- March 22, 2018 - To provide a more comprehensive overview of Geico’s offerings, we’ve updated this review with additional details about the company’s discounts, customer service, and underwriting partnerships.
Our GEICO 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 may 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.
Geico partners with other home 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.
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.
The potential upside? Geico essentially functions like an insurance agent. After filling out your information, it partners you with the underwriter that it thinks best matches your profile.
Geico as a whole has received extremely high financial strength ratings from several organizations, including an A++ from A.M. Best, a Aa1 from Moody’s, and an AA+ from S&P. This is good news if you have an auto insurance policy with them. But since they don’t underwrite their homeowners insurance policies, it means that, once again, you should be prepared to look into the financial stability of the company doing your underwriting.
A Closer Look at Features
|AM Best FSR||A++|
|AM Best ICR||aaa|
|Standard and Poor's FSR||AA+|
|Best for||Those who already have insurance with GEICO|
|Not for||Customers eligible for many discounts|
|Number of discounts||5|
Our Deep Dive
Geico's Policy Details and Underwriters
We took a close look at the policies and discounts that Geico offers, but because your underwriter will be handling most of these details, there’s not much info to be found. So we also took a look at several of the large affiliate companies that Geico may partner you with.
- Geico’s Discounts: Geico offer 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 like smoke alarms or fire extinguishes is a simple third.
- Geico’s Auto Insurance: 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.
- 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 like 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 like 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 who received average scores from consumers. When it comes to financial stability, it’s the only provider that fell below an A- “acceptable” rating from A.M. Best. Its discount selection is pretty bare too, but nonsmokers have an opportunity to save.
What Others Are Saying
Geico's underwriting partners are expanding.
The Washington Post hosts an article from 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 their underwriting partners from two, to just over 30.
Geico vs. The Competition
Geico vs. Allstate
Allstate offers the largest volume of discounts (11), 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 their customer service, Amica consistently ranks among the top carriers. With the highest scores from both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, you’re more likely to be satisfied with claim handling and reimbursement. Plus, they offer nearly as many discounts as Allstate.
Ways to Lower Your 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.
The Bottom Line - Geico Homeowners Insurance Review
Geico homeowners insurance is best for customers with an existing Geico policy. We encourage Geico’s auto customers to pull a quote and consider the convenience of consolidated service. But we’d otherwise recommend sticking to more direct options. If you do choose Gieco, be prepared to do your own research on the underwriter that Geico pairs you with before signing a contract.