One of the most recognizable car insurance carriers on the market is also a reliable go-to for standard auto insurance.
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Available in all 50 states
Easy-to-use website and mobile app
Plenty of discounts
Comprehensive customer service
Wide array of other coverages, including rideshare insurance and collector’s insurance
Average claims satisfaction
Middling customer ratings
Can’t compare rates with GEICO agents
GEICO doesn’t underwrite all other products
THE BOTTOM LINE
The second largest auto insurer in the country (after State Farm), and one of the largest auto insurance advertisers out there, GEICO covers over 17 million policyholders and 28 million vehicles. The Maryland-based company got that popular thanks to its accessible agents and affordable prices, which makes it a good choice for drivers in need of standard coverage.
GEICO COMPANY SPOTLIGHT
3 out of 5
J.D. Power Rating
A trusted customer satisfaction and product quality research agency
A nonprofit organization focusing on marketplace trust and product quality
A.M. Best Rating
100-year-old U.S. credit rating agency focused on the insurance industry
The Bottom Line
It’s not just the gecko and caveman commercials. Besides funny advertising, the auto insurer GEICO offers a standard selection of coverage options for drivers and makes it easy for customers to get quotes and pay bills online with an easy-to-use website and robust mobile app. You may not get top-tier claims satisfaction, but you will get standard coverage for a decent price.
Available in all 50 states. If something is “ubiquitous,” that means it can be found everywhere. GEICO is ubiquitous! That's a good thing, because some major auto insurance companies are not found in every state.
Easy-to-use website and mobile app. Of course the website for one of the most famous brands, car insurance or otherwise, is simple to navigate and use. Pay your bills online, receive a free quote after answering some questions, and find basic information easily, without having to pick up the phone. The mobile app is similarly handy, with access to bill-paying, claim-filing, and quote-getting.
Plenty of discounts. GEICO grants a whole bunch of potential discounts for customers. For example, you could pay a lower premium if you have a clean driving history, belong to a particular organization, or if you’ve taken a defensive driving course.
Wide array of other coverages, including rideshare insurance and collector’s insurance. Do you drive for Lyft or Uber? GEICO has the auto insurance policy for you and your side hustle. You don’t need to double up either, since one policy will cover your personal use and your ridesharing gig.
Average claims satisfaction. According to the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, GEICO rated about average when it comes to claims. You may have a better claims experience with other insurers known for top-tier customer service, like Amica or Erie. But you’ve got to ask yourself: Do those carriers have a gecko for a mascot?
Middling customer ratings. Customer response is pretty mixed. For instance, readers of Consumer Reports say GEICO’s policies and premiums are merely “good.” There are also over 3,000 complaints about the car insurance company on its Better Business Bureau website. This is typical for larger insurers, so your experience with GEICO will vary.
Can’t compare rates with GEICO agents. Shoppers hoping to easily compare rates to other carriers with GEICO agents are out of luck. They will only show you a GEICO quote. If you want to compare all your other options you should speak to an independent broker who can help you compare quotes from multiple carriers without having to input your information again and again.
GEICO doesn’t underwrite all of its other products. Hoping to bundle GEICO auto and home policies together? You can, but it may not be that easy to make a claim since GEICO partners with third-party companies for some of its other insurance products.
How much you pay for car insurance is determined by a number of factors specific to you, like your address, age, credit score, driving history, and vehicle. Since each driver has a unique background and history, it’s difficult to predict what any given driver will pay for car insurance.
That said, we can still look at a sample GEICO auto insurance policy to get a sense of what someone might pay for a policy.
Our sample driver is a single, 30-year-old man in Minneapolis, Minnesota who drives a 2014 Toyota Camry. GEICO quoted him $475.30 for a 6-month policy, or $950.60 for a 1-year policy, which is a little more than the average cost of car insurance in his state in 2015, which was $875.49.
Let’s take a look at the details of his policy:
|Basic Coverages||Policy Limits|
|Bodily injury liability||$50,000 each person, $100,000 each accident|
|Property damage liability||$50,000 each accident|
|Personal injury protection||$40,000 each person|
|Uninsured motorists bodily injury||$50,000 each person, $100,000 each accident|
|Rental reimbursement||$30 per day, $900 maximum|
Rates current as of March 2020. The above numbers are based on a sample profile. Rates will vary for each applicant based on location, driving history, vehicle, number of people included on the policy, and other factors.
If you are looking for the cheapest option a GEICO agent is not necessarily going to help you find one. GEICO doesn’t sell policies through independent agents, so the only way to buy GEICO car insurance is directly from GEICO. If you want to compare quotes and find the best rates, you’ll have to contact an independent broker or conduct a quote comparison on your own.
GEICO offers a wide range of discounts, more than some of its competitors. Those include discounts for vehicle features like anti-lock brakes, an anti-theft system, and air bags. There are also discounts based on driving history. If you’re accident-free for five years or if you’ve taken a defensive driving course then you’ll see a lower rate on your monthly bill.
Then there are affiliation-related discounts, based on where you work or any organizations you belong to, as well as discounts for bundling your auto policy with another type of coverage from GEICO.
Here are a few more GEICO discounts:
Remember that a lot of these discounts can change and vary by driving record, eligibility, location, and a variety of other information.
GEICO, which stands for Government Employees Insurance Company, began as an insurance provider for federal employees, but expanded to the general population in the ‘70s. Now, GEICO is a major auto insurance company, with more than 17 million auto policies in force, according to the company, and loads of brand recognition thanks to its ubiquitous (there’s that word again!) commercials.
Customers know the name and the ads. Do they know if GEICO, as a company, will last long into the future so it can pay off their claims? Don’t worry, because multiple financial organizations are confident that GEICO will be around for a while.
A.M. Best, a credit rating agency that focuses specifically on the insurance industry, gives GEICO an A++, which means the insurer has a “superior” ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations to customers. That’s the best rating they can give a company.
The Better Business Bureau, the organization that ranks companies based on the truth of their advertising and on complaints from customers, grades GEICO an A+. Those giggle-worthy commercials are doing their job.
Bond credit rating agency Moody’s says GEICO is an Aa1-rated company, meaning it’s financially strong and stocked full of cash reserves. Standard & Poor’s, or S&P, gives GEICO a similar rating, AA+, which means GEICO is a very low credit risk. Basically, there’s little chance GEICO will go broke soon.
Industry experts are satisfied with GEICO and its ability to pay out customers’ claims and stick around well into the future. That’s great. But what do GEICO customers think?
For the most part they’re satisfied. But like with any large insurance carrier there are some vocally disappointed customers.
Here are the ratings from several major consumer opinion trackers:
The Better Business Bureau ranks companies based on advertising and customer complaints. Its A+ rating is at odds with the 1-star rating and 3,072 customer complaints from the last three years (as of March 2020). That’s a lot of complaints, but keep in mind, 17 million customers have policies with GEICO. Nearly a third of those complaints are closed (or resolved), too.
Consumers Advocate, which cares about company reputation, policy features, and stability, gives GEICO a nearly perfect score.
Consumer Reports readers rate GEICO in the yellow, or about average, with a score of 78. They say its premiums, policy review, and help and advice are “good,” while claims and service are “very good.”
J.D. Power rates insurance companies based on policy offerings, price, and the clarity of billing and policy information. On its 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, GEICO earned a score of 879 on a 1000-point scale. That translates to a 3 out of 5 in its Power Circle rating, which means GEICO is at the industry average for claims satisfaction.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which tracks complaints submitted to state insurance departments, gives GEICO a score of 1.38. A score of 1 represents the baseline average, with a zero meaning there weren’t enough customer complaints to count. Based on that, GEICO has just a few more complaints than the average. This score takes GEICO’s other insurance offerings, including auto, condo, home, and renters, into account.
GEICO offers the standard coverage options that most drivers need, plus some additional types of coverage that could be appealing, like mechanical breakdown insurance and coverage for rideshare drivers. It also offers a few non-standard options, but not many.
GEICO Customers will get the standard coverage that every driver should need, including:
In addition to standard coverage, GEICO offers the following options:
Auto insurance is GEICO’s main product. But like other major insurance carriers, drivers can get a discount by bundling together auto coverage with a home policy. Just don’t expect GEICO to underwrite all of those non-auto policies themselves.
That’s because GEICO offers some of its other insurance products through partner companies. So, when it’s time to file a claim, you’ll have to deal with multiple companies rather than just GEICO. That could be a lengthy process — and could possibly lead to you filing a bitter complaint with the BBB.
So long as you understand that, here are some of the other insurance products GEICO offers:
GEICO has an easy-to-use, simple-to-navigate website and a comprehensive mobile app. There’s a 24/7 phone line and a virtual chat bot on the website for basic questions. You can even contact GEICO via Twitter, or through the mobile app.
In our experience, it took a little while to speak to a customer representative on the phone because of multiple automated menus. Once we spoke to a living human being, though, they were helpful with basic policy questions.
Unlike many of its competitors, GEICO writes auto policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
GEICO makes it possible to apply for auto insurance online or over the phone. The GEICO website is straightforward and easy-to-use, you just plug in your basic information and get a quote. It automatically applied discounts when we tried it out, but the default coverage limits on the quote it gave us were low, and it didn’t include collision or comprehensive coverage. When we added those coverages, the quote was significantly higher than the first number we’d gotten.
You can quote up to nine vehicles on the site. If you want to quote for more than that you’ll have to call.
As mentioned above, GEICO does not work with independent brokers, so their agents will only give you GEICO quotes. And, depending on where you’re located, any particular agent you speak to on the phone may not be able to help you, so you may have to wait a while longer for a transfer.
Customers can pay their bills multiple ways, including:
GEICO’s site hosts a simple-to-use online quote generator. Customers can also download the GEICO mobile app, which lets users pay bills, file claims, get quotes, view ID cards, request roadside assistance, and locate gas or parking. There’s even Lyft integration so you can find a ride when you need one, photo submissions for easy estimates, and a general help section.
GEICO customers that have devices with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant integration can also ask about claims, roadside assistance, and other basic questions.
An online chat bot is also available on the website if you want to avoid the phone.
GEICO makes it easy for drivers to file claims online, by phone, or through the GEICO mobile app, which also offers a “photo estimate” tool that will guide you through the process of taking photos of any damage. GEICO’s Auto Repair Xpress program makes it convenient to get repairs through a GEICO-approved auto body shop, but it may be harder if you choose to strike out on your own.
Like several other major car insurance carriers, GEICO doesn’t sell policies through independent agents, meaning the only way to buy GEICO car insurance is directly from GEICO. Work with one of our independent brokers at Policygenius to compare quotes from top carriers and get the best rates.
Policygenius offers insurance policies from many of the nation's top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.
About the author
Tim Torres is the reviews editor at Policygenius. His work has appeared in Computer Shopper, Tom's Guide, and numerous other outlets over the last ten years.
Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.
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