Letter from Geico

doterooNovember 15, 2006

My husband received a letter from Geico wanting permission to obtain his credit score. It says you can lower your rate if you qualify. Has anyone else received this letter and is this another gimmick or what?

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Your credit score CAN lower your rate --- or raise it!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 2:16PM
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Have you checked with your insurance agent? They can search out a good deal for you from among the options available in your state. You'll probably do better than with those sleezy 'discount' insurers. We have an excellant insurance company, our rates are unbelievably low--no one we know has better rates than we do. Then, DD (she had the same company we do) decided to have our angent see if she could get DD a better deal--and she did managed to find one that was even a couple hundred less. We've checked over the years--those highly-advertised discount insurance companies cannot touch the fantastic deals our agent can find. And the company we use has a far better reputation than Geico does. Unfortunately, I've had to deal with Geico in the past-when one of their customers ran into me when I was parked. They are NOT a good company to have to tangle with. If you go with them, I hope YOU never have to put in a claim.

Your agent is your best friend when you need to find affordable insurance. And don't forget--when you do find a deal that sounds good to you, check to see if the company writes policies in New York State. NYC has some of the highest standards for insurance. If the company isn't allowed to do business there, I wouldn't chance doing business with them myself.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 10:13PM
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I use an old established company too and these new companies can't give me better prices. and i know my company will be there if i need them.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 6:43AM
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These national chain insurance companies are garbage. I had two experiences with them. I will never buy from an insurance chain again.

If you try to put in a claim THEY JUST IGNORE YOU. They NEVER call back and never respond to letters. That must be how they make money.

If you want to put in a claim you have to contact their national offices. There is no one local to deal with. All you will ever get when you call is a recording asking to leave a message. You never get to talk to a human when you call.

The only way I finally ever got to talk to a real person was to push the button "for a quote to purchase a policy". Then, after talking to them about the accident, they said they would send me "something in the mail". You want to know what I got in the mail!?!?!? I got a short letter that said "Insurance fraud is ten years in prison." That's all it said. They sent me two of those letters.

I had to contact the Insurance Commisioner for my state in order to get them to do anything.

And BTW I was NOT involved in an accident. My brand new car with only 300 miles on it was hit by a truck while it was legally parked. It was totalled. They guy also hit my bosses brand new limo and a customers antique Corvette at full speed. There were thirty-one witnesses and police were called from two different towns to investigate since it was a hit and run.

You would think the insurance would see this as a cut and dried case. I was totally blameless. I wasn't even there when it happened. I would hate to see how they handled it if I was involved in a real collision.

So I quit them and went to a different company. I made the same mistake of using a national chain again. This time *I paid money and got a contract* at a crappy little satelite office they had in a town near ne. I found out that they never filed it and the state pulled my license because it looked like I had no insurance. It was a nightmare to straighten out. Like I said it all has to be done on the phone with their national office. I am not the only one who has had this happen to them. I personally know of others who have had this done to them.

These insurance chains are a nightmare.

Go with word of mouth. Ask your friends, neighbors and co-workers what they have. Dealing with a neighborhood agent makes a lot difference.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 5:14PM
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I almost couldn't post this because when I login it takes a full five minutes to open up to the password page. What's up here? I am on a T1 line high speed line too. And I don't have spyware because I am mac osX.

Anyway - just thought I would chime in. Do not get your credit checked indiscriminately. Every time you get a hit for getting your credit checked, it can actually makes your credit score down. It is a detriment, because if you get credit checks a lot (because you are shopping around for mortgage rates or whatnot) the credit departments see this as you are possibly "desperate" for money.

This is true. People in banking industries have told me this. So don't submit "dings" on your credit to just anyone in order to pricing comparisons, etc. I think it is creepy, it means you can't shop around too much.

Just a warning.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 2:18PM
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Geico is a major insurance company in the U.S., I understand.

Is this the one that Berkshire Hathaway owns, more or less the flagship of their portfolio?

Just wondering.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 2:51PM
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I work at Geico, in sales. Your husband GOT a quote and credit was run. It is run in most states. It is probably a fair credit reporting act letter.

A credit score obtained for insurance purposes does not adversely affect your credit. It does not lower your score. It is not viewable by anyone other than yourself and only if and when you order a copy of your credit file. Insurance inquiries are listed in a separate section of your report with promotional inquiries.

BTW I used to work for a "local" insurer though not as an agent. We couldn't afford to be insured there. We got a Geico policy and someone hit my car and took off in a grocery store parking lot. I had my check for repairs within hours, not days, not weeks and not months, on a Saturday. I decided to put my mouth where my money was so to speak.

As for the claim? We do investigate prior to paying money out if there is any dispute. There are other companies out there who don't. They also don't tell their insureds that they're paying. It comes as a big shock when a not at fault accident was paid out on because the other party was double dipping from both insurance companies or an insurance company and a naive at fault driver who paid money out of pocket so their insurer wouldn't pay for the accident.

joyful, Geico is in the top five insurers in the country and growing and yes, owned by Berkshire Hathaway. It is the crown jewel of BH, in fact.

Oaklief, Geico is now over 70 years old and is not a "new company".

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 1:45PM
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blue velvet elvis,

Thanks for the info - I sort of thought it was.

I guess I haven't been reading Warren's annual reports on Berkshire Hathaway as carefully as I should have.

For those of you who've become used to the regular run of company annual reports to shareholders - this one is *different*!

Have you ever read one? I recommend looking one up.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 3:01PM
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I have Geico. I was involved in a car accident the first month I was with them. They took care of everything right away. They are much better than my last insurance company which I was with 15+ years.

I had one claim with the other insurer. It was the other drivers fault. My insurer wouldn't return my calls and when we had to go to arbitration, the lawyer showed up late and took us to the wrong location before remembering where the right one was. Yikes.

So far Geico has been fine. Cheaper rates, professional customer service, short phone wait. I'm satisfied.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 9:10PM
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Hey bud_wi...

Is it possible that you had collision insurance but not comprehensive insurance? At least here in New Jersey, a car hit while parked is not considered a legitimate collision claim. Ditto for a car that hits an animal.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 10:02AM
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I got a quote from Geico once. Haven't had a ticket or accident in 10+ years and they were over $600 a year higher than what I pay thru a local agent.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 2:17PM
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I have been with Geico for almost 15 years and have received that letter. I responded and my premium dropped $50 for a 6 month period. Geico is a very good and reputable company. There is always someone to answer the phone 24/7, and my claims have always been processed very quickly. I haven't been able to find a cheaper company out there.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 4:16PM
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Thanks for all the answers, especially from drcindy as that is exactly what I wanted to know. We've been with Geico for several years and have had no problems and yes they are cheaper than the neighborhood agent and service is just as good if not better. Maybe somethings depend on what area you live in.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 9:24AM
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bud, I'm not licensed for WI but I know insurance laws are tricky. Unknown losses are normally paid out under collision if uninsured property damage is unavailable. I'm sure there is at least one state out there that not only has both but has a stipulation that if you reject umpd hit and runs or not at fault accident caused by uninsured autos aren't covered unless you chose to pay for the umpd coverage.

I'm sure the claims agents have lots of fun when the customers tell me they want the cheapest policy and don't care what they don't have until they have an accident.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 12:31PM
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I hate Geico. They absolutely refused to lower our rate, so we switched to Progressive (instantly saving over $600), and then we kept getting calls and even letters from Geico saying "please come back, oh please, tell us why you left and we'll make it better!" So we told them, we left because you charge ridiculous prices, and Progressive is $600 cheaper for the same coverage.

Their response? "But... We're here 24/7! You can talk about your claims at any time!"
Me: "So is Progressive."
Them: (crickets...)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 6:48PM
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