Insurance is such an important aspect of life that it has almost become part of it for the majority of people. As such there are several different insurance companies operating in the United States and in the whole world as well.
The Government Employees Insurance Company is one such company also known by its acronym GEICO and it is an American auto insurance company. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. It has provided coverage for more than ten million motorcars, trucks and other motor vehicles. In the face of stiff competition which is almost cut throat even though the US has millions of people and the population is expanding, the Government Employees Insurance Company has more than eight million policy owners as enumerated in 2007. It caters to almost all US states except Massachusetts. GEICO writes private passenger automobile insurance in the District of Columbia.
The company has aggressive television advertising where its mascot, the gecko, the common lizard has caught the attention of viewers. Their advertising strategy incorporates a large amount of print advertisements mainly as mail circulars. It also advertises on the television and the radio, their popular slogan being ‘fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.’ It is their tagline for the advertisements.
The gecko mascot was created by The Martin Agency. It first appeared in 1999 on the television screen when a strike by the Screen Actors Guild prevented the use of live actors for ads. This opportunity was grabbed by GEICO and gecko was born. In the original commercial the gecko is heard pleading with people to stop calling him in error as GEICO sounds just like gecko. The campaign used several actors in different accents including a cockney one.
GEICO was born in 1836 and was founded by Leo Goodwin and his wife Lillian Goodwin. The company marketed insurance directly to the federal government employees and their families. The company had a runaway success and the success was so much that Goodwin was inducted into the Insurance Hall of Fame. GEICO’s business model was based on the presumption that such persons would constitute a more financially stable pool of potential insured people (and less risky) than the general public.
It was in the 1970s that GEICO began insuring the general public in addition to its demographics after computerized driving records became available.
The Government Employees Insurance Company discovered that if it brought down the costs, drivers of vehicles would come to them in hordes. Though it preferred the low risk government and military personnel as its customers, it has now added nonstandard and high-risk drivers into its fold and has started selling them insurance. Instead of insurance agents the GEICO uses the print, the radio and television media for its marketing and contacts customers through the Internet and the telephone. It has made the company the largest direct writer of private auto insurance. Of course it does market its product through a small number of field agents, most of who are based near military bases. These agents are known as GFRs (GEICO Field Representatives).
The major competitors of GEICO are State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide and USAA. GEICO quotes are only available at their site GEICO.com.