The most entertaining element of shopping for car insurance might be the funny commercials. The fun element often vanishes once you’re choosing a new insurance policy.
GEICO knows this so well. That’s why the company uses its adorable gecko to encourage you to use its services, and for a good reason. GEICO has received high customer service ratings and offers adjustable insurance policies and a solid list of discounts. But is what it offers enough to justify getting its auto insurance?
Let’s dive into whether GEICO is worth considering, how it might save you money, and how you could get an auto coverage quote for your vehicle.
GEICO auto insurance: Is it worth it?
|Our verdict: GEICO offers affordable car insurance rates, multiple discounts, and a highly-rated app that lets users handle most issues from their phone. Getting your auto coverage from GEICO might be a good choice if your quote is better than what you currently pay. However, GEICO might not be the best fit if you need gap insurance or if you need to interact with an insurance agent, but none are available near you.|
What is GEICO?
GEICO, which stands for Government Employees Insurance Company, was founded in 1936 by Leo and Lillian Goodwin and originally offered insurance to military personnel and government employees.
In 1996, GEICO was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate company owned by billionaire Warren Buffett.
GEICO provides more than 18 million auto insurance policies and insures more than 30 million vehicles across the country as of 2022, making it the second-largest personal auto insurer in the U.S.
According to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. auto insurance customer satisfaction survey, the company ranks high in several regions, including the Central, California, and New England regions. GEICO ranked lower than the industry average for the Florida, New York, and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Additionally, A.M. Best, an insurance industry analysis company, gave GEICO A++ financial strength rating. This rating reflects GEICO’s readiness to pay many claims without experiencing financial trouble.
However, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which keeps a database of complaints received about insurers, GEICO had almost twice as many complaints as the industry average.
|Year founded||1936, acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in 1996|
|Types of coverage||
|Where you can use it||
|Availability||Available in all 50 states, but coverage options and discounts may vary based on your location|
What insurance does GEICO offer?
When searching for the best car insurance companies, it’s essential to know the level and type of insurance you’re looking for. Many states require at least a basic level of coverage, and it may be a good idea to exceed those minimums to ensure you’re fully covered if you get into an accident or another vehicle incident.
Liability and protection insurance
GEICO offers a variety of auto insurance coverages to protect you in several ways. To shield you from liability costs in an accident, it offers:
- Bodily injury liability: This liability insurance helps to pay for injury or death resulting from an accident where you’re at fault.
- Property damage liability: This coverage assists in paying for damage to someone else’s property after an at-fault accident.
GEICO also provides insurance that would assist with medical treatment or bills, including:
- Medical payments coverage: Helps pay for the expenses of medical treatment you need after a car accident.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage: May help pay for medical treatment, lost wages if you can’t work, or other accident-related costs, even if you are at fault.
Not everyone on the road is properly insured, so GEICO provides insurance coverages that offer additional protection:
- Uninsured motorist coverage: Could help pay for injuries or damages if you are in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance.
- Underinsured motorist coverage: May protect you from at-fault drivers who don’t have sufficient insurance coverage to pay your claim. This coverage is often bundled with uninsured motorist coverage.
Full coverage typically refers to policies that have collision and comprehensive coverage as well as liability. Having full coverage for your vehicle is often required if your car is financed or leased. GEICO offers these vehicle protections:
- Collision coverage: Collision insurance helps to pay for damage to your car caused by another vehicle or an object.
- Comprehensive coverage: This coverage assists in paying for damage to your vehicle due to theft, vandalism, flood, fire, or other covered losses. Comprehensive insurance often covers situations not covered by collision insurance.
Coverage for emergencies
Policyholders could get add-on coverage to provide extra protection, including
- Emergency road service coverage: This coverage helps with the cost of towing service to the nearest repair facility. It also covers battery jump starts, gas delivery, tire changes, lockout services, and even winching your car out of a ditch in some circumstances.
- Mechanical breakdown insurance: Assists in paying for repairing your vehicle if it breaks down or needs repairs due to mechanical problems. This coverage is only available for new or leased cars under 15 months old with less than 15,000 miles.
- Rental reimbursement: This optional coverage helps you pay for a rental while your car is repaired during a covered claim. It does not cover the cost of gas, mileage, or any security deposits required by the rental car company.
Auto coverage limitations
GEICO provides insurance products across the U.S., but specific coverages or discounts may be limited based on state laws and requirements.
The GEICO car insurance website offers an easy way to see what state requirements are in effect where you live, but if you have specific questions related to your insurance needs, you may want to speak with an agent directly.
Although GEICO offers liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, it does not offer gap insurance. This coverage helps pay the difference between your car’s actual value and what you still owe to a lender after an accident that totaled your car.
Additionally, GEICO has varying degrees of insurance agent availability by state. It may not have many in your area, so if you want to develop a relationship with a specific agent, you may need to consider a different insurance provider.
Other insurance products from GEICO
As you research how to get car insurance, you'll find that some providers offer discounts for bundling multiple policies together. GEICO also provides a discount for having more than one policy. You could bundle your auto policy with:
- Homeowners insurance
- Renters insurance
- Condo insurance
- Mobile home insurance
- Motorcycle insurance
In addition to these insurance products, GEICO also offers:
- Insurance policies for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), recreational vehicles (RVs), boats, watercraft, snowmobiles, collector cars, and commercial vehicles.
- Flood insurance.
- Life insurance.
- Overseas and travel insurance.
- Business insurance.
- Identity protection insurance.
- Pet insurance.
- Jewelry insurance.
- Medical malpractice coverage.
- Umbrella coverage.
Note that GEICO doesn’t directly offer some of these coverage options. For example, you would start your homeowners insurance policy with GEICO, but it’s serviced by another insurance company that partners with GEICO.
GEICO auto insurance: how cheap is it?
There are many factors that affect car insurance rates, including your driving history, credit score, location, and even your age and gender. One way to help lower auto insurance rates is by taking advantage of the discounts a company offers to its customers.
How to find discounts
GEICO offers multiple types of discounts. Some, such as having daytime running lights on your car, may only save you about 3%. Others, such as having multiple vehicles covered by GEICO or being a military member on emergency deployment, may save you up to 25%.
GEICO offers several discounts for having a safe vehicle, including:
- Airbag discount: You may save as much as 23% on the medical payments or personal injury portion of your policy if you drive a vehicle with working airbags.
- Anti-lock brakes discount: Factory-installed anti-lock brakes might save you 5% on your car insurance.
- Anti-theft system discount: A built-in anti-theft system may offer up to 23% savings on your comprehensive premium.
- Discount for daytime running lights: These lights turn on automatically when you start the engine. Having them in your car may save you around 3% on your insurance cost.
- New vehicle discount: If your car is three years old or newer, you might save up to 15% on some of your car insurance coverages.
You may also qualify for discounts based on your driving habits, including:
- Good driver discount: If you have been accident-free for at least five years, you may get up to a 22% discount on some of your coverages.
- Discount for seat belt usage: If you and your passengers always buckle up, you might see additional savings on your insurance premium. The exact discount may vary, but it usually lowers your premium for medical payments coverage or personal injury protection.
- DriveEasy app: GEICO’s safe driving app monitors your driving behavior and may offer savings on your car insurance premium. The program works through the GEICO Mobile app and provides an individualized score based on whether you use your phone while driving, brake frequently, and other behaviors. Depending on your score, GEICO may offer you additional savings on your insurance.
GEICO rewards driving training and traditional education with more discounts, including:
- Defensive driving discount: Completing a defensive driving course, which offers instruction on defensive driving knowledge and safe driving techniques, may qualify you for a discount with GEICO.
- Driver's education course: GEICO may offer additional opportunities for savings if you have a young driver on your policy who completed a driver’s education course.
- Good student discount: Full-time students with good academic records might get up to a 15% discount on some of their coverages.
Being a part of the U.S. military, the federal government, or several other organizations may qualify you for further discounts:
- Military discount: Active duty, retired military service members, and members of the National Guard or Reserves might be eligible for a discount of up to 15%.
- Emergency deployment discount: If you or someone on your policy are part of an emergency deployment to an imminent danger zone, you might be eligible for savings of up to 25%.
- Federal employee discount: Current or retired federal government employees might qualify for a discount of up to 12% on their total auto insurance premium. This discount is available in most states and Washington D.C., but checking with your agent would confirm if you qualify.
- Membership and employee discount: If you belong to an alumni, educational, recreational, business, or professional organization, or if you work for one of Berkshire Hathaway’s companies, you may get a discount on your premium. Keep in mind that the federal employee discount can’t be combined with the membership discount.
Lastly, GEICO offers discounts to customers who prefer the company over other insurers in the market. These discounts include:
- Multi-vehicle discount: Having more than one vehicle insured with GEICO may earn you a discount of up to 25%.
- Multi-policy discount: If you purchase homeowners insurance, renters insurance, condo insurance, or mobile home coverage through GEICO, you might also receive an additional discount on your car insurance.
How to maximize savings
While you may qualify for some discounts with GEICO automatically based on your job or particular circumstances, there are other ways to save money on car insurance. Many people think the quoted price is set in stone and can’t be altered, but that’s not always true.
Here are other ways to save money on car insurance:
- Installing additional safety and security devices on your car could save you money if you have an older car with new safety devices like anti-lock brakes, airbags, or anti-theft devices such as alarm systems.
- Combining and consolidating different policies with one company, known as bundling, could also provide savings, especially if you have more than one vehicle or a home or renter’s policy that you can bundle with auto coverage.
- Opting for a higher deductible could help you lower your insurance premium. Usually, the higher the deductible, or the amount you pay before insurance kicks in, the lower your insurance rates. Be sure you have enough to cover your deductible and other costs of an accident in your emergency fund or consider opening a savings account to cover your deductible specifically.
How to get an insurance quote from GEICO auto insurance
Getting a quote from GEICO is relatively easy and can be done using their website. You’ll need to have basic information for every driver on the policy, along with for every vehicle you want to insure.
It also helps to know the type and amount of coverage you’re looking for and if you’re interested in any add-on coverage like roadside assistance or mechanical breakdown coverage.
Collect the needed information
GEICO asks for some personal details to provide you with a quote:
- Full name.
- Date of birth.
- Social Security number.
- Current address.
- Level of education.
- Employment status.
You also need the following information about your car and how you use it:
- Vehicle information, including your car’s year, make, model, vehicle identification number, and any installed safety features.
- Vehicle financing information such as whether you own, finance, or lease it.
- Driving history, including accidents and violations.
- Annual miles driven and estimated use.
- A student’s school information and how much they drive the vehicle if you add a student on the policy.
Go through the quote process
When you have all of your information gathered, you could complete a quote online, which only takes a few minutes.
- Begin by requesting a quote: Go to the GEICO website home page and enter your zip code. Select auto coverage and choose to start the quote.
- Enter your personal information: Provide your date of birth, name, and address, and select if you want to join the DriveEasy program.
- Provide your vehicle’s information: GEICO searches public records for any cars listed under your name based on your address. You could also add a vehicle by supplying the vehicle identification number (VIN) or manually entering the vehicle information.
- Add your demographic information and social security number: Enter your gender, marital status, and Social Security number.
- Determine if you want to add additional policies: You could then bundle your homeowners insurance or renters insurance with your car insurance quote.
- Add your current insurance information: Next, GEICO may ask about your current car insurance. For example, it may ask about the length of time you’ve been with your current company and your current bodily injury limits.
- Add information about your driving and education: This is where you include information about how long you’ve been a licensed driver, your education history, military or government affiliations, and any past driving incidents or accidents.
- Provide your contact information: Lastly, enter your contact information and receive your quote. You could review how GEICO came up with your premium and its payment schedule.
GEICO auto insurance FAQs
Will GEICO drop me after three accidents?
Whether GEICO drops your coverage, increases the cost of your coverage, or keeps it the same depends on your individual situation.
If you have been in multiple accidents or have a history of driving problems such as driving under the influence (DUI), violations, or failing to pay your premiums, your GEICO rates may increase based on those factors. Cancellation decisions are usually made case-by-case, and you would receive a letter from your insurance provider stating why it dropped you and any options to appeal.
How can I talk to GEICO customer service?
Contact GEICO customer service by calling 1-800-841-3000 or via the contact form online. You could also use the live chat function on the GEICO app. The app also allows you to pay your bill, check on your claims, access ID cards, and request roadside assistance.
How good is GEICO with claims?
GEICO states that while each claim process is different, it may be able to settle your claim in as little as 48 hours. The insurer scored above the industry average in most regions covered by the J.D. Power 2021 study of U.S. auto insurance claim satisfaction.
GEICO also has an A++ rating from A.M. Best, a credit rating agency focusing on the insurance industry. This rating reflects GEICO’s financial strength and ability to pay many claims while remaining financially sound.
GEICO offers multiple insurance options and discounts and may be a good option if you’re searching for new car insurance or trying to find the best deal.
Ensure you get multiple quotes when searching for car insurance to find the best value and coverage possible. It may take extra time to compare various auto insurance companies, but knowing you aren’t paying more than necessary while having the right coverage could be invaluable.
FinanceBuzz researches a number of factors in each auto insurance provider to create our reviews. These factors include cost and discounts, complaints and customer satisfaction, coverage, and ease of use. We also gather information from sources such as J.D. Power, AM Best, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and the Better Business Bureau to ensure we provide the most useful information to our readers.