Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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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. 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.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Amalgamated Life vs USAA Life Insurance CompanyTwo longstanding insurance providers that have been around since the first half of the 20th century include Amalgamated Life Insurance and USAA Insurance Company.

Both are well established with a target market of specific clientele. However, because of their business approach one company continues to do well while another may see its market shrinking.

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As an insurance company, Amalgamated Life has stood out with a specific interest in serving the labor community as its primary customer market. Amalgamated provides primarily life insurance and disability coverage products although it covers service in a number of other products as well.

Known officially as the United Services Automobile Association, USAA Insurance Company has been a stalwart insurance provider to current and former military members of the U.S. armed services and their families. The company provides a broad array of insurance products as well as other financial services.

However, much like Amalgamated, USAA maintains a direct marketing approach to a specific customer population, military members.

An overview of the company history, products and ratings for any provider you consider is always a great place to start your search.

Amalgamated Life History

Amalgamated Life saw its business birth smack in the middle of World War II in 1943. From the beginning the company associated its products and service with working people. For the next 70 years Amalgamated has continued to serve what it sees are the primary labor populations, providing needed financial coverage and safety for its customers.

Amalgamated Life versus USAA Life Insurance Company

Fast forward to the mid-1970s, and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America combined with two other clothing worker unions. This in turn increased the membership body that Amalgamated Life could serve as a business. Twenty years and thirty years later, consecutively, the consolidation included two further unions, incorporating both union female workers as well as hotel and restaurant workers. By this time, Amalgamated was offering union members insurance products for life, disability, and health care.

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The Modern Company

Since its early history, Amalgamated Life has expanded beyond just a traditional insurance provider role. Additionally, the company now operates and provides third party administration services, medical management, computer and information technology services, property insurance and personal injury insurance, and even printing services.

Amalgamated Life still affiliates with and describes itself as America’s Labor Insurance Company. Continuing to dedicate its services to working persons, the company sees itself in a critical role help union members stabilize their financial needs so they can grow and live better in their union jobs. With a mission to strike a balance between customer service and expenses, the company strives to provide an alternative for union members seeking insurance products but not wanting to deal with a traditional corporate for-profit insurance company, particularly non-union providers.

Amalgamated Life vs USAA Life Insurance People

Amalgamated Life works across a broad spectrum of clients and major customers, primarily due to the fact that the company is highly diversified now in 2012. With organization customers including consultants and fund administration management as well as the historical market, unions, Amalgamated has expanded its reach to strengthen the company. This has served the company well, especially since union member populations in the employment world have shrunk significantly compared 40 or 50 years ago.

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Products Offered by Amalgamated Life

Amalgamated Life’s services still include many of the original product categories and services from decades ago, but newer items have been added as well:

  • Group life insurance with term life policies which can also be set up with payroll deduction payment systems.
  • Similar group term programs with payroll deduction payment for intermediate term policies as well as disability benefits.
  • Life insurance plans with cash savings
  • Life insurance plans for retired employees
  • Group disability plans
  • Life insurance plan specific for senior citizens
  • Medicare enhancement and supplement plans

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Amalgamated’s Ratings

As an insurance provider company, Amalgamated has competed and performed well against competition which still meeting its mission and goals. A.M. Best ranks the company as a level “A” or excellent score. Part of the scoring has to do with Amalgamated’s dedication to union member customers, protecting its investment holdings conservatively, and keeping a strong, positive capital balance even in a down economy.

Amalgamated Life vs USAA Life Office

Amalgamated has been in business for more than 70 years and, given its approach to the insurance market and more importantly to its customers, the company looks to have the potential to be around for a centennial party. However, the employment market has shrunk the union base in America severely. Amalgamated will do well to diversify further as its core population will likely continue to shrink further as global business continues to move jobs out of the U.S.

USAA Life History

  • USAA has a bit of an older pedigree than most insurers. Established in the early 1920s to serve Army officer personnel who were finding it near impossible to get insurance services from any other similar business, eventually USAA grew to approximately 5 million customers and a solid operation.
  • Today, the business sits well-positioned as the fourth largest player in insurance markets covering vehicles as well as home property and operates with multiple subsidiaries.

Each branch is focused on a different business area and market that USAA pursues. This includes real estate, allied services for shopping, property and personal injury coverage, and financial and banking services. Within this realm, USAA is able to offer its customers a wide array of products and services, numbering more than 150 different items or business lines.

With over 8 million customers as of 2012, USAA has no shortage of business in any of its lines of operations.

Even in the economic downturn at the end of the 2000s, USAA stayed both solvent and strong as a financial company, enjoying the benefits of its conservative approach to insurance business. Doing so created significant buffers USAA was able to rely on to protect the company in 2008 and forward as the rest of the financial markets roiled.

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USAA Products

In terms of insurance products, USAA offers the major standard categories with strong coverage and support of customer needs. These include automobile insurance, property and casualty, life insurance plans ranging from term to whole life, and homeowners’ insurance.

Amalgamated Life vs USAA Life Banking

For banking needs USAA offers standard checking and savings accounts as well as certificates of deposit. Additionally, the business also provides its customers access to credit card services as well.

In terms of investment, USAA operates as a full brokerage, providing trading services on major stock markets. Additionally, the company allows members to invest in mutual funds as well as USAA’s own portfolio of investment vehicles. These services also include assistance and help with retirement planning.

For real estate needs, members can secure home loans, real estate search services, and home equity financing through USAA.

Finally, USAA also provides its members shopping assistance. This includes discounting shopping through 600 plus affiliated online vendors as well as dedicated shopping services for high end items such as jewelry. Additionally, USAA can also help customers with travel and travel agent services as well.

USAA Ratings

USAA enjoys a strong performance record, even within independent ratings like those from A.M.Best. Scoring the triple crown for customer experience, scope of policies, and price competition, USAA also scored the most desired auto insurance company from a customer perspective, especially as people have heard how USAA serves its restricted membership.

The company also rates as a desirable place to work, both in salary and hourly wage positions. In fact, USAA repeatedly earns awards and credit for retaining a large number of military veterans within its workforce, thereby giving the business a natural understanding of its core customer base and their unique needs.

Repeatedly noted as a leader in both insurance and banking, USAA took home the highest scores again in 2011 for insurance, credit card services, and banking per the Customer Experience Index.

Amalgamated Life vs USAA Life Insurance Company Man

Additionally, within the Fortune 500 as ranked by Fortune magazine, USAA continues to hold its position of 145 in business sales. However, in terms of bottom line worth and holdings, the company is much higher, sitting in the low to mid 60s in terms of score.

USAA will continue to exist as it has as long as there are U.S. military branches and service members. Given the fact that USAA markets directly to service members, their families, and spouses, there will be no shortage of customers, especially when the company performs so much better than other market competitors for general customers.

Given the military activity of the U.S. in the last decade, there won’t be a shortage of new members for USAA to rely on for business. The company simply needs to market effectively to bring these new recruits into the fold. Amalgamated Life, however, is seeing its core market shrinking as more and more companies eliminate labor activity, especially moving operations overseas. Without further diversification, Amalgamated could see its future go gray.

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