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The name GEICO originated in 1936, when the founder, Leo Goodwin, decided to start a business that would provide customers with cheaper rates than they were currently paying. He figured that he could select prime customer groups and market his business directly to them. His first customers came from the ranks of government employees and military personnel. His marketing strategy worked and as a result, Goodwin was able to reduce his operating costs, which he passed on to his customers in the form of discounts to the policyholders. Today, GEICO continues to operate in the same way by managing its business costs and helping its customers save money on their insurance costs.

GEICO continued to grow and in 1996, it became a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, a company headed by Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors in the country. The property-casualty insurance program offered by Berkshire Hathaway has been named the most admired in the country by Fortune magazine, two years in a row.

U.S. Military personnel have been well treated by GEICO, as they were among the company's first customers in 1936 and remain loyal to the company today. GEICO helps the families of the troops by providing discount programs and service options that best suit their needs, both in times of war and in times of peace.

GEICO does not specialize in just property-casualty insurance. It offers a full line of insurance products, such as motorcycle, home, vehicle boat, apartment, mobile home and personal umbrella insurance policies.

GEICO Ads / Advertising / Mascot

GEICO advertisements can be seen on television and heard on the radio. In addition, GEICO has a numerous amount of print advertisements, mainly in the form of mail circulars. Anyone who has heard, seen or read any of these ads is very familiar with GEICO's tagline "fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance".

In the beginning, the GEICO ads were animated with characters performing foolish activities, such as pressing a button that launched a cannon that fired back at them. The voice over could be heard saying, "We all do stupid things. Paying too much for car insurance shouldn't be one of them". The ads were very short and usually there were two ads shown back-to-back.

The GEICO mascot is a reptile called the DAY Gecko. It was created by the Martin Agency was sometimes used in the company ads. The most recent GEICO mascot to appear in ads is a CGI creature that was generated by Framestore CFC. The fist time the gecko appeared in the ads was during the Screen Actors Guild strike of 1999. The company showed its ingenuity in this because the strike disallowed the use of live actors for ads, and since the gecko was not a live actor, the ad did not violate the strike policy. The original commercial, with Kelsey Grammer doing the voice over had the gecko pleading with people to stop calling him by mistake when they mistook gecko for GEICO. In commercials that followed, the Martin Agency had the gecko speaking with a Cockney accent, because as they said this was something the listening audience would not expect. The current voice over for the gecko in the ads is the voice of Jake Wood, a British actor and comedian. The gecko character has also taken on a more working class attitude, in an effort to make him appear more human.

Steve Bassett, the creative director of the Martin Agency explained that as they got to know the character better and as computer advances were made in the area of animation, they strove to make the gecko appear more like "the guy next door". He says that "he looks a lot more real than he's looked before".

Another direction that the GEICO commercials take is one of misdirection. Upon first viewing the ad, it seems to be an advertisement for a completely different product and in some cases it may not even be an ad for a product at all. Suddenly the main idea comes through in the plug for GEICO. There are many fictional characters used in these advertisements, such as the Speed Racer And Bill Dutchess. Real people also appear in the GEICO ads, such a married couple about to separate or Tony Little, who is making fun of himself. You may even think that you are watching a commercial advertising a hair loss product or a nature show about fish. If you are a fan of the TV reality show "Big Brother" you might get really interested in a commercial for a new reality show called "Tiny House" in which contestants have to live in a house only half the regular size, only to find it is a GEICO commercial.

"Why haven't you called GEICO"? This is the question asked at the end of many of the latest GEICO commercials featuring the promotion of fictional products. Some of the ads that appeared in 2006 featured such things as long distance phone service, tomato soda, and various fast foods. Each one of the ads used the tagline "but it won't save you any money on car insurance". With this type of advertising using fictional products, GEICO is using tactics similar to that used by advertisements featuring the Energizer Bunny. The most recent GEICO character to take to the screen in commercials is the Caveman. A 10-second spot that appears to be a new interview with the caveman is actually an ad for GEICO.

GEICO uses different ad campaigns to promote its products to a wide range of customers. They are entertaining because of the nature of the ad and the way they use situations to make the viewers laugh. For example in one ad, a baseball manager is delivering bad news to a pitcher that he will be relieved from the game and in the next breath tells him good news, such as how he saved money by switching his car insurance to GEICO. Some ads are parodies of others that are often seen on TV and some feature actors from actual shows that are being spoofed in the GEICO ad, such as Sebastian Siegel appearing in a spoof of a Soap Opera.

Jerry Lambert, an actor parodies the typical insurance agent in another series of GEICO ads in which he is reading a book of insurance fairy tales to kids who look very bored. In one segment of this series, Jerry reads an imaginary email in which the writer says if the gecko could do a dance called "The Robot" this would really be a bomb, meaning it would be something really good. The screen then cuts to a shot of the gecko dancing to a melody called "Sweet World' by the Comega Men. When the shot goes back to the insurance agent trying to do the same dance, it is clear he is not as flexible in his movements as the gecko or even a robot.

Some of the GEICO ads feature stories from actual customers who provide details about the ways in which GEICO provided them with assistance. However, these ads are narrated by well known celebrities, such as Charo, Charlton Heston, Verne Troyer, Little Richard, Burt Bacharach, Don LaFontaine and D.C. Douglas. This helps to give credence to GEICO as an insurance company that cares about it customers.

The advertisements in which cavemen deliver the pitch about GEICO have been well received by the viewing audience. These ads were also developed by the Martin Agency and center on Neanderthal cavemen portrayed as ordinary people, aside from the characteristic facial features. The tagline for these ads is that purchasing insurance from GEICO is "so easy, a caveman can do it". In the world of these ads, cavemen are alive and well in the modern world and do not behave in the typical caveman fashion. The main characters are wealthy, well educated and enjoy dining out at gourmet restaurants, partying with their friends and making the occasional visit to their therapist. The humor of these ads is that the cavemen appear so normal and resent the stereotype they have been given and therefore try to defend themselves against the idea of the typical caveman or cavewoman.

Commercial actors are appearing in these ads that have proved to be very successful. In fact, the ads have been so successful that there is now a series of interactive websites, written and produced by the creative writers of GEICO's in-house team called the Caveman's Crib. In October 2007, a spin off series called Caveman debuted on ABC television.

2007 saw GEICO's launch of the website - My Great Rides - a social networking site for motorcycle owners. This is a place where bikers can share stories of trips they have taken, post photos of their bikes for others to view and to comment on the stories and pictures on the site.

GEICO is the official sponsor of the number 7 car of the NASCAR Busch Series. Mike Wallace is the driver of this car. In the commercials, a young boy claims to be Mike's relative and a better driver than he is. The boy delivers the punch line by saying that when people see Mike Wallace and the number 7 car, the first thing they think about is saving money with GEICO. However, when they see him they will proclaim that he, Lauren Wallace, is the greatest racecar driver of all time.

Some of the GEICO commercials take on the format of an interview. The viewer does not see the reporter and only hears the voice as he asks a young boy (Lauren Wallace) driving a go-kart what he thinks of Mike Wallace. The answer is not what one would suspect. He tells the reporter that Mike Wallace is trying to sell insurance, but he is out to win. He threatens to "put him in the wall" if he comes hear, whether it is in a go-kart race, in the grocery store or in a remote controlled boat.

There are new ads planned for this series in which Lauren will refer to himself as ready to strike from 100 miles away and as fast as "lightning in a bottle".

In yet another series of GEICO ads, there are Youtube videos. In these videos, there are unreal actions, such as a fight in the hallway between mattresses. You might also see an ad with an unusual collection of expressions, done with a webcam by Brandon Hardesty of Youtube. The voice over for the videos delivers the GEICO tagline, "There may be better ways to spend 15 minutes online". Like the earlier ads, several of these videos are shown back to back.

In September, 2007, GEICO released another series of ads, entitled The Real Scoop. These ads feature fictional characters such as Fred Flinstone and Jed Clampett in a type of parody of EI True Hollywood Story. These characters, which even includes a Cabbage Patch Kid, all own cars, which, of course, they have insured with GEICO. The interviews are all fictitious as are the interviewers.

GEICO's Competition

Like all companies, GEICO has its share of competition. This competition includes insurance companies such as, State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, Nationwide and USAA. Many of GEICO's commercials react to and counter the claims of Progressive that they can quote the rates of other companies along with their own by stating that you can only get a GEICO quote from GEICO.com.

The History of GEICO

The names of Leo and Lillian Goodwin are well known to the GEICO associates. These were the founders of GEICO in the mid-1930's. As this was in the midst of the Great Depression, it was a risky time to get started in business. However, their efforts and risk really paid off as this company has grown to be one of the most successful and highly respected insurance companies from sea to sea. The name of the company is an acronym for its first customers - the Government Employees Insurance Company - GEICO.

While he was working in Texas, Leo Goodwin came up with the business plan for the company. He figured that lower insurance costs would draw in customers, especially if he targeted the plan for a specific group. He figured out a way to still earn a profit and offer lower premiums made good business sense and he was right in his assumptions. In 1936, GEICO took shape and opened its doors in Washington D.C.

Lillian Goodwin played an active role in all aspects of the business, working alongside her husband to get the company started. She was a bookkeeper and was the perfect choice for taking over the company's accounting, but she also worked on the frontlines underwriting policies, setting rates, issuing the policies and marketing the lower insurance rates to the targeted group. This group was made up of employees of the federal government and the top three grades on noncommissioned Military personnel. By the end of the first year, GEICO had a staff of 12 and had sold 3700 insurance policies.

1948 was an important year for GEICO. An investment banker and friend of the couple, Lorimar Davidson, came on board and helped the Goodwins find new investors to replace the investors who had moved on to other, newer opportunities. One of these investors was Benjamin Graham, a business professor at Columbia University. During his teaching career, Warren Buffett was one of his students and it was through Graham that Buffett learned about GEICO. A link was established between them and in 1951, Buffett became formally involved with GEICO, marking an important event in the company's history.

According to Buffett, he took a train to Washington specifically to learn more about GEICO. Since it was a Saturday, the office was closed, but a janitor directed him to Davidson. That impromptu meeting was enough to make Buffett a believer in GEICO and he made his first purchase of the company stock.

Upon Leo Goodwin's retirement in 1958, Davidson was named as his successor. Davidson was the one who would preside at the opening of the new company headquarters established in Chevy Chase, MD, in 1959, thirty0three years after the company first opened its doors.

GEICO continued to experience success during the 1960's with virtually unbroken gains. In 1964, the company issued its one-millionth policy and in 1965, the insurance premiums reached $150 million. That same year, the company expanded to opening a number of smaller sales offices where customers could walk in and even went further with its drive-in offices. By 1966, the company's net earnings had risen to a staggering $13 million.

The weakening economy and the years of aggressive expansion had an effect on GEICO, which began to show during the 1970's. The company's loss reserves as well as the death of both of its founders - Lillian in 1970 and Leo in 1971 - meant led to a difficult decade for GECIO.

GEICO persevered in spite of its difficulties and used the experience it had gained to strengthen its underwriting and reserving activities. This helped to build the reputation that the company enjoys today as a fiscally superior organization. Warren Buffett purchased GEICO stock for the second time in 1976 making him the owner of a total of I million shares in the company. In 1979, Lou Simpson joined GEICO in the position of chief investment officer.


Geico is a registered trademark of Geico. Geico is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse or sponsor, the contents of this webpage or the QuoteCarInsurance.com website. Trademarks referring to specific providers are used by QuoteCarInsurance.com for nominative purposes only: to truthfully identify the source of the products about which information is provided. Such trademarks are solely the property of their respective owners.


Total 6 reviews Page of 1
Cov: Cost: Serv: Claim:
Company:
Geico
Name:
Tony Markson
Location:
Upstate NY
Customer since:
2005
Treated me better than State Farm
In the spring of this year (2009) I was involved in a major crash while heading to work when another driver that was insured by State farm ran a red light and t-boned us. Even thought the state farm insured was 100 at fault, and ticketed, State Farm dragged thier feet and refused to even put me in a rental. One call to GEICO and within 4 hours... yep 4 hours, there was a Geico AD adjuster taking care of my claim. That day enterprise was there with a car and I had a check for the car (hand delivered) the next day. As far as I am concerned, GEICO rocks.
Cov: N/A Cost: N/A Serv: N/A Claim:
Company:
Geico
Name:
Anonymous
Location:
Maryland
Customer since:
2007
Don\'t Trust The Lizard!
Does not pay PIP! I was a passenger and was injured. Maryland Law is 100% PIP Mandatory LAW mind you. Geico does not pay 100% and does not take care of their clients. To Geico, when we miss a payment, you cancel the policy. If you are injured we will do you wrong! The reason why GEICO can afford Prime time Advertising? Because they are slackers and slackers don\'t pay!Shame on You Geico for misleading the public! I will now seek a human agent.
Cov: Cost: Serv: Claim:
Company:
Geico
Name:
Anonymous
geico doubled my rates
had one fender bender with geico and rates doubled. why have insurance. geico is very much misleading. should tell customers up front rates will double. one claim sucks
Cov: Cost: Serv: Claim:
Company:
Geico
Name:
Anonymous
Location:
garden grove, CA
geico worst claim adjuster ever
geico claim adjusters are horrible. Very rude, unprofessional, no manner at all. Screams & yells @ customers, doesnt like helping. Not good at all.
Cov: N/A Cost: N/A Serv: N/A Claim: N/A
Company:
Geico
Name:
Terry Senter
Location:
Cromwell,In.46732
Customer since:
Pending
"GEICO'S HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS SPIRIT OF GIVING"
it would be a very nice holiday if Geico could give a new customer the difference between a new customer old insurance savings,say like Safeco,State Farm,etc.,etc..As a holiday gesture.Like toast and jell "MMMMM!"... Wouldn't that be an incentive at this time of year ?..wouldn't that be like a good neighbor?..wouldn't that spur this our now national economy into a better future for a better tomorrow?.I see your competetive commericerals everyday before I go to work and you know?..I can barely afford gas to drive to each week..And in this Christmas spirit I feel A potential customer must share!."This is all I have left to give!"..I hope we become good friends!...
Cov: Cost: Serv: Claim:
Company:
Geico
Name:
Anonymous
canceled GEICO after two claims
I can not believe that this insurance company canceled us after two small claims one of which we did not even get in the system. They want their money right now but when you need to use what you put in they can't come to the table and give it back. I put in alot more to this company than I used. DO NOT FALL INTO THE TRAP THAT IS GEICO>>>>
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Geico
 
6 Customer Reviews
In the spring of this year (2009) I was involved in a major crash while heading to work when another driver that was insured by State farm ran a red light and t-boned us. Even thought the state farm insured was 100 at fault, and ticketed, State Farm dragged thier feet and refused to even put me in a
Date: 09/28/2009
Cov: 5 Cost: 5 Serv: 5 Claim: 5
Tony Markson
Does not pay PIP! I was a passenger and was injured. Maryland Law is 100% PIP Mandatory LAW mind you. Geico does not pay 100% and does not take care of their clients. To Geico, when we miss a payment, you cancel the policy. If you are injured we will do you wrong! The reason why GEICO can afford Pri
Date: 02/23/2009
Cov: - Cost: - Serv: - Claim: 1
Anonymous
had one fender bender with geico and rates doubled. why have insurance. geico is very much misleading. should tell customers up front rates will double. one claim sucks
Date: 08/11/2008
Cov: 3 Cost: 5 Serv: 5 Claim: 1
Anonymous
geico claim adjusters are horrible. Very rude, unprofessional, no manner at all. Screams & yells @ customers, doesnt like helping. Not good at all.
Date: 08/11/2008
Cov: 1 Cost: 1 Serv: 1 Claim: 1
Anonymous
it would be a very nice holiday if Geico could give a new customer the difference between a new customer old insurance savings,say like Safeco,State Farm,etc.,etc..As a holiday gesture.Like toast and jell "MMMMM!"... Wouldn't that be an incentive at this time of year ?..wouldn't that be like a good
Cov: - Cost: - Serv: - Claim: -
Terry Senter
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