United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a Fortune 500 financial services company offering banking, investing, and insurance to people and families that serve, or served, in the United States military.
USAA was founded in 1922 by a group of U.S. Army officers to self-insure each other when they were unable to secure auto insurance due to the perception that they were a high-risk group. USAA has since expanded to serve officers, NCOs, enlisted, and their families with property & casualty insurance, banking, life insurance, investment and financial planning products and services.
The company was one of the pioneers of direct marketing and most of its business is conducted over the Internet or telephone using employees instead of agents. Until the 1960s the bulk of its business was conducted via mail. In the late 1960s USAA began a transition from mail to phone based sales and service. A toll-free number was launched in 1978, and Internet sales and service was launched in 1999 via USAA.COM.