The GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY (
GEICO /ˈɡaɪkoʊ/ ) is
an American auto insurance company headquartered in Chevy Chase,
Maryland . It is the second largest auto insurer in the United States
State Farm . It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire
Hathaway that as of 2017 provided coverage for more than 24 million
motor vehicles owned by more than 15 million policy holders. GEICO
writes private passenger automobile insurance in all 50 U.S. states
and the District of Columbia .
GEICO sells its policies through local
GEICO Field Representatives, and over the phone
directly to the consumer, and through their website. Its mascot is a
gold dust day gecko with a
Cockney accent, voiced by English actor
Jake Wood .
GEICO is well known in popular culture for its
advertising, having made a large number of commercials intended to
* 1 History
* 2 Advertising campaigns
* 2.1 Motorsports
* 3 Competition
* 4 Lawsuits
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links
GEICO was founded in 1936 by
Leo Goodwin Sr. and his wife Lillian
Goodwin to provide auto insurance directly to federal government
employees and their families. Since 1925, Goodwin had worked for USAA
, an insurer which specialized in insuring only military personnel; he
decided to start his own company after rising as far as a civilian
could go in USAA's military-dominated hierarchy. Based on Goodwin's
experience at USAA, GEICO's original business model was predicated on
the assumption that federal employees as a group would constitute a
less risky and more financially stable pool of insureds, as opposed to
the general public. Despite the presence of the word "government" in
GEICO has always been a private corporation not affiliated
with any government organization.
In 1937, the Goodwins relocated
San Antonio ,
Washington, D.C. and reincorporated the company as a D.C. corporation
after realizing that their business model would work best in the place
with the highest concentration of federal employees.
An important figure in GEICO's history is
David Lloyd Kreeger , who
became president of the company in 1964 and helped steer it into a
major insurance enterprise. In 1948, he formed a group of investors
who bought into
GEICO right before it went public that year. He became
senior vice president and general counsel of the company. Six years
after becoming president of
GEICO in 1964, he was named chairman and
chief executive officer. He retained those titles until he retired in
1975. He continued as chairman of the executive committee until 1979,
when he was named honorary chairman.
In 1974, under Kreeger's leadership,
GEICO began to insure the
general public, after real-time access to computerized driving records
became available throughout the United States, and it was briefly the
fifth-largest U.S. auto insurer. By 1975, it was clear that
expanded far too rapidly (during the
1973–75 recession ) when it
reported a $126.5 million loss. To prevent
GEICO from collapsing, a
consortium of 45 insurance companies agreed to take over a quarter of
its policies, and it was forced to issue a stock offering (thus
diluting existing stockholders) to raise money to pay claims. It took
five years (during which the company shrank significantly) and a
massive reorganization to set
GEICO on the path to recovery.
GEICO has also offered other types of insurance besides auto,
including homeowner's insurance from 1962 to 1996. A sister company,
the Government Employees Life
Insurance Company (GELICO), offered life
insurance from 1975 to 1985. Although
GEICO has since focused on its
core auto insurance competency (selling GELICO to Legal however, the
local agent program has more than 150 offices countrywide.
now the second largest writer of private auto insurance in the United
After several years of denying claims and even canceling policies for
policyholders that used their personal car for ridesharing companies
such as Uber and
GEICO began offering rideshare coverage in
select states in 2015, including in high-population states such as
Ohio , and Georgia . The policy, which is
issued through GEICO's commercial department, has received praise from
insurance experts and quickly launched
GEICO as the largest insurance
provider for TNC drivers.
J.D. Power rated the company #20 out of 24 for overall
purchase experience, with a 2/5 score. Later that year U.S.
Donald Trump called for a boycott of the
GEICO advertising campaigns
GEICO has many well-known ad campaigns. In 2012
GEICO spent over $1.1
billion in advertising, or 6.8% of its revenue. All are made and
The Martin Agency , which is based in
Richmond, Virginia .
GEICO ads have featured several well-known mascots, including:
GEICO Gecko is the most prevalent spokesperson mascot and
speaks with a
Cockney accent .
GEICO Cavemen (from ads claiming using their website is "so
easy, a caveman could do it").
* Maxwell, the
GEICO "Piggy" who shouts a long "Whee" and appears in
more radio and TV commercials.
Mike McGlone , who uses film noir -style narration to
compare the ease of
GEICO to things, famous people, or idioms. ("Could
GEICO really save you 15% or more on car insurance?...Is
having a snowball fight with pitching great
Randy Johnson a bad
idea?") The scene is then acted out, with typically humorous results.
In addition to Johnson, other ads have included
Charlie Daniels ,
Andrés Cantor ,
Foghorn Leghorn ,
Elmer Fudd ,
R. Lee Ermey , and Ed
"Too Tall" Jones among others.
* The "money savers" campaign enlisted actors to portray average
consumers who have resorted to various humorous extremes in order to
save money, such as teaching a dog to sing or teaching a group of
Guinea pigs to row a boat and perform some mundane task for the
consumer, and then presented switching to
GEICO as an easy alternative
to such endeavors with the common line ".... there's an easier way to
* The "Happier Than...." duo features Jimmy (actor Timothy Ryan Cole
) and Ronnie (musician Alex Harvey ) playing a guitar and a mandolin,
respectively, on a small portable stage. They comment on a fictitious
preceding event, such as a man dressed in 15th-century attire laughing
as he leads a trio of speed boats with the painted names Nina, Pinta,
and Santa Maria. After cutting to the duo, one says to the other "You
know, folks who save hundreds of dollars by switching to
are happy." The other then replied, "How happy are they,
(Jimmy/Ronnie)?" and in the case above, the response is "Happier than
Christopher Columbus with speedboats!"
* Kash, the stack of cash that represents the money you could have
saved by switching to GEICO.
There are also
GEICO ads that feature stories from
about situations in which the company assisted them, but are
translated by celebrities like
Little Richard and
Joan Rivers . Film
Don LaFontaine appeared in one such ad, shortly
before his death. The tag announcer for these spots was
D.C. Douglas .
GEICO is also an official sponsor of the
National Hockey League and
themed commercials for that always feature members of the hometown
Washington Capitals .
GEICO Chevrolet SS driven by
Casey Mears during 2015
Toyota/Save Mart 350 qualifying
GEICO has long been involved in motorsports sponsorships. Since 2008,
the company has sponsored the
Germain Racing team, first in the NASCAR
Nationwide Series with Mike Wallace , and later in the NASCAR Sprint
Cup Series with
Max Papis and
Casey Mears .
Ty Dillon , grandson of
Richard Childress , began driving the #13 GEICO
Chevrolet in the 2017 season.
GEICO's major competitors include Amica Mutual
Insurance , Liberty
State Farm ,
Allstate , 21st Century
Reliance Partners , Progressive , Nationwide
Insurance , and United
Services Automobile Association .
In December of 2016, a federal Miami jury awarded $2.7 million to a
family who sued the company, claiming the company acted in bad faith.
In November of 2015, a jury in Miami awarded a family $14.5 million
after they sued the company for bad faith.
In October of 2015, the Consumer Federation of California
successfully sued the company for $6 million after alleged
discrimination based on occupation, education level, and other
In October of 2015, the
United States Court of Appeals for the 11th
Circuit upheld a verdict against the company for over $700k in a
breach of contract suit.
In 2013, Tony Dane of Las Vegas successfully sued the company for
breach of contract following the theft of his car in which GEICO
denied his claim, accused him of stealing his own vehicle and put a
private investigator on him. He feared he may have lost custody of his
children. His original attorney dropped him, so he pursued the case
pro se and won, gaining a verdict from a jury.
In December of 2010, the family of John Potts, who was killed in a
traffic accident by a
GEICO customer, successfully sued the company
for $8.48 million after the company refused to pay an adequate
settlement following the crash.
* List of
United States insurance companies
* ^ Revenue: premiums written (2004), from
Berkshire Hathaway 10-K.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission , December 31, 2004. Accessed
17 December 2009.
* ^ https://www.geico.com/about/corporate/at-a-glance/
* ^ Yerak, Becky (June 13, 2013). "Geico tops
Allstate as nation\'s
No. 2 auto insurer in 1Q".
Chicago Tribune .
GEICO History: An American Success Story.
GEICO official site.
Accessed 18 December 2009.
* ^ "Leo Goodwin, Financier, Son of Founder of Geico". The
Washington Post . January 18, 1978.
* ^ A B Fowler, Glenn. "
David Lloyd Kreeger Dead at 81; Insurance
Official and Arts Patron".
The New York Times
The New York Times . Retrieved 14 May 2015.
* ^ Jones, William H. (June 8, 1978). "Investors May Get Geico
The Washington Post
The Washington Post .
* ^ "74. Geico (Berkshire Hathaway)".
Forbes . Retrieved August 8,
* ^ "
Insurance Shopping Study (2016)", J.D. Power. April 29, 2016.
Retrieved 25 jan 2017
* ^ "The Trump Files: Donald and the Great Geico Boycott", Max J.
Rosenthal. Mother Jones. June 16, 2016. Retrieved 25 jan 2017
* ^ "
GEICO Success Highlights Advertising Dollars vs. Agent
Insurance Journal. October 22, 2013.
* ^ "Lawyers Pursues Bad-Faith Claim After Geico Delay", Celia
Ampel. Daily Business Review. December 22, 2016. Retrieved 9 jan 2017
* ^ "Florida Couple Recovers $14.5 in Bad Faith Case Against
Geico", National Trial Lawyers. Lawyers and Settlements. November 14,
2015. Retrieved 9 jan 2017
* ^ "Geico agrees to $6-million settlement in discriminatory
pricing case", Nick Shively. Los Angeles Times. August 24, 2015.
Retrieved 9 jan 2017
* ^ "Geico Loses 11th Circ. Rehearing Bid In Bad Faith Case", David
Langhorne. Law 360. October 1, 2015. Retrieved 9 jan 2017
* ^ "Real
Customer Tony Dane Sues
GEICO And Wins", Tony Dane.
PR News Wire. February 6, 2013. Retrieved 9 jan 2017
* ^ "GEICO’s $9.6 million-dollar lesson in “bad faith” ",
D'Amore Law Group. November 6. Retrieved 9 jan 2017