- Broad supplemental coverage options with extensive discounts
- Strong financial ratings from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor's, and Moody's
- High claims satisfaction from J.D. Power
- No. 1 ranked mobile app in Forrester's 2017 U.S. Mobile Auto Insurance Benchmark
- January 12, 2018 - We’ve updated our review based on the latest ratings from credit agencies and consumer studies — GEICO continued to score highly in both. Combined with solid coverage offerings and a variety of discounts, GEICO impressed us enough to claim the top spot in our review of the Best Auto Insurance. But we’ll continue to update both pages to maintain consistency with any future research.
Strong financial ratings and high claims satisfaction make GEICO a great option for anyone looking for auto insurance. Despite lacking some niche coverage options, GEICO offers extensive discounts that may translate to the lowest quote in town.
Our GEICO Review
As the nation’s second largest auto insurer, GEICO boasts an impressive range of coverage options and discounts, with strong financial solvency and high claims satisfaction that guarantee the company’s ability to keep you covered when the unexpected happens. GEICO also places great emphasis on technology with its highly rated mobile app, making filing claims and viewing your policy as easy as pulling out your phone.
GEICO doesn’t have all the additional coverage options we’d like to see from such a prominent insurer — notably missing are GAP coverage, which pays the difference between the value of your wrecked vehicle and the amount still owed on its loan, and new car replacement. But the available coverage more than satisfies our asks. Combined with the second-most discounts of all our top insurers, GEICO’s policies will likely be more than enough to fit the average car owner’s needs.
GEICO claims that “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.” Lots of insurance companies emphasize the ease of getting a quote, but if you’re saving big, we think it’s worth the extra time. We ditched the 15 minutes part and decided to focus on the savings potential to see if GEICO could actually back up its memorable tagline.
Is it True?
Yes, but —
With more discounts than any of our favorite insurers besides Travelers, GEICO has big savings potential — if you qualify. Just like the factors that go into your premium, the discounts you’re eligible for will vary based on who you are. Students covered under GEICO, for example, can save up to 15% if they maintain a B average or higher, while drivers over 50 can see savings up to 10% just for completing a defensive driving course. GEICO is also the only insurer from our top picks to offer a discount for members of the military.
With GEICO, it pays to be a safe driver, and having a car equipped with the latest safety features can amplify those savings. Driver-side air bags can offer savings up to 25%, and if your vehicle has full-front seat air bags, you can save as much as 40% on your policy. GEICO also rewards cars with anti-lock brake and anti-theft systems, as well as daytime running lights. Many of these features come standard in newer cars, so if you’ve recently purchased a new vehicle, you may be eligible for significant savings. While you certainly won’t qualify for all of the discounts GEICO has to offer, a broad range of deductions means you have more chances to save, and most drivers will be able to find some discounts they qualify for. Depending on your eligibility, 15% may be just the beginning of the savings you’ll see from switching to GEICO.
Price isn’t everything, and when it comes to car insurance, saving money shouldn’t be your only concern. It’s equally important to have coverage options that will keep you protected after an accident. Thankfully, GEICO goes above and beyond with supplemental coverage options that are among the best in the business. It’s missing some features we’d like to see, like GAP insurance, but we were nevertheless impressed by additions like accident forgiveness for your first at-fault accident and special coverage for rideshare drivers in 40 states plus D.C.
Unfortunately, car accidents are less a matter of ‘if,’ and more a matter of ‘when.’ And when accidents occur, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether your auto insurer will be able to pay your claim. This is why choosing a company with strong financial ratings can help provide peace of mind when you need it most. GEICO passed our criteria for financial solvency with flying colors, earning the highest possible rating (A++) from A.M. Best, a credit rating agency dedicated to the insurance industry, as well as extremely strong ratings from Standard & Poor’s (AA+) and Moody’s (Aa3).
GEICO also boasts an impressive score on J.D. Power’s 2017 claims satisfaction study, a survey of nearly 12,000 auto insurance customers. Claims satisfaction is widely considered the best indicator of customer satisfaction for auto insurers since policyholders are likely to be most critical after filing a claim — the happiness of such customers is a good indication not only of an insurer’s claims handling ability, but also the experience it provides throughout the claims process. With a score of 870 on a 1,000-point scale, GEICO comes in above the industry average and places sixth among all insurance companies.
GEICO’s mobile app was ranked No. 1 in Forrester’s 2017 U.S. Mobile Auto Insurance Benchmark, and can be used to view policies, file claims, and request roadside assistance. Many insurers have struggled to find effective ways to adapt their services to mobile technology, and GEICO seems to be doing it best. But there are still some features missing: Mostly, we wish you were able to edit your policy directly. Given the complexity of insurance policies, it makes sense that GEICO would want its customers to work with agents directly, but we still hoped the insurer’s mobile app would provide the full functionality of its website. Even still, the wide range of capabilities earns GEICO its high rankings and reinforces the strong customer satisfaction reported by J.D. Power.
A Closer Look at Ratings
Travelers is one of our favorite auto insurance providers, with financial ratings to rival GEICO’s and more discounts and supplemental coverage options than any of our other top picks. Travelers covers all the standard discounts we look for in providers as well as hard-to-find deductions for things like paying policies in full and having students away at school. We’re also impressed by Travelers’ gap insurance and ridesharing coverage, and accident forgiveness for customers with good driving records. But Travelers was lacking when it came to claims satisfaction, scoring below the industry average on the J.D. Power study. Though this may not impact your coverage, it’s a good indication of the relationship between the insurer and its customers, and the primary reason why Travelers lost out to GEICO in our review of the Best Auto Insurance.
Progressive scores lower than GEICO in both financial strength and claims satisfaction but offers some pretty unique discounts and supplemental coverage options. As a company historically known for insuring riskier customers, Progressive offers a rare discount for drivers under 18, who are considered among the most likely to be involved in an accident. It also allows policyholders to supplement coverage with options that simply aren’t available from other major insurers, like pet protection that covers the cost of veterinary bills resulting from an accident. While it may not hold the strong ratings of GEICO, Progressive is a good option for riskier drivers who may face higher rates elsewhere.
The Bottom Line
GEICO is our favorite auto insurer, backed by strong ratings in financial solvency and claims satisfaction that demonstrate the company’s commitment to its customers. A top-ranked mobile app gives policyholders flexibility in accessing their policy information and an easy-to-follow claims filing process. Although it’s missing some niche deductions and coverage choices, GEICO’s supplemental coverage remains among the best in the business. And with enough discounts to guarantee eligibility in some capacity — particularly if your car is equipped with the latest safety features — GEICO will more than likely be able to provide the coverage you need at a lower price than most of its competitors.