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(now a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.)
|Premiums Written (2017)||$29,596,404,000
|Current Assets||Over $32 billion
|Loss Ratio (2017)||72.04%|
|Headquarters Address||5260 Western Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
|Local Offices||Find your local office here|
|Phone Number||(800) 841-3000|
|Best For||online services and low rates|
With the increased visibility brought on by television and the Internet, car insurance companies like GEICO seem to have appeared out of thin air over the past two decades. GEICO, in particular, appears to have seized on its advertising mediums to make itself one of the best known names in the insurance industry.
GEICO as a company prides itself on offering lower-than-average car insurance rates to drivers who need affordable alternatives for their coverage. This straightforward approach to coverage helps the company stand apart from its competitors, as it claims to cut out the technical jargon in favor of a good deal.
That said, is GEICO the right provider for you?
Few people enjoy the process of researching a potential car insurance provider. Making your way through jargon isn’t easy, either. To find to best provider and policy for your lifestyle, you ideally need to be able to access all of the information about your available providers in one place.
That’s where we come in. If there’s something out there in the world that’s to be known about GEICO, we’ve gathered it here for you to look at. With our help, you’ll be able to decide whether or not GEICO auto insurance is the right insurance for you.
We’ll break down GEICO’s history, financial ratings, customer standing, and available coverage. If you want to start comparing rates right away, you can use our FREE online tool to find affordable coverage in your area now.
Let’s lay a financial foundation. How does GEICO stack up compared to its insurance competitors? You can explore GEICO’s different financial and customer ratings to get a better statistical idea of how the company stands up when compared to the rest of its industry.
|AM Best||A++ (Superior)|
|Better Business Bureau (Northbrook, IL)||B+|
|S&P||AA+ (Very Good)|
Let’s break these down.
AM Best gives GEICO an A++, one of the strongest financial ratings its system has to offer. This rating shows that GEICO is more than capable – and interested in – paying its consumers’ claims.
The Better Business Bureau – a complaint monitoring, consumer organization – creates ratios that compare the size of a business to the number of complaints it receives. Over the past three years, GEICO has received 3,129 complaints. Given the size of the company, that’s not too bad. As such, BBB gives GEICO a B+.
– NAIC Complaint Index
Then come consumer complaints, everyone’s favorite statistic. While the BBB has already touched on these, it’s worthwhile to see what the NAIC has to say.
|Private Passenger Policies||2016||2017||2018|
(better or worse than National Index)
|National Complaint Index
|US Market Share||2.39%||2.41%||2.46%|
While GEICO, like many large conglomerates, operates as a group of companies instead of a singular unit, the NAIC can still distill an overall complaint average for the corporation. With the national complaint median coming it at 1.00, GEICO clears the bar and has fewer complaints than the United State’s standard car insurance provider.
– J.D. Power
On the flip side of customer complaints comes customer satisfaction. For this data, we turn to J.D. Power.
|Region||Power Circle Ranking||Numeric Score
(out of 1,000)
|Percent of Companies with Higher Numeric Score|
|Florida||Better than most||832||14%|
|Central||Better than most||838||14%|
|Mid-Atlantic||Better than most||848||8%|
|New York||About average||813||78%|
|New England||About average||827||20%|
|North Central||About average||830||33%|
J.D. Power gives GEICO an “about average” customer satisfaction rating. That’s pretty understandable, given the size of the company and its client database, but it’s nothing to display on the company website, either.
– Consumer Reports
|Total||89 out of 100|
|Ease of reaching an agent||Excellent|
|Simplicity of the process||Very good|
|Promptness of response - very good||Excellent|
|Damage amount||Very good|
|Freedom to select repair shop||Very good|
|Being kept informed of claim status||Very good|
GEICO’s ranking of an 89 out of 100 leaves it with a fairly solid financial and customer satisfaction rating, though in the eyes of Consumer Reports, it is on par with competitor State Farm and just a hair about Progressive.
What does the classic GEICO acronym break down into? Government Employees Insurance Company. Founded in 1936, GEICO rose above the tragedy of the Great Depression to provide government employees with the coverage that they needed to survive.
GEICO remained a government-oriented corporation until 1974, at which it opened its coverage and other products to the general public. While this initially caused the company some significant financial trouble, GEICO recovered and was purchased by Berkshire Hathaway.
It wasn’t until 2000 and the introduction of the GEICO gecko that GEICO really rose to general popularity. Nowadays, GEICO operates as the second largest car insurance provider in the United States, though it’s coming close to overtaking State Farm for that top spot.
GEICO’s marketing share has been on the rise since 2015, as you can see in the table below. It’s the company’s written premiums, though, that really separate this company from its competition.
|Year||Market Share of Liability||Market Share of Physical Damage||Total Market Share|
Even so, GEICO’s growth is slow. This means that the growth can less likely be attributed to a mass joining and can more likely be traced to company switches.
– Business Model
GEICO’s direct marketing approach was what originally set the company apart from its provider peers. When a company works directly with clients instead of rely on agents, that company can reduce its overall operating costs while also offering lower policy rates.
GEICO prides itself on its competitive rates and thereby is able to take advantage of the direct approach all the more readily.
GEICO’s gone through a number of marketing trends over the past several decades, but none have stuck so firmly in the minds of consumers as the GEICO Gecko.
That British accent and adorable appearance keep the Gecko in circulation, even as GEICO tests other viable commercials.
It’s this kind of character-driven, humor-based advertising that serves to make GEICO relatable as a company.
– Investment in the Community
Like many of its provider peers, GEICO is determined to give back to the communities it operates in. It’s most lucrative partnership has been with the Children’s National Hospital of Washington, D.C. GEICO has partnered with representatives of the hospital for the past 40 years, raising more than $3.4 million dollars in the process.
GEICO has also invested in its GEICO Cares program, which encourages its near 40,000 employees to contribute positively to hospitable movements and opportunities in their hometowns. As of 2016, GEICO Cares associates put in nearly 23,000 hours of community service.
– GEICO’s Position for the Future
Though its most famous mascot happens to be a gecko, it’s clear that GEICO’s real role model is the slow and steady turtle. The company has been gaining ground in the insurance industry for years now and seems set to seize the number 1 spot from competitor, State Farm, despite their 6 percent market share divide.
Full coverage means different things to different insurance providers. As a result, we need to break down the types of insurance coverage GEICO offers to its drivers. Some of these are common types, whereas others are a little less well known.
This coverage covers vehicle repairs or replacement after an accident.
With comprehensive coverage, you can protect your car from “out of our control” events, like storm damage, animal-based accidents, and so on.
Liability coverage comes into play when you’re at-fault in an accident. This coverage will help you pay for the damage done to another person’s body or property.
– Medical Payments Coverage
This coverage covers any medical or funeral expenses of passengers in your vehicle.
– Personal Injury Protection
This coverage ensures that, regardless of who is the driver at fault, your personal injuries and lost wages are covered.
– Rental Reimbursement Coverage
This coverage covers the cost of the rental vehicle you have to use while your own car is being repaired.
– Uninsured Motorist
This coverage ensures that if the other driver in an accident is the at-fault driver and also under- or uninsured, you’ll be able to cover your expenses without digging into your savings.
– Emergency Roadside Coverage
If you have to call assistance to get a tire changed, your car jump-started, or lockout services on the side of the road, this coverage will ensure that you don’t have to endure the expense.
– Mechanical Breakdown Coverage
If parts or systems in your car fail as a result of something other than normal wear and tear and/or improper maintenance, then this coverage will cover the pairs’ replacement.
– Collector Auto Insurance
If you happen to collect classic or rare cars that need specialized coverage, this coverage will ensure that you won’t have to charge your pocketbook with repair or maintenance expenses.
– Mexico Auto Insurance
If you’re going to be driving through Mexico in the short-term or for an extended period of time, this coverage will ensure that your accidents are covered internationally.
While GEICO does offer coverage to individuals who offer ridesharing and on-demand delivery services to folks around the nation, the company does not market this coverage as an add-on. Rather, it will take the place of your personal auto policy.
– Commercial Coverage
In a similar vein, if you intend to use your vehicle for your own business, then GEICO will be able to offer you coverage to keep you and other drivers in your car safe and insured.
GEICO Discounts and Programs
GEICO offers its drivers a number of different discounts, some of which are not listed on its website. The company breaks these 30 discounts down into categories, with a few outliers to be found in-between.
– Vehicle Equipment
If you include different types of safety equipment on your car, you may be eligible for a reasonable policy discount, as displayed below.
|Vehicle Equipment Discount||Savings up to:||Policy type savings are applied to:|
|Air Bag||40%||medical payments or personal injury|
(select states only)
|Daytime Running Lights
(select states only)
– Driving History
GEICO stands apart from the crowd with its driving history discounts. You’ll note that no other top car insurance provider offers a discount for seat belt use, so why not buckle up?
|Driver Affiliation Discount||Savings up to:||Policy type savings are applied to:|
|Federal Employee (Eagle Discount)
active and retired
|8%||total auto insurance premium|
|Membership and Employee Discounts||varies||https://www.geico.com/save/discounts/organization-member/|
active and retired
|15%||total auto insurance premium|
– Education and Driver’s Ed
The company’s commitment to education is actively reflected in its available discounts:
|Driver's Education Discount||Savings up to:||Policy type savings are applied to:|
|Defensive Driving Course||unspecified||https://www.geico.com/save/discounts/defensive-driver-discounts//|
|Teen Driver's Education||unspecified||varies|
|Full-Time Students age 16-24 with B average||15%||varies|
Not included in this table is GEICO’s Further Education discount, which allows individuals with a four-year degree or higher to receive a discount on their premium costs.
– Career Affiliations
You’ll also be able to seek out additional car insurance discounts if you’re affiliated with any of the below:
|Customer Loyalty Discounts||Savings up to:||Policy type savings are applied to:|
|Multi-Policy||unspecified||If auto is combined with a homeowners, renters, condo or mobile home policy|
Finally, there are also a number of discounts not listed on GEICO’s website that you’ll be able to choose from, so long as they’re available and applicable to you;
- Multi-Vehicle – do you have multiple vehicles registered to your GEICO car insurance plan?
- Multi-Policy – have you bundled your homeowners, renters, condo, or mobile home policy with your auto insurance plan?
- Distant Student – do you have a college student on a campus 100+ miles away who is not using their vehicle at this point in time?
- Early Signing – did you sign for your six-month policy at least seven days before your current policy expired?
- Farm Vehicles – are you insuring any vehicles that may serve agricultural purposes?
- Full Payment – did you pay your premium in full and upfront?
- Low Mileage – do you only travel a scant number of miles on an annual basis?
- Utility Vehicle – are you registering a vehicle that does not serve as a passenger vehicle?
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In short, if you’re looking to save money through GEICO, the company is ready and willing to give you the opportunity to do so. All you have to do is ask about which discounts may apply to you.
Availability of Coverage
We list GEICO’s discounts before its coverage options because of the sheer variability of car insurance rates. There are a number of different factors that’ll contribute to the rate a car insurance company is able to offer you. GEICO, at least, is determined to help you save money in the long run.
The to-be mentioned rates, as a result, are company averages. Take these with a grain of salt as you proceed, and make sure you get an individualized quote before making your final decision on providers.
– Average Annual Premium by Demographic
You’ve probably heard the car insurance myth that men pay more for their coverage than women do. Take a look at the data below, and you’ll find that this isn’t quite the case.
|Group||Married 35-year old female||Married 35-year old male||Married 60-year old female||Married 60-year old male||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Single 25-year old female||Single 25-year old male|
Age contributes more to the rate you’ll have to pay than gender does. A 17-year-old male driver, for example, will always be charged more than his female counterpart. However, these rates will average out as drivers grow older, to the point where some providers have women paying more for their insurance than men.
GEICO, as you can see, doesn’t varying their rates too much. Teen male drivers, though, will still a rate that outstrips their female peers.
– Average Annual Premium by Driving Record
Your driving record will also contribute to the rate that all providers, including GEICO, are able to offer you. GEICO is more forgiving than its peers when it comes to high-risk driving records, but you should still keep the following breaks in mind.
|Driving History and Habits Discount||Savings up to:||Policy type savings are applied to:|
|Five-Year Accident-Free Good Driver||26%||varies|
|Seat Belt Use||15%||medical payments or personal injury protection|
– Average Annual Premium by Coverage Level
Naturally, the amount of coverage you take on is going to impact the rate that a provider is able to offer you.
With GEICO, is may be easier for you to purchase your coverage in bulk instead of in parts. Rates are fairly consistent from state to state, and you’ll find that comprehensive coverage through GEICO still costs less than individualized coverage offered by the company’s peers.
– Average Annual Premium by Credit History
Your credit history and credit changes are also going to impact your car insurance rates. You may notice that, with GEICO, your rate fluctuates to match your credit.
|State||Good Credit||Fair Credit||Poor Credit|
Risky spending habits can cost you almost $1,000 more on your coverage than careful ones.
– Average Annual Premium by Commute
Everywhere save for North Carolina and Hawaii, the distance you drive to get to work or school on a daily basis will impact the car insurance rate that GEICO is able to offer you, as you can see below.
|State||10 miles commute / 6,000 annual mileage||25 miles commute / 12,000 annual mileage|
Effectively, if you have a short commute, GEICO will likely serve you well as a car insurance provider.
– Average Annual Premium by Make and Model
Finally, the type of car you have – and the year it was made – will impact the car insurance premiums different car insurance providers are able to offer you. While the table below compares these rates across companies, you can see the way a 2018 SuperCab is going to cost you more to insure than a 2015 through GEICO.
|Group||2015 Ford F-150: Lariat SuperCab with 2WD 6.5 foot bed and 2.7L V6||2015 Honda Civic Sedan: LX with 2.0L 4cyl and CVT||2015 Toyota RAV4: XLE||2018 Ford F-150: Lariat SuperCab with 2WD 6.5 foot bed and 2.7L V6||2018 Honda Civic Sedan: LX with 2.0L 4cyl and CVT|
How to File a Claim
GEICO helps you file an insurance claim by providing you with a number of avenues through which to do so:
- By Phone – you can call 1-800-207-7847 to file a claim 24/7/365
- By No Log In Feature – this online feature only requires you to issue your name and policy number to file and track an insurance claim.
- By GEICO’s Mobile App – similarly, the mobile app GEICO’s created allows you to file and track your claim from your phone while also offering chat services.
- By Agent – a local GEICO agent will be able to initiate a claim for you.
You’ll be able to find links to the easily-to-navigate GEICO website scattered throughout this review. As you’ll quickly be able to tell, the site is well-organized, easily to work with, and goes to little effort to hide crucial car insurance information from you.
The site also has its GEICO More feature, a weekly publication that enables you to learn more about the company and car insurance industry through videos, news articles, and special offers.
GEICO’s mobile app has a 4.8 star out of 5 rating in the Apple App Store with a reasonable 1.23 million ratings – but do you want to make use of it on a regular basis?
The app’s features include:
- Digital proof of insurance designed to fit your screen and remain accessible in a moment’s notice
- Online bill payments
- Online quotes
- Claim reporting and tracking
- The ability to call for roadside assistance
- Opportunities to chat with licensed agents
- Vehicle Care that’ll help you retain date information about vehicle serving
- Easy estimates that help you document accidents and report your damages
- GEICO Explore, which takes you through your location via augmented reality
Pros and Cons
So, while GEICO has lower rates than the industry average, what does the big picture look like? How does it stack up, in short, to the other providers you could be shopping with?
|Consistently low rates||Higher than usual rates for having bad credit or driving violations|
|Award-winning mobile services||Offers no discounts for vehicle-installed safe driving devices or apps|
|Ease of getting a quote online||Higher than usual rates for residents of Hawaii, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Rhode Island
Effectively: the costs at GEICO are great and comprehensive, depending on where you live. However, the company does lack a few discounts that otherwise seem to be the industry standard. Even so, their overall financial ratings are commendable, and it seems as though you’ll be able to rely on them to see your claim through from beginning to end.
– How do I get an auto quote?
- Go to the GEICO home screen and input your zip code into the prompt box
- Enter your basic personal information, including name, birthday, and address
- Enter your vehicle information, selecting your registered vehicle or a new one
- Enter your personal information in greater detail, including driving history, level of education, and employment status
- Add any other drivers you want included on your policy
- Add that person’s driving history
- Enter affiliations for potential discounts
- Enter an email address and preferred telephone number
- Hit “Get Quote!”
– What is GAP insurance?
GAP insurance is an optional form of car insurance coverage that can help you cover the “gap” between the amount you owe on your car and the amount the car is actually worth, or its actual cash value (ACV).
Should you get in an accident, you’ll be able to use GAP insurance to cover the difference between the amount of money your car is worth now that it’s been damaged and the amount of money you may still owe on an auto loan.
– What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 is a certificate of insurance or a form of financial responsibility. This vehicle liability insurance document is only required of drivers who insurance companies like GEICO consider to be “high-risk.”
You’ll be considered a high-risk driver if you have an abnormal number of points registered to your driver’s license or if any of the following apply to you:
- You’ve been convicted of a traffic-related offense, like a DUI
- You’ve been in an uninsured car accident and had your license revoked
- You’ve had your license revoked for any other reason
– What happens if I’m involved in an accident in another state?
Because GEICO operates in all fifty states, you should be able to maintain your coverage no matter where you are. However, the nature of individual accidents and state laws may change whether or not you’re determined to be at-fault for an accident or not.
Even so, GEICO’s liability rates will – in the case of an accident – be modified to match the state minimum liability requirements of the state you got in an accident in. This change will not be a permanent one but will rather only apply to you for as long as a case regarding the accident is ongoing.
– Does my deductible still apply even if I’m not at fault?
You may have to pay your deductible even if you’re not at fault depending on what kind of coverage you have. If there’s a chance that GEICO could recover the amount you paid on your deductible from the person determined to be at fault in your accident, then the company will do so.
However, if the company does not succeed, you can either choose to try and recover the deductible yourself or pay your deductible as required.
And with that, we come to the end of our guide to GEICO’s insurance policies. Hopefully, you’ll be able to return to this guide as necessary in order to determine which of the United State’s top providers will best serve you. If you want to go ahead and start comparing rates now, you can always use our FREE online tool to get started.