Chances are you’ve seen or heard at least one GEICO commercial in your lifetime. You know that all-too-familiar slogan telling you that just 15 minutes of your time could save you 15% or more on your car insurance. So, how much truth is there to that claim?
Let’s look at what GEICO offers, so you can make an informed decision on your next insurance policy.
How GEICO Operates
Geico deals primarily with vehicle insurance, and offers said insurance in a direct-to-consumer model. That is, they don’t have agents in your area whose responsibility it is to market to you, listen to you, and sign you up for their products. Enrolling in an insurance policy with GEICO simply involves you calling in or using their website.
This can be a boon for you depending on how you operate. If you’re the type of person to do your own research and can navigate an insurance website pretty easily, GEICO may be a good fit. If, however, you’re interested in bouncing scenarios off of an agent, or taking an in-person meeting to better tailor your policy, Geico might not be ideal. The theory behind the direct-to-consumer model, though, is that it’ll result in lower premiums overall. This cuts out unnecessary commissions and overhead, and the savings can be passed on to policyholders.
GEICO was actually founded to support government workers. Its name stands for Government Employees Insurance Company — and this can be of particular benefit to federal workers who can earn extra discounts.
As for products, GEICO primarily specializes in vehicles: cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, and RVs. They additionally offer other types of insurance, including life, renters, home, and pet insurance. However, these products are offered through third parties. Those outside parties could pose a problem for people wanting to have multiple, different policies kept all under one roof.'
Coverage and Discounts
Geico does a good job of competing with the rest of the industry. They offer coverage that includes property damage liability, collision, comprehensive, personal and bodily injury, and uninsured motorist protection. For additional fees, GEICO also covers mechanical breakdown, emergency roadside assistance, and rental reimbursement.
You can think of mechanical breakdown coverage like an extended warranty for your car. After a certain deductible is met, GEICO will cover mechanical repairs to your vehicle — like a transmission or engine fix. In general, this coverage isn’t of particular worth to consumers, but it can serve to help put one’s mind at ease. Emergency roadside assistance and rental reimbursement are relatively standard industry offerings. They are quite convenient if you find yourself in need of a tow or without your car for an extended period of time.
Many discounts are available through policies with GEICO. Safe driving discounts are available for those who take a defensive driving course, and for those age 50 or older. Package discounts are available if you combine your coverage with other products, like renters or homeowners insurance.
Learn More: 25 Factors That Affect Auto Insurance Premiums
Federal employees, GS-7 and above, both active and retired, qualify for a discount in most areas of the country. Military members — again both active and retired — also are eligible for discounts, as are members of various GEICO-affiliated companies and professional organizations. Other discounts include multiple vehicle discounts, accident-free savings, and discounts based on certain vehicle safety features like anti-theft systems or full front-seat airbags.
What GEICO offers in potential savings may be impacted by its below-average competitive ratings. J.D. Power Ratings places Geico in the bottom fourth of 24 companies it rated in 2016. Geico scored 3 out of 5 in pricing, policies, website, and call satisfaction, and 2 out of 5 in local agent capabilities and overall experience. It’s interesting to note that many other frequently-advertised insurers (such as Progressive, Nationwide, Allstate, and Esurance) all rank right around Geico in the 18th-22nd range.
Taking a look at the GEICO mobile app, it scores well in both of the major app markets. In fact, it scored a 4.7 on Google Play and a 5-star rating on iTunes. Compare that to the Google Play rations of Progressive (4.1), Nationwide (3.6), Allstate (4.1), and Esurance (4.2). It seems like users are pretty satisfied with their app experience.
Learn More: 19 Car Insurance Terms That You Need to Know
The Bottom Line
While GEICO may not rank the highest in customer satisfaction, it offers industry-standard insurance products at affordable prices. If you’re interested in more than just vehicle insurance, you may find GEICO’s third-party offerings frustrating to deal with. If, however, you’re eligible for one of GEICO’s wide range of discounts, or you’re interested in some of their specialized products like mechanical breakdown coverage, they’re worth a close look. Regardless, GEICO is certainly an insurance company that should be included in your next policy search.