Use hoops fervor to improve your financial plan

By on April 3, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications

Basketball above basket.Considering the upsets in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, there’s a good chance your bracket isn’t going to win you a billion dollars, or any amount close to that. But don’t let those upsets ruin your financial plan.

The kind of analysis that helped you determine which team will win this year’s tournament can also be used to get your financial house in order. According to Chuck Thoele, a Dallas-based financial planner and author of Bulls, Bears and Basketball, simply apply your knowledge of the game to help recognize the winners and losers in your financial portfolio.

In the April edition of GEICO Now online, we take a closer look at Thoele’s advice and offer up some great sports analogies that relate to sound investment strategies. It’s a unique twist to financial planning we think you’ll enjoy.

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GEICO announces plans to open fast food restaurant chain

By on April 1, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications

GeckosFifteen minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance. Everybody knows that.

And soon, 1.5 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on your breakfast burrito. 

Later this year, GEICO will open “Gecko’s,” a new chain of fast-food restaurants across the U.S. with the same values as our insurance products: big savings and fast, reliable 24/7 service.

“We know our insurance customers like saving time and money,” said Aryew C. Ryuss, the new vice president of the Gecko’s restaurant division, “and everyone has to eat, so the next logical step for our brand was to expand into fast food.”

For added convenience, customers will be able to pay with the GEICO App and policyholders will be able to earn food rewards for safe driving. There’s something for the kids too. All kid’s meals will feature toys of our famous icons, like the Gecko and Maxwell.

While the menu is still being developed, we’ve already hinted at one of the items in the recent Cheesesteak Shuffle commercial.

Are you excited about “Gecko’s” restaurants? What do you want to see on the menu? Tell us in the comments!

Please note: Although writing this article made me hungry, it’s not a true story … because it’s April Fool’s Day. You can still get a taste of products we actually do offer at  geico.com. Happy April 1!

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Memory of the Month: Racks of records

By on March 25, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Posted in: IT @ GEICO, Working at GEICO

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

This mid-1970s photo shows how GEICO stored policy records and other company information as it moved into the computer age. These IBM 3420 tape drives held about 120 megabytes of data. But converting from paper files to this type of data storage was a lengthy process; when I started at GEICO in 1984, we still had large areas of the headquarters building devoted to racks of policy papers in folders, in addition to racks of these storage tapes.

And it would be many years after that before these types of tapes went completely out of use – in 2004, to be exact. We still use tape storage, but our preferred tape these days is the 3592 JA, each one of which holds 1.5 terabytes of data. It would take 12,500 of the 3420 tapes seen here to store as much information as one of the 3592s! We still need shelf space for the 3592 tapes, but a whole lot less of it than we used to need.

Here’s another way to look at how far we’ve come: When I showed this photo to my pal Bob, who has worked in IT here for many moons, he said, “My cell phone has more storage than one of these magnetic data storage tapes.”

Data storage is just one example of the amazing technological progress we’ve seen over the last 40 years. Come to think of it, cell phones are another. Can you think of others? Share them in the comments.

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From mail room to regional vice president

By on March 21, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Posted in: Claims, Working at GEICO

By David Smith, guest blogger, corporate communications

George Rogers 2 mdGEICO was a magnet for a young George Rogers. The eager Bethesda, Md., native grew up just two miles from the corporate office, and he began sorting mail and hustling policy files as a part-time associate in 1969, while he was still in high school.

Rogers later moved into a full-time claims examiner job after starting college and was quick to embrace the company’s culture and its great potential. “I grew up wanting to be an oceanographer, but I realized early on that I was with a great company and loved the people I worked with.”

He never turned down an opportunity to learn, grow and share his experience. From regional liability director to assistant vice president for claims in Macon in 1993, he rose to become GEICO’s chief claims officer in 1997. Next came the regional vice presidency in Dallas in 2000, then Lakeland in 2002. He was elected to GEICO’s board of directors in 1997.

“My career advice,” Rogers said, “is to excel at every job opportunity you are given; maintain the attitude, drive and desire that others envy; and always continue to self-develop through both formal and experiential learning opportunities.”

In claims, he developed his analytical, decision-making and customer-service skills. As a systems manager, his planning and project-management talents were sharpened. ”From all my time in management, at every level and up through this day,” he said, “I have been blessed to be around great associates and GEICO leaders from whom I have learned so very much.”

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GEICO receives a ‘key to the city’ of Macon for United Way fundraising

By on March 18, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications, Working at GEICO

United Way Macon 2013By Marvel Burgess, guest blogger, community relations

For 10 years, GEICO’s regional office in Macon, Ga., has been United Way of Central Georgia’s top contributor. The organization uses the money it raises to fund 31 partner agencies that serve more than 100,000 people in the community.

But last year, we outdid ourselves, raising more than $1 million for United Way of Central Georgia – we’re the first company ever to reach that mark!

“This accomplishment speaks volumes about the relationship between GEICO and the Macon community,” said Rhett Rayburn, GEICO’s Southeastern regional vice president. “This is an amazing milestone that we have met and I am so proud of all our associates.”

In February, the Macon, Ga., office hosted a celebration with United Way, where Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert attended and read a proclamation announcing Feb. 19 as GEICO Appreciation Day. He also presented GEICO with a key to the city.

Scott Markel, regional vice president of GEICO’s Midwest operations, expressed his appreciation and said, “We are grateful and honored to accept a key to the City of Macon. I’m personally proud that our associates are able to give back to a community that has been so important to us for so many wonderful years.”

As Macon’s regional community relations coordinator and a former United Way volunteer, I have toured the organizations that United Way serves and have met many of those who find assistance through their programs. Knowing that there are children right around the corner from us sleeping in a shelter makes you want to help, and the numbers of the needy are so great.

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Safety Tips for St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

By on March 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Posted in: Safety and Insurance Issues

St. Patricks Day inforgraphicSt. Patrick’s Day falls on a Monday this year, but the green beer will start flowing this weekend. If you’re planning to turn Irish for a day (or longer), you’ll want to plan for the safety of yourself and others first.

Here are some tips to ensure that you’re not relying on luck to have a safe, fun St. Patrick’s Day whether it’s at home or out on the town.

If you are hosting a party:

  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange alternate transportation.
  • Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Stop serving alcohol some time before the end of the party and begin serving coffee and dessert.

If you’re going out, there are plenty of alternatives to driving. Take public transportation, or designate a driver who’ll stay sober and see to it that everyone in your party gets home safely.

In the Washington, D.C., area, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program sponsors SoberRide; you just call 800-200-TAXI (8294) and you can get a cab ride worth up to $30 for free. Most major metropolitan areas offer similar services. Or maybe you should just stay where you are; Hotel Tonight is a great app for finding a discounted hotel nearby.

You can see more tips at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

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What’s ‘hump day’ really like at GEICO?

By on March 12, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications, Working at GEICO

SDcamelBy now, you have probably seen the GEICO “Hump Day” commercial. This clever 30-second ad has become a pop-culture hit with kids and adults alike, and has received more than 20 million views on the GEICO YouTube channel!

These days, there isn’t a Wednesday that goes by without someone, somewhere hearing (or asking) the question, “Guess what day it is?” Last year, Wednesdays got a bit more interesting at GEICO, too. Our associates began to experience something a little extra-special.

The camel began touring our locations.

CAMELS AT WORK? ONLY AT GEICO!

“The office was in a stir of excitement with the camel visiting on Hump Day! Each associate had the opportunity visit with the camel outside, and also had an amazing opportunity to have a picture taken with the camel and their teammates,” said Anna W., claims manager in San Diego.

CEOcamelAfter visiting the West Coast office, the camel journeyed to the heartland and made a guest appearance at one of our newest locations. The six-month anniversary of the Indianapolis opening was a memorable moment, indeed. From there, it was off to the East Coast, to visit our friends in Fredericksburg, Va.

MAKE EVERY DAY HUMP DAY      

Download the Hump Day ringtones from Myxer.com at http://on.gei.co/19jwTfO.

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My day amongst Geckos

By on March 10, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Posted in: Claims, Sales and Service, Working at GEICO

By Samantha Motowski, guest blogger, University of Arizona student

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day at the GEICO office in Tucson, Ariz., as part of the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management winter externship program. Excited to learn more about the company whose lovable characters always brighten a commercial break, I approached the sizable office armed with questions.

Home of the Gecko: a first impression

Where I expected bland cubicles devoid of color and design, the décor of the GEICO office reflected the company’s values. Lighthearted posters and other decorations suggested friendly team competition, while both creative awards and formal certificates demonstrated the company’s belief in recognizing excellence.

Customer service and sales

Donning a headset like those worn by many employees, I spent a large part of the day on the “front lines” silently listening in on real calls. In the service department, I witnessed the wide variety of questions and concerns that can arise from the other end of the line. Impressively, the customer service representatives met every unique inquiry with efficient and compassionate assistance.  The sales department was lively, and I got the chance to hear an associate close a sale from start to finish.

Climbing the claims ladder

After a brief lunch break, I had the opportunity to learn from employees across multiple levels of the claims department. From fender-benders to conversations with lawyers, I experienced the many challenges faced by claims representatives daily in their varying degrees of severity.

REVO with Rachel

While the level of training and feedback offered by GEICO was self-evident in the associates’ confident and quick performance, Rachel in “REVO” showed me the care that GEICO takes to ensure its employees are successful as she observed her team, prepared feedback and coached leads, in addition to taking complex supervisor calls herself.

The takeaway

After a day packed with friendly faces and informative conversations, I left GEICO with a fresh perspective of what it means to work in insurance, along with a renewed appreciation for the company that offers so much more than an excellent discount on auto insurance.

A note from GEICO Careers:

Thank you, Samantha, for spending a day with us in Tucson and taking the time to write about your experience! GEICO is committed to working with colleges and universities across the country, and offers paid summer internships, Achievement Awards and post-graduate opportunities within our Leadership Programs, Sales, Customer Service, Claims, IT and more.

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Meet Deedre, a GEICO associate who makes things happen

By on March 6, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications, Working at GEICO

Recently, I was on a conference call with Deedre and was impressed with her level of enthusiasm for what she does at GEICO. Then when I learned about her career progression, I was wowed; Deedre has progressed from call center representative to directing hundreds of strategic marketing partnerships.                       

Here is her GEICO story …

DeedreDDeedre D.

Director, Partnership, Affinity and Membership Discounts

Deedre joined the GEICO team in 1999, selling insurance over the phone to prospective policyholders. But when she wanted more, she began asking what she needed to do to move up at GEICO.

That’s when her manager encouraged her to go back to school. She then finished her bachelor’s degree in business at Florida Southern College and her career took off.

Since then, Deedre has worn many hats, including sales counselor, customer service coach, service supervisor then manager, training manager, planning manager and now director. 

What do you currently do at GEICO?

The short answer is that I sell GEICO auto insurance. The long answer is that I have a growing roster of more than 700 organizations with millions of members to whom we offer discounts.

I direct a multi-million dollar marketing strategy that generates auto policy sales from these members, using mail, radio, sports, social media, events, fairs and conventions, magazines and some random things like comedy shows.

How did you get to where you are today?

I took every special project I could get my hands on, which often meant working beyond my set schedule. I never said a job was too small for me. As I climbed up the ladder in management, I would still jump in and work beside my team. I also owned up to my mistakes. Saying, “That’s my fault, I’m sorry and it won’t happen again,” will earn you so much more respect than when you throw out excuses.

What is the “coolest” project that you have worked on?

This is impossible to answer. Every day I am working on cool projects and doing amazing things because of this job. I have traveled to Alaska and met National Geographic explorers, attended a formal dinner at the State Department and watched Hilary Clinton speak (up close), and even “rubbed elbows” with Wolf Blitzer, James Gandolfini and Vanilla Ice!

If you could tell someone ONE THING about GEICO, what would it be?

GEICO rewards hard work and a great attitude. The only barrier to advancement is yourself.

Are you involved in any of our community service events?

I introduced the Wounded Warrior Project to our CEO and we have been a strong supporter for several years now. I have also been a United Way coordinator, assisted the Lakeland Chamber with their annual fundraiser, and participated in the Heart Walk. Volunteering is so rewarding and I encourage everyone to do it – especially when they complain about their lives.

What advice would you give someone who is considering a career at GEICO?

Don’t hesitate – jump on board now and dream BIG! Your career at GEICO could move you into a job that didn’t even exist before. Don’t think that the only opportunities are the ones directly in front of you.

If you are interested in launching a career filled with potential, visit us at www.geico.jobs to learn more and apply. Once you get your foot in the door at GEICO, there’s no telling how far you could go!

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Memory of the Month: Print and mail

By on February 27, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Posted in: Working at GEICO

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

When Leo Goodwin launched GEICO in 1936, his fledgling company was built on a foundation of direct mail. The operation required lots of printing, so to keep costs as low as possible, GEICO had its own printing facilities in-house.

That’s one thing about our company that hasn’t changed, even though our operations are far less paper-intensive than they used to be. We opened a state-of-the-art printing and mailing facility in Fredericksburg, Va., in the 1990s, where nearly 250 associates work with high-speed, ultra-efficient printers. It occupies an entire building, many times the size of the space you see in this photo.

What do you suppose the handful of employees pictured here would think about that?

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