USAA SafePilot Review: How It Works & What You Should Know

USAA SafePilot can get you a discount of up to 30% if you practice safe driving, but the app can be glitchy. Find out if it’s right for you.

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USAA Car Insurance Rating ?


  • Initial 10% discount for enrolling
  • Lowers rates but won’t raise them
  • Savings of up to 30% at renewal


  • Discount based on all drivers in household
  • Lots of mobile app complaints
  • Unavailable in California, Delaware, and New Jersey

Bottom Line

There’s no harm in signing up for the USAA SafePilot program, considering that it can only lower your rates, not increase them — regardless of your driving habits. But it might not be right for you if you aren’t comfortable with SafePilot tracking your driving and location. That said, the app is far from perfect, so don’t be surprised if you run into problems with how USAA applies the discount.

If you have a USAA auto insurance policy and you’re not signed up for its SafePilot program, you might be paying more than you have to for coverage. Unlike some insurance companies, USAA doesn’t penalize you with higher rates if its telematics app records substandard driving, meaning that you only have savings to gain — specifically, up to 30% off.

But some USAA SafePilot reviews from actual members note problems with the app. SafePilot users report spending a lot of time fixing errors because of how the app records data — for example, people who use public transportation or drive for a living (like firefighters). Read on to see if the SafePilot app is right for you.

What is USAA SafePilot?

SafePilot is a usage-based insurance program offered by the United Services Automobile Association — more commonly known as USAA. The app allows the company to monitor your driving so you can earn an auto insurance discount.

Also known as a “telematics” program, these are becoming more and more popular with auto insurers. Other car insurers have similar programs, including Allstate Drivewise, Progressive Snapshot, and State Farm Drive Safe & Save.

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How Does USAA SafePilot Work?

USAA’s SafePilot is a mobile app that you download on your phone, and it runs automatically in the background. The app monitors your phone’s GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, and similar tools to get a picture of your driving habits.

You can use the app to get feedback on your skills and to get tips and other educational materials on new safe driving behaviors. One of the main reasons people use it is the hefty safe driving discount you can get. Let’s take a closer look at how the app works.

What does SafePilot track?

USAA needs a lot of data and information to calculate your driving score (and your potential discount). The app tracks the following data:

  • Time of day
  • Harsh braking
  • Your location
  • Car accidents
  • Whether you’re driving or the passenger
  • Hours and miles driven on an annual basis
  • Phone handling, including simply holding it or moving it around
  • Making or accepting any phone calls, including hands-free calling

SafePilot doesn’t track the use of your car’s infotainment system when you’re driving, even if it’s connected to your device (phone calls aside). If you use Spotify through CarPlay, for example, it won’t penalize you — but if you jostle your phone around to pick a new song, it will.

How does USAA know who’s driving?

When you sign up for SafePilot, you’ll spend the next 14 days in a trial period — or a “learning period,” as USAA calls it. The app will learn about your household’s driving patterns and then guess whether you’re a passenger or driver each time you start moving.

You can check to see who the app tagged as the driver and the passenger for each trip it records. You can make any corrections if necessary by tapping on that trip and marking whether you were the driver or passenger, or if a “drive” wasn’t really a trip at all.

Screenshot of USAA SafePilot app

How Much Can You Save With SafePilot?

Everyone who signs up for SafePilot gets an automatic sign-up discount of 10% off their auto insurance rate — which lasts until your next renewal. By that time, the app will have calculated a driving score for you and any other members of your household with a USAA policy.

When you go to renew, USAA will calculate an “earned discount” of up to 30% based on your household’s combined driving scores. This means that the driving behavior of any other SafePilot users in your household can affect your rates — something to keep in mind.

In general, USAA SafePilot reviews from policyholders show that it’s fairly easy to earn the maximum discount, as long as you don’t handle your phone at all while driving. But be aware that adding or canceling your SafePilot account can affect your rates, as this USAA member below found.

USAA SafePilot 2-star review

USAA SafePilot vs. the Competition

USAA is far from the only company offering this kind of discount program. Other top auto insurance companies offer telematics discounts, too. Let’s look at how USAA stacks up against major competitors.

Program Initial Discount Maximum Discount
USAA SafePilot 10% 30%
Allstate Drivewise Varies by state Varies by state
American Family KnowYourDrive 10% 20%
Chubb SafeLane 10% 20%
Direct Auto DynamicDrive 10% Not disclosed
Farmers Signal 5% 15%
Liberty Mutual RightTrack 10% 30%
Nationwide SmartRide 10% 40%
Progressive Snapshot Varies by state; average discount of $94 Varies by state; average discount of $231
Safeco RightTrack 10% 30%
State Farm Drive Safe & Save 5% 30% (may exceed 30% in some states)
The Hartford TrueLane 12% 25%
Travelers IntelliDrive 10% 30% (up to 40% in Nevada)

USAA’s SafePilot program offers a discount that’s only rivaled by one insurance company on this list: Nationwide SmartRide. Otherwise, it meets or exceeds the telematics programs other insurers offer.

How to maximize your SafePilot discount

Aside from maintaining a good driving record, USAA customers note that phone usage and the harsh braking aspect of the app are two of the biggest drags on your driving score. Here’s what you can do to limit those factors:

  • Put your phone in an area, such as in your glove box, where you’ll be less tempted to use it.
  • Avoid speed bumps, potholes, and other minor obstacles that can be recorded as careless driving.
  • Check the app’s history at least once every 30 days to make sure it’s recording trips accurately.
  • Don’t allow anyone to use your phone while driving since the app can’t tell who’s using it.

Can your rates go up with SafePilot?

No. USAA won’t increase your premiums if the app detects less-than-perfect driving habits from your end. That’s a major benefit of the USAA SafePilot app since some companies will increase your rates. At the very worst, you wouldn’t qualify for a discount at all and pay the same rates you’d get without using the app.

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Is USAA SafePilot Worth It? What Real Customers Are Saying

It’s easy to find a lot of positive reviews of SafePilot on sites where customers share their experiences. Many people say they get the maximum discount even with negative marks in their trip history — such as lots of hard braking or using their phone while driving.

USAA SafePilot reddit review

That said, many customers note quality problems with the app. A common complaint seems to be that the AI tools aren’t always the best at detecting when you’re a passenger or a driver, resulting in having to fix a lot of errors. If you drive for work, USAA suggests turning your phone off or signing out while you’re working. But the reviewer below found that to be a hassle.

USAA SafePilot Reddit review

How to Sign Up for USAA SafePilot

SafePilot is available in every state, with a few exceptions. Here’s how to get it.

1. Get an auto insurance quote with USAA

If you’re not already a member, you’ll start by getting a quote for USAA auto insurance online. Current customers are also eligible to sign up for SafePilot and can skip ahead to the next step.

2. Download the SafePilot mobile app

Each driver in your household on your policy will need to download the mobile app on their own phone — couples or families can’t share the same phone. The SafePilot app is available on the Google Play and Apple App Store.

3. Drive safely

You’ll spend the next 14 days in a “learning period” to generate a safe driving score. The two biggest things you can do to help your score during this time are to avoid touching your phone while driving and braking too hard. After you’ve driven 16 hours or 325 miles, you’ll be able to see a projected discount for your next renewal.

4. Monitor your progress

A common gripe about the app is that it doesn’t always categorize trip data correctly. The app saves your trips for only 30 days, so you’ll need to check it at least once a month to make sure it doesn’t list incorrect trips on your record. You can change the status of a trip by going to the trip details page.

It’s also worth keeping track of your safe driving score to see where you can improve to maximize your potential discount.

5. Collect your discount

USAA applies your 10% sign-up discount when you make your first payment. After that, you won’t see any savings until you renew your policy. You can see your potential discount on the “Reports” or “Discount” tabs in the app. Of course, if you cancel your policy, you won’t see those savings.

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USAA SafePilot FAQs

Still have questions about USAA’s SafePilot program? Here are some answers to common questions people ask about it.

Is USAA SafePilot worth it?

Yes. Given that it’s a free service and can slash a third of your auto insurance costs, many customers agree that SafePilot is worth signing up for.

What data does USAA SafePilot collect?

SafePilot collects data on a wide range of things to get a better overall picture of your habits, such as the time of day you drive, your speed, braking patterns, phone use, mileage, and more.

Does USAA SafePilot actually lower your bill?

Yes. SafePilot can lower your car insurance bill by 10% when you first sign up and then up to 30% when you renew — if you’re a safe driver.

Does USAA SafePilot monitor speed?

Yes. USAA uses your phone’s GPS to monitor your speed while driving. It also records your phone’s accelerometer data to detect sudden changes in speed, such as from braking too hard or getting into an accident.


Data scientists at analyzed more than 50 million real-time auto insurance quotes from more than 75 partner insurers in order to compile the rates and statistics seen in this article.’s auto insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers’ vehicles, driving records, insurance histories, and demographic information.

All the rates listed in this article have been collected from a combination of real quotes and external insurance rate data gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. uses these observations to provide readers with insights into how auto insurance companies determine their premiums.


  1. Insurance Information Institute, “Background on: Pay-as-you-drive auto insurance (telematics),” accessed March 8, 2024.
  2. Google Play, “USAA SafePilot,” accessed March 8, 2024.
  3. App Store, “USAA SafePilot,” accessed March 8, 2024.

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