GEICO stands for “Government Employees Insurance Company.” That really doesn’t have anything to do with this piece, but is anecdotally interesting.
I just got my revised insurance information from the lizard auto insurance company (…’the cut rate insurance company’ the ‘fifteen minutes insurance company’ or any of the other dig names which competitors take out on them) and I was not happy. My wife and I have been accident free for some time now. No moving violations, no points, no incidents, no expired meters, no cutting off old ladies at the service station. We have largely been very good drivers, for all the driving we do.
So when I got the email the other day about our policy renewal, I was very excited. I had figured we had made a pretty substantial dent in our admittedly reasonable insurance policy. We still have a loan out on our car which is Titanic-style underwater (ours is a 3 year old car with 110,000 miles) and we’re anxious to get ahead of these things.
Our plans have always been to retire our small remaining plastic debt and then tackle the car head on. The fact that our policy is up for renewal and we haven’t had any incidents in several cycles should mean that our policy will go down, right?
Our policy actually went up by some two or three dollars per payment (with five payments the added amount is something like $13.00 total). Still, that bugged me.
So as I’ve done since my earliest days of being fed up with a teething ring and wanting my bottle, I spoke up about it. I emailed GEICO and basically said, “what’s going on?” The always vigilant Gecko was quick to get back in touch with me. This is the truncated version of what he said:
“…You do have a great driving record and your policy did not change because of the way you drive. Right now on your policy you are receiving our 5 year good driver discount which is saving you $66.10 every 6 months on your premium.
Your renewal policy reflects a statewide rate revision. As with all insurance companies, GEICO periodically reviews its loss statistics to determine if our rates are adequate to cover the cost of claims. The results of our analysis indicated that it was necessary to increase our premium levels.
Insurance companies frequently reevaluate their rates in the light of economic conditions and the driving record of the insuring public. In this way, we are able to realize the purpose of insurance – the equal distribution of the losses amount the insuring public. All insurers use this principle.
We appreciate the time you have been insured with GEICO. We regret that it is necessary to increase your rates due to the overall loss experience in your state. Please be assured that we share your concern over the rising cost of insurance and are doing everything we can to keep our rates as low as possible.”
So I hope I’m reading that right, because that sounds to me like socialized auto insurance. I mean, the way GEICO tells it, whatever I do with any insurance company as a driver doesn’t matter because of the risk of what could happen. I don’t want to begrudge the Gecko, but I don’t want to be responsible for the poor decisions of strangers. I didn’t get in that accident, I didn’t total my car, I didn’t sideswipe some strangers parked car; someone else did.
When did we all get so comfortable together in the great big bed of auto insurance? If you can’t call that socialism, you might as well call it communism.