No need for past military service for USAA membership...extended warranty deals...
So, for fair disclosure, I worked for USAA for several months in 2010. There is a very big misconception regarding the prerequisites for being a member.
1) You DO NOT have to have past military service to join USAA, you actually don't even need to have any affiliation to the military to join
2) USAA is a for-profit, nothing-to-do with the government company
3) You DO need to have a military affilation (self, spouse, parent, etc) in order to qualify for USAA auto insurance and most of USAA's lending products
Now the reason I bring this up here on this thread is two-fold:
1) Their car buying service can sometimes be a great deal and ANYONE can use it! (I just used it to purchase a '11 JGC yesterday, and again, I have nothing to do with the military, nor does anyone in my family)
2) They offer an excellent value for extended warranties! In 2010 they started offering something called Extended Vehicle Protection, when first introduced you had to be financing a vehicle through USAA in order to purchase it, however, that has recently changed. Again, anyone can go to USAA.com, sign-up, and then use the car-buying service and price the Extended Vehicle Protection aka EVP.
Their EVP plan is similar to the one most dealers will try and sell. Because the JGC has a 5yr/100k mile Powertrain Warranty, you really just need a "Wrap Warranty" to cover the non-powertrain systems. This is the same as what the dealer's finance person was trying to sell me yesterday. He offered one by some off-brand carrier, and then another backed by Chrysler. Ultimately he came down to a 5yr/70k for about $900 with $100 deductible....but keep reading below and see why I passed!
Up until recently, USAA was one of about 3 insurance companies that still held a AAA credit rating, I think it is now AA due to the United States being downgraded late summer. My purpose for this is that you want a strong company backing a warranty. Chrysler may be the manufacturer and sound like a good idea for a warranty, but lets not forget the financial troubles they've endured over the past 5 years.
So getting to the point, you can get a 5yr/100k mile wrap warranty that has a $0 deductible, includes roadside assistance, and is fully transferable for $942. No negotiations needed. You buy the whole thing right off the USAA website, or you can call in. There is not a single representative in the company that works on commission, so there will not be any pressure. However, every rep is likely trained to try and have you do a financial review to ultimately discuss life insurance, as that is the cash cow for the company.
Now like every warranty, make sure to read the exclusions, the list is rather short, but still worth reading just like every other contract. You can also cancel at anytime for a pro-rata refund.
I hope this helps others make some informed decisions, as well as save some dough!