Find out what makes Geico car insurance a great option in 2020.
Millions of people use Geico auto insurance for its affordability and smooth claims experience. It’s the second-largest car insurance company in the U.S. (behind State Farm) and has many happy customers.
In our research into the best auto insurance companies in the industry, we named Geico as our first choice available to the mass market. Today, we’ll take a look into Geico auto insurance by exploring coverage options, perks, customer service, and more.
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In this article:
- Geico Company Overview
- Coverage With Geico
- Geico Auto Insurance Claims Process
- Geico Auto Insurance Reviews
- Discounts On Geico Auto Insurance
- Usage-Based Insurance With Geico Is Finally Here
- How Much Does Geico Cost On Average?
- Our Verdict On Geico Car Insurance
Geico Company Overview
If you didn’t already know, the word Geico is an acronym that stands for Government Employees Insurance Company. The company was started in 1936 by Leo and Lillian Goodwin, who thought that government employees would be less risky to insure. It’s grown a lot since then, but it still offers discounts and programs for federal employees. As a part of Berkshire Hathaway, Geico wrote over $33 billion in premiums in 2018.
The company has an A++ rating from AM Best, which is the highest rating possible. That means that Geico can meet its financial burden from covering so many policies with ease. Also, Geico has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Coverage With Geico
Unless you live in Virginia or New Hampshire, you’re required to carry car insurance. All other states require liability coverage. Liability insurance comes in three types: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage per accident.
- Bodily injury per person: Covers medical payments and lost wages for other people in accidents that you cause
- Bodily injury per accident: The total medical costs that your insurance will pay for in an accident you cause
- Property damage per accident: The total property damage and repairs that your insurance will cover for an accident that you cause
When you’re shopping for Geico auto insurance, you’ll see these coverages abbreviated as BI/PD. A BI/PD policy of 25/50/25 allows $25,000 BI per person, $50,000 BI per accident, and $25,000 PD per accident. With Geico car insurance, you can either choose your state’s minimum or extend your coverage further. We’d recommend extending your coverage to protect against more serious accidents.
Other Standard Coverages Through Geico
- Medical payments (MedPay): This Geico auto insurance option covers your own medical expenses after an accident, regardless of fault. While health insurance can do the same, MedPay doesn’t have a deductible. The maximum benefit you can get from MedPay is usually under $10,000, but it’s cheap to add it onto a plan.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): This option covers your own medical expenses plus lost wages and even child care in some situations, regardless of fault. PIP is required in no-fault states. Maximum payouts are higher than MedPay, though you may have a deductible with PIP.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This pays for injury or property damage caused by someone with too little or no insurance. Geico recommends that your uninsured motorist coverage match your BI/PD coverage. Geico also requires a $200 deductible for uninsured motorist property damage claims.
- Collision coverage: Collision pays to repair your car after an accident with another car or a solid object. It applies when you’re at fault, and it carries a deductible. You can also use it when another driver is at fault, and Geico will seek compensation from the other company later on.
- Comprehensive coverage: This option pays for damage not related to an accident. For example, it can cover damage from fire, hail, vandalism, or contact with animals.
What Geico Doesn’t Cover
A standard Geico auto insurance policy won’t cover regular maintenance of your vehicle, custom electronics, and items stolen from inside your car. You’ll also have to purchase a specialized plan if you use your car for a small business, ridesharing, or if you have a collector car.
Geico Auto Insurance Extras
As a full-service provider, Geico offers some additional coverage options that set it apart from other providers.
Roadside assistance coverage is available for a small fee – Geico’s website says you can get it for as little as $14 per year. Compared to AAA’s cost of $50 to $100 per year, that’s a pretty good deal. Here’s what you get with Geico’s roadside assistance:
- Jump starts
- Spare tire installation
- Towing to a repair shop
- Lockout services up to $100
That might not be the most exhaustive list in the world, but it definitely helps. Plus, the price doesn’t hurt, either.
Rental reimbursement is also available as an add-on. With this coverage, Geico will cover the costs of a rental car while your own car is being repaired after a covered claim. You get to set the limits on your policy. If you choose to receive $30 per day/$900 per claim, Geico will stop paying after you’ve used the rental car for 30 days.
Geico works with Enterprise Rent-A-Car for this service, which means your insurance will pay Enterprise directly. If you use another rental company, you might have to pay upfront and then submit receipts for reimbursement.
Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) is Geico’s extended warranty option for policyholders. Under an MBI plan, Geico will cover repairs to any mechanical part on your car. MBI excludes wear and tear, tune-ups, and maintenance items. Your car is only eligible if it is under 15 months old or has fewer than 15,000 miles. You can renew the policy for up to 7 years or 100,000 miles.
The first six-month MBI policy costs around $35, but it’s unclear if renewals are the same price. With MBI, you’ll also have to pay a $250 deductible any time you go into the shop, which is higher than deductibles from many other third-party extended warranty companies, such as Endurance or CARCHEX.
How To Get Geico Car Insurance
Geico gives you three ways to start a quote: visit an office in person, give the company a call, or get a quote online. Not all car insurance companies have physical locations that you can visit, so that’s pretty nice. When you begin a quote, you’ll need to have your driver’s license, car information, and current insurance policy available.
You should also be aware of your driving history over recent years. If you neglect or forget to disclose an item on your driving record, companies can change your car insurance rates or even cancel your policy after you’ve made the initial purchase.
Once you find a quote that you’re satisfied with, you can purchase your plan in a number of ways. To save the most money, you can pay for it in full before the effective policy date. You can also pay in installments, but those can come with a $5 fee. Geico waives that fee if you set up autopay, however.
Lastly, make sure you set up your new Geico plan to begin when your current insurance policy expires, or even to overlap it by a day. You want to avoid having any uninsured time on your record.
Geico Auto Insurance Claims Process
Looking at customer satisfaction, Geico tied for third place on J.D. Power’s 2019 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. The study was based on 11,186 car insurance customers who settled a claim within the previous six months. Based on a 1,000 point scale, Geico scored 879.
Geico lets drivers file claims through its mobile app, through its website, or by calling a phone number. The company recommends that you collect the following information after an accident:
- Contact information of all other drivers, passengers, and witnesses
- Location of the accident
- Photos of the scene, damage, and license plates of each car involved
- Insurance information from other drivers involved
The Geico mobile app lets you collect and store this type of information and then submit your claim once you’re ready. You can also schedule a damage inspection, rental, or repair from your app (depending on your insurance coverage). Geico will send an adjuster to inspect the damage, whether your car was towed to a shop or driven back home. The adjuster will be in contact with you to resolve the claim after that.
With Geico car insurance, you also have the option to tow or drive your car to an Auto Repair Xpress location. This is an authorized repair shop that is also connected to an Enterprise Rent-A-Car. When you arrive, a repair person will take your car while an Enterprise representative sets you up with a rental. It’s a convenient option that saves time.
Geico Auto Insurance Reviews
Overall, Geico has good customer service. The company has a Consumer Reports reader score of 78/100, and its claims and customer service are rated as very good. There are over 13,000 Geico car insurance reviews on its own website, which average 4.5 stars. Our own research team rated the provider 4.5 out of 5 stars too.
While Geico does have an A+ rating on BBB, the company has received some complaints too. A few are about the way other family members get added to a Geico auto insurance policy. One reviewer first said their rates went up unexpectedly. In response, a Geico representative said that the DMV had notified them that a family member with a learner’s permit recently got a full driver’s license. Geico had raised the insured’s rates because of that, apparently without letting the policyholder know.
Another negative Geico auto insurance review was about the tedious process of resolving the theft of a vehicle. Geico has a standard recovery waiting period of 21 days to find out if the car is actually stolen. During that period, Geico may reimburse the driver for costs to rent another vehicle depending on their coverage. After the waiting period was over, Geico mailed this specific driver some official documents to resolve the theft. On these documents, the driver’s name has to match the name on the title exactly. In the case of this review, the driver left off their middle name, which added a few extra days to the process.
The best way to avoid negative experiences with Geico is to read the text of your policy thoroughly. Sure, almost everyone has an auto insurance policy. However, you could get caught off guard if you don’t know what’s inside.
Discounts On Geico Auto Insurance
Another thing we like about Geico is the number of discounts that it makes available. A few of these include:
- Good student discount
- Good driver discount
- Defensive driver discount
- Discounts for airbags, anti-lock brakes, and anti-theft devices
- Multiple policy discount
- Multiple vehicle discount
- Military discount
- Federal employee discount
By being a good driver and having a safe car, you lower Geico’s risk of covering an at-fault claim. That’s good news for the company, so it makes sense that it gives discounts for those things.
Usage-Based Insurance With Geico Is Finally Here
Until now, Geico has stayed out of the usage-based insurance game. For whatever reason, the second-largest insurer wouldn’t let you download an app or plug a device in and get a rate based on your driving. However, that’s about to change.
Over the summer of 2019, Geico started testing its DriveEasy app. The app tracks things like distracted driving, hard braking, and time spent on the road. It can’t raise your rates – unlike Progressive’s Snapshot – but it can lower them. However, it’s only available in certain states, and only as an app, not a plugin device.
How Much Does Geico Cost On Average?
Nailing down an exact Geico car insurance cost is a bit tricky. Your price is affected by things like your zip code, accident history, age, and the type of car that you drive. U.S. News & World Report came up with an average premium amount of $1,063.10. That would mean Geico policyholders pay about $89 per month, which is cheaper than most other popular insurance companies on average.
Unless you’re in the military or have a family member with USAA, we think Geico is the cheapest car insurance around. It only takes a few minutes to fill out an online quote form, and that’s the best way to find out what you’ll actually pay.
Balancing Your Deductible And Your Premium
When you’re looking for the best price on Geico auto insurance, you might notice that raising your deductible lowers your premium. While it’s a good technique to lower your overall cost, make sure you don’t raise your deductible over what you’d be able to pay. A $2,000 deductible may save you a lot in monthly payments, but it could also be prohibitively expensive to pay when you get into an accident.
Our Verdict On Geico Car Insurance
So, is Geico car insurance good? We think so. Affordable rates, nationwide availability, and simple claims make Geico auto insurance a reliable option for most drivers.
Best Company Overall
Our 2nd favorite and best for those ineligible for USAA: Offers competitive pricing and great coverage.
A Few More Great Choices
Just because Geico has low average rates doesn’t mean you won’t find better ones somewhere else. Since getting car insurance quotes are free, it’s a good idea to get as many as you can and compare them all. The only downside is that you might have to deal with extra junk mail for a little while. Here are a few more companies that performed well on our industry-wide review:
- USAA: This company is the best option for military members and their families. Overall, the auto insurance company has the best rates.
- Progressive: Insurance through Progressive is also affordable for many drivers across the U.S. Plus, Progressive has a great mobile app and shopping experience.
- State Farm: This company has more customers than any other car insurance company in the nation – and it’s great for young drivers.