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GEICO

Reviewed
May 2013
by ConsumerSearch
geico

Pros
  • Wide variety of plans, discounts
  • Comprehensive military program
  • Solid financial ratings
Cons
  • Mixed reviews for claims experiences
  • Some customers complain of sudden rate hikes
  • Few local agents

Bottom line

Like most large car insurers, GEICO gets decidedly mixed reviews for its handling of claims. However, a comprehensive military program offering discounts and accommodations makes it worth a look for servicemen and women. The company also wins kudos for a wide range of flexible plans. While many customers say they're satisfied with their premiums, others complain of sudden rate increases.

Claims

Mixed reviews from policyholders. GEICO gets uneven reviews with claims. Customers are satisfied with the rental-car experience in one survey, but give average marks for appraisal and settlement, and below-average marks for representative interaction and repairs. In another survey, customers who filed claims in the last three years were largely satisfied.

Though GEICO maintains a list of approved repair shops, customers may select their own. GEICO does not require the use of parts by a vehicle's original manufacturer. They cover the cost of rental cars subject to policy limits, but not gas, mileage, security deposits or rental-car insurance. Customers who do not use Enterprise Rent-A-Car may have to pay rental costs up front and wait for reimbursement.

Policies

Surprise rate hikes reported. Customers report average satisfaction with GEICO's premiums. Some reviewers say it's easy to receive a low rate; others say sudden hikes mean rates may not stay low. Most customers are satisfied with customer service, but the purchase experience receives below-average reviews. Though local agents are available in some locations, they get low marks in a national survey. GEICO does most of its business over the phone or online.

The company is rated highly for policy flexibility and a large number of available discounts, which include special rates for military personnel, safe drivers, good students and multiple policies. Policyholders may report claims 24 hours a day.

Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

ConsumerReports.org editors rate 25 national and regional auto insurers. The ratings are reliable and unbiased, and are based on customer surveys that focus on satisfaction with speed of service, the claims process, estimates and premiums. Unlike other products, there are no in-depth reviews of the insurers with editorial comments.

Review: Car Insurance Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated

2. J.D. Power & Associates

GEICO gets 3 circles out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction. It receives 4 circles for the

rental-car experience, and 3 circles for first notice of loss and the appraisal and settlement processes. The company receives 2 circles, or below-average rankings, for service interaction and the repair process.

Review: 2012 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, Oct. 29, 2012

3. J.D. Power & Associates

GEICO receives mixed marks in regional rankings. It receives 4 circles out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction in the central U.S., 4 circles in California and 3 in the Northeast, West, north-central, Southeast and mid-Atlantic U.S. Ratings include categories for policy offerings, pricing, billing and payment, and contacting the insurer.

Review: 2012 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, June 25, 2012

4. J.D. Power & Associates

GEICO receives 2 circles out of 5, or below-average marks, for overall purchase experience in J.D. Power and Associates' auto insurance shopping study. The company receives 3 circles for policy offerings, price, call-center representatives and website, and 2 circles for local agents.

Review: 2013 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, April 29, 2013

5. Insure.com

GEICO receives 4 out of 5 stars overall in Insure.com's customer satisfaction ratings. It receives 4.5 stars for claims processing and customer service, and 3.5 for value. Seventy percent of customers say they would recommend GEICO to a friend, while 86 percent say they will renew their policies.

Review: Best Insurance Companies: Customer Satisfaction Ratings for 2013, Editors of Insure.com, Not dated

6. Viewpoints.com

GEICO earns 75 out of 100 points in 575 reviews. It receives 4 out of 5 for both customer service and available plans. Ratings include home and life insurance. Most reviewers like the low rates and good customer service; some say they had poor experiences getting claims paid or received sudden rate increases.

Review: GEICO Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of May 2013

7. Epinions.com

GEICO earns 3 out of 5 stars in more than 360 reviews. Many reviewers praise the company for low rates and quick, friendly service. However, some customers say they had problems getting claims paid or say their rates increased suddenly after they were drawn in with a low quote.

Review: GEICO Direct, Contributors to Epinions.com, As of May 2013

8. TopTenReviews.com

GEICO is first in this ranking of 10 major car insurance companies, earning 9.8 out of 10 points overall. They fare very well for policy flexibility, benefits and discounts, and customer service and claims timeliness. Scores are slightly lower for response and repair.

Review: 2013 Best Car Insurance Reviews and Comparisons, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, Not dated

Auto Insurance Runners Up:

Auto-Owners Insurance

3 picks including: J.D. Power & Associates, Viewpoints.com…

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1 pick including: Epinions.com, J.D. Power & Associates…

Progressive

1 pick including: Epinions.com, J.D. Power & Associates…

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