Author Topic: Does GEICO car insurance suck? (Read 41580 times)

Baylor3217

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Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« on: March 23, 2013, 03:33:10 PM »
As I discussed in other posts, I bought a new truck and am shopping around for the first time in 11 years. Yes I drove my old truck for 11 years so I should mostly fit in with the mustachains perusing these boards.

Here's the skinny:

Ive been with AAA for 11 years. I had my 11 year old truck on only liability for about $580 per year. I called up AAA to let them know I had a new vehicle and wanted a price quote. The quote was $1,250 FOR THE YEAR! A double in my yearly costs.

So I shopped around a bit and called GEICO who i've never had insurance with. They went line item by line item to match my policy, including the collision and comprehensive that I didn't have on my ancient truck.

They quoted me at $580 FOR THE YEAR! On a $45,000 truck which I paid $28,000 for after I traded in my 11 year old truck.

WHAT AM I MISSING?!?!?!? Sounds like there has to be a catch.

1tolivesimply

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 04:05:10 PM »
Was your old truck worth 17K? Wow!

Your old liability policy was very expensive at $580.

$580 for your new policy sounds reasonable, I'm assuming that's with a $1000+ deductible.

unplugged

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 04:05:44 PM »
I have been with the same insurance company since 1987, I kid you not! I wonder about Geico too? I hope a lot of people reply to this thread.
Thanks for posting and good luck with your search.
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Baylor3217

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 05:20:14 PM »
Progressive quoted me $1260 with 500 deductible, $1200 with a $1000 deductible.

Something isn't adding up here. I'll probably buy the GEICO policy today although I hate the thought of giving warren buffett money, but that's just too good to pass up.

Baylor3217

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 05:21:04 PM »
Was your old truck worth 17K? Wow!

Your old liability policy was very expensive at $580.

$580 for your new policy sounds reasonable, I'm assuming that's with a $1000+ deductible.

no, but with rebates, truck month, etc it went from MSRP to about $34,000 before TT&L

Freedom2016

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013, 05:29:31 PM »
I used to have Geico when I lived in DC, and I recently switched back to them after they came in WAY below every other ins company in MA for the same coverage. I crossed my fingers hoping there wasn't a catch... and so far it's been fine. We renewed two months ago and our premium actually went DOWN a smidge if you can believe that.

We also filed a claim for a minor fender bender and customer service was fine.

clutchy

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2013, 07:24:02 PM »
I have Geico and I hope to never find out if they suck or not.

I pay 860/yr for a new $35,000 minivan and an old liability only nissan. Married.

Matthew

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2013, 07:45:14 PM »
I have had Geico for several years. I've always been very happy with them for these reasons:
1) It is easy to get a real person on the phone.
2) I can't find anyone who can beat their rates, including USAA which is the go-to for military families.
3) When our van was struck by lightning, the entire process of having them inspect, appraise, pay out the value of the car (which was more than we had paid for it), was easy, smooth and fast. That was an unusual situation, and they handled it well.
4) When my $500 car was rear-ended, they paid out $1000 to write it off. Then they sold it back to us for $50. The entire process took a couple days.

Baylor3217

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2013, 09:04:25 PM »
I bought the geico with $500 deductible.

$580 for the year.

Unreal.

Aaa was $1250

Progressive was $1260

Both for the same coverage.

Ill be dumping aaa after 11 years come Monday.

clifp

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 06:00:01 AM »
I have had GEICO for almost 15 years. Had two claims with the no problems getting the car fixed and promptly paid, insurance premium did go up but no crazy. Other services have been fast and efficient.

Almost every year my Allstate (Home owners) guy calls and says we have new competitive car insurance rates, and we'll give you a special deal cause we can bundle your home owners and car insurance. Allstate hasn't been within 25% of GEICO yet.

On the other hand, I know one guy who had an accident followed by a DUI, GEICO dropped him after the DUI so be careful.

Accidental Miser

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2013, 07:36:38 AM »
I've had GEICO for years. They've been great to me and much less that other companies.

Paying $34000 for a single vehicle is bat-shit crazy (in my opinion) unless you have a real business need for such a thing.

Welcome to MMM, by the way. I think you'll learn an awful lot here and find that you are closer to your goals than you currently realize.

MooreBonds

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2013, 08:55:22 AM »
The key to insurance quotes (home, auto, etc.) is to always shop around, since insurers' quotes can vary widely - even from one year to the next for the same insurer. And just like health insurance, which state you live in (and even which zipcode) can be another large factor in costs.

I've been with Amica (a mutual insurance company) with my home, auto, and umbrella for the past several years. Since I wanted an umbrella, I was somewhat limited to my choices - some insurers that quote umbrellas require you to have your auto and/or home with them, and not all insurers quote in all states. I usually get quotes from GEICO and a few others every year or every other year to make sure everyone's in line.

As a reference, I drive a 2010 auto, pay $710/year for 250/500 liability, 100 property, and 250/500 underinsured and uninsured coverages, with $1,000 deductible. No tickets in the past 5 years.

Was looking at raising the deductible to $2,500, but would only save me about $62/year in premiums....which would have required me to go without an accident for about 24 years to break-even on the savings. While I drive safe, I have had a near miss or two like everyone else. :)

Baylor3217

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2013, 01:10:44 PM »
I've had GEICO for years. They've been great to me and much less that other companies.

Paying $34000 for a single vehicle is bat-shit crazy (in my opinion) unless you have a real business need for such a thing.

Welcome to MMM, by the way. I think you'll learn an awful lot here and find that you are closer to your goals than you currently realize.

while certainly there are more cost effective ways to pay for transportation at a lower cost, this was clearly not a FIRE purchase. However, I've long ago decided where I want to live more cost effectively and where I don't and a new car every 10-12 years is acceptable for me.

As they say, you can't take it with you and it was well within my means based on living cost effectively in other aspects of my life.

Accidental Miser

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2013, 05:16:27 PM »
I've had GEICO for years. They've been great to me and much less that other companies.

Paying $34000 for a single vehicle is bat-shit crazy (in my opinion) unless you have a real business need for such a thing.

Welcome to MMM, by the way. I think you'll learn an awful lot here and find that you are closer to your goals than you currently realize.

while certainly there are more cost effective ways to pay for transportation at a lower cost, this was clearly not a FIRE purchase. However, I've long ago decided where I want to live more cost effectively and where I don't and a new car every 10-12 years is acceptable for me.

As they say, you can't take it with you and it was well within my means based on living cost effectively in other aspects of my life.

As long as you are satisfied with your decision, that's all that matters in the end.

Debbie M

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2013, 08:05:26 PM »
Whenever I shop around for insurance, I always check my state's department of insurance website for ratings and I only compare prices for the best ones. GEICO always wins. (I don't qualify for USAA and I think Amica is not available to me.)

GEICO doesn't make the list for homeowner's insurance, though (which they only started offering very recently). (My state is rough on companies that insure homes, so this might not be true in your state.) So I only use GEICO for car insurance and don't bundle. I haven't had to make a claim, but when we have to deal with other people's car insurance, GEICO has always been very easy to deal with.

I also like the way they are on board with the internet. Some companies (like my natural gas company) really don't quite get it yet.

rugorak

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2013, 02:30:09 PM »
I have had GEICO for years. I hit a black bear back in 2009 and they were great. No rate increase (as it wasn't my fault the black bear decided to play chicken with me at night and lost). No hassles with payments, etc. That is my only experience with them other than paying my bill. Their web site makes sense and it is easy to requote your policy to play with various things like deductibles, coverage amounts, etc. Yearly rate changes have been very modest (and once even went down). I would recommend them to a friend.

BZB

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2013, 02:41:50 PM »
I've had GEICO for about 10 years and been really happy with the service. We had one claim due to hurricane-caused damage on our car, and it was fixed immediately, no problems, and it was easy to talk to a real person on the phone.

DebtDerp

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2013, 02:48:42 PM »
When I had a car I had GEICO and never had a problem but I never had to file a claim. Otherwise they had a great rate, really good discounts for high GPA while in school, and they never upped my premiums when I got a few moving violations in a matter of months. Would recommend.
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kisserofsinners

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2013, 03:07:48 PM »
I've had Gieco and had to wait years before i qualified to get AAA. It's better for me. I assume that people must choose something else in other states.
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BlueMR2

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2013, 06:02:00 PM »
No personal experience as I've been with Nationwide my whole life. I'm a car guy though and hang out with other car guys. The 2 most hated among automotive enthusiasts based just on how often I hear them cursing them out are GEICO and Progressive. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, I can't say. They may be overly represented due to good prices or they may actually be bad. Or, they just have bad reps in my area. YMMV as always! :-)

Baylor3217

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2013, 08:11:21 PM »
No personal experience as I've been with Nationwide my whole life. I'm a car guy though and hang out with other car guys. The 2 most hated among automotive enthusiasts based just on how often I hear them cursing them out are GEICO and Progressive. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, I can't say. They may be overly represented due to good prices or they may actually be bad. Or, they just have bad reps in my area. YMMV as always! :-)

YMMV?

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Grigory

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2013, 09:40:09 PM »
YMMV as always! :-)

YMMV?

Your Money Moryour Vida?
YMMV stands for "Your Mileage May Vary." It's just about as common as LOL. O_o


And as for me, I love GEICO! When I bought my first car a few years ago, I had no driving history and my first insurance company ripped me off. I saved about 70% (that was for liability insurance only) when I switched to GEICO. :) It also helped that I own a few shares of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns GEICO in its entirety. (BH is owned by Warren Buffett, the biggest badass out there.) Since I always go to the annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, I managed to get a 10% shareholder discount on top of all my savings. :^D

See if you can call their customer service line and tell them that you're a shareholder - it just might work!
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kevinasher

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2013, 11:59:16 PM »
I'm also a Geico customer. I've had them for almost 2 years now. I also just very recently was involved in an auto accident which wasn't my fault, though it hasn't been resolved yet so I'll have to report on that when that is completely resolved. So far, Geico has been notably less expensive than my previous insurer, Allstate, to the tune of almost half of what I was paying at the time. I haven't been price shopping in a couple years, but once the accident is behind me completely, I'll be checking again. Ultimately though, all insurance sucks until you come to a scenario where you need it, ie, an auto accident or theft or whatever. In most states, it's required by law to own a car, so, until you're in an accident or have a claim to make, the cheapest is the best. Once you have a claim to make, there's all kinds of things to consider, which right now, I can't answer due to inexperience. I will say that reporting my claim and the handling process has been pretty hassle-free so far, but again, I'm not out of the woods yet, so we shall see.

jks1985

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2013, 08:47:34 PM »
Geico left my wife stranded and only handles claims m-f 8 -4:30. Their driver turned into on coming traffic causing an car to clip them and spin around and hit my wife. All they can say is file a claim with your insurance and they will collect from us. Or wait till Monday. Never buy insurance from them. They will not be there for you when you need them.

Jamesqf

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2013, 09:34:58 PM »
What exactly do you think an insurance company is supposed to do, send someone to the crash site to hold your hand? Or are they just supposed to pay damage/medical bills, after these have been ascertained?

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2013, 10:08:12 PM »
I've had GEICO for over 16 years, and had two accidents (not my fault) and they were awesome. They went after one of the drivers that hit me when their insurance jerked me around (a really cut rate one - it was a drunk driver that apparently had been caught drunk driving before, and it was probably the only one that would cover them).

I also have roadside assistance through them. I have locked myself out of my car on multiple occasions, flat tires, breakdowns and dead batteries... they were super about getting someone out to me even in the middle of nowhere on a holiday. $20 a year.

And no rate increases. I shop around periodically and no other insurance can beat them (especially since I now have a discount for being a long time customer).

I can call them at 3am on a Sunday and get a live person that speaks english perfectly (their call bank appears to be U.S. based) and can walk me through "what if" scenarios on pricing and I also have my homeowners' insurance through them (Travelers) and they were also amazing during the aftermath of a cat 3 hurricane... had an adjuster at my house in 2 days who cut me a check on the spot. No rate increases there either.

I highly recommend them.
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bexrayx91

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2013, 10:25:07 PM »
just switched from Geico auto/renters to state farm and saved 65%.

chasesfish

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2013, 03:57:01 AM »
I've been hit by a Geico driver (I was stopped at a red light and their driver hit me going about 40). The initial claims process was fine, but then it was a complete hassle getting repairs approved, they had to come out and do three different "inspections" at the dealer and I went through two claims reps, my car was in the shop for 2 months and it should have just been totaled because repairs exceeded the replacement cost.

They then argued with me on rental reimbursement and stuck me with $400 of the bill because they "only approve a standard rental car", even though their driver took out my truck. They told me I didn't have a reason to drive a truck. I told them I drive a truck in case one of their drivers rear ends me at a stoplight.

They then low balled me on diminished value, but pretty quickly paid after I sent a letter and a packet of information.

Part of this was my inexperience in not dealing with being hit, but having my car siting in the shop for weeks because the geico reps couldn't seem to figure out how to go see the car and approve expenses burned me up.

They are cheaper than most and I don't question Mr. Buffett's ability to run an insurance company, but when I recently got quotes from five places, Geico was cheaper on auto, but not by enough to untie my homeowners and auto coverage,

On a side note, this accident is one of the reasons I don't drive a subcompact around Atlanta.
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MissStache

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2013, 08:00:08 AM »
Here's how GEICO is cheaper:

They believe in low overhead and truly take it to heart. It is one of the major operating principles of the company. The CEO uses pens he gets for free from Holiday Inn (and stays at Holiday Inn) and chides senior officers when he sees them using expensive pens. Their headquarters in Chevy Chase was built in the 50s and they haven't updated it since it was built. It is all direct sales, so there are NO agents involved which means no comissions are paid to anyone. There are very, very few secretaries or administrative assistants in the company and most officers, VPs, AVP, and regional/division managers do all of their own grunt work. I could keep on and on.

The only- ONLY!- way for insurance companies to get money is the rates they charge their customers, so when you see an Auto Damage adjuster driving an expensive new SUV or an agent handing out whiz-bang trinkets, there is only one way they are getting the money to buy that stuff. If you can cut all the excess and unecessary spending out of your budgets, you can keep your rates low.

And yes, all of their call centers are based in the US. And they are open 24-7 with real humans on the phones.

Everyone has a bad story about an insurance company, because the truth is that the person you get to handle your claim is the one who makes the experience good or bad. There are definitely crappy adjusters who work for EVERY insurance company, and exceptional ones. It is a lottery. I will tell you that GEICO puts major emphasis on customer service because it is really costly to lose a policy.

Errr...I've probably said to much. Let's just say I know how the company works :)

MissStache

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2013, 08:03:13 AM »
I was hit by a a driver with Geico while bike commuting earlier this year (not my fault). Had some broken bones. Still waiting for Geico to pay my medical bills. So, I personally hate them! Interestingly they gave me no hassle about paying to fix my bike.
And yes, I still bike commute.

Just want to jump in here and let you know that they are definitely waiting on something- either from you or your doctor or your lawyer (if you have one). Once all documentation is in that allows them to pay the bills, they are required by law to pay them very quickly, and adjusters get in major trouble if they delay those payments because fines start accruing and the insurance commisioner takes notice. The #1 causes of delayed payments is that the injured party has not turned in the Application for Medical Benefits or the doctor's office has not provided notes that go along with the bills. They can't pay without those two things.

rugorak

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #30 on: November 29, 2013, 09:19:53 AM »
I was just in an accident which was ruled my fault although a witness said the other guy ran a red light, was speeding and almost hit her and her daughter in front of an elementary school. I think both the insurance company and the cops were stuck because the way state law is written the other guy could have been doing 200mph with his headlights off at night and it would still be my fault because I had a stop sign and he didn't.

But anyway I have GEICO and they have been good. Claim was processed quickly (on both sides). So I'll have to say again I am happy with them. Constant communication with me on where things stood, etc. Big question will be how much my rates go up but as for handling of the claim they were great. Rates vary from person to person. For me they have been consistently the lowest cost other than some companies with horrid reviews.

So for the guy waiting for payment just check on things. There probably is something preventing them from paying. For everyone else worth giving them a look.

kimmarg

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2013, 03:32:13 PM »
Geico left my wife stranded and only handles claims m-f 8 -4:30. Their driver turned into on coming traffic causing an car to clip them and spin around and hit my wife. All they can say is file a claim with your insurance and they will collect from us. Or wait till Monday. Never buy insurance from them. They will not be there for you when you need them.

Actually I had the opposite experience with Geico. They were there (live person) at 1am on a Saturday night after I backed into a parked car trying to go home after a long night (yes, I was sober, just tired on a rainy moonless night). The lady on the phone not only got the claim figured out quickly she was very nice about calming me down (it was my first car incident and I just moved cross country and was pretty much in tears at 1am)

I tried looking for a better rate a few years back but no one was anywhere near Geico.

Fireman

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2013, 05:21:20 PM »
I had Nationwide for several years until I bought a "crotch rocket" (read Yamaha R1) and they tried to insure it as a snowmobile. Once the underwriters caught it about two weeks later, my $600 a year policy went to $2600 a year for just the bike. Needless to say, I did some quick shopping and found Geico to be much less expensive (about $1100) for the bike. The young lady on the phone was very helpful and ended up convincing me to switch my (now ex) wife's car, my truck, and the house as well...all at a pretty good savings. Since then, I've had a handful of claims and all were handled quickly and smoothly.

Almost four years later, I have my car, rental property, and renters insurance (yes I own but rent) with Geico and plan to keep it that way. After stumbling across the MMM website researching another topic, I decided to do some insurance shopping. And, like some of the other posters experienced, no one could touch Geico's rates.

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2013, 01:52:48 AM »
Yikes Fireman! Even $1100 is a bit much for a motorcycle! (we pay about $600/year for full coverage on two practically new motorcycles. One in the same category as an R1).

On topic -- I actually have no experience with Geico, my husband and I have been with State Farm for 20+ years and they have been very good to us.

AlexK

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2013, 02:13:49 AM »
For liability insurance I don't think it matters how much the vehicle is worth, but how likely it is to cause damage. At least that's how it should be because it doesn't insure the cost to repair your car, only the damage it causes to someone else.

One thing that's funny is I have a Geo metro which weighs 1650 lbs and a F250 which weighs 6000 lbs and they cost about the same to insure. The F250 could do a hell of a lot more damage but I'm not arguing that point to my insurance company.

BTW State Farm is less than half the price of Geico for my cars here in NV. For my motorcycle Geico is $100/yr and State Farm is only $22/yr.

Numbers Man

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2013, 12:39:31 PM »
I've had State Farm forever and decided to get a quote from Geico last year. Both insurance companies quoted virtually the same amount. So I stayed with State Farm.

Nothlit

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2013, 01:25:29 PM »
Insurance really is highly variable. For one person, Provider A might be vastly cheaper than Provider B. For another person, Provider B might be significantly cheaper than Provider A. And for some people, Provider A and B might cost about the same. It really depends a lot on the type of car, driver age, accident history, location, etc.

For me, GEICO was a lot cheaper than Amica, which I'd had for years, so I switched (around $200 per year cheaper for 1 car / 1 driver). I ended up getting a crack in the windshield just a couple of weeks later, and the GEICO claim process was quite simple. I think I submitted the claim online, then someone called me within a couple of hours, and that person got a conference call together with the glass repair company of my choice (GEICO has preferred glass repairers, but they didn't seem to care that I chose someone else) to schedule the repair appointment. The guy came out, fixed the windshield in the parking lot while I was at work, and the bill went straight to GEICO. I'd say that was pretty easy, although I know glass claims are kind of a different animal compared to other damage or injury claims.

JPinDC

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2013, 01:36:54 PM »
I'd had Progressive for about 5 years and when I switched to GEICO this year it was HALF the cost (even with adding roadside assistance)! I haven't needed to call about a claim yet *knock on wood* though.

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2013, 02:01:40 PM »
2 cars 2 drivers 300k/300k for $420/year with Geico. Impossible to beat without doing one of those pay-per-mile companies which aren't available in my area. Progressive could have gotten close if I used their recording device to track my driving for 6 months but that didn't seem worth it. I've been with Geico for about 6 years.

I also have umbrella (great rate) and homeowners (only an ok rate) insurance through Geico.

As for experience, my cars have been hit by hit and runs twice. First time, someone sideswiped my car which was parallel parked on the road during a snow storm. I dropped the car off at Geico's shop (but they would have worked with mine if I had one in the area), and they had someone on-site do an appraisal and finished the repair within 2 days. I paid the deductible and took it home. I had to do 1 extra phone call to remind them that hit-and-runs were covered by the uninsured motorist policy and not by comprehensive (which I don't carry) in Virginia.

Second time, someone backed over/into my car and crushed the hood a touch. Not enough for me to do anything about it but it did decrease the value of the car. Took it to an appraiser, who valued the repair at $800. Had a $500 deductible at the time so they wrote me a check for $300 and sent me on my way to repair it if I so chose at some point in the future.
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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2013, 02:27:43 PM »
I just want to say thanks for this thread and everyone's input. I've been with USAA forever and was just thinking that I should shop around. Just got a quote from Geico and it's 38% cheaper than what I'm paying for the exact same coverages AND it's actually worth it through them to put my deductables at $1k instead of $500 which would be 48% cheaper (with USAA the difference is so small I just keep it at $500).

I've always been wary about other insurance companies since USAA is so great (I got rear-ended, on Christmas Day, by an unisured driver, in my parents minivan, the day before I moved 3 states over and they handled it wonderfully) so this makes me feel better about possibly changing

cosmie

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2013, 06:27:28 PM »
The only- ONLY!- way for insurance companies to get money is the rates they charge their customers, so when you see an Auto Damage adjuster driving an expensive new SUV or an agent handing out whiz-bang trinkets, there is only one way they are getting the money to buy that stuff. If you can cut all the excess and unecessary spending out of your budgets, you can keep your rates low.
This isn't quite true. Customer premiums are a significant revenue source, but it's definitely not the only one. Insurance companies play the float by investing that money until they need it to pay out claims, and the appreciation from these investments are also a source of profits (or losses). Different companies weight these two profit sources differently, and premiums reflect that.

There's a great Wikipedia article here about it, and a great graph of Geico and Progressives ratios here that show why Geico is so much cheaper than other companies.

Increasing float is far more valuable to Buffet than improved underwriting profits, and that's the core of Geico's cheap rates. Geico's loss ratio averages 76, meaning 76% of collected premiums are paid back out as claims/losses. Industry average is much closer to 50. After accounting for expenses, Geico only makes a ~6% underwriting profit (industry average is over 10%, I believe). By setting their target loss ratio ~25% higher than average, customers see rates ~25% lower than average. Doing this has resulted in Geico tripling their float over the last ten years to $11.5 billion, giving Buffet a huge wad of leverage for his investing hobby.

Geico's strategy is to grow market share and increase their float levels, and their strategy for doing this is inherently consumer friendly (low margin, high volume). Their claims process is just as good, as playing hardball on claims would lead to bad PR and potentially hurt growth rates. Progressive has a similar strategy, and therefore is good to compare when rate checking. They'll be some of the lowest quotes, and it's not because they're skimping on the customer side.

MoneyCat

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2013, 06:38:55 PM »
I had GEICO for about five years and then bought a house with insurance from Allstate. Allstate offered to evaluate me for car insurance as well, so I thought why not. With the discount from also having their house insurance, Allstate was able to give me 3 times to amount of insurance coverage for hundreds of dollars less. Of course, I also live in the most expensive state for car insurance in the country, so maybe GEICO just isn't competitive here.

Jamesqf

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2013, 09:20:43 PM »
Their claims process is just as good, as playing hardball on claims would lead to bad PR and potentially hurt growth rates. Progressive has a similar strategy, and therefore is good to compare when rate checking.

Have to disagree about Progressive, based on my experience of having been rear-ended by someone they insured. Car was driveable afterwards: I drove home & did errands in it the next day. Their adjuster showed up, scheduled an appointment with a body shop, and I drove it there, expecting the fairly minor work to be done in a few days. Two weeks later, nothing, so I call to find out what's happening. "Oh, it's unrepairable, so we're just going to say it's totalled, and pay you (less than half the market value)." "Like hell you are", so I drive to the shop where my car is sitting with several body panels off, stuff them in the back, and drive home.

Did the repairs myself for a few hundred, and have been driving it for years. Took nearly a year, and a change of management at the local office to get a penny from them. Admittedly just one incident, and I've always suspected that the old manager was running some sort of scam, but that's why I've never trusted Progressive.






okashira

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #43 on: December 03, 2013, 09:48:29 AM »
SO is this just another general finance forum now? We have people bragging about $85/mo insurance on a $45000 truck like it makes sense financially?
This is not even close to an MMM topic.

Let's be clear: MMM: $5000 car that gets 40mpg with $29/mo insurance.
This forum: Wah, my insurance is $85/mo on a $45000 truck that gets 13mpg with tires at $1000 a set.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 09:50:47 AM by okashira »
This forum has become way too soft with the surge in popularity. I try to keep it real and hold no facepunches.

Maigahane

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2013, 10:51:14 AM »
SO is this just another general finance forum now? We have people bragging about $85/mo insurance on a $45000 truck like it makes sense financially?
This is not even close to an MMM topic.

Let's be clear: MMM: $5000 car that gets 40mpg with $29/mo insurance.
This forum: Wah, my insurance is $85/mo on a $45000 truck that gets 13mpg with tires at $1000 a set.
MMM: Spend your money wisely so you have more to spend on what is important to you. A truck is important to OP. Judging by the old truck he will drive it for many years, and he timed his purchase to get a good deal on a new truck that increases his happiness.

Even MMM admits that he spends more in some areas then he needs to because they are important to HIM (housing, wind powered electricity, and organic food). As long as the truck is on the short list of "important" items to this person then they are following MMM. And he's trying to get the best deal on car insurance (without getting shitty insurance that isn't worth paying for) thus he's optimizing his spending in that area, not bitching about the cost

cosmie

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #45 on: December 03, 2013, 11:45:28 AM »
SO is this just another general finance forum now? We have people bragging about $85/mo insurance on a $45000 truck like it makes sense financially?
This is not even close to an MMM topic.

Let's be clear: MMM: $5000 car that gets 40mpg with $29/mo insurance.
This forum: Wah, my insurance is $85/mo on a $45000 truck that gets 13mpg with tires at $1000 a set.
It certainly is a MMM topic. He wasn't asking about the truck, he was asking why there was a 50% spread between quotes for the same service, to see if they truly were the same service or if the cheaper one was substandard (and therefore not the same). In GEICO's case, the low rates are not as a result of skimping in other areas, so the service is materially equivalent to what you could expect from the company that quoted twice as much.

Halving one of your bills while sacrificing absolutely nothing sounds pretty Mustachian BadAss to me.


JLee

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #46 on: February 07, 2015, 01:49:43 AM »
I've had other insurance companies for my car before, but Geico rates by far the best for me. Their phone agents are always very professional, sympathetic, efficient, and effective.Geico does the job of protecting you, and fast. Recently GEICO expand and upgrade their ridesharing policy. The features of their new ridesharing policy are also looks good.
Sneaky advertiser?

merula

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #47 on: February 07, 2015, 02:35:50 AM »
Insurance underwriter here. If I were you, I'd also compare an independent insurance agent. Yes, they get paid commission (typically 10-15%), but they typically earn it. For example, I have had Cincinnati* for as long as I've been driving. I check the internet sources regularly, and I've never found anyone that's within 20%. I think the catch is that they have a low rate for <7,500 mi per year, and maybe others don't. Agents know what carriers will have better rates for different situations, so they can really save you money. And, hey, if they don't, it was just a quote, you can stick with what you have.

*Not my employer, in case anyone is wondering.

On the other hand, I know one guy who had an accident followed by a DUI, GEICO dropped him after the DUI so be careful.
Yep. I'd drop you for a DUI, too. The claims are horrific, there's basically no way to manage the risk of people who drive drunk. If you choose to engage in that behavior, you've made yourself uninsurable.

Geico left my wife stranded and only handles claims m-f 8 -4:30. Their driver turned into on coming traffic causing an car to clip them and spin around and hit my wife. All they can say is file a claim with your insurance and they will collect from us. Or wait till Monday. Never buy insurance from them. They will not be there for you when you need them.

You need to call your insurance company first. You are their customer, and typically they'll be able to deal with the other carrier.

The only- ONLY!- way for insurance companies to get money is the rates they charge their customers
This isn't quite true. Customer premiums are a significant revenue source, but it's definitely not the only one. Insurance companies play the float by investing that money until they need it to pay out claims, and the appreciation from these investments are also a source of profits (or losses). Different companies weight these two profit sources differently, and premiums reflect that.

Beat me to it. :)

MoneyCat

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #48 on: February 07, 2015, 06:00:08 AM »
I had GEICO auto insurance when my credit was very poor because it was the best deal at that time. After my credit improved to the top tier, I asked them to reevaluate my credit and offer me a lower price. They said they would do so for my next term with them, but then they chose not to. I responded by giving my auto insurance and the insurance for my new house to Allstate instead. GEICO called me up and sent me letters begging me to come back, but, sorry, that ship has sailed. They should have done as I asked.

Rural

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Re: Does GEICO car insurance suck?
« Reply #49 on: February 07, 2015, 07:28:57 AM »
I've had other insurance companies for my car before, but Geico rates by far the best for me. Their phone agents are always very professional, sympathetic, efficient, and effective.Geico does the job of protecting you, and fast. Recently GEICO expand and upgrade their ridesharing policy. The features of their new ridesharing policy are also looks good.
Sneaky advertiser?


No, that wasn't sneaky.