USAA, short for United Services Automobile Association, serves the insurance and financial needs of members of the US military. Although a huge and successful company, it is privately held, offering no publicly traded stock.
A group of 25 members of the U.S. military formed USAA in 1922 when they pooled their resources and insured each others cars. As of 2009, they have 7.2 million clients and offer a range of financial services.
Among the Fortune 500, USAA ranks in the top 100 for net worth and assets and 207th out of 500 in total revenue.
In order to apply for membership and coverage with USAA, you must be an active, retired or honorably discharged member of the U.S. military. Additionally, you can be a widow or child of a former USAA member or part of an officer candidate program, such as the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).
USAA started out as an auto insurance company, and it still offers a range of insurance products, but it also provides investment management and brokerage services to its members.
Generally, USAA does not advertise on national TV or radio, but through telemarketing and direct mail. One exception is its sponsorship of the nationally televised 2009 Army-Navy college football game.
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