Since 1936, GEICO Insurance Agency has supported property owners with coverage, placing itself as a trailblazer in the insurance sector. It holds one of the premier positions among property insurance companies in the nation and often gains recognition through its iconic gecko character, affordable prices, and service so easy that a caveman can do them.
Leo and Lillian Goodwin created the Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) to offer insurance to those in the military and government during the Great Depression. Within a year, the company wrote 3,700 policies.
In the mid-1990s, Berkshire Hathaway’s investment firm, owned by famous investor Warren Buffett, acquired the company. This decision is responsible for the famous GEICO ads of that time.
Today, GEICO has billions of dollars in total assets and net premiums. GEICO’s effective marketing strategies have made it a household name. Nevertheless, size doesn’t guarantee quality, and an inexpensive plan might not be everyone’s priority.
In this review, we’ll investigate whether their popularity transfers to their home insurance policies. We’ll look at what makes a GEICO home insurance policy tick, and what current customers have to say about their service delivery.
How GEICO home insurance works
The company’s reputation as a leader in auto insurance doesn’t extend to its management of home insurance policies. Rather than overseeing such policies themselves, they act more like intermediaries between customers and third-party insurers.
To this end, they collaborated with several underwriters. Among them are Liberty Mutual, Assurant, and American Family. GEICO is partnered with 31 homeowners insurance providers. When you request a home insurance quote, they will match you with one of the affiliated partner like these instead of holding your policy themselves. If you have to file a claim or to contact customer service, you will need to go through the underwriter that you were paired with instead of going through GEICO.
GEICO homeowners insurance coverages
Home insurance sponsored by GEICO provides various forms of coverage to protect your property. If your dwelling is damaged or destroyed, dwelling insurance will cover the costs of rebuilding or repairing the physical structures of your home.
Additional living expenses coverage can help alleviate the burden of finding a temporary place to stay while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. Personal liability coverage protects you in case someone experiences bodily injury or property damage while on your property.
Your policy particulars may hinge on the home insurance counterpart you are paired with, which could be a notable drawback. Although GEICO doesn’t oversee home insurance itself, they do have an online quote tool available to help us get matched with the best insurance.
Using this tool, we plugged in our test address in Arkansas. We’ve used this 1,220-square-foot home to get quotes from several other insurers before. It was built in the 80s and has a couple of safety features installed, like fire and burglar alarms. It also has a few detached buildings and is located in an area that is prone to price hikes due to wind and hail damage.
Here’s the coverage the quote tool provided for us:
|Loss of use (additional living expenses)
|Wind & hail deductible
|Quoted annual premium
These are very common limits and coverages that you will see with your typical home insurer. We’re even able to toggle some of these limits to meet our needs. For example, most of the standard policies we see only cover $100,000 worth of liability coverage. When we lessened our limit from $300,000 to this amount, our annual premium went down a few bucks.
We were also given the option of choosing various add-ons to our policy. These included:
- Home Protector Plus: This policy provides you with additional coverage for unforeseen costs when rebuilding your home after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or tornado, and the full replacement cost for your possessions.
- Replacement cost on personal property: In the event of a covered loss to your personal property, this endorsement ensures that your personal belongings are replaced without compromising for depreciated value.
- Water backup & sump overflow: Provides up to $10,000 worth of protection for your home and personal belongings in case of damage from water backing up in the house or from a sump pump overflow.
- Identity theft protection: Allows up to $15,000 in coverage to help protect you against identity theft.
- Business pursuit: This coverage enhances your personal liability and medical payment coverages. With this, you can be compensated for losses related to business activities on your property.
- Home computer: Provides up to $10,000 in coverage for the replacement cost of your personal computer and software.
- Blanket jewelry: Provides up to $10,000 in additional coverage for all your jewelry.
- Flood insurance: With help from the NFIP, GEICO provides flood insurance to help cover your home and belongings from water damage, heavy rain, melting snow, and other flooding circumstances.
GEICO home insurance premiums
We love online quote tools because we’re able to see just how much these coverages will cost us. This test home has been quoted an average of $1,920.75 a year. This is already slightly above the national average of $1,854 a year, which is to be expected from a home located in a state with among the highest premiums in the country.
As for GEICO, its quote came in at 1,979, which is slightly above that average. Here’s how they compared to the competition:
We’ve been offered much less coverage for a much higher rate from GEICO than from some other insurers. Competitors like Farmers are ready to give us almost $100,000 more dwelling coverage for hundreds less. GEICO seems to be right on the money for around $200,000 worth of dwelling coverage in terms of average costs, though.
GEICO homeowners insurance discounts
Their home insurance policies are not underwritten by them, which limits the number of discounts they can provide. Their home insurance options only include three discounts, which is substantially lower than other major insurance providers who offer several unique incentives.
Home insurance discounts often encompass the following:
- Get discounts for having home security alarms installed on the property.
- Possessing fire safety must-haves, smoke alarms, and fire extinguishers, could also provide you with savings.
- Get discounts by asking for a quote early.
- Pay for everything upfront and you’ll receive a paid-in-full discount.
- Receive savings when you bundle your home and auto policies with GEICO.
GEICO’s customer reviews
On the BBB site, where the unaccredited GEICO is provided with an “A+” for their ability to resolve complaints, they’ve gone down the list of thousands of customer reviews. Their responses are “No Comment.” for each and every one of them!
We understand a cookie-cutter reply from your insurer in response to your complaints online is never what you want to hear. People want solutions, not blatant disregard and indifference.
As we mentioned earlier, the home insurance you get with GEICO could come from any one of their underwriters. As such, a GEICO home insurance policy for a person on one side of the country may have different coverages available at different prices.
These are a few caveats that drove customers to internet forums. Many homeowners who got a GEICO policy through Assurant are especially upset.
In general, their customer service seems to be lacking. Many customers cite a lack of empathy during the COVID-19 pandemic, even toward loyal customers who have had GEICO for decades.
How is GEICO at processing claims
To file a home insurance claim with GEICO, reaching out to the insurance underwriter is necessary. Depending on the partner company, claims can be reported online or over the phone.
To assist with this process, Geico provides access to a comprehensive directory of phone numbers and links to all its partners on its official website.
Without providing their own home insurance, it’s impossible to gauge homeowners insurance complaints from NAIC’s perspective. We can, however, attest to the fact that many home insurance complaints online regarding GEICO claims are geared toward outright denials.
GEICO’s financial ratings
According to AM Best, GEICO possesses financial strength considered to be “Superior” with an A++ rating. Their long-term issuer credit rating is even better, with an “Exceptional” aaa score.
Weiss Ratings sees GEICO’s financial stability a little differently. They believe GEICO is a part of the upper third of companies that demonstrate fair financial stability in a currently stable environment. It’s worth it to mention that Weiss also believes GEICO could suffer financially amid economic troubles.
GEICO’s home insurance review is a little different than the others we’re used to. The type of coverage, the cost of your coverage, and the quality of your customer service depend on the carrier GEICO sticks you with during your quote.
This insurer is among the first options you might think of when it comes to their products. As popular as their car insurance is, customers hope for a collaborative home insurer that can deliver the same promises.
GEICO partners with several other companies, most of whom we’ve reviewed here. Check out our other reviews to see if your quoted GEICO home insurance policy will suit your needs!