Memory of the Month: Dance like there’s nobody watching

By on August 26, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Posted in: Odds & Ends

Dancing associatesEach month, we share an image from GEICO’s past and invite you to exercise your caption-writing skills.

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, whose company owns GEICO, has said he enjoys his job so much that he tap-dances to work every day. That’s a feeling apparently shared by this group of GEICO employees.

Judging from the bell-bottoms, I’d be willing to bet that this photo was shot in the early 1970s, during a period of great growth and prosperity for the company. But if you put current styles in clothing and hair on these women, you’d have a picture that could have been shot last week. GEICO has been the fastest-growing auto insurer in the nation for most of this century, and we’re “cautiously optimistic,” as they say, about the future.

Heck, I’ve even seen some joyful dancing around here from time to time. But except for the odd Halloween costume, I’ve never seen outfits like some of these ladies are wearing.

What do you think they’d say today?

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Teens: Are you ready to drive to school for the first time by yourself?

By on August 20, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Posted in: Safety and Insurance Issues

Teen Driving Infographic mdBy guest blogger Poojah Ganesh, communications intern

The back-to-school shopping is finally done. You’ve got some new clothes and supplies for school. You’ve also texted your friends on where you plan to meet before class starts.

You’re all set for the first day at school … right?                  

Not entirely. This school year is going to be different. That’s because you’ll be driving to school for the first time all by yourself. No parents this year. It’s all on you. 

Unfortunately, you’re in an age group most prone to accidents and road risks. So take a look at GEICO’s 10 safe-driving tips to help teens be safe on the road, and have a great school year. 

  1. Wake up early so you won’t need to rush to class.  
  2. Eat a healthy breakfast at home. Not only will you keep your car clean, but you can concentrate on driving.
  3. Put makeup on or do your hair before getting behind the wheel. Grooming should always be done before you leave your home, or at school in the restroom before class.  
  4. Be alert and aware of your surroundings. If you’re sleepy, get someone to drive you or take the bus.
  5. Make sure your car’s gas tank is filled.  
  6. Do NOT use your phone when driving. Save the back-to-school selfies and texting for later, and make sure you pay attention to the road.
  7. Always wear your seatbelt. There are no alternatives to this rule. No matter the distance, you always need to wear one.
  8. Do not get distracted when driving with others. Keep your focus on the road.
  9. Stick to the speed limit and follow road signs at all times. Don’t speed to class and always follow road signals and signs.
  10. Take extra care in school zones. Watch out for little kids and pedestrians.

Remember, your safety is important when driving to school. Enjoy your first day!

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GEICO has IT all – and then some – for summer interns

By on August 15, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Posted in: IT @ GEICO, Working at GEICO

Every year, GEICO offers internships to college students interested in gaining some real-world experience in the fields they’re studying during the school year. And each year, the summer Interns from Virginia Beach and Fredericksburg travel to the corporate headquarters and meet with members of GEICO’s senior staff. 

I spoke with Jake and Ross, two of our summer interns, about their experiences at GEICO and at the Intern Summit.

InternRossWhat did you like most about the Intern Summit?

Ross: I was particularly excited to visit the corporate headquarters. The Fredericksburg interns received a warm and friendly welcome at the headquarters, and we got to interact with interns from other regional offices. The real excitement was our exposure to senior management, from various departments. It is unbelievable that I have only been part of the GEICO family for six weeks and I am seated at the same table as our COO and CIO. 

Who was your favorite speaker at the Summit?                           

Ross: CIO Greg Kalinsky. I liked the approach Mr. Kalinsky chose to take for his speech, taking the role of an advice-giver. I was prepared for a technology/innovation oriented speech, but was delighted to hear Greg talking more about the unique point we are in our lives as college students who are ready to venture out and find a career.

InternJakeWhy did you choose the GEICO internship?

Jake: I chose GEICO because I saw it as a great chance to experience the real world.  I knew GEICO as being the car insurance company with the funny commercials, but I had no idea how important they saw IT. In doing my research beforehand, I found that GEICO is one of the largest IT employer in the D.C. area, and so after that I had pretty much made my decision. And now, looking back, I am 100 percent confident that I made the right decision!

Ross: I ultimately chose GEICO based on the opportunities they offer. While I was searching for an internship the most important thing to me was a company that would provide a gateway to employment opportunities. GEICO’s internship offers a great learning experience and has opened up several career paths for me to choose from.

Would you recommend GEICO’s internship to other students?

Ross: Yes. Without a doubt I will be very vocal in endorsing GEICO’s internship program when I return to campus in the fall. I will be sharing with my classmates my positive experience with hopes they too apply for this opportunity. GEICO is the fastest-growing insurance company and I hope to contribute to the growth by spreading the word and attracting highly qualified individuals to the company.

Jake: Absolutely! I gained some very important experience in IT and I got confirmation that I was heading into the right field.

If you were on campus and someone asked about your experience at GEICO, what would you say to them?

Jake: GEICO has been great to me!

Ross: Do it! I really want to reflect my positive experience here at GEICO with my friends.  I would want them to look into the program and truly consider what GEICO can offer them. The career growth opportunities plus the company culture here at GEICO are unmatched and I would be thrilled to see more fellow alumni joining the GEICO family.

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Stay cool and guard against auto theft and fraud this summer

By on August 11, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Posted in: Safety and Insurance Issues

By guest blogger Alex Danoff

steering wheel lockThere’s nothing I like better during the heat of summer than a trip to the beach or the lake to cool off. But it’s tough to take that weekend trip if car thieves have struck and left your driveway empty. Before you pack that bathing suit in your suitcase, GEICO and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recommend you do the following to protect your vehicle against theft:

  • Take basic, common-sense steps. Remove your keys from the ignition, lock your car doors, keep the windows raised and park in a well-lit area.
  • Consider installing an anti-theft device. A warning device, such as an alarm or steering wheel lock, can help dissuade a thief from targeting your vehicle. An immobilizing device, like a kill switch or a fuel pump disabler, will literally stop thieves in their tracks. A tracking device will help police find your vehicle once it has been taken.

In addition to protecting yourself from car theft, it’s important to also watch out for fraudsters on the road who stage accidents. These often organized criminal groups prey on innocent victims to defraud insurance companies. NICB recently re-created some of the brazen methods these criminals use in a series of demonstration videos:

For more information and resources on theft and fraud prevention, and to report if you’ve been a victim of a staged accident, go to www.nicb.org.

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From the track to the troops

By on August 5, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends

GEICO Motorcycle

By guest blogger Alex Danoff

Motorcycling has long been a hobby and passion for many members of our armed forces. There’s something about riding out on the open road (or off the road for that matter) with the wind in their face that calls out to servicemen and servicewomen when they’re away from the call of duty.

The thrill of riding is something GEICO Honda team road racers Jake Zemke and Chris Ulrich know all about as they take to the track to compete on the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Pro Racing circuit. They are also extremely well versed in the kinds of precautions and maneuvers that are critical to keeping them safe while riding.

To help spread the message of safety and spend some quality time with military members, Zemke and Ulrich recently took time away from their racing schedule to pay a special two-day visit to members of the California National Guard at Camp Roberts outside San Luis Obispo, California. The riders relished the chance to spend time with fellow riding enthusiasts who also proudly serve their country.

“Our military does so much for us that it’s always a pleasure to be able to give back to them,” Zemke said. “Being able to talk to them about something we have in common made for a very enjoyable couple of days. I’m so thankful to be able to share my passion for motorcycles with such a great group of servicemen and servicewomen.”

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Motorcycle fans revving up for some fun at Sturgis

By on August 1, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications

By guest blogger Poojah Ganesh

GeckoSturgis1A city with fewer than 7,000 residents, Sturgis, South Dakota, sits amid serene mountains and rolling hills. For the most part, the winding roads that pass through this part of the state are quiet, with little traffic. But all of that changes during the first week of August each year, when more than 500,000 motorcyclists and RV owners descend upon the quiet town from all over the U.S., transforming the area into the ultimate biker’s paradise.

This year marks the 74th Annual Sturgis Bike Rally, one of the largest events of its kind, attracting throngs of motorcycle and RV enthusiasts and their families and friends.

The origins of the Sturgis Bike Rally can be traced back to August 1938 and Clarence “Pappy” Hoel, who envisioned a place where bikers from all over the U.S. could come and enjoy motorcycle camaraderie. A decade after the first such gathering (which drew a total of nine participants), Sturgis featured a 2-hour ceremony, blocking off the town’s Main Street. Over the next several decades, the event expanded into a seven-day rally featuring thousands of bikers from all walks of life.

At its height in 2000, more than 600,000 people participated in the rally, the most ever at a U.S. motorcycle event. Most recently, Sturgis has attracted bikers from places as far away as Germany, Japan and even Australia.

One of Sturgis’ most famous landmarks is Buffalo Chip. In 1981, Rod Woodruff established Buffalo Chip, which is now one of the biggest motorcycle hangouts in the nation. Buffalo Chip started out as a biker “party” where bikers could come, listen to great music and have fun. Today, Buffalo Chip activities include beauty pageants, games, activities, tattoo artists, food, performances from some of the greatest music legends. The Zac Brown Band, Train, Collective Soul and Alice Cooper will be performing at Buffalo Chip on the Wolfman Jack Stage.

Your favorite insurance company and mine will have a huge footprint at Buffalo Chip, serving as an exclusive partner. Visitors to the Buffalo Chip area will have a chance to meet the GEICO Gecko and enter Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley-Davidson® & GEICO® Motorcycle Give-away Sweepstakes. GEICO is bringing along its impressive array of big-boy toys featuring the Miss GEICO boat, the Lucas Oil NHRA dragster, Paul Jr. Military Tribute Bike, and NASCAR driver Casey Mears’ #13 GEICO racecar. And on Aug. 5, there will be a special Military Appreciation Day, honoring the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces.

So get your motor runnin’, and head out on the highway … to Sturgis!

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Want to save money on gas this summer? Here’s how.

By on July 29, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Posted in: On the Web

Gas pumpLooking to save money on your next trip to the gas station? With a little help from our friends at GasBuddy.com, you can now search for the cheapest gas prices in your area on geico.com.

Just enter your address and use the interactive map to see the gas stations near you and the current gas prices.

Try it now!

In addition to picking the cheapest gas station, here are some additional ways you can save money by increasing your fuel efficiency on a hot summer day.

  • Opening the windows as soon as you get in the car will help cool it down faster. Then, the air conditioner won’t have to work as hard. Parking in the shade helps, too.
  • At low speeds, it’s more fuel-efficient to open your windows. At high speeds, use the A/C because the wind resistance will create more drag.
  • The heat can be unkind to your engine and fuel economy. Make sure your car is properly maintained with a clean air filter, new spark plugs and proper fluid levels.
  • Keep your tires inflated at the PSI recommended for your vehicle.
  • If you’re going on a road trip, don’t use a rooftop cargo box unless absolutely necessary. The wind resistance will drop your MPG’s.
  • Avoid aggressive driving. Frequent and sudden acceleration and braking can lower your mileage by 33 percent, according to fueleconomy.gov.

Have a great summer and stay safe!

Gas prices are provided by GasBuddy.com.

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Memory of the Month: GEICO, a groundbreaking company

By on July 24, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Posted in: Working at GEICO

GroundbreakingPlaza

Each month, we share an image from GEICO’s past and invite you to exercise your caption-writing skills.

On this very day, 57 years ago, GEICO’s founder, Leo Goodwin, sank a shovel into the earth to begin (symbolically, at least) construction of the building that would become GEICO’s new headquarters. With his business steadily growing since Day One in 1937, Goodwin and his management team had determined that the various Washington, D.C., buildings that had housed GEICO’s operations for 20 years would no longer suffice.

No, the company needed some elbow room in which to handle the business of its half a million policyholders, and found it just outside the D.C. line, on a 27.45-acre tract of prime Montgomery County, Md., real estate. There, not long after this photo was shot, construction began on a state-of-the-art 600,000-s.f. office building that would open two years later, in 1959.

Goodwin would not be involved in many more major decisions about the company. Within a year of this groundbreaking ceremony, Goodwin announced his retirement at age 72. Having made the decision to move his company out of Washington, he and his wife, Lillian, then decided to move themselves away from the Nation’s Capital as well.

But they didn’t stop at one of the adjacent states. They lived out their retirement years in the warmth and sunshine of Florida. And much later, having grown to more than six times the size it was in 1957, GEICO followed its founder to the Sunshine State in 1996, by opening an office in Lakeland.

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Grow with GEICO

By on July 16, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Posted in: Working at GEICO

GEICO HiringOne of the advantages of working at a large and growing company like GEICO is the many possibilities for growth and success. We’re not the only company that offers such opportunities, but there aren’t many that can compare to us.

GEICO has been the fastest-growing company in our industry for most of this century, and that growth brings opportunities for career advancement. Even for its entry-level associates, GEICO provides the right tools to succeed. Many don’t know that our CEO, Tony Nicely, started at GEICO as an entry-level clerk, and worked his way up to the top job in the company. And his story isn’t unique; you see similar career progressions in more than three-quarters of our management team.

This is a company where hard work, dedication and self-development can get you where you want to be. We encourage our associates to further their educations with tuition reimbursement, and as one’s skills improve, one finds many different jobs to move into, with the support of colleagues.

Here at GEICO, we celebrate each other’s success. This builds a strong community within GEICO and really promotes teamwork. There is always someone willing to help and answer questions. With this type of support and advancement opportunity, there’s no better place to build a great career.

If this sounds like the kind of place you’d like to work, check out the variety of positions for which we’re hiring, all over the country, and apply! If you’ve got what it takes, we’re looking for you!

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Love the Gecko? The feeling’s mutual …

By on July 11, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications

GeckoGiftDelighting customers with the lowest prices and excellent customer service is something we’ve been doing for a long time at GEICO. On the social team, we’ve come up with our own way to delight folks.

The social marketing team has been scouring the Web for our biggest fans. Though we try to reach out, with at least a “like” or “favorite,” to everyone, we initiated a campaign last month that we like to call “Love Bombs.” When we come across someone who’s said something particularly nice about GEICO, has shared a picture or video that made us laugh, or in general showed GEICO some love on social media, we’re returning that love more than ever.

These “Love Bombs” are packages sent directly to the person who made us smile that include a small surprise and a hand-written letter from The Gecko. We’ve already delivered several with more to come in the coming months. We’ve even been lucky enough to hear back from recipients on social media about how excited they were! This kind of active, positive engagement while making people happy is just what our team, and GEICO, is all about.

 We care passionately about engaging with our communities on social media and we’re always on the lookout for chances to get involved. Be sure to follow GEICO on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and add us to your circle on Google+! If you love The Gecko, you can also follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook.

We hope to hear from you soon!

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