GEICO Insurance Overview
GEICO is a full-service insurance company that provides business and personal lines directly to consumers primarily by telephone and through their website GEICO.com. They do have authorized agents that are able to sell GEICO insurance products in a more traditional client-agent manner, but the bulk of their business is done online.
GEICO, which stands for “Government Employees Insurance Company,” is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. The company was a publically traded firm from the 40’s until 1996, when Berkshire Hathaway purchased them.
The company writes auto insurance in all 50 states, as well as Washington D.C.. As a direct-to-consumer insurer, they do not have to pay additional commission to third party agents, which allow them to keep their premiums down and spend more on advertising.
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GEICO Insurance Products
GEICO has a wide selection of products which they provide to consumers including, homeowners, car insurance, motorcycle, life insurance, personal watercraft, ATV, umbrella, renters and condo insurance. They also have additional services that cover less popular recreational vehicles.
For business clients, GEICO offers standard coverage items like general liability insurance, business owners policies and professional liability insurance.
GEICO Insurance Rates
GEICO’s rates are Below Average.
During our rate test, we found that a 30-year-old married couple living in Southern California can get full coverage on two automobiles for $144 a month. There have only been a couple companies even comparable to this price since we started running these tests.
It should be noted that we typically run the quote with $250,000/$500,000 bodily injury coverage, but that option was not available on the GEICO website. Instead we ran the test using $300,000/$500,000, which means you are getting more coverage for a lower price than most of their competitors.
As a direct insurance company, GEICO can offer discounted rates since they do not have to operate through a middleman sales agent or broker. When purchasing online, consumers can modify rate quotes and see how different coverage will impact the price of their policy much easier than when dealing with a broker or sales agent.
GEICO Consumer Complaints
The Better Business Bureau currently has no rating assigned for GEICO. There have been over 1400 complaints filed in the past three years, with 580 coming in the previous 12 months. The number one issue reported to the BBB was problems with the product or service. There are currently no government actions involving GEICO, as far as the BBB knows, and there are no advertising issues which have been reported to the Better Business Bureau.
GEICO is one of the largest insurers in the United States, and along with that comes a lot of consumer complaints online. ConsumerAffairs.com has over 500 complaints filed against GEICO, and just over a one star rating out of five. Most insurance companies have ratings on this website ranging from 1-1.5, since the majority of people leaving comments are doing so after having an issue with the company.
GEICO Consumer Research Reports
J,D, Power and Associates – In 2012, JD Power rated GEICO as one of the top websites in customer satisfaction as it pertains to getting an online quote. Shoppers were much more likely to go with GEICO than other top competitors due to their simple to use quote system and low rates. Additionally, GEICO scored above average in the JD Power 2011 Insurance Shopping Study, which ranked companies based on overall customer satisfaction. GEICO scored 843 out of 1000.
Consumer Reports – In 2010, Consumer Reports polled readers about their insurance providers, and GEICO received an 86 out of 100, putting them in the top 15 of all insurance companies rated. The main categories covered were claims related problems, timely payments and non-claim related problems.
GEICO Financial Rating
A.M. Best Rating – A++
Fitch Rating – AA-
S & P Rating – AA+
GEICO Overall Rating
GEICO is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, one of the most successful companies in the world. Their financial strength is one of the highest in the insurance industry, which is very important in the insurance field. They rank very highly with third-party consumer advocate companies like JD Power, and their rates are some of the lowest in the industry according to our tests.
There are a lot of consumer complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau and on websites like ConsumerAffairs.com.
Individuals, families and business owners who are price-conscience when it comes to their insurance premiums should get a quote from GEICO. They are consistently one of the lowest cost insurance providers, and they operate all across the United States.
People who have a complicated insurance portfolio that requires the use of an agent should look for a third party broker that is authorized to sell GEICO products. They may have to pay a broker fee for their services, but the lower cost of GEICO products will help offset the additional charge.
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About the Author
I am a former insurance agent turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.