From a company with just a dozen or so employees to one that now employs
some 34,000 associates in 14
major offices around the country,
GEICO has grown tremendously
from humble beginnings.
Established in Fort Worth,
Texas, in 1936 by Leo and
Lillian Goodwin, a husband and
wife, GEICO began as an auto
insurance-only provider that
targeted a customer base of
military and federal employees.
Even though 80 years later it
remains an acronym for Government Employees Insurance Company, GEICO has grown to provide
numerous types of insurance to a
wide range of customers – both
those employed by the government and the private sector.
In 1996, GEICO became a
wholly owned subsidiary of
Berkshire Hathaway, which is led
by billionaire Warren Buffett, one
of the country’s most successful
“It was very big to have some-
one like him come in and buy
the company and be a part of it
and really kind of take it to the
next level,” said Patrick Judge,
the company’s special audience
marketing planner. “He’s really
been pretty instrumental in hav-
ing the company grow and be as
successful as it has been.”
For the past several years,
Fortune magazine has named
insurance operation the most
admired in the country – and it’s
easy to see why.
The second largest private-passenger auto insurer in the
United States, GEICO is one of
the fastest-growing major auto
insurers and serves more than
14 million private passenger
customers while insuring more
than 22 million vehicles.
So what has been the biggest
key to GEICO’s exponential
growth over the past eight
“I think the biggest thing is the
accessibility, and that’s being
able to access a claim or policy
whether you’re at home, on the
go or at your office,” Judge said.
“That’s something we really pride
ourselves in is being able to give
the consumer access to their information wherever they may be.
So they have the option if they
want to deal with a local agent.
We have about 160 throughout
the country, but we’ve seen that
people prefer using the app or
calling in. The agent method,
we still utilize it very heavily,
but a big chunk of our business
is also through the phone and
Internet – people just like that
Helping bring GEICO to a whole new group of customers has been the
company’s involvement in
NASCAR for the past 15 years.
Since 2011, GEICO has
been the full-time primary
sponsor for driver Casey
Mears, a NASCAR Sprint
Cup Series race winner and
member of the famous Mears
family that includes Casey’s
uncle, open-wheel legend
Rick Mears, and Casey’s dad,
Roger, an accomplished off-road racer.
The presence of Casey’s No.
13 GEICO-sponsored car on
the track each week continues to put the GEICO brand in
front of millions of potential
customers whom otherwise
may not be exposed.
And the NASCAR audience is a natural fit, too.
GEICO provides insurance
quotes on travel trailers and
motorhomes – both favorites
among fans who spend
weekends at the track.
So when Mears and his
Germain Racing team
perform well on Sunday
afternoon or Saturday night,
GEICO wins, too.
“It started with a one-race
deal in 2001 at Richmond International Raceway, and the
driver was Kenny Wallace,”
GEICO marketing planner
Patrick Judge said. “Basically
a one-race deal put our foot
in the water to see what it was
like, and it started out very,
very small and now 15 years
later it’s blossomed into a
full-season sponsorship with
JARED TURNER GE T T Y IMAGES
GEICO: Insuring Customers Since 1936