GEICO was founded in Texas in 1936 by Leo Goodwin Sr. and his wife Lilliam Goodwin. The company was launched with the goal of providing auto insurance directly to federal government employees and their families. Goodwin had a background in insurance: he had spent the last 11 years working for USAA, which specialized in insuring military personnel and their families. Goodwin believed federal employees would be ideal customers for an insurance company because they were perceived to be safer drivers and more financially stable.
GEICO eventually relocated to the Washington, D.C. area, which, understandably, has the highest concentration of federal workers in the country. Today, GEICO continues to be headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
In 1974, under the leadership of company president David Lloyd Kreeger, GEICO began to insure the general public for the first time. At this time, GEICO was the fifth largest auto insurance company in the country. GEICO reached another turning point in 1996 when, after years of being a publicly traded firm, GEICO became a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. Today, GEICO is the second largest car insurance company in the country, maintaining more than 150 offices across the United States.
GEICO Insurance Rankings
GEICO’s insurance rankings have fallen in recent years. In 2016, J.D. Power ranked GEICO as the 20th of 24 car insurance companies based on the overall purchase experience, giving GEICO a score of 2/5.
The latest 2018 J.D. Power rankings were slightly more favorable towards GEICO, although the company still ranked as average in most categories. Overall, GEICO scored a 3/5 in overall satisfaction in the 2018 J.D. Power rankings, which is the same rating scored by Nationwide, State Farm, Travelers, The Hartford, and Allstate.
In terms of specific ratings, GEICO scored 3/5 for its first notice of loss (FNOL), estimation process, repair process, claims serving, and settlement process, along with a 5/5 in terms of rental experience.
We also look at the financial rating of insurance companies as measured by A.M. Best. A.M. Best most recently gave GEICO a financial strength rating (FSR) of A++, or “Superior”. This is the highest possible rating given out by A.M. Best. It indicates that GEICO is in a great financial position and should have no issues covering its liabilities.
Meanwhile, GEICO had fewer complaints to state regulators than the industry average for a company of its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
What Makes GEICO Unique?
GEICO has several characteristics that differentiate itself from competing car insurance companies, including:
Affordability: One of the reasons why GEICO is so popular is its affordability. The company routinely ranks as the cheapest car insurance in the country among major providers.
Mobile Apps: GEICO has a full-service mobile app, allowing you to keep track of your policy and billing information. You can also access a digital auto insurance ID card through the app, pay your bills, and submit claims. If you need roadside assistance or an agent, you can contact either through the app.
Voice Assistant: GEICO’s mobile app is one of the few car insurance apps with its own voice assistant. GEICO’s voice assistant Kate can answer insurance questions and provide specific policy information when requested through the iOS or Android app.
Is GEICO a Good Insurance Company? Our Review
GEICO is America’s second biggest car insurance company for good reason: the company offers competitively-priced car insurance to customers countrywide. Although the company doesn’t have spectacular ratings for claims satisfaction, GEICO’s ratings are in line with other major car insurance companies in the United States.
Customers are generally satisfied when contacting GEICO for claims and other assistance. The company has 40,000 employees nationwide, which means it’s easy to get in touch with an agent or customer service representative as needed.
Where GEICO really shines, however, is in offering good car insurance at a reasonable rate. On car insurance comparison forms, GEICO is frequently among the cheapest providers in every state. Although it’s not quite as cheap as some of the most basic, barebones car insurance providers, GEICO manages to offer cheap car insurance without compromising much on customer service. In terms of value, it’s tough to beat GEICO’s car insurance offerings.
GEICO Auto Insurance Policies and Products
Some of the unique auto insurance policies available with GEICO include:
Mechanical Breakdown Coverage: Not all insurers offer mechanical breakdown coverage. GEICO covers repairs to all mechanical parts of a new car up to 15 months old and with fewer than 15,000 miles, except for problems related to wear and tear. You’ll need to pay a $250 deductible to make a claim. You can renew mechanical breakdown coverage on your vehicle for up to 7 years or 100,000 miles, which means GEICO will protect your car against unexpected breakdowns for much longer than many other insurance companies.
Emergency Roadside Assistance: Like many other insurance companies, GEICO makes it easy to add roadside assistance to your policy. GEICO’s roadside assistance, however, is often the cheapest in America. For basic roadside assistance, you may pay as little as $14 per year per vehicle.
Auto Repair Xpress: GEICO has taken steps to improve their claims satisfaction. If your car needs repairs, then a GEICO claims adjuster will meet you at the repair shop to answer any questions about your claim, help you deal with rental reimbursement, and sort out any other issues.
Rideshare Insurance: Like many other insurers, GEICO now offers rideshare insurance for Uber and Lyft drivers, helping them close the gap in coverage left by these companies. Rideshare insurance is available in most states, although it’s not available in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, North Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, Texas, Utah, Nevada, Hawaii, or Alaska.
GEICO is the second largest car insurance company in the United States, insuring nearly 1 in every 9 vehicles on the road. The company offers some of the most value-packed car insurance policies in the country, maintaining low costs without compromising much on claims satisfaction or customer service. GEICO’s 3/5 overall score from J.D. Power isn’t impressive – but it’s also the exact same score given to other major insurers like Allstate, Nationwide, and State Farm.