After the contract was signed, mistakes made by a fibbing Geico agent resulted in Ana’s car insurance shooting up over $1,000 a year. No wonder they have a caveman a mascot, their customer service is prehistoric. Here’s her story… UPDATE: Commenters point out that GEICO did nothing illegal, this all the usual chain of events in getting insurance. Either the first Geico rep wasn’t as upfront as they should have been about how locked in the rates were, or the consumer misunderstood them, but everything else proceeded pretty much as normal. In other news, insurance companies suck.
I would really like for someone higher up in Geico to know about this case. My husband and I acquired a new car and traded in the old one. We were recommended to switch to Geico to have full coverage and a great rate as we were signing the papers to buy the car. So we call. We get a great quote over the phone after explaining all the necessary information, including the claim we had which happened middle 2005 (minor parking lot accident). We are quoted $182/month or around $1,089 per six months, and we need a downpayment of $366, so we pay $366 it on the spot to get the policy, such a great deal! We wanted it. All of a sudden the sales rep seemed nervous and put us on hold for about 20-30 min. (off and on stopping to say “are you still holding”… of course, we need the papers to be done). Finally he comes back and said “Because of the 2005 claim, the system was changing to a higher rate, so I fixed it, so we can keep you guys at the same rate I just quoted you”. What a nice guy!…
…Next day or so I get an e-mail to go to Geico.com and sign some form electronically. I try but I am directed to call customer service. I call and they say that my policy is still going through underwriting, but nothing will be changed, though he sounded uncertain and put me on hold for a while… then he confirms that I most likely have coverage since the day after I bought the policy after it goes through reviewing (I am confused but I trusted him, I mean Geico should be pretty good). “Wait 24-72 hours and try going online again”. I felt like he really wanted to finish the conversation as soon as possible after he saw my file.
A few days later I come back and try to sign papers at Geico.com. Same story, the website can’t find my info. I called customer service again and they told me that my effective day was in fact not until next month (which means, I did NOT have insurance until one MONTH after buying the policy!!!!) Even though I had receive apparently “fake” insurance cards saying I was covered already. She said it was a mistake and they would fix it because I was supposed to be covered since the time I bought the policy (and this is what I was told by the person who charged the $366). She said “Wait 24-48 hours and try signing up online again”. So…
Three days later, I finally got through the website… to find out that my rate has increased by a decent chunk, next payment shows as $315, then like 270, etc. and the overall 6 months has increased about almost $400. I called customer service a third time, to be explained why. After going in circles for 30 minutes he finally figured out and said “It’s because of the accident that happened in 2005” (we talked about that before the “nice” guy gave us the initial quote!!!!). I said that it was definitely not what I was quoted, that great rate that made me sign up. He said he understood …but that there was nothing to do “this does not usually happens, sorry”. He transfered me to a local Florida agent, who pretty much apologized to hear that I had been lied to, that I had signed up and paid for a quote that’s not true anymore and it was their mistake but it was not going to change, there was nothing to do about it. I felt that I was continuously told “I apologize we screwed you up, but that’s how it is now (we changed behind you back since you already paid)”.
So in my desperation to get a lower rate (closer to what I was initially quoted) this Florida agent proposed to increase my deductibles here and there. So collision deductible went from $500 to $1000, and injury went from $0 to $500 (which only helped $76 down the six months), new final quote: $191/month. I don’t have time to keep shopping insurance, switching (as I was recommended by one of the cust, service reps), might as well keep rolling.
Even if we say the original GEICO agent was just plain incompetent and made a mistake, the result is the same. Ana and her husband signed a contract for one rate and then got charged another. Even in the end you might say, well, they got around the same monthly rate, $191 vs $182, their deductibles shot up. It’s like fighting over bedsheets in the night. Even worse than the changed rates and the dysfunctional customer service, thanks to Geico’s messup, Ana and here husband were driving around for a month without insurance coverage. That could have landed them in serious trouble if they got in an accident. I say keep shopping around Ana. Check out and see what Progressive has to offer you.