I’ve been a GEICO client for several years, starting with just auto insurance, and now that I’m a homeowner, I have both my auto and homeowner’s insurance bundled together. If you’re considering switching to GEICO for any of your insurance needs, here’s an overview of the company, what it offers, and a few things to consider based on my own experience with the company over the years.
First established in 1936 by Leo and Lillian Goodwin, GEICO started as a company that wanted to target U.S. Government employees and military personnel, which is how it got its name. GEICO technically stands for Government Employees Insurance Company. Within a year of its founding, the company had written 3700 policies and had 12 staff members.
From there, the company continued to grow, taking on Warren Buffet as an investor in 1951 and surpassing the 1 million policyholder mark in 1964. Although it fell upon some challenging times starting in the mid-70s, the company strengthened its underwriting activities and worked on building the company reputation as a fiscally stable organization. All of these things proved successful, and GEICO was able to expand and gain customer loyalty.
Since then, the company has continued to grow and serves every type of customer, not just government employees. To reflect this expanded demographic, the company shortened its name to the acronym GEICO, which we all know.
GEICO is one of the largest insurance providers in the United States, with over 18 million auto policies covering over 30 million vehicles. Although some customers may find this overwhelming or impersonal, I actually like dealing with a larger company for my insurance needs. I find that their size allows them to provide more substantial discounts and better packages than a smaller company might be able to offer.
Although they only do business online and over the phone, I’ve never found it a problem when I needed to connect with someone at the company or have a question answered. I found that they always responded promptly to my inquiries and provided me with the service I needed.
GEICO Insurance Savings
The amount of money I saved when bundling my homeowner’s policy with my auto insurance policy was a primary reason I decided to keep both through GEICO. I saved about 20% off annually of my combined premiums, which worked out better than a few other quotes I received.
Overall, GEICO was the most cost-effective option for my current situation. I did have a good driving history and no prior homeowner’s insurance claims, which may have contributed to my savings. My agent told me that the amount saved by bundling varies with each individual situation.
In addition to my bundling discount, I was also eligible for a few others that GEICO offers. I took a voluntary defensive driver course, which helped lower my car insurance rates a bit more.
If you don’t want to bundle your policies, there are still a lot of discounts to take advantage of from GEICO, including
- Vehicle Equipment discounts
- Driving history and habits discounts (Good Driver Program)
- Driver’s education discounts
- Affiliation discounts
- Military discounts
- Federal employee discounts
- Student discounts
- Discounts for drivers 50 and over
I haven’t had to file any homeowner’s policy claims yet. However, I did have one experience filing an auto insurance claim through GEICO when I got into a fender bender last year.
I know that the claims processing area is the segment where GEICO receives most of its customer complaints. However, I did not have a bad experience with the company processing my claim. Perhaps I was lucky because the claim was relatively straightforward and not overly complicated. However, I found that I could easily submit my claim online and also easily track its status. In addition, the agents I spoke with were helpful, and I could fix my car quickly because the payment was fast.
However, I have heard others complain that agents didn’t get back to them quickly or didn’t approve their claims satisfactorily. I’ve also heard reports that rates will go up without any valid explanation, but I have not yet experienced these issues.
Easily the best thing about GEICO is their website and mobile app, which are extremely easy to navigate and provide you with all the information and tools you need to manage your account, file claims, and track any outstanding claims. I could also quickly access my insurance card through the app when I got into my accident.
You can even use the app to request roadside assistance, which is great because you don’t have to look around for phone numbers or find your insurance card if you need help on the road. I also find the website very easy to navigate, and you don’t even need to log in to an account to do certain essential functions like make a payment, request an ID card, add a vehicle, or go paperless.
A final great benefit that I enjoy with the app is the ability to use it to find the cheapest gas wherever I am located. It uses GPS to find the best-priced gas stations in the immediate area. With all of these great features and an easy-to-use design, it’s no wonder why the app is the highest rated in the industry in the Google Play store.
Most people associate GEICO with car insurance, as that is where the company started and was the primary focus for many years. However, as mentioned, I have both my auto and homeowner’s insurance bundled, and the company offers many more additional options for insurance policies as well.
The main categories of insurance that GEICO offers are Vehicle, Property, and Business, although they offer some additional types of specialized insurance products as well. Customers can look to GEICO for almost any type of insurance policy they require.
GEICO makes it easy to get a quote for all the insurance policies they offer. Simply visit www.geico.com to get started. Select the type of insurance for which you wish to receive a quote, and the system will prompt you with the relevant questions related to that offering. At the end of the questions, you’ll receive your personalized quote and the option to purchase it directly online.
If you prefer not to enter your information online to receive a quote, you can also reach the company by phone between the hours of 7:00 AM to midnight (ET). There’s also a live chat option, where you can speak with an agent directly through the computer.
The company’s slogans promise that it takes less than 15 minutes to receive a quote that will save you money.
After assessing my own experience with the company and researching other people’s reviews, here’s a breakdown of the main pros and cons of using GEICO for insurance.
- Rated highly for financial strength.
- Available in most geographic areas of the U.S.
- One of the top three least-expensive car insurance providers.
- Especially friendly to younger drivers, who may have higher rates with other companies.
- The mobile app and website are easy to navigate, well-designed, and useful.
- The company scores higher than others in its customer service.
- Offers “bundling” discounts and other types of discounts for many of their policies.
- One of the few companies that offer “mechanical breakdown insurance” (MBI) that acts as an extended warranty, covering your vehicle in the event of various mechanical failures.
- Not as much “physical” presence as other competitors. GEICO primarily does business online and does not have brick-and-mortar locations—no “face-to-face” interaction opportunities.
- Coverage for newer or lower-mileage vehicles is not as comprehensive as some other companies.
- Although the car insurance rates are very competitive, the homeowner’s and renter’s insurance rates are not as competitive as other companies.
GEICO is an excellent option for younger drivers with a clean driving record, as it provides significantly lower rates to this demographic than many comparable companies. It also offers student discounts, military discounts, and federal employee discounts. Additionally, the company also offers significant discounts to senior citizen drivers.
Overall, the demographic most likely to recommend GEICO fell into the age groups of 20-29 years old and 60 to 69 years old. This data reflects the demographics that GEICO tends to cater to, although many other types of customers will find offerings through GEICO that meet their needs.
Finally, customers with newer vehicles may want to take advantage of the mechanical breakdown insurance option to have an extra layer of protection against any mechanical failures.
One other metric that many people use to assess insurance companies’ financial strength and customer satisfaction rates includes several companies’ ratings. The table below shows the significant insurance industry ratings for GEICO. As you can see, GEICO rates very strongly with all of these major rating companies.
As a loyal customer for several years, I can’t say that I have anything negative to say about GEICO or my policy with the company. As I think everyone should do, I’ll continue to evaluate my coverage yearly and compare the quotes and policies with other companies to ensure that GEICO still meets my needs. If you’re in the market for affordable insurance (especially car insurance) with a nationally known and recognizable company, I recommend adding GEICO to your list of companies to try.