Period. We had heard the endless praise and waffled on joining for years. We never sat down to do the math (if you are eligible, do it NOW). Yes, we wish we had called them the minute they opened their doors to non-commissioned FSOs, but just had no clue how much time and money they could save us. And, frankly, we didn't really toy with the notion until I heard about their Deposit@home service.
Now, if you are in the U.S. Foreign Service, stationed overseas with no APO/FPO, base or heck, Embassy big enough for a bank teller window, you know the pain of receiving checks at post. Even if you turn right around and slip it through the "U.S. Mail" slot, it is a good week before it leaves the heavy wooden box in which it sits. Then you can count on 1-2 weeks for its return flight to the states and the dumping of the pouch into the regular mail. Yawn, and this is the scenario if things are moving in a timely manner.
One can only imagine the fun we have with insurance claims. Two months or more between the time money is spent and the time you receive to put back in your bank account. Oh, and the time it takes to get to said account.
With my interest piqued, I asked a few more questions. Rather than digress into the long journey of trying to get Pete interested enough to call, suffice it to say, the call was finally made and 57 minutes after it began, we were full-fledged members with two accounts and a credit card (mandatory for deposit at home).
Of course, we did not yet have any checks to test, since all claims were still in process. However, one night while perusing the site, I clicked on auto quote. As most of you know, we have the Accord in 'storage' back home. Unfortunately, while the kind gentleman watching and maintaining our car is doing a fabulous job, Nationwide, our insurance, was not.
Given that the car was barely being driven and in great shape, we seemed to be paying an obscene amount of money to have it ensured for R & R and the estate resolution trips I made last year. Nationwide was also lousy about online documents and could not seem to get that the bills were supposed to go to one address and the declarations another. They could not contact us by email and had also screwed up our homeowners policy last year.
So, imagine my delight when I clicked on auto quote and was delivered a price that is $640 less expensive than Nationwide? A BETTER policy and less expensive. Yes, I know, limited customer base and all...but still, very appreciated.
I called to apply and was told (nicely) due to the current storage situation that we would need all kinds of information from the "storer" and that no one else could drive it for the moment. Currently, it is being borrowed, so I let USAA know we would call them when it was back in storage.
I had barely hung up when Pete came running up the stairs, saying USAA needed to speak with me. I told Peter I already had and apparently, the agent was calling regarding that conversation. Turns out the information I was given was incorrect and the car could be insured without a problem. Only a small amount of information was needed from the current driver.
Five days later, information was obtained. I gleefully emailed Nationwide letting them know we no longer needed them 'on our side' (HA!).
Oh, and tonight two checks arrived in the mail. We followed the four short steps for securely depositing them online (through our scanner) and within 5 minutes the insurance refunds were credited to our account. We were a little nervous, but we should not have been. Fast and simple. No more waiting weeks on end to see if the money actually made it or not. No more lost interest on money we should not have had to spend in the first place.
Hats off, USAA!