter because he was in prison. She went on to ask me what his charges were, where he was located, when he gets out etc. Then told me that I will be contacted by the underwriting dept and it could affect my policy. I have had this insurance since 1998 and I feel that its BS that they want to cancel my insurance because Im married to someone who hit the guy he found in bed with his ex wife!!! Im LIVID!!

Anonymous said...

USAA won't renew my policy either because my husband was convicted of a crime and is now incarcerated. He is a decorated veteran of 9 years and served in war. It's messed up how they deny you without even knowing the details of the offense.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this thread. My college-student daughter and I are having to pay $100/month more to Geico for auto insurance because of behavior by my husband and now I know telling them he is in jail is only going to make things worse. I am also not living with my husband but have unsigned divorce papers sitting on the table because I could not track him down long enough to get them signed. He is now in jail because he plead not guilty and no one will post bail. Due to previous activity he costs me an extra $100 a month on my car insurance. I was going to take him off since he is clearly not driving. I have virtually no experience of the criminal justice system and the consequences of being enmeshed in it. You have saved me from making a big mistake.

Final note: It IS ridiculous that I should have to keep him on my insurance just because we are married, whether in jail or not. All of you who argue that this is for the members, stock holders, etc. I pray with all my heart that you never have anyone in your life become societally dysfunctional or become entangled with the wrong person.

Anonymous said...

It's a bit late to get into the discussion, but I'd like to post anyway:

My mom is going through a similar situation. She has been dating someone with a felony on their record. She started dating him after he got out of prison, and about a year later approached USAA about how possibly marrying him would affect her membership eligibility.

She made it very clear that she was not requesting that he be on her insurance, only inquiring about the effects of her relationship with him on her eligibility. It took weeks for her to get a straight answer from them, and when they did give her one, they told her that any sort of relationship, even not involving marriage, "could impact [her] USAA membership."

I think the thing that really hits hard about this is the fact that her membership is being impacted by a simple relationship with him, and that her honesty with them is hurting her in the end. She could've simply not told them about the relationship and been fine, but the honesty puts her at risk.

She has been in the US Coast Guard for almost 20 years and has been a loyal USAA member throughout her entire service. Isn't it just ridiculous?

Maggie said...

I just thought you should know that you are not alone and I'm sick and tired of this bullshit. I am using my twitter to try and raise awareness for all the crap that felons have to deal with in this world. Once they have done their time, that should be that, but it's not. Follow me, join me. @mclairedavidson

Anonymous said...

USAA is a lameduck company. There is nothing special about USAA. They are about money and that's the bottom line. They can get ratings from usually uninformed, uniformed personnel or the like, but when it comes to keeping their word, you can figure you are Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden. I have had an equally terrible experience with USAA. Unfortunately, it is the way it is until someone with grit and money to beat their money and lawyers to overcome the injustices they serve to people with a percentage of the money. I was with USAA for nearly 20 years and their tactics finally caught with me. I sympathize with all those who have been criminally mistreated by USAA. They will have their day in court, one day.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who does business with and or stays with USAA is a fool. The company has steadily declined since the early 90's due to corporate greed. I was with them for 30 years till I finally told them to fuck off....notice how desperate they are with all the commercials!! ("hey have you ever met or maybe SEEN a veteran?? Well then we want you!!") PATHETIC company!! Anybody who stays with those ass clowns is a complete FOOL!!!! I hope the management of USAA ALL GET ASS CANCER AND DIE!!!!!! USAA is the WORST company on each and EVERY front!! DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOGLE them and you will see haw bad they are!! Hope they go bankrupt!! And they treat their employees like shit too!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hugh McBryde said...

There is only individual greed, without it there is no "corporate greed."

Anonymous said...

They are oppressive and parasitic and the only risk they are interested in mitigating is to themselves. They love keeping the money coming in and nothing going out. Every insurance company I have ever had a policy with has tried to screw over
me which has necessitated me having to hire an attorney. They don't cough up the money until they get a letter from an attorney threatening to sue them. But until they are threatened, all they do is deny, deny, deny and that my friend cannot be denied. They are lower and slimier than a snake. (My apologies to all the snakes for comparing them to insurance
companies.) And to make it worse, the politicians are in bed with them, which leaves the citizen at their mercy. They are corrupt to the core, so the letter this man received doesn't surprise me. They want zero risk. Read the history of USAA. It started with 25 officers getting together and forming a company to insure themselves. Why, because they were getting screwed over by insurance companies. Now USAA is doing exactly what the officers started the company to prevent insurance companies from doing, namely, screwing people over. How ironic.
I recently read an article by a woman who was an attorney for an insurance company. She told how she and the insurance company did everything possible to keep from paying a claim. Guess what, she had an accident. Then she became the recipient of her own medicine. Now she is an adversary of the oppressive and parasitic insurance companies.
The politicians and insurance companies have taken away our freedom by forcing us to either walk, pay, or go to jail.

Anonymous said...

USAA does not have shareholders.

Unknown said...

The same exact thing just happened to me! I've been a long time usaa member, my father was a veteran, and my husband is a veteran. My husband in incarcerated. They won't renew my policy either! I was also livid! And super offended! It's bullshit what they're doing here. Unbelievable really. I pay my bills on time and have an excellent driving record. He doesn't drive my car or even live with me so wtf?! Sorry it's happened to you too. Such a shame