GEICO Paid Out A Fraudulent Claim

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I had written a post in which I talked about some companies I love and one of them was GEICO, mostly because they were cheap, and bostonmichelle left the following comment:

You like Geico only because you’ve never had a claim or any other problem. Someone put in a fraudulent claim against me, and [Geico] just went ahead [and] paid them even after:

  1. I submitted professional photos (at a claim shop) documenting the total lack of damage to my car.
  2. I submitted my own photos of my car backed up against a truck of the exact same model of the claimant’s to show there was no way my little car could have damaged his huge truck’s back bumper, and
  3. I spent 2 hours on the phone with various people there begging them to look at the photos and tell me how I possibly could have caused that damage.

So, they pay anyway, and my insurance record gets dinged cuz they did so. I had to pursue this case because there was NO WAY I was going to pay higher insurance because they are so stupid. After spending many hours talking with MANY stupid, lazy people at Geico, I finally get a guy whose wife had a fraudulent claim against her. HE got it and fixed my insurance record. It still showed they paid out, but I was now shown as “not at fault.”

Idiots. I’ve gotten the best deal and the best service of my life going through Costco (one of your other favorites). They use Ameriprise, which has been wonderful so far. Plus, you can pay your premiums with a credit card. I bet you could save even more money with them – plus you won’t risk your sanity, insurance record, or finances should you actually need to use your insurance.

I was pretty surprised to hear this mostly because insurance companies aren’t in the business of paying out a lot of money needlessly, they’re usually on the other extreme, looking for ways to get out of paying for something. So I asked for more details and bostonmichelle provided:

The claim they paid was about $450. It sure would have been cheaper to listen to their customer and not the claimant (they lost me as a client immediately, and I’ve been telling my story ever since), but I’m sure they had their reasons.

There was no police report since we both agreed at the time that there was no damage. I hit the guy while I was rolling from a standing stop – about 1 or 2 miles per hour. He had a dented bumper on his tall SUV, but my bumper (on my short little Sentra) was far too low to do that damage. I had hit his tow package hanging down below his bumper. We both agreed there was no damage. Neither of us had a camera in our cars.

He later sent me a quote for $700 or so from a repair shop. It listed his make & model, so I went to a dealer who let me park up right next to the back of the same model and take photos. I had clearly hit the tow package. If he had no tow package, the front of my car would have gone clear under his truck, which certainly might have damaged MY car -but not his.

I sent those pics in AND I went to Geico’s claim shop which put a measuring tape on the front of my car and took their own pics. There was absolutely no damage to my car at all. They sent those pics in. When I talked with the various Geico people, most didn’t have access to the pics. And, no one WITH access ever called me back.

The one guy who helped me knew what it was like to have a fraudulent claim. He didn’t see the photos either. He just had been through it himself and was sympathetic. I don’t know the insurance business, so I can’t answer your questions any more than that. You can post this email if you like. Anyone who wants to help share the pain of dealing with Geico on a claim is doing a good deed, that’s for sure.

By the way, I have NEVER had an accident – one that was my fault or someone else’s. And, I’m 36 and have my license for 20 years.

Again, I would get the hell out of there, if I were you. At least look into Costco’s service. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Basically it sounds like the person she hit pulled a fast one on Geico and they fell for it, leaving bostonmichelle holding the bag. While you can’t do anything after the fact, this is why it’s crucial to keep a camera nearby (nice if you have a cell phone camera) to take pictures at the scene of the accident in order to have some sort of proof. Your word is nice but evidence is nicer.

{ 40 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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40 Responses to “GEICO Paid Out A Fraudulent Claim”

  1. les says:

    I was hit by a Geico driver in a wreck that was clearly their fault. I had a police reprt showing the other driver was at fault as well as a quote included in the report where the other driver admited fault. Geico refused payment and in the end it took a lawsuit and 2 years to get the money they owed for repars to my car. I will never do business with Geico and hope to talk as many others out of using them as possible.

  2. Chris says:

    Having this new information (the fact that there had been an accident and she did hit someone) might explain why Geico paid out. Pursuing the situation could have cost Geico more than $450. Though in the end I’m sure they lost much more by losing a customer. I doubt Geico cares much about individual policy holders.

    Keeping a camera in the car is a great idea.

    • jim says:

      The only problem is when it gets hot, I don’t know what happens to cameras if you leave it in your car and it gets to a million degrees… that’s why cell phone cameras are so awesome.

  3. Joseph says:

    bostonmichelle’s post was unclear. Her new comments help. It originally sounded like she said she never had any accident. And someone fraudulently claimed to GEICO that she hit his van.

  4. Rick says:

    I recently went through the process of looking for a new auto insurance provider. I ran into the problem that when looking for reviews (both online and from personal friends), every single insurance company I investigated had complaint after complaint after complaint. Nobody’s perfect, and with millions of customers, any company is bound to have at least some who have had bad experiences. And when reading reviews, it’s typically these customers with bad experiences that write the reviews; very few customers with good experiences take the time to write about them.

    I’ve never personally used Geico, but I have had several people, even people with claims, recommend Geico.

    But if any of you have any recommendations, I’d be happy to hear them.

    • jim says:

      That’s one of the problems with review sites, it’s the ones with bad experiences and an axe to grind that come out of the woodwork and seek those sites out but I think that it’s important to read those anyway just to get a feel. A company with 100 bad reviews is probably, on average, worse than a company with 10.

      I thought the first run through by bostonmichelle wasn’t clear enough so I asked her for more info, which she gladly provided! I think it was a case of bad luck but you should never stop shopping around for insurance, you never know.

  5. Kim says:

    I have been an extremely loyal customer of Geico for over 10 years. I have had great experiences with them and have had a few issues/claims over the years. They have always been extremely nice and quite helpful. They even voluntarily lowered my rate recently. I’m sorry bostonmichelle had such issues but I certainly don’t think that’s the norm. Like the other commenter said, it could happen with all companies at any time.

  6. Tim says:

    There are some lessons to learn here: it sounds like bostonmichelle admitted to hitting the guy’s car. regardless of if it was actually your fault, you shouldn’t admit to it until you are required to do so. second, she didn’t get a police report, which is a major mistake in any accident. She also seems to not have gotten any witness statements either. either one of the police being involved or witnesses could mitigate things like a person claiming injuries or damage.

    There are always things missing when people have bad experiences; however, she admitted liability to the other person which is the only thing relevant here. Did she admit liability to Geico as well? If so, she’s already opened herself up for whatever damage was done or not done to the vehicle. It doesn’t matter what happened to her car; the documents didn’t show anything, nor does Geico require the person she hit go to a Geico approved shop for estimates, about the other person’s car.

    i’d be hard pressed to see any other insurance company side in her favor given the details she had presented. she was lucky to have gotten geico to declare it as a no-fault claim.

    lastly, up to this point, she was probably more than content with geico as she is with ameriprise. the other person may have pulled a fast one on bostonmichelle and geico, but she did admit liability and did not have witnesses or the police to back her up. There is a reason insurance companies provide that neat little check list in case of accidents. we all would hope people are honest, but they are not. it was a costly mistake that will be erased in 3 years from her driving record. hopefully, she will have learned from this experience and if she ever gets in an accident to ensure she takes the proper steps.

  7. bostonmichelle says:


    The bottom line that you’re missing here is that it was a fraudulent claim. Fraud is fraud, and it’s illegal. Geico paid out a fraudulent claim. That’s why claim shops take photos before any money is paid out. Add in my own photos, and there was plenty of hard evidence that it was fraud, and I had absolutely no liability to the guy. If it had gone to court, the photos would have proved me “innocent.” And, the guy would have been convicted of fraud.

    Are you saying just because I admit to hitting him (with evidence of no damage) that my insurance company should pay the guy whatever he wants? You’re very wrong about that.

    It was costly for me in time, but not in money. My record was cleaned up as soon as a rational man at Geico realized it was fraud. I am not, nor have ever been, held accountable for what this man admitted was Geico’s mistake.

    The only thing you’re right about is that I am currently content with Ameriprise mostly because I haven’t had a claim. If I have a bad experience with them, then yes, my opinion will change. So, we’ll see.

  8. Patrick says:

    My wife and I keep a disposable camera in each of our cars. They come in handy! A few mnths ago I was in an accident (not my fault) and the photos helped a lot.

    When filing my claim with his insurance company (Progressive), I sent in the photos, a Google Maps shot of the accident scene, and a hand drawn diagram of the accident with a written description of what happened. There was also a police report.

    It may sound like I went overboard, but I knew I wans’t at fault and wanted to make sure I didn’t have to pay a dime.

  9. andy says:

    I had Geico for about 7 years and never had trouble with them. Had an accident and they took care of everything quite well.

    However, I left them when I bought my house. I saved about $400/year by going with the same company which holds our homeowner’s insurance, and Geico’s non-auto insurance affiliate was about 70% higher than what we’re paying on our homeowner’s.

  10. Tim says:

    i’m not saying that fraud isn’t fraud; however, because you admitted that you hit him and because you didn’t have any other proof or witnesses, then it was your word against his with you admitting to hitting him balancing toward his favor. the only thing missing, was the fact that you didn’t have before pictures or condition of his vehicle prior to him going to his own repair shop. i’ve seen weirder things happen (and yes, a smaller car can cause damage to a larger car). does this mean that if it went to small claims court you couldn’t persuade a rational judge? no, it just means that given your due diligence, it was his word against yours with your admitting to hitting him (i.e. the accident was your fault). So I can see why Geico or any other insurance company would pay and count the accident against you.

    i’m glad things worked out for you bostonmichelle, but you did make some mistakes.

    the lesson learned is that, regardless of how honest we want and think people to be, you cannot trust them. in order to protect yourself, there are some basic guidelines of action to take when you are involved in an accident.

    also, you should also get your free annual CLUE report to see if in fact your record was cleaned up (i.e. listed as a no fault). The FACT ACT entitles you to both free credit report and CLUE report annually. Go to for your CLUE report.

  11. Posco says:

    Unfortunately, getting into a collision is one of the best ways to see how your insurance company deals with its clients and its claimants. I once was involved in a multiple-car collision at which I was found partially at fault. The car I was hit by was insured by AAA (Southern California). Their customer service was superb, especially in light of the fact that I was not insured by them, and my car was totaled (though the driver that hit me was not completely at fault). They scheduled a claims adjuster in less than a week, and then recommended a wrecking/towing company to buy the totaled car. AAA promptly paid me the Kelley Blue Book used market price, and IIRC even offered to reimburse a few days of car rental costs.

    When I bought a new car a few years later, I switched to AAA!

    I’m not sure how multiple insurance companies work out the claims when multiple cars collide and multiple drivers are deemed at fault.

  12. Jay says:

    Can you prove it was fraud, most likely not

    I submitted professional photos (at a claim shop) documenting the total lack of damage to my car.

    Just because there is no damage to your car does not mean there is no damage to the other car.

    I submitted my own photos of my car backed up against a truck of the exact same model of the claimant’s to show there was no way my little car could have damaged his huge truck’s back bumper

    I am sure that you did this on a flat surface or one that is to your advantage. How is the company to know that the cars were on a slope making the damage very plausible and/or that you had your car repaired prior to the photographs

    The claim they paid was about $450
    In most states your rates will not go up unless you cause more than $1,000.00 in damages.

    The easiest way to avoid all of this would be to drive more carefully and not blame the GEICO for the way they prudently cleaned up your mess

    • bostonmichelle says:

      Shut up Jay. You’re an idiot. Learn to read and not be such an asshole.

      • CK says:

        I’m not very sympathetic to the situation. I think this a long way from a proven fraud. Cars and trucks are easily damaged in a collision and the damage is not always obvious. If your car did hit their tow package maybe it damaged something where the tow package connected to the truck.

      • Jay says:

        Shit up, learn to read and an a-hole comment. This is what you have to offer in response. I am sure GEICO is glad to not have you as an insured anymore. As others have pointed out your arguments are without merit and the clock is just ticking on your next incident that somehow will be some else’s fault other than your own

    • bostonmichelle says:

      I shared my story with Jim for discussion sake, as he asked me personally to do. I did not invite you to attack me or share your ill-informed judgments. Of course, you obviously enjoy being a judgmental asshole, so continue spending your whole day here on the blogs attacking people if that’s what gets you off. Loser.

  13. marcedwards says:

    I was a “Field” Insurance Adjuster from 1978 to 1996. I worked for some of the largest companies in the world and my forte was Heavy Auto and Heavy General Liability. My territory covered two NW states and I had a company car and expense account.

    By being “Field” that meant I went where the people were and damage was and where the accident occured. I did my fair share of general fender benders.

    To save money – most companies have gone to the call center style of adjusting, relying mostly on computer programs to enter data. These programs can be difficult to extract information from than the old paper file.

    I had an open pending of 100 – 250 files at any time and I recalled the details of each file fairly clearly. Today’s adjuster is handing pendings of much more.

    One of my last assignments in 1996 was working on about 100 Allstate claims. I was presented with a stack of computer paper. One accident that was 4 months old, had 30 pages. Yet nothing had been done on the claim – most of the printouts were missives by underlings at call centers at different locations. No one had ever taken ownership of the file – no police reports, no vehicle inspections – nothing. Just CYA note from the call centers.

    Talking with friends still in the business – it is still like this. It is the call center model.

    Same one used in many industries.

    my .02

  14. Truesincerity says:

    Girl, that was a chargeable accident, for the fact that you clearly hit another vehicle. That is why it is at fault, whether Geico paid out or not. you still hit another vehicle, making it your fault. possible rate increase. The rep should have never changed it to not at fault. You must maintain proper control of your vehicle. due diligence.

  15. Tim says:

    bostonmichelle, i don’t know if your statements were a shotgun blast to everyone who questioned the validity of your contentions; however, I don’t see anyone personally attacking you. I just see you personally attacking anyone who has brought up a valid point.

    the fact remains, you hit a car which you admitted to doing. This makes the accident an at-fault accident on your part. You criticized GEICO for doing something wrong by increasing your rates when you were at fault. How silly that someone’s rates should increase after an at-fault accident. You further criticized GEICO for doing something wrong even after the company cleaned your record, which it shouldn’t have done since it was your fault. I just don’t get it. You did what you felt was just in the end by moving companies.

    The end result, lesson for the future, and import for discussion is what actions you or anyone else should take if ever in an accident. Every insurance company (at least the ones I know) provides the insured with a little checklist. It’s a useful but often discarded item.

  16. Joe McNaday says:

    How is it that you were able to get GEICO insurance in Massacusetts? GEICO is not offered in Massachusetts

  17. John Wilks says:

    Digital cameras including cell phone cameras can be kept in hot cars. Film cameras should be kept cool because the film inside can “go bad”. Most professional camera stores even refrigerate their film.


  18. I can see this being a frustrating. You shouldnt have to pay for someone else’s fraud. The only advice I can give you as an insurance agent is to contact your states department of insurance and inform them of the situation. You can even file a fraud report online.

  19. What can you expect from such a big company. The large companies tend to charge more… but have settle your claims fast and ask questions later attitude.

    Smaller insurance agents tend to pay a little slower.

    But then again this case is a bit unique. Never heard of this before in my life!

    Can’t expect much from a lizard. =)

  20. Keely says:

    It amazes my how ignorant people can be.

    Do you have any idea the amount of fraud an examiner encounters daily?
    Every case handled has some type of fraudulent activity. This woman admits to striking a vehicle. This woman states she did hit this persons bumper.
    Go and get an estimate for a scrached bumper. It will be over 400.00 to repair. Sad but true. Labor and paint are time consuming and costly.
    Also remember while the claimants vehicle is in the repair facility he is entitled to loss of use (A rental car) which is usually 40+ dollars a day. GEICO is also responsible for taxes associated with the rental.

    Secondly, a property damage claim under 1000.00 is not surchargable – even if you are 100% neglegent for the loss. This “Insured” was too busy yelling and screaming to remember the claim examiner telling her IT IS NOT A SURCHARGABLE ACCIDENT. Her rates will not and can not go up in association with this loss.

    Lastly, if GEICO was to deny this 500.00 claim THE CLAIMANT WILL SUE YOU!!!. No, not the insurance company…. you personally! He would have every right to take you to small claims court.

    Do you have any idea how much is costs to defend the small claims suit? Would you be willing to take a day or two off of work to go down to the court house and testify? Or would you rather have geico pay the 500.00 claim?

    I can not believe how blind people are when it comes to matters of insurance. I am quite thankful this “insured” is no longer insured with GEICO. She is absolutly and completly stupid. (I have to be so negitive, but there it is).

    Every liability claims examiner

  21. Keely says:

    I did not provide this previously…

    all CLAIMS examiners have access to documents and photos. The are scanned right into the claim file. If one examiner has access to her pictures all examiners do. So she is obviously “Embellishing” her story. She also has access to the photos too by going on to GEICO.COM.

    Just an FYI

  22. Brittany says:

    In the bostonmichelle case, if they both said no one was at fault why did he have her insurance info in the first place. She should have been suspicious from that point and should have called the police to see the accident. If you’re gonna be passing out your insurance info, you should also have witness.

  23. Boyer says:

    Olza M. (Tony) Nicely does anyone know how to reach him. He’s the CEO For Geico and I’d really like to have a word with him. The company stinks waiting months to be paid for a claim. Was not even involved in an accident. Parts from a vehicle insured by them flew off during an accident they were in and damaged our parked car. Three messed up checks later and months into it and we still have nothing to repair the car with. Unless they think bogus excuses on the employees part and the Oh! so sorry appology we keep getting over and over again will somehow repair the car. So sick of this and all they have to say is “It’s in the mail” Until the next week when amazingly someone else has messed it up, gone on vacation or just didn’t come into work so it got put by the way side and forgotten. Is this how this company is run? If anyone else knows where I can post this to get my point across I’d appreciate the info. Next is the BBB. Not that that will do any good but I’m going to put it where anyone and everyone can read just how they treat innocent bystanders. I can just imagine how they handle the poor souls who actually pay to have insurance through them and do have the misfortune of having an accident where they are at fault. BUYERS BEWARE!!!

  24. j.c says:

    I rescently had an accident where a lincoln town car was in a turning heading straight and spotted him, coming head on at me. I veered to get out of his way as I was turning left in a car dealer (to get a part for a car). He swiped my car and tore the bumper off, as well as grazed my right rear turn assembly , It shaved off outer lense and left the clear lens intact. I felt the car jolt as I passed him. I turned the car around (defintiely a mistake) as he wasn’t stopping after hitting me and pulled up behind him and I saw him get out of my car. I called the police the cop told me the car wouldn’t file a damage claim. I asked the cop for a accident report and told me to contact my insurance company. He never inspected my car and yet wrote his report about the accident without any on scene investigion as well as statements from either driver. Real good police work!!!!!!!!!!!! At one point he told me to get my bumper which was completly torn off the car laying in the road (in one piece) The cop blamed the accident on my as a turning sinareo rather than a rear miss head on as the lincoln side swipe me. I’ve been driving for 36 years without a major accident, 13 years driving experience driving in Kodiak, Alaska. Just to show you I was never ticketed for the accident. I had geico as they did absolutely nothing except take my statement and my money. You pay lower rates and get lower service.

  25. Steve says:

    1. Always call the police, if they wont come you tried.
    2. There is always damage
    3. The accident were there is no damage, we aren’t worried about it, and left the scene amicably is probably the accident where tommorrow; I have a sore neck, a broekn back, my car is totaled, and you were a (dirty word insert here ).

    Insurance Companies, regardless of said company have a requirement to protect the financial intrests of the policyholder. In Boston Michelle’s situtation, it’s hard to make a descision based only on the information provided, but here is a few points.

    Damage match up; while easily proven is also fairly simple for them to tear apart in court, depending on the claimaint ( the other guys ) statement of facts, things like stoping/ acceleration/ turning, can shift the weight of the vehicle and thus the position of the car.

    Without the police report, witness statement or other third party confirmation of the facts, any dispute raised has to be considered.

    Liability; in a loss were policyholder says, nope didn’t hit ’em. No wit No Pr no way to show the insured is lying, insurance companies will often deny the claimaints loss, as word vs word.

    You say you hit ‘it you bought it.

    Previously existing damages must be disproven, if age is clearly shown it can be denied, but other then that you bought it.

    It sucks that Boston had a bad follow-thru on this one, largely because of decisions made at the scene. Trust no one, always document document document the accident. 3×5 Index cards for name and driver info, and a disposable camera in your glovebox.

    Protect yourself

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