Geico Auto Insurance Review: Features, Pros & Cons, and Costs
Beyond the memorable commercials and charming gecko, Geico auto insurance promises to save people a substantial amount on their car insurance — up to 15% to be exact.
Geico is no stranger to the auto insurance world. Not only has the company been around since 1936, but it has also since become one of the most popular auto insurance providers. The promise of deep insurance discounts and savings for everyone seems to be working. So it begs the question of whether Geico lives up to its promise. Sounds like a perfect time for a Geico auto insurance review, if you ask me.
- What is Geico auto insurance?
- How does Geico auto insurance work?
- Obtaining a quote
What is Geico auto insurance?
Born out of the Great Depression, Geico was founded by a husband and wife team out of Fort Worth, Texas. GEICO is actually the shortened version of Government Employees Insurance Company.
What started as a desire to work directly with consumers for their auto insurance needs has blossomed into the [second-largest auto insurance provider] (https://www.naic.org/documents/web_market_share_property_casualty.pdf?17) in the United States. Now Geico is under the Berkshire Hathaway umbrella and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
According to Geico’s website, the company wrote over 17 million auto insurance policies in America in 2019 and insures 28 million vehicles. They are second only to State Farm in terms of market share.
But Geico has more to offer than a long history of providing affordable insurance directly to consumers and adorable lizards for mascots. The company has amassed multiple financial and customer service ratings. Here are a few of their top ratings:
- AM Best A++
- S&P Global Rating A++
- Assets of $32 billion
- J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study — 4th overall
- J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study — Highest overall
Financial ratings are important to note - these are the best indications you have that an insurer will still be around when you need them the most. But even everyday people give love to Geico in reviews.
So, let’s take a look at what these ratings, awards, and impressive history can do for our auto insurance savings.
How does Geico auto insurance work?
Geico is similar to other large auto insurance companies when it comes to obtaining car insurance quotes and paying your premiums. You’ll have to input your personal information to receive the most accurate quote possible.
Geico operates with a network of independent insurance agents across the country, who exclusively sell Geico insurance products. You can work with a local agent for your application and car insurance policy, or you can complete almost everything online or through the app.
Geico offers several types of coverage and is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including motorcycle insurance, ATV and RV insurance, all-terrain vehicles, and commercial policies. You can also find vintage and classic car coverage. (They also provide home insurance or renters insurance and provide policy discounts if you bundle homeowners insurance and auto.)
Car insurance coverage options include:
- Bodily injury liability
- Property damage liability
- Medical payments coverage
- Personal Injury Protection coverage
- Uninsured motorists
- Collision coverage
- Comprehensive coverage
With Geico, I’m impressed with how you can customize your policy even further. You can choose options such as:
- Emergency roadside service You can call customer service or book through an app, but your call for assistance will be answered within 2 minutes. You can expect help for stressful situations such as needing to jump start your car or if you’re locked out.
- Car rental reimbursement You’ll be reimbursed up to $750 per incident, if you need a rental car due to an accident or total vehicle loss. Bonus: if you book with Enterprise then Geico will handle all the direct billing for you.
- Mechanical breakdown coverage This is optional coverage, which acts similar to an extended warranty on a vehicle. If you have a new or leased car for less than 15 months, the MBI covers all car parts and systems. You only have to pay a small premium for repairs instead of the huge out-of-pocket costs dealers love to charge.
Once you agree to the coverage options, you’ll enter into a policy with Geico, which is simply the contract between you and the insurance company.
Your premium - which is the amount you will pay for your policy - will be based on your specific inputs, credit history, and vehicle history. But how much is this going to cost? Let’s take a closer look.
Obtaining a quote
You can work with a local agent, or you can initiate a quote online. Be prepared to share your personal information, driving history, and vehicle information (your VIN and license number) to get the most accurate quote.
How much does Geico auto insurance cost?
The best way to find out how much Geico will cost you is to run your own side-by-side comparisons.
Auto insurance premiums vary greatly from one carrier to another. Plus you have a multitude of other influencing factors, such as your age, vehicle, residence, vehicle operation history, marital status, and potentially your credit score.
Geico advertises itself as a low-cost alternative in auto insurance. You can choose a policy with the bare minimum coverage you need, or you can spend additional money and get a few add-ons.
For instance, for bodily injury liability, which is required in all states except Florida, Geico might show you options for $100,000 in coverage or $300,000. The $100,000 is positioned as the lowest cost, whereas the $300,000 is the recommended coverage amount and will increase your quote.
Available discounts for reduced premiums
Geico has several discounts available on their already-low rates. From the sheer amount of available discounts, you are almost guaranteed to find one or two you qualify for.
Here is a full list of discounts offered:
- Air bag
- Anti-lock brakes
- Anti-theft system
- Daytime running lights
- New car
- Driving record, history and habits
- Five year accident-free
- Seatbelt use
- Driver’s education
- Defensive driving course
- Driver’s education course
- Good student
- Driver affiliation
- Emergency deployment
- Federal employee
- Membership and Employee discount (if you’re a member or employee of one of 500 specific organizations)
- Customer loyalty
- Multi-vehicle (bundling)
Geico auto insurance features
Geico has other features, besides a generous amount of discounts and witty commercials. Look for features with Geico such as:
24/7 customer service
Whether it’s through the Geico mobile app, online, or picking up the phone, Geico is easily accessible every hour of every day. This is especially important when you’re involved in an accident, need emergency road service, or have a question on a payment.
Sure, there are humans you can speak with through Geico’s customer service line, but you have other options available to you.
The website is easy to navigate and you can conduct all your business transactions through it - requesting a quote, making a payment, printing your ID cards, or initiating a an insurance claim.
The app is equally intuitive and convenient and offers the same capabilities as the website. Geico even has a virtual voice assistant for Android and iOS users.
One of the best features is the ability to choose a Rideshare policy if you drive for Uber, Lyft, and other similar companies. Geico’s policy for Rideshare is different from other auto insurance companies because it’s an actual policy, not just an add-on option.
If you elect to purchase a rideshare policy, it would be in place of your personal auto policy. But it offers you the additional coverage you need when you’re using your vehicle for rideshare and delivery on-demand services.
How does Geico know when you’re using your policy if you’re on or off-duty? You’ll download the rideshare app and turn it on (or off) when you’re using your vehicle for your gig or waiting on a passenger.
The best part is, it’s not only for Uber and Lyft (and other rideshare company) drivers. This policy is also available to those who drive for UberEats, GrubHub, DoorDash, and other on-demand delivery companies. It also covers you if you provide services for one or more of these places.
You should note, the rideshare insurance is available in 40 states. It is not available in AK, GA, KY, MI, NV, NJ, NY, NC, TX, or UT.
Who is Geico auto insurance best for?
Those looking for affordable rates
With a slogan as prominent as “15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance,” you’d expect to see competitive rates on your premium.
In multiple quotes, Geico consistently reports back as one of the least expensive options for those with decent or good credit.
Those looking for financially strong backing
With strong financial ratings and assets, Geico is considered a stable choice for your insurance products. A strong financial rating with AM Best and Standard & Poor’s, provides peace of mind Geico will continue to be around when we need it the most.
Who shouldn’t use Geico auto insurance?
Those who are looking for the best customer experience
Customer service ratings are mixed with Geico.
On one hand, it would appear there are pretty big regional differences for overall customer satisfaction. When you look at the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, there are few regions where Geico excelled.
On the other hand, the same study points to areas where Geico struggles with customer service (I’m looking at you, New York). It’s also interesting to note Geico didn’t take the top spot for highest satisfaction in any region.
Those who need gap coverage
If you’re a new car owner and looking for gap coverage, you’ll have to look elsewhere. At this time Geico does not offer the gap coverage option.
Gap coverage is particularly popular among new car owners. This coverage helps cover the financial “gap” if your car is totaled, but you owe more than it’s worth. And since new cars depreciate in value right away, this may be a deal-breaker for some.
Pros and cons
But there are a few points to consider before moving forward with Geico...
Full breadth of products
Whether it’s a bare-bones policy, or you need something more tailored to your unique vehicle, Geico is likely to have what you need.
Geico offers all the typical coverage options, but you can add more specific needs such as roadside assistance, car rental reimbursement, or an umbrella insurance policy.
With Geico, you can either earn or purchase accident forgiveness. If you have your first at-fault accident and you also have this coverage, then your premium won’t increase as a result.
If you’ve been accident-free for 5 years or longer, and you’re over 21, chances are you can earn accident forgiveness. Or you can completely bypass this and add it to your policy.
Who doesn’t love to pay less? Geico continues to appeal to the masses by offering a wide range of discounts.
From being a member of the military, to good grades, or safe driving classes and using your seatbelt, you can find numerous ways to reduce your premium.
Some discounts can impact your premium as much as 40%, so it’s worth looking into if budget is a top concern.
Easy to file a claim
If your insurance company is difficult to deal with when you need them most, then it adds a whole new level of anxiety to your situation. Geico has several options to submit a claim, either on the phone, through the web, or via the app.
When you submit your claim via the app, you can upload your pictures from your minor accident right away. The entire process only takes 20 minutes, so you can get on with your life. You can schedule your repairs right away too.
But there may be cases where Geico isn’t the best option for your needs...
Lack of gap coverage option
If you’re interested in obtaining gap coverage for your vehicle, you won’t be able to purchase it through Geico.
Limited agent network
Geico’s mission is to provide lower prices on auto insurance — and one way to save costs is to equip policyholders with digital assets, versus so many employees.
Unlike other car insurance companies, such as Progressive and Allstate which rely heavily on local agents, Geico car insurance favors the use of the website and apps. Some may see this as more impersonal, but it is one way to keep costs down.
|AM Best Rating||JD Power Rating||Multiple Discounts||Gap Coverage|
Geico vs. competitors
Let’s look at how Geico compares to other big-name auto insurance providers.
Geico vs. State Farm
Like Geico, State Farm has the financial backing you’d expect from a well-known insurance company. Not to mention similar customer satisfaction ratings (although Geico edges out State Farm slightly). Neither company offers gap coverage, but both offer the rideshare policy option.
Where the two companies differ is with the expansive network of agents and the price. First, State Farm leans heavily on local agents to help you through the quote and claim process - if you are looking for this.
Geico positions itself as a low-cost insurance provider that can help you with your most basic auto insurance needs. State Farm doesn’t make the same claim, and strives to provide the most tailored policy for your individual needs.
Geico vs. Nationwide
Like the other big names, Nationwide offers several options for coverage, including the gap coverage option. You might not find as many discounts with Nationwide, although you can save with their Family Plan option (if you have more than one vehicle and person to insure) and if you’re part of their Good Driver program.
Nationwide also has a strong financial rating, with an A+ AM Best Rating and A+ for Standard & Poors, making them another auto insurer worth considering as you’re exploring insurance options.
How much will I pay for my policy with Geico?
The best way to answer this question is through a personal quote online or via the Geico app. Every quote is truly dependent on your exact vehicle history and personal information.
How can I lower my premiums?
Lowering your premiums is possible, both through Geico and other auto insurance companies. First, look for your eligible discounts. You may even qualify for several discounts. Secondly, look at other factors outside the quote, such as your credit score. Improving your credit score (paying your bills on time, lowering your debt-to-income ratio) can all play a major role in lowering your auto insurance quote.
Can I purchase Geico insurance in any state?
Yes, Geico is available in all 50 states and Washington D.C. You should note however, the rideshare policy is only available in 40 states.
How much coverage do I need?
Every state has different requirements, which is important to know with your quote. Geico will advise you on the minimum necessary coverage based on where you live. For instance, I live in North Carolina, so Geico ensures I know I’m required to carry:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: Minimum legal requirement $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage: Minimum legal requirement $25,000
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury: Minimum legal requirement $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist property damage: Minimum legal requirement $25,000
Geico customers have access to the same information for each particular state, even if you don’t purchase a policy through Geico.
You have to pick what is best for your budget and the amount of coverage you feel is adequate.
Geico has been a part of the American auto insurance landscape for over 75 years. What started as a company for government and military families to save on auto insurance costs, has grown into one of the largest providers in the U.S. With Geico, you have access to competitive rates on your premium, plus a vast amount of discounts.
If you like having all your insurance information at the touch of your fingertips through an easy-to-use app or website, then Geico definitely meets this requirement. You also have several choices for your policy, to make it as adaptable to your needs as possible. Of course, if you need gap coverage then you won’t be able to get it through Geico. But you’re likely to have all your other needs addressed.
For more information, visit Geico.com.
|5260 Western Avenue Chevy Chase, MD 20815||1 Geico Plaza, Bethesda, MD 20810-0001|