Are Allstate's higher prices worth considering? In this review we take a look at what one of the largest insurance companies has to offer.
Pros & Cons
|Financial stability||Only about 150 neighborhood agents available countrywide|
|Great pricing||Rates slightly higher for drivers with at-fault accidents|
|Discounts for a variety of reasons, including military|
|Auto Repair Xpress Promise|
|Accident forgiveness without extra fees|
GEICO provides reasonable rates with plenty of discounts and an excellent mobile service app for customers on the go.
Compare GEICO’s Rates with Other Companies
GEICO started in 1936 as the Government Employee Insurance Company. Initially GEICO sold insurance to U.S. government employees and military personnel. Eventually the company expanded its customer base to include the private sector as well.
Sixty years after GEICO began it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of insurance giant Berkshire Hathaway, led by iconic investor, Warren Buffett.
In most recent years, GEICO’s unusual advertising created an enthusiastic buzz and helped to propel it to the second largest American private passenger auto insurer.
We decided to look beyond GEICO’s entertaining commercials to determine if the carrier truly lives up to the hype. Our review took into consideration both positive and negative feedback across numerous categories. After finishing a thorough investigation, GEICO earned 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.
Let’s get into the specifics that influenced our GEICO rating.
In general, we faithfully pay insurance premiums believing our insurance carrier will be there for us when we need them. Consider if you were unfortunate enough to unknowingly buy insurance from a financially insecure company only to discover later there is no money available to pay claims. For this reason, reviewing an auto insurance company’s financial security is one of the most important aspects of shopping for coverage.
GEICO currently reports assets of more than $32 Billion dollars. That sounds like plenty of money in reserves to pay your auto claims, if needed.
However, you don’t have to just take GEICO’s word for it. Four of the insurance trade’s most esteemed organizations have bestowed GEICO with high honors.
Below are GEICO’s most recent grades:
- A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating A++ (Superior)
- Moody’s Rating Aa1 (High Quality, Low Risk)
- Standard and Poor’s Rating AA+ (Very Strong)
- Fitch AA- (Strong)
Groups such as A.M. Best and Moody’s look at many different components of the insurance carrier, as well as compare that carrier to their peers. These independent ratings associations take their time and go through all the specific details the public would be interested in studying themselves.
GEICO has consistently earned a high financial ratings for the past eight years. To date, the carrier still remains steady and solid. If history is a good predictor of future results, we anticipate GEICO will remain a strong insurer for years to come.
GEICO consistently provides competitive rates with the very best pricing reserved for safe drivers. In fact, they are able to maintain affordable rates year after year because they sell policies direct-to-consumers online and over the phone. This means no agent commissions need to be paid and, ultimately, factored into insured pricing.
The second reason GEICO offers reasonable rates is because they offer plenty of discounts. The available premium discounts are based on both the vehicle and the insured. Some discounts are applied to the overall premium amount while other discounts are only meant for a specific portion of the policy’s coverage. For example, insureds can qualify for 40% for full-front seat air bags. This particular vehicle discount is applied to the policy’s medical payment or personal injury portion, rather than the total policy premium amount. Obviously a bit of a discount here or there will certainly add up!
Most of the GEICO vehicle discounts range from 1% to 40% and, as we mentioned, may apply to a specific portion of the coverage. In addition, you may be able to secure various insured discounts that go up to 26% per qualifying discount type.
The only category where GEICO tends to charge more than other insurers is when it comes to at-fault accidents. We found other auto insurance companies, such as Progressive, offer lower premiums for drivers that have experienced an at-fault accident in the last five years. In our research, GEICO typically charged 5% more than the competition for drivers with recent at-fault accidents totaling more than one thousand dollars in damages.
Compare GEICO’s Rates with Other Companies
You really might spend only 15 minutes to save 15% or more by switching to GEICO insurance, just like the zany commercials advertise. One of the ways GEICO is able to save consumers cash on their auto policies is by offering unique discounts.
Right now GEICO has about 15 different discounts available and they generally range from 1% and 40% per discount. As we mentioned earlier, GEICO has a slightly different approach than other auto insurers because they will apply some discounts only to a specific portion of the premium’s cost, rather than the total.
You will not see all the typical industry discounts such as the paperless discount, pay in full discount, online quote & signature discounts, and automatic payment discount. Surprising, right?
On the other hand, GEICO continues to offer vehicle discounts for anti-lock brakes and passive restraints (i.e. seatbelts and airbags) even though other top insurance carriers no longer do the same. The industry has slowly started phasing out such vehicle safety discounts because they figure these features come standard on newer vehicles. You should be happy to know GEICO continues to provide these cost markdowns!
Insureds, like yourself, usually are very pleased by earning multiple discounts for the same policy.
Some of the GEICO discounts you may qualify for are:
- Air Bag
- Anti-Lock Brake System
- Anti-Theft System
- Daytime Running Lights
- 5 Year Accident Free Good Driver
- Seat Belt Use
- Defensive Driving
- Driver’s Education
- Good Student
- Designated Membership and Employee Discounts
General Military Discount
GEICO was originally founded to insure American government workers, including military personnel. They continue to honor the sacrifice made by our military families through a military discount. In fact, GEICO is the only top auto insurance company to do so.
To qualify for GEICO’s military discount you must be in active duty or retired. This includes the National Guard and Reserves. This special discount provides up to a 15% reduction in the total policy premium.
Emergency Deployment Discount
GEICO offers Emergency Deployment Discounts to Military members when they are deployed. There are specific guidelines in place for this discount which you would need to meet.
We were unable to confirm the exact percentage GEICO will markdown your policy. However, any discount is better than none. Plus, GEICO is the only insurance company that even takes emergency deployment into consideration when managing a client’s policy. So if you qualify, be sure to call GEICO and get the discount in place!
Federal Employee (Eagle Discount)
GEICO sticks with their tradition of recognizing government service. So if you’re an active or retired federal employee classified as GS-7 ranking or above, you may be in luck! GEICO offers an “eagle discount” of up to 8% off the total auto policy premium.
The Eagle Discount is available in most states. However, be aware, it can’t be used in combination with the Designated Membership discount.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) “Insurance Complaint Ratio” report for GEICO is highly favorable. The NAIC report represents the number of complaints an insurance carrier received in one year versus total premiums written that same year. For 2017 NAIC showed GEICO’s complaint ratio as .00 while a median ratio of 1.00 represented all auto insurance companies nationwide. Clearly GEICO’s complaint ratio is exceedingly better than the national average.
GEICO also received top honors last year among all companies for its ability to create loyal customers. In a study completed by Brand Keys, GEICO was placed into the top 30% of the most popular companies such as Nike and Starbucks. In reviewing the 2017 Brand Keys customer engagement report, it further shows GEICO beating out all other large insurance companies for their level of customer recognition and loyalty. GEICO far exceeded State Farm and Allstate.
On the other hand, Consumer Affairs currently reports a slightly below average customer satisfaction rating for GEICO. Their most recent rating is 2 out of 5 stars.
Frequent complaints about GEICO fell into two categories. The primary complaint was from GEICO insureds unhappy with rate increases at renewal time. Most of the insureds complained they did not understand the reason for the increase. Others complained to Consumer Affairs that they had an accident which they believe unfairly increased their renewal premiums. It is worth noting these are typical complaints among all insurance carriers.
Finally, GEICO is known in the auto insurance industry for its excellent customer service mobile application (iOS, Android). It is a full-service tool that helps you keep track of billing and claims. You can use the mobile app to access digital auto insurance ID cards, pay bills, or talk with an agent.
Their mobile app has earned a multitude of awards since 2010 and they continue to dominate. Here is a partial list of GEICO’s accolades:
- J.D. Powers 2018 Insurance Digital Experience Study (878 GEICO score, 850 average insurer score)
- Forrester’s Research’s U.S. Mobile Auto Insurance Functionality Benchmark 2013 – 2015, 2017
- Dynatrace’s Keynote’s #1 Award for Mobile Insurance Scorecard
- Webby Awards 2013 to 2016
GEICO continues to be innovate by introducing new features to their electronic services. For example, GEICO’s virtual assistant Kate is part of the existing mobile app for smart phone users. Kate is able to answer insured questions and provide policy information. Your GEICO policy account has also become accessible by Amazon’s Alexa.
GEICO remains focused on servicing customers via telephonic and electronic tools to provide their insureds with 24 hour convenience, speed, and premium savings.
All that is great but if you are someone that prefers to pop into your neighborhood agent’s office for help, GEICO may not be for you. They are not in the business of face-to-face support. In fact, GEICO only has about 150 agents located throughout the United States. So if you want to talk about your policy, request changes, or make a payment, you’ll need to do it through the smart phone app, website, or customer service line.
GEICO provides all the same speedy claims features as their competitors. You can file (and track) a claim online, over the phone, or through the mobile app. Of course, the GEICO mobile app is considered the best in the industry so you should find it to be very helpful while dealing with a claim.
GEICO Auto Repair Xpress® Promise
A definite claims benefit offered by GEICO is the Auto Repair Xpress Promise. If you have an accident and need vehicle repairs, you can meet a GEICO claims representative at the auto repair shop.
The adjuster will process your auto claim while the vehicle is being fixed and you’ll receive regular updates on the claim. Once your car is fully repaired, the adjuster will inspect it to make sure it’s satisfactory and then have you pick up the vehicle.
GEICO goes a step further by providing a written lifetime guarantee on the repairs!
GEICO understands accidents are going to happen from time to time. So they make a point of offering Accident Forgiveness coverage that you can either purchase or earn.
You might be wondering, what will Accident Forgiveness do for me? Well, if any of the drivers covered under your policy are in an at-fault accident, GEICO will waive the premium surcharge prompted by the accident. This means no increase in premiums. Who wouldn’t love that?
Keep in mind, GEICO’s Accident Forgiveness is per policy and can be only once for the first at-fault accident. For those customers that bought Accident Forgiveness, GEICO will remove the coverage and cost at their next policy renewal following the accident.
To upgrade your policy with Accident Forgiveness, GEICO will check a variety of things to determine if you are eligible. For example, they will look at your driving record, policy type, as well as state laws and regulations. If you do qualify for Accident Forgiveness, the coverage cost will be included in your premium same as Roadside Assistance.
If you are a GEICO insured 21 years of age or older, you might be able to secure Accident Forgiveness without paying for it at all. To do so, you would need to be a qualifying driver that’s accident-free for five years or more.
Another bonus to having Accident Forgiveness (besides the obvious) is that you’ll be able to keep your “good driver discount” even after the first, qualifying at-fault accident. That really is forgiveness!
GEICO is one of very few auto carriers that provides this benefit. The cost to buy Accident Forgiveness is usually minimal and can save you tons of cash later. It’s worth taking advantage of, if you qualify.
Additional Auto Insurance Products
In addition to standard auto insurance coverage, GEICO also provides their customers the option to add the following:
Emergency roadside assistance: For as little as $14 a year per car, you can add emergency roadside assistance coverage. This feature can be used if you run out of gas, lock yourself out of your car, or have a flat tire. This is a great value considering AAA roadside assistance plans are normally at least three times GEICO’s cost.
Rideshare insurance: Do you drive for Lyft or Uber? Or are you thinking about doing so? GEICO is one of the few insurance carriers that will cover you for rideshare and personal use all under one policy. This hybrid plan is available in most states.
Mechanical breakdown coverage: For a minor $250 deductible, this will cover mechanical parts of a new car. The exclusion being problems caused by normal wear and tear.
General Insurance Products
If you ask any random person about GEICO, they will probably tell you about the funny GEICO Gecko and how they claim you can spend 15 minutes to save 15% on auto insurance. However, if you ask those same individuals if GEICO sells any other types of coverage besides car insurance, they might not have an answer.
The fact is GEICO does have many other products available.
Home Insurance – GEICO writes many different home policies such as standard homeowners, landlord, mobile home, condo, and renter’s policy. You can even get flood insurance.
Commercial Auto – GEICO covers cars, truck, and vans for business purposes. GEICO even insures box trucks, food trucks, and utility vehicles.
Motorcycle Insurance – GEICO is very popular among motorcycle enthusiasts! In fact, over 500 insureds have given GEICO 4.5 out of 5 stars when it comes to their motorcycle coverage. GEICO will insure a sport bike, cruiser, standard, touring bike, or a custom bike.
Recreational Insurance – GEICO covers all kinds of recreational vehicles such as ATVs, RTVs, collector cars, boats, etc.
Business Insurance – GEICO offers worker’s compensation, general liability, professional (Error &Omissions) liability, and Business Owner’s Policies (BOP).
Life Insurance – You can purchase permanent whole or universal, as well as term life insurance.
GEICO also sells additional policy types: umbrella insurance, travel insurance, identity theft, jewelry, and pet insurance. In fact, you can also get “overseas” insurance from GEICO to cover your car, motorcycle, or personal property while traveling abroad.
If you care about big corporations that operate in a socially responsible manner then GEICO may be a great option for your insurance coverage. GEICO’s website confirms they are focused on being environmentally responsible, supporting charitable causes, and promoting inclusion. Organizations throughout the country recognize GEICO’s commitment to social responsibility.
GEICO encourages energy conservation and recycling efforts throughout their organization. As most large corporations do, GEICO has looked for ways to reduce, recycle, and reuse at each of their seventeen corporate locations.
They also donate time and money to worthy charities such as their GEICO Cares gives back to the community through partnering with programs like Habitat for Humanity, and Paws for a Cause. GEICO also works closely to help an academic and tennis outreach program for underserved youth called Game On!
For over forty years, GEICO has raised money for Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. To date GEICO has raised over $3.4 Million in donations for the Children’s National Hospital. GEICO associates dedicate one month each summer to raising funds through cookie sales, putt-putt tournaments, and other fun charitable events. So far 219,000 children have benefited from GEICO’s good deeds.
Finally, GEICO is focused on inclusion, diversity, and providing a well-rounded work experience for all 40,000 associates. Their efforts have been recognized throughout the years. Last year GEICO was rated the #4 America’s Most Admired Company by Fortune. In previous years, GEICO has earned recognition and honors from Hispanic, African American, and Women’s groups.
Based on our research GEICO earned a respectable rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars. They are a financially solid insurance company that has an amazing customer service app and competitive rates. Throughout the company’s history they have always recognized appreciation for government employees, including military personnel. Decades later GEICO has stayed true to this commitment by being the only top auto carrier providing Military and Government (Eagle) discounts.
For the last eight years, GEICO has maintained very strong financial ratings by the top four financial ratings organizations such as A.M. Best. This means your premium dollars will be available to cover a loss when you need it most. In other words, the Gecko won’t let you down when you need him.
NAIC reports that GEICO is way above average in customer satisfaction. Furthermore, Brand Keys recognizes GEICO as being one of America’s top brands with the highest levels of customer satisfaction, more than any of the other big insurance carriers. We uncovered minimal customer service or claim complaints from GEICO insureds.
Eighty years after GEICO was founded, they currently have more than 16 Million active auto insurance policies and counting. Over the years their direct-to-consumer advertising has certainly helped GEICO become a household name.
The quirky radio and TV commercials featuring the Gecko undoubtedly impacted American pop culture significantly. However, crediting GEICO’s marketing alone would be an oversimplification of their success. GEICO’s pricing, mobile app, and financial stability continue to be top notch. Each of these factors also helped to propel GEICO to #2 U.S. auto insurance carrier.