You’re probably familiar with the British-accented gecko that advertises Geico car insurance on TV. What you might not know is that Geico also offers half a dozen types of small business insurance. With decades of expertise in insuring autos, Geico business insurance can be an especially good option for small businesses in need of commercial auto coverage or rideshare insurance coverage.
Business insurance helps companies guard against different types of risks. Without insurance, there’s a chance that an unexpected event could cause your business to close down prematurely. In this article, we’ll explain how Geico business insurance can protect your company, including the products Geico offers, how much they cost, and the best alternatives.
Global credit firm AM Best assigns a financial strength rating to insurance companies around the world. A high rating means that the insurance company is financially solvent and able to pay out claims. The lowest rating is F, and the highest is A++. Geico has consistently received an A++ rating.
Geico offers six different business insurance products—commercial auto, rideshare, general liability, professional liability, a business owner’s policy, and workers’ compensation. Out of these products, only rideshare and commercial auto policies are underwritten and sold directly by Geico. The rest are available through other insurance companies that Geico partners with.
If you’re looking to get rideshare insurance or commercial auto insurance, you’ll interact only with Geico. You get a quote through Geico, your policy is written by Geico, you send payments to Geico, and you file claims with Geico. However, with the other types of insurance, you interact almost exclusively with the partner. The partner generates your quote, writes the policy, accepts payments, and resolves claims. For customers, this is not the best experience because you’re essentially just using Geico as a starting off point. The cost and quality of your policy, as well as the level of service, depends on the partner.
For this reason, we recommend Geico only to business owners who need rideshare insurance or commercial auto insurance. For example, Geico is a good choice for Uber and Lyft drivers and business owners who use a car to transport equipment or make deliveries. If you’re in need of other types of business insurance, you’re better off shopping directly from Hiscox, Chubb, and other insurance companies that directly underwrite and sell the products.
Photo credit: Commercial.geico.com
As a reminder, Geico underwrites and sells only two business insurance products in-house—rideshare insurance and commercial auto insurance.
If you’re interested in one or more of the four other business insurance products listed on Geico’s website, then you’ll be transferred to a partner website. There’s no such thing, for example, as Geico general liability insurance. Geico partners with Hiscox Insurance for general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and business owner policies. Geico partners with Berkshire Hathaway for workers’ compensation insurance.
Here are more details on the business insurance products that Geico supports, either directly or through a partner:
Geico business auto insurance is the company’s most popular business insurance product. Commercial auto insurance protects you when you drive a company-owned vehicle or a personal vehicle for business purposes. You’re likely to need commercial auto insurance if you haul equipment, frequently visit job sites, or operate a taxi or limo service. Geico offers up to $500,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, up to $1 million of bodily injury coverage per incident, and up to $100,000 of property damage coverage. When requesting an online quote, you can customize your coverage limits.
Cars, vans, pickup trucks, food trucks, box trucks, and service utility trucks are all eligible for coverage. Currently, Geico does not offer insurance for semi-trucks and tractor-trailers. Once you have a Geico commercial auto policy, you can make payments and get proof of insurance online. You’ll need to make a phone call to add a driver, add a vehicle, or change your coverage limits. Geico’s commercial auto insurance experts will help you over the phone.
Rideshare insurance is a must for anyone who drives for Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare company. Personal auto insurance doesn’t cover ridesharing. And although Uber and Lyft offer their own insurance, these policies don’t cover you 100%.
When your app is on and you’re awaiting a ride request, you need rideshare insurance for full protection. Geico offers a rideshare policy that covers personal driving and rideshare driving. It’s available in 40 states, making it one of the most widely available rideshare insurance products on the market.
General liability insurance is often the one type of business insurance that every small business owner needs. General liability insurance offers bodily injury and property damage coverage for business-related accidents, such as slip and falls. You might have to show proof of general liability coverage when entering into a contract or getting a business loan.
Geico has teamed up with Hiscox to provide general liability insurance. Hiscox offers wide-ranging general liability coverage, including electronic data liability coverage, lost income coverage if your business has to close down temporarily, and coverage for full-time employees, temporary workers, and seasonal workers.
A business owner’s policy (BOP) combines general liability and commercial property insurance in one plan. A BOP is more affordable than if you were to purchase each type of insurance on its own. As with general liability, Geico works with Hiscox to provide BOPs. The Hiscox BOP is pretty standard, but you can customize the policy in a way that makes sense for your business. For instance, you can add on commercial crime coverage or fire insurance for an extra cost. If you have a Geico commercial auto insurance policy, you can even integrate that policy with a Hiscox BOP.
Professional liability insurance is a must-have for businesses that provide professional services or advice. By law, doctors and lawyers must have professional liability insurance, but any other type of service professional should also have this coverage. If you make a mistake when providing services or advice, and a customer sues you, professional liability insurance covers the legal costs.
Hiscox is Geico’s partner for professional liability insurance. One of Hiscox’s specialties is professional liability coverage. They provide coverage for work performed anywhere in the world, which is a big plus for international businesses. They cover services provided or advice given by anyone representing your business, including temporary staff and contractors. They even have a retroactive date, which could protect you against incidents that took place before you purchased the policy.
In most states, it’s a requirement for businesses with employees to purchase workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation insurance pays for medical expenses for employees who are injured on the job. If an employee sues your company as a result of a work-related injury, the workers’ comp coverage pays for your legal defense. Every state sets its own minimum coverage limits for workers’ compensation insurance.
Geico has partnered with biBerk, a member of the Berkshire Hathaway Group, to provide workers’ compensation insurance. On biBerk’s website, you can provide information about your employees and payroll to get an instant workers’ comp quote. Pricing for workers’ compensation coverage varies based on the type of business you have and the number of employees.
As a small business owner, you have many choices when shopping for commercial insurance. You might be considering Geico because you’re familiar with the brand, or because you already have personal insurance with them.
Here are the pros and cons to consider for Geico business insurance:
Photo credit: Commercial.geico.com
Geico underwrites and prices their own commercial auto insurance and rideshare insurance. Since they work with partners on the other types of business insurance, prices for those products depend on the partner’s appetite for the specific risk that’s being insured.
In general, since Geico partners with large insurance companies, you can expect good rates on those products. Larger insurers have more sales volume, so they can afford to price each policy for less.
Geico tends to be costly for the auto insurance products that they underwrite in-house. We generated a sample commercial auto quote for a 40-year old female driver with a 2015 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. In the hypothetical, the driver sought minimum coverage limits in the state of Maryland, and the truck was used primarily for transporting equipment. Geico quoted the coverage at $2,030 per year. As a comparison, the average cost of insuring one commercial vehicle was $1,134 in 2017, according to InsuranceTrak.
We also obtained a sample quote for rideshare insurance at $4,263 per year. The sample is for a full-time, 40-year old female rideshare driver with a clean driving history and 2017 Toyota Camry. Geico rideshare insurance covers personal use and rideshare driving, which means you don’t need to buy a separate personal auto policy. However, it’s still very expensive. By comparison, State Farm offers rideshare insurance for just 15% to 20% over your current personal auto insurance premium.
There are two different sides to filing a claim with Geico. For commercial auto insurance and rideshare insurance, which are products underwritten by Geico, you file a claim directly through Geico. For other insurance products, you need to contact the partner insurer’s claims filing department. Claims filing with partners is dependent on their hours of operation and claims handling processes.
Geico claims filing for commercial auto and rideshare insurance is available by phone and mail. The telephone claims center is open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. ET to 8 p.m. ET. Unfortunately, online claims filing is not available for these insurance products (online claims filing is only available for select personal insurance products).
Once you file a claim, Geico will review your coverage and investigate the claim further by talking to all involved parties. If the vehicle is safe to drive, you might be asked to bring it into a Geico repair facility, or the repair person might come to your location. The repair person will assess and value any damage to your car. Based on your coverage, Geico will then pay out your benefits. If your policy contains rental reimbursement coverage, Geico will also give you access to a rental car. The entire process can be completed in as little as 48 hours.
Photo credit: Hiscox.com
Geico is quite limited in terms of business insurance offerings. They have strong commercial auto and rideshare insurance policies, but not much else. For other products, Geico will simply send you to one of their partners. Plus, in terms of cost, Geico falls short of other major insurance companies.
Here are the best alternatives to Geico business insurance:
Geico teams up with Hiscox to provide general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and business owner policies. So why not go straight to Hiscox instead? While you might feel limited by Geico’s business insurance offerings, that won’t be the case with Hiscox. Hiscox is an A rated insurance company and offers over a dozen different types of business insurance.
Hiscox’s offerings include the basics, like general liability insurance and commercial property insurance. But they also offer umbrella liability insurance if you need more liability coverage than a basic policy will allow. Surplus lines insurance is also available, which is important for difficult-to-insure industries.
In addition to broad product availability, the other great thing about Hiscox is the ease of buying insurance. You can get an online quote for several of their products, and complete your purchase online. Hiscox takes payment and handles all claims in-house, so you have the peace of mind that you’re working with one insurer for the long term.
Next Insurance is an A rated insurance company that puts big emphasis on technology. The vast majority of Next’s insurance policies—90%—are sold online, without any help from an agent or broker. You can also manage your policy online. This includes paying your premiums, adding additional insureds, printing proof of insurance, and filing claims. Next Insurance offers three types of insurance—general liability, professional liability, and commercial auto insurance.
By focusing on technology, Next is able to offer some of the most affordable insurance rates on the market. If you’re wary about the higher prices at Geico, you might want to try Next. About 80% of the time, Next offers the most affordable general liability policy on the market. There are no fees of any kind, and no additional charge for monthly payments. If Next Insurance is available in your state, they are worth considering in your search for business insurance.
Insurance marketplaces like CoverWallet offer a slightly different experience when shopping for business insurance. CoverWallet doesn’t sell any insurance. Instead, they partner with insurance companies like Hiscox and Berkshire Hathaway to provide quotes for different types of insurance. Based on your type of business and the type of risk you’re insuring, CoverWallet will show you quotes and coverage options from multiple insurance companies. CoverWallet does not partner with Geico currently.
This is a convenient way to shop for insurance—compare the quotes on your screen, and choose the one that’s the best fit for your business. The only drawback is that reps from insurance marketplaces sometimes lack specialized product expertise. For instance, if you really only need a commercial auto policy, it might be best to go with Geico since they have decades of experience in providing auto insurance.
Geico is a heavy hitter when it comes to business auto insurance, so they should definitely be on your list if you’re in need of commercial auto coverage or rideshare coverage. Other types of business insurance are less of a sure thing with Geico, since they partner with other insurance companies. That means most of your interaction will be with the partner, not with Geico. If that doesn’t bother you, or if you already have personal insurance with Geico, Geico can be a good starting point for your business insurance.
Priyanka Prakash is a senior contributing writer at Fundera.
Priyanka specializes in small business finance, credit, law, and insurance, helping businesses owners navigate complicated concepts and decisions. Since earning her law degree from the University of Washington, Priyanka has spent half a decade writing on small business financial and legal concerns. Prior to joining Fundera, Priyanka was managing editor at a small business resource site and in-house counsel at a Y Combinator tech startup.