Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
GEICO is a personal lines auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO stands for Government Employees Insurance COmpany. Their mascot is a gecko. The gecko usually has a British accent. Many people have voiced the gecko over the past few years, including Richard Steven Horvitz.
GEICO is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. Despite the odd-sounding name, it was never a government agency. Rather, it was originally founded by Leo and Lillian Goodwin to market auto insurance directly to federal government employees and their families. GEICO was based on the assumption that such persons would constitute a more financially stable and less risky pool of potential insureds than the general public.
Later, after real-time access to computerized driving records became available in the 1970s throughout the United States, GEICO gradually began to insure the general public as well. It currently provides coverage for 10 million vehicles owned by 6 million policyholders.
GEICO is perhaps best known for their endless campaign of television commercials, some featuring the gecko, others showing various people advertising for GEICO in allegedly ludicrous ways. The ending tagline is "GEICO, 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance." The other tagline is "GEICO, the sensible alternative." A recent campaign shows a person relating a bad situation to another person (e.g. a lawyer speaking to his client who is strapped into an electric chair) but then saying that "I do have some good news...I just saved a lot of money on my car insurance by switching to GEICO."
The reason why GEICO markets so heavily is that it generally prefers to deal directly with consumers via the telephone and the Internet, and to avoid marketing through insurance agents. This practice eliminates one layer of cost, but then GEICO has to ensure that consumers are aware of its brand and will call it first when they are shopping for insurance.
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