GEICO, which began corporate life as the Government Employees Insurance Company in 1936, today offers a wide range of consumer-oriented insurance products under a brand greatly strengthened by its famous "cavemen" and "gecko" commercials.
GEICO is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, whose CEO, Warren Buffett, was an early GEICO investor.
GEICO Policy Types
1. Homeowner's insurance: GEICO insures residential homes through its homeowner's policy and insures mobile homes through a mobile homeowner's policy. Homes are insured at the H03 insurance level, which GEICO defines as "broad coverage for your dwelling." Typically, this means protection against fire, water, building collapse, roof impact (such as from falling trees) and the theft of household electronics. It does not include flood insurance. It also does not include coverage for stolen jewelry beyond $2,000.
GEICO allows you to supplement your homeowner's policy by purchasing extra protection for valuables. You can also add identity theft coverage, which will protect you from, for example, the financial impact of someone breaking into your house, stealing your credit cards and using them.
It is important to note that GEICO's policy is not all-risks coverage. It only protects against perils named in the contract. Thus, if your contract doesn't name "earthquake" as a peril, you won't be insured against earthquake damage.
2. Condominium and co-op owner's insurance: GEICO's condominium policy protects you from personal property damage, such as that resulting from theft or water damage, and liability claims, such as those that could be filed by people who have an accident in your condo. Generally speaking, this policy is designed to protect the interior of your condo rather than the exterior, which will most likely be covered by the homeowner association's insurance. GEICO's condominium owner's policy is also designed for owners of co-ops, which GEICO protects in a similar fashion.
3. Renter's insurance: GEICO's renter's policy covers against several common types of named perils, including:
- Malicious mischief
- Accidental discharge of water
Renter's insurance also provides liability protection, which protects against unintentional bodily injuries or property damage inflicted on another person, regardless of whether you are in your rental unit at the time. For example, if someone slipped on your floor while you were gone and sued you, renter's insurance would cover the liability and even compensate you for legal defense.
GEICO Costs and Fees
Many consumers are happy to buy GEICO and similar lower-cost insurance products that can protect their property from 99% of threats; however, some people will want to pay extra to cover the final 1%. This kind of cost-benefit analysis has to be factored into an analysis of GEICO's quotes, which can be obtained from GEICO's website at geico.com.
GEICO Claims Handling
GEICO has a comprehensive online claims center that allows you to file and track claims and provides information about the claims process from start to finish.
GEICO's Contact Information
- Online: Geico.com (postal and e-mail addresses also available)
- Telephone: 800-841-2964 (sales); 800-841-3005 (service)
Photo: ©Big Stock Photo
At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.