Car insurance company trivia: Geico

Geico © Photo by Silver2Silicon
  • Founded: 1936
  • Market position:
    No. 3, with 9.59 percent of U.S. auto policies
  • Slogan:
    There are various slogans, including "15 minutes could save you 15 percent on car insurance" and "So easy, even a caveman can do it."
  • Stuck in middle management with military insurer USAA because he lacked a service background, 50-ish Leo Goodwin borrowed a page from USAA's playbook and geared his own company, the Government Employees Insurance Company, or Geico, toward a similar targeted market: federal employees. Geico probably thought government workers were more responsible and therefore had fewer accidents, says Kenneth Abraham, a University of Virginia insurance law professor. "While that was probably fictitious, that may have been their world view."
  • Billionaire Warren Buffett bought his first Geico stock in 1951, then an additional 1 million shares in 1976 and all outstanding shares in the mid-1990s, to make Geico a subsidiary of his Berkshire Hathaway company.
  • Oscar-nominated actress Talia Shire, best known as Adrian in the "Rocky" films, donned glasses to make a cameo as a psychotherapist in a popular 2006 Geico caveman commercial.
  • Geico's gecko commercial character was invented in 1999 by an art director who, when asked to help consumers pronounce the company name, drew a gecko on a napkin and said, "What if we told people, 'Don't call the gecko, call Geico'?"


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