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USAA Achieves Growth and Profitability in 2008, Bucking Financial Services Industry Trend

Conservative financial management, best-in-class customer service bring net worth to $14.6 billion and $857 million in pay outs

SAN ANTONIO - April 8, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — In a year rocked by the implosion of the financial markets and a record number of natural disasters, USAA increased its net worth, maintained strong liquidity and profitability and paid out $857 million in dividends, distributions, bank rebates and rewards.

In addition, the company remained one of only two property and casualty insurers to retain the highest possible financial strength ratings from all three national rating agencies: A.M. Best, Moody's and Standard & Poor's.

The details are provided in USAA's just-published annual report, available at www.usaa.com\ReportToMembers.

In announcing its 2008 financial results, USAA - among the leading providers of financial services to the military community - said it had:

  • Increased net worth by 1.4 percent, to $14.6 billion
  • Achieved net income of $423 million
  • Grew owned assets to a record $68 billion
  • Returned $857 million to members in the form of dividends, distributions, bank rebates and rewards
  • Increased membership by 385,000 to 6.8 million members
  • Cut non-essential expenses while increasing employee productivity by 11 percent

USAA credits the company's strong 2008 performance to the caliber of its members, its dedicated, mission-focused employees and a tradition of conservative fiscal management.

"In a very difficult year, USAA grew market share, maintained and enhanced our financial strength and net worth, and for the third year in a row, we were in the top two of Business Week's 'Customer Service Champ' awards," said USAA President and CEO Gen. Joe Robles, USA (Ret.).

"Our association is strong and growing, built on lifelong relationships with our members, conservative financial management and a culture of service," he said. "It's a business approach that's designed to endure the current challenges, and to achieve even greater success when economic conditions improve."

Customer service

USAA's focus on customer service combines a highly motivated workforce with extensive training and industry-leading technology platforms. USAA primarily engages its customers through its vast call center operationsand robust online capabilities, including a new mobile web platform that has experienced phenomenal growth in adoption rates, with some 5.5 million logins in 2008.

While the company handled a record number of catastrophe claims in 2008, it significantly reduced the time to resolve them through streamlined claims, call center and self-service processes. These and other customer service initiatives resulted in USAA maintaining an overall 94 percent customer satisfaction rating and 96 percent customer retention for the year.

USAA also launched an aggressive cross-training program to deliver better service with fewer transferred calls, and flexibility to meet evolving needs, such as ramping up in the event of a natural disaster. In addition, a focused military recruiting program resulted in hiring 472 employees with military experience, representing 21 percent of all new hires in 2008.

"In 2008, USAA served as a haven for its 6.8 million members, many under economic pressure, who expressed their confidence in USAA as their trusted financial advisor – not just their insurer," said Robles. "We are better-positioned than most in our industry to weather the current economic downturn while continuing to deliver the highest quality service and solid financial performance that our members expect."

About USAA

USAA, a diversified financial services group of companies, is among the leading providers of financial planning, insurance, investments, and banking products to members of the U.S. military and their families. For the past three years, BusinessWeek magazine ranked USAA among the top two "Customer Service Champs," highlighting our legendary commitment of providing highly competitive financial products for 6.8 million members. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership, visit usaa.com.