Service Review: Geico Auto Insurance

I don’t normally blog about services, but I had to share my experience with Geico.

As a longtime customer, I’m used to defending their less-than-stellar reputation. Everyone says they’re a nightmare to deal with, but I’ve always found their customer service to be pretty good. They addressed problems quickly and even when we had to submit a claim it wasn’t too much of a hassle.

We have been with them for about 6 years. When we first changed to Geico, I was impressed that they scoffed at those stupid automated answering systems that require you to press 1 for English, then 1 for auto, 2 for homeowners, etc… Unfortunately, in the past 6 months that has changed and you now have to go through 1,527 prompts to speak with a real human. Ok, it’s more like 4, but it still took over 10 minutes for me to connect with someone to find out when my policy expires.

For the past 6 years I really haven’t had much to say about them. They’ve provided decent service and I was happy overall. No big deal, right? The prices seemed good. ($150/month for auto insurance for my husband and I. Full coverage on 2 old-ish vehicles, but he has a crap driving record.)

Well, last month I got an email. Our rates were going up… $272/month. What?! Surely that was a mistake. I called the number, did the prompts and spoke with a representative. Was this about a recent speeding ticket my husband got? No. That hadn’t been rated yet. Apparently Geico applied to the state for a rate hike and that was what caused our bill to nearly double. (It went up $122/month if you don’t feel like doing the math.)

Is there anything I can do? I could drop comprehensive and collision or raise my deductible to $1000 from $500, but that’s it. Doing both still wouldn’t get me back down to $150/month, but it would get me close. I didn’t feel good about dropping coverages or raising my deductible that much, so I decided to call around.

Every single place I called gave me a rate lower than Geico’s new rate for full coverage. Even “premium” insurers that we would never normally consider.

I called them back and told them that. They said there was nothing they could do. No additional discounts. I had to drop coverages and raise my deductibles to get the price down. Rate hikes they said. One agent told me they would hate to lose me since I’d been a customer for 6 years. I guess they didn’t hate it that badly since they weren’t trying very hard to keep me.

Committed to changing my insurers – because I’m not opposed to leaving a company that’s screwing me – I went online and asked friends who they use. Most recommended calling a broker.

The very first broker I called was able to get me $91/ month for car insurance with higher coverages than I had with Geico. My homeowners would go up $350/year, but I assume Geico’s homeowners policies were going up too. Even if they weren’t going up at all (their homeowner’s insurance goes up every year), I’d still be saving over $2,000 on the auto insurance which would more than make up for it.

So friends, moral of the story is to not use Geico. I’m still in shock that they wanted to raise my rates so much after I’d been with them for so long. Then to basically tell me I was SOL and had to eliminate coverages and raise deductibles to get my bill back to where it was just pushed me over the edge. You don’t treat customers like that. Geico should be ashamed. It looks like every rotten thing I’d heard about them in the past was true and I’m saddened that I paid them for so many years before making the switch.

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