USAA was founded in 1922 by 25 Army officers. Unable to secure insurance as a “high-risk group,” these service members created a product designed specifically for them. Over the next 100 years, USAA expanded to offer a wide array of products including home and life insurance, and banking. All of these products have the unique needs of military and veteran members in mind. So, when USAA introduced small business insurance, it was similarly structured for veteran and military spouse business owners.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw an increase in the starting of small businesses, especially by veterans. Even before, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families reported in 2017 that veterans are 45% more likely to start a business than nonveterans. Military spouses also turn to self-employment due to the constant moves that come with military life. While being your own boss gives you freedom and total control over your business, it also comes with increased risk. That’s where small business insurance comes in.
The market is saturated with small business insurance companies, but USAA prides itself on serving military and veteran members by catering to their unique needs. Moreover, a small business insurance policy with USAA comes with an advisory service to help cover each member’s unique needs. “Our members trust us and they look to us to provide them with that [advisory] solution,” Larry Williams, who leads USAA’s Small Business Insurance Division, said.
As businesses grow, it’s important to adjust insurance policies accordingly. From building inventory to adding company vehicles and employees, protecting every aspect of your business is part of the responsibility of owning it. USAA knows this and makes it easy for members to adjust their insurance as their business expands. “The product is scalable and will grow with them,” Williams explained. “We’re offering, not just one product, but a full suite of small business insurance solutions for our members.”
But, how do you know when to adjust the amount of coverage for your business? That’s where the advisory aspect of USAA’s small business insurance service comes in. “We’re going to constantly do a check-in, probably on an annual basis, to be able to see how their business operations are going and see if there are any risks or concerns that we may be able to help them cover as they grow,” Williams noted. “We really want to be there for them through that whole lifecycle.”
While USAA advises its small business-owning members to keep personal and business finances separate, it does strive to streamline all its services for its members and maintain the outstanding customer service reputation that the company has achieved. “Whether it’s through the app, our dot com or through the telephone, you can purchase the insurance through all three of those,” Williams said. “We want to be there for our members when and where they need us most.”
Starting a small business is a goal for many enterprising Americans and USAA aims to help veterans achieve it. “This is about protecting the American dream for those that protected it for us,” Williams remarked. “We want USAA to be that one-stop shop for small business owners and we truly believe that we are that trusted advisor to veteran-owned and spouse-owned businesses through all aspects of their needs.”