Geico has become the third largest auto insurer in the US, but their share of the market in Ohio remains relatively small, according to the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI), which shows that Geico has two divisions offering insurance in the state that account for less than 3.5% of the market. However, these small divisions have racked up more than their share of complaints about car accident claims.
In 2011, Geico’s two divisions were the subject of about of about 60 complaints, about twice the average for insurance companies in Ohio, so it’s no surprise that on independent ratings site Consumeraffairs.com, 84% of reviewers give Geico only 1 star out of 5. With another 15% giving the company 2 stars, 99% of Geico’s customers rate the company 1 or 2 stars out of five.
What Can I Expect from Geico?
With a smaller share of the market in Ohio, it’s harder to get a good picture of the exact tactics Geico is employing against their customers in Ohio, but it seems like the company is employing a fairly standard arsenal of delay and deny tactics.
Geico has no injury claims office here in Ohio . You will be dealing with an adustor from Omaha. In serious injury claims you are more likely to get a better offer by filing a lawsuit. This does not mean you will have to go to trial . The likelihood is that you will not.
One of the most common complaints against Geico is about a lack of customer service. People complain that it’s very hard to get in touch with anyone at the insurance company, saying they have to navigate numerous electronic response systems and voicemail boxes to try to find someone at the company. Even when they do talk to someone, the person claims to be unaffiliated with the division and unable to help. This may seem like a relatively minor complaint, but failure to be responsive to customer calls allows them an easy and cheap way to delay progress in your car accident claim.
If you do get a settlement offer, expect it to be small. Numerous people have complained about the payments they got from Geico being far below the Blue Book value of their totaled vehicle. Many complain that their settlements were not even equal to what they still owed on the vehicle, leaving them with no transportation, but a hefty car payment. Others say the settlement offer they received for their car accident injuries was not enough to cover their medical bills.
Geico Is Doing Well for Itself
Geico has one of the best financial strength ratings in the insurance industry: A++. How do they get and maintain that type of rating? “Smart” claims handling, which means they take in more money than they pay out in claims.
When an insurance company delays paying claims, it can keep collecting interest on the money. With the large sums of money insurance companies handle, even a few days can make a big difference. Plus, for many claims people may decide it’s just not worth it to keep fighting, and pay out-of-pocket for claims that are just a little over the deductible. Those small claims add up, too.
Even more of a savings is when it pays less than it should for a claim. These lowball claim offers are very valuable to the company. They can save thousands of dollars a claim, which adds up very fast.
A Powerful Ally Can Help Your Claim
If you are having trouble with a claim against Geico, don’t believe them when they tell you getting a lawyer will not help your claim. With the help of a lawyer, you can often get your claim resolved faster, and will often get a larger offer. You will also be in a better place to negotiate up from the initial settlement offer, and, if necessary, can file a lawsuit to use the law to hold an insurance company to its legal obligations. By yourself you are stuck and by the time you see what they offer you it may be too late to hire a lawyer.
When your insurance company isn’t treating you fairly, don’t hesitate to call us. You can ask us questions and get some advice for free. In fact it’s wise to seek an intial consult as soon as possible so you know if your claim is one that a lawyer thinks is serious enough to help add value. And there’s no obligation to hire us . In fact if you claim is not severe we probably would not rperesent you. Although we are still happy to educate you on your options. If we do take you claim its on a contingency fee basis. We do not bill you hourly.
I welcome your call 1-800-447-6549 locally here in Dayton. Call me today. I love helping injury victims get what’s fair from Geico.