Geico stands for Government Employees Insurance Company. Originally, it was insurance for government workers but has since branched out over the years to become the second-largest insurer behind State Farm.Their parent company is Berkshire Hathaway which is the company controlled by Warren Buffett. I like Mr. Buffett and it surprises me he would own a company which has a terrible reputation for customer service. While Geico does have local offices, the Internet and telephone are its primary communication with customers. When researching Geico I found numerous examples of irate former customers who were shafted by the company. It has made me realize that my issue with Geico is just one of many.
While I did find many poor reviews of Geico, there were some good ones. Let’s be honest. They have some funny commercials. Remember the camel? “It’s hump day!” They also have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). But, if you knew how hard it was to file a complaint with the BBB, you would wonder why there weren’t more complaints about the BBB. Plus, Geico rates high in fiscal soundness as a company and they generally have a friendly staff. However, some of the negatives reported were not fiscally sound for the customer and their deceptive practices were not very friendly. Here is a short list of the negatives.
- Unannounced rate increases
- Repair materials and facilities are a concern
- Unexplained adjustment policies
- It’s known for raising accident-prone drivers’ premiums by more than many other insurance companies. As such, it has developed a reputation as a “trap” company that charges new customers low premiums to earn their business and then jacks up its rates at the first sign of trouble.
In addition, while Geico is named for the Government Employees Insurance Company, they have several subsidiaries named Geico General Insurance Co., Geico Indemnity Co., and Geico Casualty Co. Customers are not always aware of which one is providing their policy and the difference can mean thousands of dollars. Pretty sneaky. Also, Geico takes into account social and economic parameters which have nothing to do with your ability to safely drive a car.
I had my passenger side door dented in a parking lot and the culprit was long gone. One night during the winter on a street with no lights, I hit a huge pothole which damaged my tire. While in my car, I called Geico to see what my deductable was. Since it was $500 I decided to pay for the repairs myself. However, I did tell them what had happened. When I received my next bill it had risen $50 a month. I called and asked why. I was told because of the two incidents which were not my fault and which I had not filed a claim on, I was now considered a high-risk driver. Moreover, I have a spotless driving record. A review of the Underwriter’s panel had been the reason my rates were raised. I asked to speak to someone from that panel and was told that was not allowed.
So let’s review. I have a spotless driving record, a history of no claims, but still was given a $50 a month increase in my rates by a group I cannot talk to. Needless to say, I had a new insurance company the next day. Geico has been sending me emails and letters begging for my return. However, I checked with my underwriters and they said absolutely not. Before you consider insurance from Geico this writer suggests you think again. If I could find that damn caveman I’d kick him in the ass.