Custom Indian bike joins the GEICO fleet

By on September 2, 2015 at 11:46 AM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications

CustomIndianBikeThere’s always something special going on at the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. For one thing, GEICO has a formidable presence there as sponsor of the rally and the nearby Buffalo Chip campground and concert venue. And this year’s rally in early August featured the unveiling of the GEICO Indian Chieftain motorcycle you see here, built by Roland Sands Designs (RSD), during Indian Motorcycle Night at the Buffalo Chip site.

This one-of-a-kind, old-style motorcycle features a pumped-up Indian engine, showcasing a few new Indian speed parts. The stock Chieftain gas tank has been modified to create a low and slimmer look that nearly blankets the motor. A custom RSD chrome chassis supports the 111-cubic-inch engine. The seat is custom-pressed by legendary skateboard maker Paul Schmitt and features a Fox Float air shock, and the RSD prototype engine covers round out the unique look.

As a biker myself, I’ll just say this: I’d love to take this baby for a ride!

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Memory of the Month: a piece of the pie

By on August 25, 2015 at 2:48 PM

Posted in: Working at GEICO

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

We’re a competitive bunch here at GEICO. We compete with our colleagues to earn the highest performance ratings possible. We compete against other work groups at GEICO to provide the best possible service to our customers. As I write this, I’m looking forward to competing with my teammates against other GEICO associates in the company softball league this evening.

As a company, of course, we compete against all the other insurers. When it was announced a year or two back that we’d overtaken Allstate to become the nation’s second-largest private passenger auto insurer, I don’t mind telling you that I felt a surge of pride. We weren’t even in the top five when I began my GEICO career in 1984, and Allstate’s piece of the insurance pie was several times larger than ours. I figured that, in the unlikely event we ever caught up, I’d be long-retired by then.

Competition keeps us sharp; it drives us to find new and better ways of doing what we do so we can get to the top and stay there. But competition can get messy, as this photo shows. Now, I like pie as much as the next person, but I prefer to eat mine with a fork – preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the same plate.

No doubt there was a significant prize to be won, or a worthy cause being supported through this pie-eating contest. What do you suppose the participants were thinking as they smashed their faces into the crust?

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GEICO has it all, including Big Data

By on August 19, 2015 at 2:12 PM

Posted in: IT @ GEICO, Working at GEICO

BigDataI had the opportunity to speak with Chris White, one of GEICO’s lead data scientists. Chris started with GEICO in an actuarial position after he earned his master’s degree in astronomy and undergraduate in physics. After 13 years in the actuarial field, he switched to the information technology field, where he has worked for two years now.

Why did you choose to move from the actuarial department to IT?

“Being an actuary was very rewarding,” Chris stated, “but I wanted to get exposure to addressing a wider variety of problems within the company. When the data science team was formed within IT, one of its mandates was to use data analysis to tackle analytical problems all across the company – whether they are in sales, service, claims or other areas – and that’s why I was interested in joining the team.

“I liked the fact that I would be using my analytical experience to solve real-world problems,” Chris continued. “From the very start of my GEICO career, I’ve been involved with projects that have added value to the company – that’s a major reason not only for why I joined the company, but also for why I’ve stayed as long as I have!”

What big projects have you worked on during your 15 years with GEICO?

“My biggest project to date has been the development of a system which will be incorporated in our online sales process later this year,” Chris stated. “It will allow us to quickly analyze a customer’s information and push the best possible coverage options forward to the customer when they receive their rate quote.

“We’ve also developed models that identify the best time to offer existing customers some of our non-auto insurance products that include umbrella liability, homeowners and renters coverage,” Chris added. “By proactively offering additional coverage at the right time based on anticipated customer needs, we expect to increase both sales and long-term customer satisfaction.”

Would you recommend GEICO to other Big Data fanatics out there?

“If you’re interested in GEICO, go for it 100 percent, because you won’t regret it,” Chris stated. “GEICO has an excellent track record for developing new associates and helping them build a career in the insurance industry, and my personal experience is just one example. From the very beginning of my career, I’ve had supervisors and managers who were as focused on my long-term career development as on my day-to-day tasks – I’ve always believed that I was hired by GEICO to have a career, not just to fill a specific job function. If you have the skills and desire to succeed in a GEICO career, GEICO can cultivate that and help you reach the fullest extent of your potential!”

If Chris inspired you to look into a position within the Big Data or IT field at GEICO, check out our career site. You can also follow us on Twitter, view our IT video on YouTube or read more about our growing IT department on The Muse.

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GEICO interns fill some big shoes in San Diego

By on July 16, 2015 at 3:24 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends, Working at GEICO

RedShoeFor many, the first step on the path to a successful career is a summer internship. And while some internships amount to little more than fetching coffee and making copies, that’s not the case with GEICO’s summer internship program. GEICO’s summer interns gain hands-on experience in business and insurance, and they also get the opportunity to get out into their communities to support local charitable causes.

GEICO’s interns in the company’s San Diego regional office recently did just that when they hit the streets for Red Shoe Day, a fundraiser supporting their local Ronald McDonald House. The interns were joined by the GEICO Gecko as they encouraged members of the community to donate their spare change into the size-14 red shoes of the charity’s famous namesake. After three hours of cheering and sign twirling, the group had raised close to $600 in donations.

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So you think you can text and drive? Guess again.

By on July 8, 2015 at 8:26 AM

Posted in: Safety and Insurance Issues

Driving Simulator“They’ll see you before you see them.” “Keep your head out of your apps.” Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” “It can wait.”

Every day, we’re bombarded by anti-drunk driving and anti-distracted driving messages like the ones above — to the point where we may feel overloaded. But I recently got to see why the consequences of driving drunk or distracted can be so dire, thanks to UNITE’s Arrive Alive Tour.

The tour made a stop recently at our headquarters outside Washington, D.C., with their driving simulator, which was loaded with techno-wizardry. There was an actual vehicle (a Jeep Patriot) hooked up to a computer, which fed inputs from the car to a virtual reality headset.

I climbed into the Jeep, got myself situated, and started my first test, which was to drive with a simulated blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.12 percent, which is 50 percent more than the legal limit. And … things didn’t go so well.

I don’t think I made it more than a few hundred feet, and after swerving out of my lane too many times to count … WHAM … a direct hit into a parked car. Game. Set. Match. I would have been booked on the spot in real life. Driving impaired like this felt like the car was part of a Tilt-A-Whirl carnival ride, and you have to somehow keep the car straight — virtually impossible.

For the next test, I pulled out my phone. I started driving again – this time without the .12 percent BAC – and this time I was instructed to compose a text: “I’m on my way home from work. Do you need anything from the store?”

This challenge went a little better. I did get the message composed correctly, but I slowed to 10 mph below the speed limit and wandered from my lane. Even though I didn’t cause an accident, I would have still been a major hazard to other cars because I was texting and driving.

The final takeaway here is simple. It’s time to stop imagining you can multi-task behind the wheel, and start realizing that it’s actually task-switching. And when you switch off of driving, bad things can happen in less than an instant.

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Play it safe and keep July Fourth fun

By on July 2, 2015 at 1:50 PM

Posted in: Safety and Insurance Issues

July 4 graphic Independence Day: For many it’s the pinnacle of the summer season. Perhaps you tie it into a vacation, use the day to host a barbecue, or take a trip to a city festival. And, the holiday certainly wouldn’t be complete without catching a fireworks display.

If you plan on hosting a picnic or attending one, perhaps you’ll enjoy an adult beverage or two. Remember to make responsible decisions if you consume alcoholic beverages:

  • Find a form of public transportation, a cab or a ride-hailing service to get you to and from your party, or assign a designated driver. If a friend serves in that role this time, consider returning the favor on Labor Day.
  • Enjoy some food with that drink. Have a burger and a dog, and why not double down on all the other fixings?
  • If you’re hosting a party, offer non-alcoholic beverage options like soda and water.

For those who will pick up the tongs and don their favorite apron to master the grill, we have a couple tips. A burnt burger isn’t the end of the world, but singed eyebrows … not so good.

  • First and foremost, never leave your grill unattended and keep it far away from your house, deck or other structures that could catch fire.
  • If you use a charcoal grill, wait until the coals cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container.
  • Clean off excess fat left over from food and remember to replace your grease tray. This will prevent a grease fire from starting on your grill, which is often tough to extinguish.

Have a happy Fourth of July and enjoy the red, white and blue. And if you want to celebrate your independence from high insurance prices, visit geico.com to see if you could save some green.

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Emerging Leaders Program grooms promising associates for management roles

By on July 1, 2015 at 7:50 AM

Posted in: IT @ GEICO, Working at GEICO

GEICO’s highly selective Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) offers two distinct career tracks to qualified graduates of top schools: Operations Management and Information Technology. I had the pleasure of speaking recently with two associates who’ve completed the program: Carolyn, who went the Information Technology route; and Anna, who proceeded through the Operations Management track. Both have made an impact within GEICO and are very well known for their work ethic and drive to succeed.

Carolyn photoCarolyn is in her fifth year with GEICO. During her time in the ELP, Carolyn worked on many projects that customers use today, including the iPad app, mobile app and mobile website. She also:

  • Worked with the GEICO.com Team and made changes to the website using CMS,
  • Came up with requirements to implement new product initiatives with landing pages and internal pages, and
  • Conducted research and analysis for building an enterprise customer-facing text messaging system.

After she completed the ELP, Carolyn was a lead systems analyst on the GEICO Mobile Team. After working on that team for half a year, she took a lead position on the newly formed Digital Experience Team, which is where she is today.

“What I love the most about GEICO,” Carolyn said, “is all of the career growth and development opportunities available. GEICO’s organization is very flat and the culture is like one big family. The ELP gave me the opportunity to network and build relationships with different members of management who helped mentor me while I was in the program and thereafter. GEICO’s internal job posting provides the opportunity and flexibility to work within the same company but in different positions.”

Anna PhotoAnna has been with GEICO for 8 years. As an ELP participant, she:

  • Developed guidelines to make processes better,
  • Planned Warren Buffett’s visit to the Fredericksburg office,
  • Created a Maryland claims training manual,
  • Analyzed and reported the Associate Opinion Survey for Fredericksburg, and
  • Created and supervised the 2007 Fredericksburg Summer Intern Program, which received a 2008 Corporate Quality Award Nomination.

After completing the ELP, Anna held claims management positions in GEICO’s regional offices in Virginia Beach and San Diego before taking on her current role as liability director in our Lakeland, Florida, regional office. She oversees 800 associates and a variety of claims, liability and theft departments. She recommends the ELP and her company.

“GEICO is growing and we have a lot of potential for millennials and the young work force,” Anna said. “The ELP development is very special: you get assigned a mentor and you will understand all aspects of the position. The structure and mentoring is top-notch.”

If you want to learn, be mentored and grow within a great company that offers many career paths, check out GEICO’s career site for more information.

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Memory of the Month: Let me take you to the beach

By on June 26, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Posted in: Working at GEICO

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

As I’m writing this, we’re expecting the temperature to approach or possibly exceed 100 degrees today in the D.C. area. What better time to take a trip to the beach (at least, in our minds)?

This photo depicts a scene that used to be a regular occurrence in GEICO’s early days – the annual beach picnic for employees and their families. Every summer, the entire company would be invited to spend a day at Chesapeake Beach on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. This sort of outing was easier to pull off back then — the company’s employee population numbered fewer than 100 until the early 1940s, and they all worked at GEICO’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.

These days, the all-company outing is a distant memory – can’t exactly gather 33,000 people from all around the country – but the tradition lives on in a smaller-group format. My department, for example, has annual outings that have taken us on a variety of adventures: to tour the Mt. Vernon home of George Washington, to eat crabs on a skipjack, to visit Nationals Park twice (once for a tour, once for a game), to dine in a variety of fine restaurants and the occasional bowling alley.

We haven’t been to the beach yet, but maybe this is the year!

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GEICO’s a top place to work in Indiana

By on June 23, 2015 at 3:40 PM

Posted in: Working at GEICO

3IndyGroupPicYou’ve seen our commercials and you know what a great value GEICO insurance is, right? But did you know that GEICO is also a great place to build a career? In fact, GEICO has been recognized as a top workplace in several states, most recently in Indiana by the Indianapolis Star. Its Top Workplaces list is based on responses from surveys about satisfaction and engagement in the workplace completed by employees.

The 22-question employee survey covered topics such as company values, leadership, management, benefits, pay, growth opportunities, training, appreciation, retention and work/life balance. GEICO offers competitive starting salaries, a comprehensive benefits package, continuing education, career growth opportunities, community engagement opportunities and a friendly, supportive workplace.

GEICO’s office in Indianapolis, which opened in March 2013, already employs more than 800 employees and continues to grow rapidly. We plan to hire more than 400 employees in Indianapolis this year for positions in sales, service and emergency road service.

“As we celebrate our second anniversary in Indiana, it is a special honor to be named one of the top places to work in Indiana by our associates,” said Eric Stafford, assistant vice president of GEICO’s Indianapolis office. “We’re proud to provide a supportive and satisfying workplace for our associates who demonstrate their hard work and dedication to our growing company each and every day.”

Interested in building a career at GEICO? Go to geico.jobs and check out the opportunities we offer near you!

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GEICO’s a matching outfit

By on June 19, 2015 at 1:54 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends, Working at GEICO

LAYCwCapOne of the things about GEICO I find most endearing is the company’s support of causes that are important to its employees. GEICO not only offers us the opportunity to give back to the community by joining its volunteer corps – GEICO Corporate Community Citizens (GCCC) – but also by matching our individual donations of at least $15 to our favorite local charitable organizations and causes dear to us.

Charitable matching is one of GEICO’s most significant benefits, as my colleague Jose Moris will tell you. A graduate of Hofstra University (New York), Jose works as a video producer/director at GEICO’s Washington, D.C., corporate headquarters. I recently spoke to him about his work with the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) in D.C. Jose began volunteering shortly after moving to the D.C. area; he contributes his time, talents and cash to the LAYC.

“Growing up, my parents encouraged me to go to college but they didn’t know much about applying to college, “Jose recalled. “LAYC’s College Access Program helps kids in similar situations, and with more troubled backgrounds, with the college application process, pays their application fees and offers them an opportunity to take college classes and live on campus during the summer.”

Jose also presented LAYC with a contribution from GEICO’s Philanthropic Foundation in the amount of $10,000 to support LAYC’s programs that provide resources for homeless children and teens. The donation was awarded based on the LAYC’s positive impact on community, their good financial health and accountability, and Jose’s significant involvement in fundraising and volunteer recruitment of associates for LAYC activities as well as other GCCC auxiliary group activities at GEICO headquarters.

“GEICO’s contributions help support our work with homeless children and youth,” said LAYC President & CEO Lori Kaplan. “We use the funds to get them into safe and stable housing. We start there because if you don’t have a home, you can’t move on to the other pieces of your life. GEICO is the main sponsor for our Dance-a-Thon. The proceeds from that event fund short-term housing, long-term independent living and group home placement for Latino and African American youth, who for one reason or another can’t live at home or have aged out of the foster care system.”

GEICO not only matches Jose’s individual contributions to LAYC, but those of other GEICO associates who also support the LAYC. “It’s encouraging to them, when they realize that their $15 is actually $30, with the match,” Jose explained. “When I learned that I could also present LAYC to GEICO’s Philanthropic Foundation board for sponsorship, I was really excited; they seemed really enthusiastic as well. It’s nice that we as employees get an opportunity to direct some of GEICO’s Philanthropic contributions to our communities.”

Charitable matching: another great reason to work at GEICO. Apply today at geico.jobs. Follow us on social media to learn more about GEICO’s Corporate Community Citizens and how #GEICOgivesback.

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