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GEICO Review

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Our Reviews Last Updated: 08/17/2012

Did I really save 15% on my car insurance by switching to GEICO? – My GEICO Review

GEICO Trademark

For anyone shopping for car insurance, who hasn’t seen the GEICO lizard?

Probably about as many people who haven’t been to a grocery store. The talking Cockney gecko is about as well known as peanut butter and jelly. And to think, before 1999 – he didn’t even exist. Such is the power of modern advertising.

Stripping away the creative façade of cavemen, celebrity spokespeople and promises of 15% savings, is GEICO all it’s cracked up to be? Read on to find out.

About the Company – GEICO Review

GEICO, or Government Employees Insurance Company, is a popular car insurance company in the United States. Bought by Warren Buffett’s holding company in 1996, GEICO is now owned by Berkshire Hathaway. According to their website, GEICO boasts 8,000,000 policyholders as of 2007 – no small accomplishment for this business.

GEICO does not have an agency force in the community like other companies. Aside from the occasional offices in metropolitan areas, the majority of quotes, policy service, and claims work is handled over the phone via call centers.

As for financial strength, GEICO is strong. According to independent agency AM Best, GEICO rates a superior ‘A++’, their highest rating. Other services give GEICO a similar rating. According to those in the know, GEICO will be around for awhile.

Getting a GEICO Quote

Knowing their reputation, I wanted to get a quote from GEICO. To save time, I usually recommend what I did. First off, grab an online quote. Second, if it makes sense, call them on the phone with the online quote. Here’s how I did it.

To start, I grabbed my current auto insurance policy. Second, I jumped online, to fill out their questionnaire. I input my personal info, then matched my coverages to my current policy. GEICO shot back my quote 10 seconds after I clicked ‘Submit’ – very fast. Since GEICO’s price was much better than I’m paying now, I called them up.

GEICO Positives: Availability & Price

After being transferred to the right person, I started talking to Holly S. in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She told me she was in one of several call centers across the country. I called at night and, out of curiosity, asked her if someone would have picked up the phone at 3 am. According to Holly, she assured me GEICO would have answered the line.

Availability strikes me as a great positive for a car insurance company. If GEICO is willing to pick up the phone to give me a quote at 3 in the morning, then they’re probably willing to pick up the phone to fill out my claim at 3 in the morning.

GEICO quoted me a great rate online. Fortunately, there was no bait-and-switch when I called Holly in Virginia Beach. What they quoted online, they honored on the phone. That’s a huge benefit, especially as it relates to the integrity of their sales force.

One caveat to their pricing: GEICO seems to give a ‘best guess’ rate without asking for your social security number online. After you talk to them, they confirm the price. If your credit matches what you said online, then you get the rate. If not, the price probably goes up.

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GEICO Negative: Pushy?

I had one problem with confirming my phone quote. Holly was a little pushy. She did not ask me about my personal insurance situation and went right for the close. This was a little unnerving to me as a former insurance agent. I would have liked her to walk me through the coverages, instead of just trying to take my order. Holly was definitely assertive, but she was polite.

What about GEICO’s Service?

I looked at complaint ratios at a few major departments of insurance. Consumer complaints are either average, or below average compared to other auto insurance companies. No company is perfect, but GEICO seemed to meet a basic level of service for their customers. On a claims basis, I felt comfortable carrying my car insurance with GEICO.

I ended up getting GEICO after shopping around for awhile. I’ve had them for over a year now (Sept 2009). I’ve called them a few times and they’ve been very responsive. I even dropped by their office in my town to re-add comprehensive to my truck. They were helpful and friendly. I didn’t like how they made me come by their office for that basic service. Seems like they could have sent out an agent to do an inspection. Oh well.

I can say this. They were extremely responsive when I got a new insurance card.

Did I save 15% on my Car Insurance by switching to GEICO?

Their reputation, availability, and price, all contribute to a good feeling of going with the gecko. As for saving 15% on my car insurance. When I signed up with GEICO, I saved +20% on my car insurance premiums compared to State Farm.

Way to go GEICO!

Quote Process: 10
(Scale 1-10: 10=the best)

Price: 9
(Scale 1-10: 10=Cheapest)

Customer Service: 9
(Scale 1-10: 10=the best)

Claims: *
(Scale 1-10: 10=the best)

Overall Rating: 9
(Scale 1-10: 10=the best)

Anything to add? Leave a comment about your experience with GEICO or write your own review.

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Todd Clay

Todd Clay is a former insurance agent with the largest insurance company in the United States. He earned his Bachelor’s from the University of Texas. He's worked in several fields but has specialized in insurance, financial-related information, and technology. He blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook. Connect with Tood on Google+

Reviews (7)

  • Ben

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    You think you have insurance but, come claim time, you might not! My wife and I filed a claim with GEICO related to a minor automobile accident that occurred on 3/19/2012. My wife’s car was rear-ended by another driver that is also insured by GEICO . My wife had neck pain for a few days after the accident and sought treatment by a chiropractor. She filed a claim for approximately $600 to cover the chiropractor charges resulting from x-rays and a few visits. She had recently seen the chiropractor prior to the accident because of pre-existing back pain and so was able to provide GEICO with recently-before and soon-after x-rays of her spine which clearly indicated changes. Upon receiving the x-rays, GEICO still refused the claim saying that the limited damage to my wife’s car suggested that the injury could not have been severe enough to cause injury. Although the damage to my wife’s car was minor (approximately $800) the damage to the other car was major. Unfortunately, GEICO does not feel compelled to honor it’s responsibilities to its loyal, paying customers! Instead, when you file a claim they are apt to call you a liar. We are disgusted.

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  • Ashley

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    Geico is terrible. I have been a customer for 2 years paying $133/mo. I tried to lower my payments to state minimum and was quoted at $119 begininning oct 1, and $90 until then as a reflection of what I had paid into my then current policy. Received a bill 3 weeks lates for $178. After an hour on the phone, my situation was not resolved and they had no record of my $90/$119 quotes, only the $178 quotes. Why would I call and change my policy to a higher rate that is giving me less insurance? Jenn at Geico couldn’t answer that question. And now my old rate I had for 2 years is unavailable. I have never made an insurance claim in my life and was already a customer so it’s not like they had the wrong information. I also have not received any violations on my driving record, not even a parking ticket since I have been insured with Geico. It is probably just a few agents who are making grave mistakes, but I keep reading more reviews of similar situations with Geico. Try googling geico bait switch, and see for yourself. Just be careful dealing with this company. I know I’ll never give them another penny, I can only imagine how terrible it would be if I actually had to file a claim.

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  • Rich

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    Geico was excellent until my wife had to place a claim in. Customer Service was outstanding during the entire process but when it was time for the policy renewal, forget about it. We new the rates were going up of coarse but they jacked it up that we will feel it for generations. I placed multiple homes on and an umbrella policy to get a discount but it became pretty much worthless. I wife called one day and they don’t have our policy #’s for our other homes. She told them to check the umbrella policy and they could not find it, sounded dumb founded.

    The moral of the story is they are excellent until you have a little mishap. Then they will take it out on your wallet with a vengence!!

    Reply

  • anthony&sharon russo

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    we are so happy we switched over to you.your service is the best ever!we love u

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  • M McCloud

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    Sounds like my experience when switching from Allstate to Geico….except for one small thing: I knew that I had two speeding tickets from two years before I signed up with Geico and wanted to make sure that these were reflected in my rate, so after getting an online quote I called customer service (just like the writer) to verfy that the rate was accurate. After confirming with the salesperson (a guy named Jason) two different times that they had checked my MVD record and that these tickets were reflected in the rate I agreed to purchase the insurance. I received and signed all my documentation in a timely manner and even began telling my friend hat a grat deal I had receivd by switching to Geico (as cliche as that was), I was really pleased with the service and pricing…..until a week ago. Just over a month after signing up with Geico I received a letter from their underwriting deprtment notifying me that my insurance had been terminated due to the two tickets I repeatedly asked th salespersn about. Not only had they terinated my current policy, they aso included a new rate quote for a policy from an associated Geico entity offering me a new rate (supposedly taking into account the two tickets) which was higher than the rate I had with Allstate to begin with. At first I was geatly impressed with Geico, but unfortunately I am now left feeling like a victim of bait and switch and will most likely do everything in my power to keep my friends and family from being subjected to the same low-handed tactics. Geico Sucks!

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  • shaniqua lowery

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    i luv you lizardd!!

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  • LS

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    recently switched to GEICO because of EXCELLENT Customer Service (not because the cavemen convinced me- annoying ad, really!)
    Customer Service seems to translate throughout the company- or at least to all the different department I talked to, not just Sales. Other companies usually have good customer service in Sales and drops the ball in other departments, but this does not seem likely with GEICO. Hopefully this company maintains this Customer-focused culture.

    Reply

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