CENTRAL NJ, NEW JERSEY -- My car was totaled by a falling tree on our street 3:30 am on 5/12. Car completely crushed from front to back, driver to passenger sides. Police report indicates "vehicle completely crushed." I called Geico first thing that morning to file a claim. It has now been over a week (5/19 afternoon) and Geico has done nothing, except lose records of where my car is and assign to appraisal to two appraisers who are on vacation.
Every time I call to check on progress I'm given a different story and assurances that this was just a fluke and my claim will be resolved promptly. After spending most of the day today on the phone with various people I just called to tell them I would be posting their handling of my claim on the web. Let's see if that helps.
A few details: 5/12/08 Geico agent told me it might take as long as 3-5 business days for an adjuster to appraise my car, and said they wouldn't schedule for the adjuster to look at car until I had the tree removed. After I had tree removed, I called back and explained that this was my only car so I needed to expedite process so I could begin looking for replacement vehicle. I was told that the process would go much faster if I had car towed to auction service in area (IAA) where inspectors were there at least every other day to inspect cars. Scheduled for car to be towed to the recommended IAA location.
5/13 Car towed to IAA. Called to confirm. Called Geico to confirm that they knew car had been towed and was waiting at IAA for inspection. Told adjuster would be scheduled to look at car soon. Called again and told 'it looks like car is total loss' and appraiser would call me with information on how much for car.
5/14 Called again, car hadn't been assigned to appraiser yet. Called again, still waiting for appraiser to be assigned. 5/15 Called again, got name of appraiser assigned to car, confirmed location of car, was told she was waiting to schedule when to see car. Told appraiser three keys for car and info about condition of car and extras (new tires, etc) placed in car for her review. 5/16 Called again. Appraiser can't see car until Sat at latest.
5/17 Call appraiser. She tells me she has 'bad news' car is not where her report told her it would be. She'll have her supervisor figure out where car is and reschedule appraisal ASAP. Call Geico, discover their records indicate car is still in my driveway waiting for appraisal to be scheduled! After many holds records are sorted out and apologies about errors and delays. "We now have everything straightened out."
5/19 Call appraiser, get voicemail saying she is on vacation this week! Call Geico. Apologies. They call back and confirm appraiser is really on vacation. Job assigned to new dispatcher. Call Geico and learn new appraiser assigned by dispatcher is on vacation today! Call supervisor. Tells me new appraiser is on vacation, nothing can be done today, but he'll look at your car later this week. Call again to complain. Told new appraiser will try to look at car tomorrow or maybe Wed. Call again, told Appraiser will be asked to make this a priority.
5/20 Call new appraiser. He's back from vacation. Hasn't heard anything from dispatcher about appraising my car today, but promised to look at car first thing tomorrow (5/21) and get back to me. Car was in excellent condition. I need to know how much I will get for car before I can even begin to decide what to do next. We have only one car. I didn't opt for rental car insurance.
Now friends who have made claims with Geico tell me they always give you a low estimate and you have to 'go through the process to get fair value.' If it has taken this long and they haven't even given me an estimate I don't know what I'm going to do if I then have to go back and negotiate for fair value of car. I really hope that posting this information can help encourage Geico to give fair service and stop delaying.
5/21 Called appraiser. He was looking at my car when I called. While appraisal was not as much as I had hoped (not enough to buy equivalent make and mileage car in my immediate area before taxes) it was within the range of what the published NADA value. Appraiser noted that front and back bumpers seemed to be cracked. I explained that car had no significant bumper damage--certainly no cracks.
Damage to bumper must be from the forklift they used to open trunk at salvage area. He reduced deduction for prior damage. Was able to view appraisal online by end of day. Title mailed to Geico by overnight mail. I included pre-addressed return envelope to expedite receipt of check. 5/28 received check for totaled car. It was about $1000 less than what I could purchase closest make and model to car I lost in my area, but that's about as good as it gets.
totaled car was appraised and check sent. I do feel that posting this review helped to expedite the claim process and encourage others to be persistent in making sure their claims are processed efficiently.
I have been with Geico about 17 yrs. have had 2 speeding tickets back in the early '90s, have never been in an accident that I caused, never any DUIs. Last November my car wasn't running well so I decided to park it and called Geico, the representative told me that I could put my status as "inactive" as I did not want to cancel but intended to re-activate my coverage later. As I told the representative I did not want to lose my longevity with Geico... She assured me that as long as I re-activated my insurance within 6 mos. that I would not be considered cancelled, merely, in-active.
In April, thankfully, my car was OK mechanically enough to drive it again so I called Geico. This time I was told that my car insurance had been cancelled and a new policy (the same type of policy as before) was going to cost me quite a bit more per year. I really had to press the issue that I had not cancelled, to no avail, and it took some questioning about why the increase with my good driving record and my vehicle being parked in a well lit area with surveillance cameras. How could it go up in just a matter of a few months?
Finally the representative said that it was because I lived in a tornado area. I live in the mid-west... She said that since they had had to pay out for so many damages to others it raised the rates for everyone. I needed my insurance so I reluctantly 'opened' a new policy with Geico over the phone, with a one-time auto-pay from my checking acct. My coverage is paid to October 6th, but they sent me a payment due in August... if I initially, paid the total amount due I would still have to pay a $5.00 installment charge. I decided to not pay until the amount is due in Oct., pay the full 6 mos. amount minus the $5.00 installment charge as it will be the full amount due not an installment.
I fully intend to change my car insurance company from Geico... I don't know what happened to the customer friendly, great company Geico used to be and the once great experience I had (for 17 years). That is obviously gone and I need to accept it and hopefully, find a new company to have better car insurance coverage/experience than the shaft that Geico has given a long time customer of good standing...
CENTRAL, IOWA -- July 8th, 2004. Here's the "story". There was quite an impressive display of thunder and lightning this morning as a formidable thunderstorm swept through the area. Our power was out for some time and during all of the commotion, I had to get ready to go to work. It was an uneventful trip until about 5:15 am. I was startled to say the least when my ears were assaulted by one of the loudest cracks and booms of thunder I'd ever heard. Part of the whole effect though, and perhaps the more important effect was the bright white flash. My whole world turned into a loud white flash.
As soon as the light faded, my car started honking at random, the driver's side power seat went all the way down and reclined into the back seat and of course, my car stopped running and I coasted to the shoulder on the side of the road. Not good. Car won't start. I did manage to get it to stop playing random settings on my driver's side chair by removing and replacing the power from the battery but that didn't do anything to bring back my computer monitor that usually tells me my MPG, time, temp and such. It's just showing lines and dashes. So, I've just lost a good car... got a spare?
April, 2005. It's important to note that Midstates Ford in Waukee, IA diagnosed several problems as "old age" so now Geico isn't going to cover those repairs. These are: Cooling fan module/regulator, light amplifier (for automatic headlights). A new problem has been found since the temp has started rising in the area. The air conditioning pump doesn't work when you turn on the air.
The little clutch that should lock so the belt turns the pump doesn't lock. Of course, I can't afford another $250 for Midstates Ford to tell me it's also OLD AGE (they charged me $266 to diagnose the lights and cooling). Midstates described the problem with the light amplifier as a burnt out resistor. WELL that certainly sounds like an electrical surge issue to me. Evidently not.
I'm mad at Geico for not protecting my investment, which is why I purchased the insurance to begin with and I.m very angry at Midstates for handling the issue with a startling amount of incompetence. They didn't even know how to get the claim to Geico! They wanted me to pay for the repairs then get reimbursed myself.
I haven't had a chance to contact Geico yet about the body damage. Likely they're going to ask why I didn't notice before. Well, I haven't been able to DRIVE THE CAR is why. It was struck almost a YEAR ago (July 2004) and I've JUST NOW gotten it to a point where it's at least drivable as long as I don't go too slow or stop while it's running because it'll over heat. Yah, this is why we have full coverage insurance huh people?
On the photo pages, you'll see pics of my back window. I tried cleaning that off, scraping it off, it doesn't come off. It's part of the window now. I bet money Geico's going to deny it. So I've had the car towed to R&D in Stuart, IA, they towed it to Mid-states ford in Waukee, IA who then had the vehicle in their shop on several different occasions.
April, 2005. The last time I took it to them I gave them this paper as well: ATTN: Midstates Ford. After getting my car back from Midstates Ford the transmission had begun to fail so I parked the car for a little over a month. I finally sent it to Mitchel Transmission in downtown DM to have the transmission rebuilt. Since getting the car back from them there are the following lingering issues which I think are from the original lightning damage:
Headlights: At first they would shut off when the car was turned off or after the delay setting but the parking lights would remain lit. Now, the headlights just stay on all the time regardless of the auto-lamp settings and delay settings. Midstates reply: Old Age caused the resistor to burst; Alarm: Horn/alarm goes off at random after exiting the vehicle. No combination of locking, keys, keypad, etc prevents it. Midstates reply: That I have an aftermarket alarm installed, which I don't.
Climate Control: Likes to switch itself into a manual fan speed mode out of Automatic periodically and without warning. It has done this 2-3 times an hour. I thought it was just overly sensitive and was switching over bumps but it.s done it on smooth roads as well and once while parked. Midstates reply: Can't diagnose because the cooling fan isn't working so they didn't want to drive it. Explain to me then why I dropped it off with almost a full tank and pick it up with under a quarter?
Electric cooling fan: This doesn't seem to be working at all. The car has overheated 3 times. I am pretty sure I've now completely messed up the anti-freeze mixture ratio. Midstates reply: Old age. All of these issues have been present since I have been driving the car. I didn't really notice any of them when I drove it back from Midstates the first time because that the transmission was shot so I disconnected the battery and parked it for over a month.
Other: Last time the car was in to get the climate control replaced the trim around the climate control was broken and is now loose so please be careful this time when removing parts from the car. Midstates reply: None. I'd also like it if you could get the air filter cover bolts replaced. I know this isn't something you can submit to the insurance company but if you could give me an estimate of what you'd charge to get those stripped bolts off and replaced I think I'd rather just pay you to do it than try and work it out myself. Midstates reply: None.
I have another Mark VIII that I can grab parts from to use on my car so if you can tell me the name of the piece that.s causing the anti-lock brake issues I could swap with the parts car and have mine working again hopefully. I might have to swap the new part you installed with the used part from the parts car but either way, I should be able to get ABS working again myself if I knew what the two parts were that were having trouble. Midstates reply: None.
April, 2005. In addition to what's listed, I just noticed that the AC doesn't work either. Never had the car when it was warm enough out to notice. It worked before the lightning but doesn't work now. Come to think of it, since it was raining the morning I was struck, odds are great that the AC was on at the time. They claim the following things went bad as of old age. I claim it was bad due to the lightning. I had less than 300 miles on the car from the time I got it back from the tranny shop till the time I dropped it off at Midstates Ford.
May, 2005. Here's the latest email I sent to Mid-states ford 5/16/05: My vehicle was struck by lightning and the shop (** at Mid-states) has now started claiming that various items that are broken are now related to .old age. and not the electrical surge from the lightning. This makes no sense because the things that are broken are all electrical. The cooling fan which is tied directly into the A/C is broken as is the A/C, the automatic headlights are also shot.
The A/C was recently noticed when it got warmer out last week. I found out today that the A/C is directly linked to the cooling fan on the vehicle. The odds of the A/C going bad at the same time as the cooling fan are slim. The odds of an electrical surge from lightning causing the damage is pretty good. Here's some information on the car and the insurance company/auto shops handling of it:
** I need to have this looked at again. I paid $260+ to have someone open the car to diagnose several issues I was having trouble with and only got responses to two of those. The car was struck by lightning almost a year ago. Since then it.s been in the shop about 5 times, 4 of them at your location. When I finally got the car back the 3rd time, I had a transmission issue that wasn.t there before. Well I paid $1400 to have that fixed and then I noticed I still had other problems.
By the time I got ** on the phone again and brought it in, they evidently decided that it was old age. I don.t know if it.s because Brian is being intimidated by Geico or not but it's ridiculous to think that these ELECTRICAL problems are not caused by the lightning. This isn't a case of, well it WAS working and now it's not. It's a case of I never had the car to see what was broken or not until recently and these things ARE NOT WORKING. They didn't go bad over time. They didn't go bad at different times. They all went bad AT THE SAME TIME.
To top it all off, Midstates has never even mentioned the body damage. I knew of two locations that had physical damage. The grill and the driver.s door. I had the grille fixed at the first shop that looked at the car (the R&D shop in Stuart who eventually brought it to Mid-states). The driver's door wasn't a big deal to me because I was sick of dealing with you. Well I got the car back and actually drove it for a bit. I washed it off last week and found what looked like a stain on the back window. I tried washing it off and couldn't.
I then looked closer and found that it was electrical damage. The windshield, driver.s door and back window all have damage. You can see the damage on the photos on the page I listed. **. Have someone contact me who cares what the general public thinks about your company. I'm also trying to contact a couple of attorneys in my area. If you know of a good one, let me know. **.
May, 2005. Recently, I contacted someone at the National Lightning Safety Institute and Richard Kithil, Jr., Founder and CEO took the time to respond to the photos I submitted. The insurance claim guy came and saw the car this morning. He agreed that the body damage is lightning related and is going to communicate that to Geico. I'm still screwed when it comes to the other issues on my vehicle.
FLORIDA -- I took out an insurance policy with GEICO, they offered the best price for the coverage I wanted. Five (5) days later, I received a letter for their 'area representative', asking for a copy of the title on the truck I had purchased the day I took the policy out. WITHIN 10 DAYS OF THE DATE OF THE LETTER, dated the day I took out the policy. I had not received registration/title and I contacted the dealer I purchased the truck from. He laughed and told me I would be lucky if I received the title in 30 days, much less 10 days ("unheard of").
I sent copy of application for title which is almost the same. GEICO informed me they were canceling policy due to lack of documentation. I called GEICO headquarters and told them what was going on. They connected me with the 'department head', he was a head alright. He informed me I had not sent the required document, to which I told him I could not do within the time restraints he gave (guy sounded like he was from India). All he would say is "you did not send the documentation requested." When I tried to explain he said "you did not send the requested document." I hung up, now I am paying twice the price for same coverage, but I have insurance. NEVER AGAIN GECKO! BTW this happened in Florida.
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- I recently cancelled my policies with GEICO. I had been a relatively satisfied customer for over 15 years! Recently, I was able to lump my homeowners policy, my auto policy and my umbrella policy into one and received a significant discount. I did this before my GEICO policy was to be renewed. I then received a bill from GEICO for $18.08 stating that they had continued my policy when I had already received notices that it was cancelled. Now, they have sent this to a collections agency! What CONS! Find a better policy. Go with your local insurance broker in your own communities! That's what I did.
PENNSYLVANIA -- I was hit head-on by a 17 year old with minimal insurance. I'm a single parent who worked 2 jobs. From being hit head-on my foot was broken and had injured my left shoulder and back. I'm not asking for a major payout... what this is about is the insurance company owes me my lost wages since I cannot work but it has been now almost 4 mo and still nothing. I have spent my savings on trying to keep my house running but the funds have now run out... My insurance is paying my medical and Geico is just sitting back with no regards to what happens to me or my daughter...
THIS IS WRONG. I didn't cause the accident but the 17 year old who did just walk away after the accident with no consequences. I have bills to pay... a child to raise and now no income. We the injured should not have to wait more and sometimes years to get our lives back. GEICO YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THE WAY YOU TREAT THE INJURED... I'm telling my story so people see this and think twice about having GEICO as their insurance co...
I'll keep it short: a lady runs a solid red light and flies full speed in front of my truck. My truck was totaled even after slamming on my brakes as hard as I could and trying to swerve out of way even though I have a solid green. There were tons of eye-witnesses. The other driver admits to not even seeing the light as she was preoccupied with mother's recently installed pacemaker. GEICO "insured" other motorist. I try to go through GEICO as I think this should be cut and dried, as did the responding police officer on the scene. The GEICO representative after talking to the other driver tells me to get a rental, that they will pay for.
After 4 days of 'investigation', GEICO claims I am 25% at fault!!! Huh??? They claimed I could have done more to avoid accident. What??? They had 4 business days to mull it over, and I had 1.5 seconds. And I think I made a better decision in 1.5 seconds than they did in 4 days. After I argue with the GEICO claims adjuster for 15 minutes, he changed it to me being only 20% at fault. Huh!!! Liability is now negotiable after a 4-day investigation??? Something seemed very fishy about the whole thing. I hung the phone up, called MY insurance company (a REAL one: USAA).
They took care of 100% of vehicle loss and waived my deductible because other driver was at fault. The check is in the mail now. Now they are going after GEICO. And now the best... after a week, GEICO calls Hertz and says they aren't paying for the rental that THEY TOLD ME TO RENT!!! Unreal. Don't use them if you will actually ever NEED your insurance!
So today Monday May 23, 2011 I called to ask for a Quote with GEICO. Just a quote, I am already covered by them through my husband who is currently deployed but due to our personal issues we are both looking into divorce. He owns a truck that I am taking care of and that I use. Well, since he will be back soon I needed to find my own transportation and I wanted to find out how much my insurance would cost. Well after giving me an estimate the girl on the phone basically tries to bully me into my own policy. Stating it is GEICO's policy that even if a couple is not legally separated they cannot be on the same policy.
I asked if I called back is that the quote I will receive and in a snide way the representative replied back "Well you should just accept this right now. With the information you gave at the beginning of the call you cannot be on your husband's policy." And when I asked "If me and my husband decided not get a divorce...?" She said I could easily be added back on. With everything we are going through this company seriously wants to add a step that might be avoidable?
When I told her I would not accept the quote she continued to transfer me to a North Carolina agent to be taken off the policy. I used to recommend GEICO to everyone I knew but after this I wouldn't recommend their company to anyone.
After a quick shop around I found out that Nationwide has much better rates for me than Geico. So I switched. Informed Geico of my decision and cancelled the policy. Guess what, Geico still charged my account after I have canceled my policy with them and when I asked them why, I was told that they did not have enough time to cancel the automatic withdraw!!! And they refund the payment to my checking account within 2 weeks. Can you believe that holding my $399.97 for two weeks?
Well, what are you going to do fight with a Gecko! Two weeks later and still no money. I called Geico and was informed that "a check was mailed to me and it takes 7-10 days to get it". So by the time I get my own money back it would be more than a month!!! I will never recommend them and in any occasion will tell my story. I am a blue collar working class and $400 is half of my mortgage payment and I hate to see Buffet's company holding on to it. May I should say A Good Insurance company is a non-existing insurance company.
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI -- I am on disability and used my money I got to buy myself a van. I bought full coverage online, but could not find the original policy. So, when I got in the first car wreck I've ever had - I called GEICO my insurance company in Kansas City, Missouri. I did have my insurance card which I presented to the police. GEICO would not tell me anything that day. I kept asking them, "I'm fully covered right?" They would not even ANSWER my question. They just CONTINUED to pound away with the questions about the accident.
Then the people who were involved in the wreck were coming to my house and asking me, "What is going on with your insurance company, we are prepared to sue," was left on my cell phone by the other driver. Several calls came to my house and cell phone from the other driver as they were getting tired of waiting around on GEICO. Then they told me to go get a police report at the police station, there I ran into the driver of the other car who hit me. He was angry because he had not heard anything about getting this settled.
THEN, GEICO told me I only had LIABILITY coverage! They said when I called them to put my daughters car on the policy that I changed my van to liability coverage also!! WELL THAT WAS A LIE!! Jamie at GEICO told me that I had to PROVE it. I should have NEVER had told them that "I could not find the policy." Because I did tell them that. Also, I did not find the policy for quite some time, a few months probably. THEN I FOUND IT!! It was on my boyfriend computer. ALSO, I found an email they sent me saying that I "NEVER HAD FULL COVERAGE ON EITHER CAR."(!!)
Since that CAN BE PROVEN in a court of law, I have both documents they should pay me for my van AND for the year of no vehicle. I have doctors appointments, spinal injections, shopping and No vehicle. I called them on this point. NOW, the guy just sits there on the phone - they wait for you to talk to see what else they can come up with. I explained this WHOLE thing over to him when I should have just stayed with an attorney which I didn't want to do because at that time I couldn't find the policy. Well, I made the mistake of telling him that when I had missed a payment my boyfriend picked up the payment and did pay.
So, when I contacted the insurance commission all they wanted to concentrate on was that payment was missed. My boyfriend immediately helps me if I need money. However, they didn't mention his payment!! So, the commission didn't rule in my favor as they had no PROOF. They said the details weren't clear and I would have to get a lawyer, which I'm doing today. I would never put liability on a van in which I waited years to get and was the nicest vehicle I have ever owned, and is, WAS the only thing I had.
I am going to write EVERY consumer agency, newspaper, and person who has dealt with GEICO and get the word out. My father had power of attorney over my sister and she went to the PEACE CORPS and no longer had her car. The car was here in the US. They would not allow him to cancel the policy even though he had all the documentation, her signature, everything. I think I'll have him post here also.