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GEICO Paid Out A Fraudulent Claim

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.