The second-largest auto insurance company by market share and the largest direct-sales insurance company in the United States, GEICO is one of the best-known names in car insurance. While they don’t sell their products in Canada, their mascot, the GEICO gecko, is famous enough to be known across the border.
GEICO, which stands for Government Employees Insurance Company, was founded in 1936 to provide auto insurance to, as the name implies, government employees. It wasn’t until 1974 that the company opened up its products to the general public, prompting a huge growth.
In 1996, GEICO was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, which is among the largest public companies in the world and owns many other well-known American brands. As a wholly owned subsidiary, GEICO continues to sell its products with a strong financial backing.
GEICO is best known for its television commercials, employing the GEICO gecko as mascot and making it one of the most recognized in the nation. The GEICO promise is that “15 minutes can save you 15% or more”, and GEICO’s branding aims towards that promise with lower rates than most competitors.
GEICO is second only to State Farm by market share in the American auto insurance industry.
GEICO is best known as a car insurance company, although they do offer other products.
Their car insurance program is seen as a more budget-friendly option, but offers a range of added perks and benefits that are similar to those offered by other major insurance companies.
GEICO also offers specialty vehicle such as RV and ATV, home and other property insurance, business, life, travel and more, making them a comprehensive insurance source. GEICO doesn’t underwrite all of the policies they offer, however.
Similar to many other auto insurance companies, they offer these policies through association with other insurance companies. These are non-affiliated companies with which GEICO has an agreement to offer additional products.
GEICO is seen as a budget alternative to agent-driven insurance companies, and generally lives up to their promises of lower rates. They compete with companies like Allstate, which frequently takes jabs at GEICO as a cut-rate insurer in their commercials.
The company ranks just below average in claims satisfaction according to J.D. Power’s survey, and like most companies of this size has its detractors.
In general, GEICO fosters an image of a light-hearted insurer focused on providing good coverage at much lower rates than competing companies.
As a direct-buy insurer, GEICO makes quoting very easy. They offer online, over the phone, and even mobile app quoting options. Their app is very highly ranked, as is their website, for ease of use and usefulness in general.
GEICO offers fast quoting as well as fast policy issuing, thanks to the direct system that leaves out agents.
As one of the largest insurers in the U.S., GEICO seems a likely candidate for crossing the border and entering Canada’s insurance market. As of this time, there are no plans to sell insurance in Canada, but the company would likely make a very competitive entry into the Canadian insurance market, and would join major competitors like State Farm and Allstate.