Geico Agrees To $6M Settlement over Business Practices in California

Geico has agreed to pay $6 million dollars and implement several changes to their business practices as part of a settlement with the California Department of Insurance, CDI announced on Monday.

The settlement stems from a petition in which Consumer Federation of California alleged Geico’s online premium quoting system was discriminatory and misleading to consumers.

Based on information obtained through testing of the Geico website, the consumer group discovered the insurer misrepresented a $100,000/$300,000 limit quote as being a lowest-limits quote, when it was not, according to CDI.

geico-logoConsumer Federation of California alleged in their petition that these higher policy limits were only quoted to certain consumers, based on their education level, occupation and gender.

Though insurers may also offer and sell policies with higher limits, California law requires insurers to offer a minimum limits policy of $15,000/$30,000. Geico’s online premium quoting system was inaccurately describing quotes for higher limits as the lowest limits, according to CDI.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued an order approving the settlement agreement and requiring Geico to discontinue using consumers’ education level or occupation to quote coverage limits, and to offer a quote for a $15,000/$30,000 policy to certain consumers for the next three years. The insurer has also agreed to submit to twice-yearly audits of their website for the next three years, to ensure they are complying with the law.