Why I Stick With Geico Car Insurance
Auto insurance companies have their mascots and slogans. But how many of them answer the true question most vehicle owners are seeking? If you have never had the opportunity to participate in the benefits provided by your auto insurance, you:
- are driving safely
- are the only driver and have never loaned your vehicle to others
- have not encountered the critical inability of other drivers
- don't live in North Dakota, Montana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alaska, Missouri, Delaware, Idaho, Texas, South Dakota, Arizona, Kansas, or Florida
- have a guardian angel
Let's take a look at some of the popular companies...
animated Australian talking gecko
"15 minutes could save you 15%"
Flo the store clerk
"Think easier, Think Progressive" "Now That's Progressive. Call or Click Today" "Name Your Price"
actors Dennis Haysbert ( the voice) and Dean Winters (the mayhem man)
"You're in good hands with Allstate." "Get Allstate! You can save money and get better protected from mayhem like me."
"Have you met life today?" "Get Metlife, it pays!"
animated Special Agent Erin
"People when you want them. Technology when you don't!"
General Auto Insurance
animated Arrmy General with long white mustache
"For great low rates go online. Come to the General and save some time."
comedian Bob Wiltfong (the guy with the blue phone)
"Nationwide is on your side!"
1) magic appearance act 2) Jerry calling Jessica, an Allstate agent, because his car is up a tree or through a building
"Like a good neighbor State Farms is there!"
actor J.K. Simmons as a professor with students
"Gets you back where you belong." "We are farmers......"
The Real Slogan
Of course, we would all appreciate low cost insurance. In this economy, some people abandon their auto insurance to provide food on the table. Advertisers are using the power of the economy to attract people to their client's car insurance company. Yes, money is tight, but what about the need to arrange transportation to school or work? In most large cities, such as Chicago or New York, public transportation is just a step away. However, in states like Florida, who have ignored the need for a "regular transit system (both bus and rail), a car is essential.
The true strategy for auto insurance companies should be both savings and the answer to the hoovering question: "From the initial reporting of an accident, how long will it take to repair my car?" Although most insurance policies have the option for car rental coverage, the option increases the premium.
As of the writing of this article, Allstate has now implemented "Allstate Claim Satisfaction Guarantee." However, it has nothing to do with response time.
Incentive for writing this article.
What persuaded the writing of this article? One day, I was getting ready to go to an early appointment. My car, entrusted to a close friend, was due back in 15 minutes. My friend worked at a hospital down the street. My phone rang. I saw it was the person entrusted with my car. At first I thought he called to say he had to work overtime, but that was not the case. He alerted me to an accident with my car. I could hear my car calling to me through the phone as if a hurt puppy. The impact of the accident triggered the horn. In order for it to stop, it had to be disabled.
Of course, my first concern was my friend. He saud he was okay. The hospital was eight minutes from my home. The accident occurred in the hospital parking lot. Since my friend worked at the hospital, other members of the staff saw the accident and helped my friend to emergency after passing out.
Arriving, I checked on my friend to find him stable and not seriously hurt. As I sat next to my friend, I began to call my insurance company, Geico, to report the accident. Since my friend was going through tests, I decided to go the site of the accident. I got to the exit ramp of the parking lot. There I saw my car, purchased new only three years ago, kissed against a tree. As I began to take pictures, my phone rang.
A Geico representative was on the line. It had only been 15 minutes since I first made the report. She informed me a tow truck would be at the scene in 30 minutes. I went back to taking pictures. Fifteen minutes later the tow truck had arrived. This was a faster response than AAA. Within half an hour, the tow driver picked up my car and took it to my home.
I went back into the hospital to check on my friend. While I was talking to him about the cost of the deductible, the nurse interrupts and says, "Oh, you are paying too much! What company are you with and how much is your monthly payment?" I didn't mind giving her this information. She told me she had been with Geico before and felt they were too expensive. She switched to "Company W," paying a lower premium with a lower deductible. The nurse also started telling me the benefits of "Company W". Another nurse, who overheard the conversation,appeared through the curtain and started recommending "Company Q."
As I listened to them, my phone rang again. A Geico representative informed me of the name of my adjuster and other pertinent information. I told the representative I did not have writing tools to jot down the information. He assured me everything discussed would be sent to me in an email. Just an hour passed since my initial call.
Timely Response Is The Key
I must have been at the hospital for 3 hours. By the time I got home, I saw a small stack of papers under the windshield wiper. The claims adjuster had come by to record the damage while I was at the hospital. I had the paperwork and estimate to repair damages in my hand. Checking my email account, all of the information discussed was right there.
A couple of hours after I came home, I got a call from my adjuster letting me know he had seen the car and left an estimate of the total, as he saw it. The adjuster told me more damage may be discovered by the shop as he could not look under the hood. Making sure I had all my information, he told me to call if I had questions.
The next morning, I received a call from the adjuster who told me a tow truck will be at my house Monday morning to pick up the car and take it to the shop (as the accident occurred on Friday). Monday morning, I received a call letting me know the tow truck was on it's way. The same tow truck arrived 10 minutes after the call.
The shop, then called, to let me know my car had arrived. The show owner would contact me after removing the frame to discuss any further damage. Two days later, the shop informed me the engine had been damaged. The total cost of repair was more than the car was worth. As the total was more than the value of the car, the car was classified as "totaled." They gave me the value of my car based on mileage and general condition of the car. The shop owner told me he would take care of calling Geico and relating this information. I was advised to pick up my tag and personal items.
A couple of hours later, I got a call from Geico's Salvage department. They took my lien holder information, contacted them and sent them a check for the remaining balance of the car exactly one week after the accident. I was sent paperwork to complete. Once I sent it back, I would receive a check with the remaining balance. The Geico representative made sure I knew it was up to me to send the form back in time to complete the process.
Unsure of others
The response time was incredible. I didn't have any problems and was notified by phone, email and Geico website, the status of my claim at every step. Everything was handled within a week. The paperwork I had to send back even had an overnight address giving me an alternative delivery option.
All of the insurance commercials I continually see are tempting. I am skeptical of taking a chance on another company even if it saves me money. As I said above, none of the mascots or slogans represent an answer to response question. Now I know the response time can depend of many variables. But this wasn't the first time I've called on Geico. Someone hit my car a year prior to this accident. Luckily, their insurance company was Geico as well. The response time was just as rapid and informative.
Maybe I could save money. However, my experiences with my current car insurer outweighs the offers of other brand incentives. To those who offer their advice with good intentions, I say, call me after you have taken your insurance carrier for a test drive. Persuasion is an accomplishment of tested facts.
What happened to my friend? He's fine. He ran into the tree after being distracted by his coffee cup.
Please note: The only connection I have with Geico is that of a customer. I am a firm believer in sharing results of good work/service.