Geico Homeowners Insurance Review
- Uses partner affiliates to underwrite its homeowners insurance
- Top scores in financial strength from A.M. Best and Moody’s
- Three discounts for increasing your home security or bundling policies
How We Reviewed Geico Homeowners Insurance
3 competitors considered
50 states serviced
6 ratings reviewed
Geico Homeowners Insurance Review
Geico offers homeowners insurance, but it doesn’t actually underwrite its policies. Instead, the company serves as a middle-man: It partners with major homeowners insurance companies and pairs you with one of them when you request a quote. This means that the specifics of your policy will vary depending on the provider you’re matched with.
While Geico does provide solid tools and coverage options, it doesn't offer many of the discounts commonly found among top providers. It also didn’t impress us when it came to customer service, though your exact experience might vary depending on which affiliate partner is underwriting your policy. If you have an existing contract with Geico, it’s definitely worth requesting a quote for its homeowners insurance. Otherwise, Geico’s lack of unique discounts and average customer service left us feeling lukewarm.
Geico is known for its famous auto insurance tagline, in which it claims, “15 minutes can save you 15 percent or more on car insurance.” The company relies on this name recognition to sell its homeowners insurance, promising that “with the many discounts available, you're likely to save even more on a home insurance policy.”
Is it true?
Compared to top providers in the industry, Geico’s homeowners insurance discounts are subpar. It only offers three discounts in total, while competitors like Allstate offer up to eleven. Bundling home and auto is one of the few ways to save on your homeowners policy, an option that will be appealing to current Geico customers. If you need to make a claim that affects both your auto and home policies, Geico will even let you combine your deductible in some circumstances. Geico also offers discounts for safety and preventative measures like fire alarms and sprinklers, plus a discount for installing a home security system.
On the flip side, remaining claim-free won’t earn you any discounts, and a newly constructed or newly renovated home won’t lower your rates either. If these types of common discounts apply to you, it’s a good idea to compare your Geico quote against insurance providers who do offer them — like Amica or Allstate.
Those who already have insurance with Geico
Customers eligible for many discounts
Geico offers just three discounts for its homeowners insurance policies. Insuring your car with Geico will qualify you for the multi-policy discount. Installing a home security system is another discount, and safety features such as smoke alarms or fire extinguishers are a simple third.
Geico’s biggest appeal is the opportunity to bundle your homeowners policy with its well-reviewed auto insurance. It has more discounts than any other auto insurer and high customer satisfaction ratings. Its “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance” claim isn’t far from the truth.
Impressive financial strength
Geico has a “Superior” A++ raiting on A.M. Best. That means the company has tremendous financial strength and will likely have the necessary funds to settle up with you if or when you need to file a claim.
Use of underwriters
Geico partners with other homeowners insurance providers instead of offering its own policies, and you don’t get a choice of which organization you’ll be matched with. Instead, you’ll be directed to one of the companies that Geico has partnered with in your area. All payments, claims, and policy specifics will go through that underwriter. This can be a good or bad thing depending on who you are matched with.
As a result of this arrangement, Geico isn’t scored on its customer service. Neither Consumer Reports nor J.D. Power can offer insight into Geico’s homeowners service, because Geico isn’t doing the actual servicing. Once you’re paired with an underwriter, you can check to see whether that company received ratings, and you can use these to gauge what your claim filing and reimbursement process might be like. But the upshot is that it’s difficult to make solid claims about homeowners insurance from Geico: Your experience will vary greatly depending on who underwrites your policy.
We took a look at several of the large affiliate companies that Geico may partner you with.
- Homesite as an underwriter: In addition to standard safety discounts, Homesite offers opportunities to save if you’re retired, buying a home, installing a new roof, and if your home is newly constructed. Unfortunately, it ranked second-to-last (of about 30 companies) in customer service from J.D. Power. This means the customers feel its performance is below average in metrics such as price, interaction, and claims handling.
- Liberty Mutual as an underwriter: Uniquely, Liberty Mutual offers an Inflation Protection endorsement that adjusts your coverage limits to account for inflation. The company rates fairly average when it comes to customer service and earned a 3/5 from J.D. Power. Its discount selection will appeal to those who rarely file claims, as you can save for remaining claim free for three years and if you didn’t file a claim with your previous provider.
- Travelers as an underwriter: If you’ve got a LEED-certified “green” home, you can save five percent with Travelers. These homes will have eco-friendly community resources such as public transit and trails, as well as sustainable construction and utilities. Customers are fairly happy with its customer service, and it received a 3/5 from J.D. Power.
- Farmers as an underwriter: Farmers is another middle-of-the-pack provider that received average scores from consumers. When it comes to financial stability, it’s the only provider that fell below an A “Excellent” rating from A.M. Best. Its discount selection is pretty bare too, but nonsmokers have an opportunity to save.
Geico vs. Allstate
Allstate offers the largest volume of discounts (8), and a library of unmatched resources. It’s a great option for first-time home buyers looking to educate themselves, with articles, infographics, and interactive tools that assess your regions risks and common claims.
Geico vs. Progressive
Like Geico, Progressive partners with other companies to underwrite their homeowners insurance. Options for discounts and coverage will vary by state as a result. They’ve earned an average customer service reputation and offer unique coverage that extends to watercrafts.
Geico vs. Amica
Known for its customer service, Amica consistently ranks among the top carriers. With high scores from both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, you’re more likely to be satisfied with claim handling and reimbursement. Plus, Amica offers the same number of discounts as Allstate.
Does Geico write homeowners insurance policies or does it use underwriters?
The Washington Post published a story on the topic in 1995 when news first broke about Geico no longer selling homeowners insurance because it “is too small to manage efficiently, and [Geico] will concentrate on selling private automobile insurance.” At the time, homeowners accounted for just 6% of the company’s premiums. Since then, Geico has expanded its underwriting partners from two to just over 30.
How can I lower my premium?
There’s no way around purchasing homeowners insurance, but there are ways to keep costs down. The best way to get a deal on your insurance is to shop around for quotes. In our review of the best cheap homeowners insurance, we also found some simple steps that can lower your price no matter your provider.
- Raise your deductible to pay a lower premium. Even just raising the deductible to $1,000 can save you 25 percent on your premium. Consider this option carefully, though. It’s a bad idea to raise your deductible to a price you know you won’t be able to afford when disaster strikes.
- Optimize your chance to qualify for discounts. This can mean installing extra safety measures like smoke alarms and deadbolts, bundling your insurance policies, or eliminating liability concerns like swimming pools or trampolines.
- Take care of your credit score. Many providers will use your credit score to decide what you’ll pay with the assumption that customers with higher scores are more unlikely to file a claim.
Does Geico offer flood insurance?
No. Geico, however, does offer assistance when it comes to getting a flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Since you cannot purchase flood insurance directly from the NFIP — you must go through an agent — Geico offers to assist you through the process and help you understand your policy.