A brief history of the company
In 1936, Government Employees Insurance Company or GEICO was founded by Leo and Lillian Goodwin, to serve the people listed in the military and government employees during the Great Depression. The company wrote 3,700 insurance policies within a year, which obliged them to make an expansion by hiring 12 people as an addition to better carry the insurance workload.
The company was then acquired by the Berkshire Hathaway's investment firm, which is owned by Warren Buffet, in the mid-'90s. Mascots such as the goggle-eyed stacks of money, cavemen, and the most popular gecko have been featured to the era of GEICO advertisements.
The Truth About GEICO Home Insurance Plans
Even if the company is known as one of the largest auto insurance providers today, their home insurance policies aren't being managed by them, they are underwritten by other third-party insurers -- they are more like a broker or an agent. They will not be holding your home insurance policy, instead, other major companies that are affiliated with them will be paired to you once you've requested a quote.
This might be a big disadvantage since your policy specifics will depend on the home insurance that will be paired to you. You will not also find a lot of discounts to GEICO, compared to other homeowner insurance companies, even if they provide solid coverage options and tools.
Other than that, when the process has been completed, they won't give you the quotes immediately, they will redirect you in a page, which states that additional information will be required in order for you to have a quote since not all of their home insurance providers aren't available online, and just wait for an email or a call from their agents.
GEICO's tagline, “15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance” is very popular. They are relying on this claim to sell their homeowner insurance policies and making a promise that people will save more on their home insurance policies because they are offering a lot of discounts.
Is the company's claim true?
Since they don't underwrite the home insurance policies, they can't offer you that much when it comes to discounts. They only have three discounts available in their home insurance, and compared to other large insurance companies, such as Allstate who offers 11 discounts, GEICO's are below an average level.
However, if you're already a customer at GEICO, this can be an advantage for you because when you get an auto and home insurance policy bundle, you will save more on your home insurance policy. They can even let you combine the deductions in cases wherein you needed to make a claim that affects your home and auto policies. So, their claim is sort of true.
Types of GEICO Home Insurance Coverage
In order for you to save up in your home insurance, only get the coverage that you really need. Here are some of the type of home insurance coverage offered by GEICO:
- Guest Medical Protection - Regardless of who's at fault, this can cover the medical expenses of the visitors who become injured or got in an accident on your property. The costs include hospital stays, ambulance rides, X-rays, and surgical procedures.
- Personal Property Protection - This coverage will protect the items inside your home, such as furniture and appliances by covering the cost and replacing them when it’s lost or damaged.
- Dwelling Insurance - Covers the payment when you rebuild or repair some of the physical structures of your home.
- Reimbursed Living Expenses - Example of this when your home has been damaged and is being repaired or rebuilt, it will cover your bill on the motel you are staying until you've moved into your own home again.
- Liability Coverage - This will cover the property damage and bodily injuries sustained by others inside your home.
- Other Structures - It will cover structures such as gazebo, fence, tool shed, detached garage, swimming pool, or driveways.
Other than these coverages, you can also add some endorsements to your home insurance policies. This include:
- Identity Theft Protection
- Valuable Items
- Earthquake Coverage
GEICO's Home Insurance Discounts
The company only offers three discounts for their home insurance policy, if you:
- Equip your home with fire extinguishers
- Install smoke alarm
- Install a security system for your home
However, if you insure your car with them, you will get more discounts for your home insurance policy. Their auto insurance policy has high satisfaction ratings and compared to other auto insurers, they have a lot of discounts. Their claim isn't far from the truth, but you have to get an auto and home insurance bundle to get that opportunity.
Based on 16,880 reviews on Clearsurance, GEICO is rated 4.27 stars out of 5 for their home insurance services at the time of writing. Some of the customers are happy with their service and gave 4 or 5 stars in their reviews, and a lot of them also said that their customer service is excellent and it is fast. However, most of them are saying the opposite. They are saying that the process is painful and slow and that the rates are increasing every year even if they don't have any claims. They rated GEICO, 2 or 3 stars out of 5.
With the company's financial strength, A.M. Best has given them the highest rating of A++, which can be earned by just 5% of Property and Casualty companies, including State Farm.
Ratings of Geico in J.D. Power's Home Insurance Study is not available, but State Farm ranked 5th on these study in 2018, which had above-average ratings on each factor.
The Pros and Cons of GEICO Home Insurance
To wrap it up, here are the advantages and disadvantages of getting insurance for your home from GEICO:
- You can still pay your premium through GEICO even if the home insurance policy is underwritten by other insurers.
- GEICO offers an easy way to talk with their customer service since they have a mobile app.
- You will get more discount on both of your auto and home insurance if you apply for a bundle package.
- You can manage an existing claim on the mobile app, but you can't create or file a new one using it.
- GEICO is just like a middleman or a broker when it comes to their home insurance. You need to call or talk directly to the third-party insurer paired to you in order to make a claim.
- You need to provide a Social Security number in order to get a quote from them.
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