GEICO: Insurance Claims and Settlements
GEICO is the third largest private passenger auto insurer in the United States, providing auto insurance coverage for more than 7 million policyholders, and insuring more than 12 million cars. Since 1996, it has been a member of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway group of companies. Its ascendancy in recent years has been helped by tremendously successful marketing involving the once cute, but now arguably annoying, Gecko. GEICO now has more market share in Maryland than any other auto insurance carrier, narrowly edging out Allstate.
Setting Cases with GEICO
About six years ago, GEICO was very easy to deal with in settling claims in Maryland. Prior to this, our accident lawyers rarely filed suit in GEICO claims. But GEICO has clearly changed their paradigm and started fighting personal injury car accident claims with more vigor to the point where we file lawsuits in most accident claims involving GEICO.
Clients who have GEICO insurance who are not bringing car accident claims against it generally report good relationships with GEICO. GEICO took the top spot among property and casualty insurers for customer satisfaction in the 2006 American Customer Satisfaction Index survey conducted by the University of Michigan. Our lawyers think - without any particular empirical foundation – that GEICO offers competitive auto insurance prices, at least in Maryland. Moreover, we think that GEICO claim adjusters are particularly easy to work with in terms of disposition and their willingness to promptly return calls. Really, our accident lawyers only disagree with GEICO on one issue: the value of personal injury cases in Maryland. But that is what car accident claims are all about in the final analysis. Accordingly, many of our clients who have claims against GEICO chose to file a lawsuit, as opposed to settling their accident claim with GEICO.
GEICO's Handling of Personal Injury Claims
GEICO handles a few insurance claims in Maryland out of Washington, D.C., but the majority of claims involving Maryland accidents are handled in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Again, most of the adjusters are decent people but they have clear instructions from above to make low ball offers until after a lawsuit is filed. You actually can reason with these claims adjusters. They will listen to factual and legal arguments and sometimes adjust their settlement offers accordingly. But, ultimately, 90% of the time you need to file a lawsuit to get a fair offer.
|Get sample verdicts and settlements in car, truck and motorcycle accident cases involving GEICO.|
If you do file a lawsuit, most of the claims will be handled by Besok & Mullen or John Dahut & Associates. These firms have "law firm names" but are actually in-house counsel and are direct GEICO employees. On balance, these lawyers are far more reasonable than the GEICO adjusters when it comes to placing a settlement value on these claims. GEICO refers out some cases when they are concerned that there is a real chance the verdict could exceed the defendant's insurance policy limits. The Law Offices of Frank Daily - a good group of lawyers - is one of the firms that GEICO heavily relies on in these types of cases in Baltimore. GEICO often uses Mulhern & Patterson in cases in Maryland/D.C. suburbs.
GEICO has a number of "usual suspect" experts to defend their positions that the plaintiff is either not hurt or not hurt as bad as the plaintiff suggests. If it is an orthopedics case, as many car crash injuries are, GEICO seems to frequently return to Dr. Joel Falik, Dr. Louis S. Halikman, Dr. J. Richard Wells, Jr. or Dr. Eddie Cohen an expert witnesses.
Hiring a Lawyer to Fight GEICO
If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Maryland, where the at-fault driver is insured by GEICO, or if you are filing an uninsured motorist claim against GEICO and you have a question about your claim, call us at 800-553-8082 or get a free GEICO claim evaluation. (For claims outside of Maryland, go here.)
More Information on Dealing with GEICO for Settlement or at Trial
- Valuing Personal Injury Cases (how much is your case worth?)
- Handling Personal Injury Claims Without a Lawyer (tips for personal injury victims)
- Handling Your Property Damage Claim (tips for auto accident property damage claims)
- Sample Demand Letter (letter to insurance company for compensation by settlement)
- Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions (questions about handling claims against GEICO and other insurance companies)
- Maryland Accident Lawyer Help Center (samples of everything and anything an accident lawyer may need to handle an auto accident lawsuit against GEICO)
- Sample GEICO Release (sample GEICO settlement documents)
- Crazy Hold Harmless Document GEICO Wants Lawyers to Sign (that you don't have to sign, believe us)
- Sample Interrogatories Served by GEICO (sample interrogatories asked by GEICO in a personal injury auto accident lawsuit)