Auto Insurance FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions for Auto Insurance

  • Does GEICO cover me when I'm using a rental car?

    Your GEICO Car Insurance may provide coverage for you while you're using a rental car. To find out, call GEICO to see if rental cars are covered by your current auto insurance policy. You can also check with your credit card company to see if they provide coverage when you use that card to pay for the rental.

  • Can I get insurance for a rental car if I don't own a car?

    For affordable car rental insurance ask your GEICO representative about a non-owner liability policy. You may also have some coverage if you have a homeowners, renters, or umbrella policy.

  • Did you know you may have car insurance coverage you didn't know you had?

    Don't pay more for coverage you may already have on your GEICO Car Insurance! Check out this list of car insurance coverage options you might not even know you have.

    • Roadside assistance. Check your car insurance coverage or ask about roadside assistance when updating your coverage. From towing coverage to lock-smith accessibility, emergency roadside assistance coverage is a quick phone call away.
    • Rental car coverage. Many car insurance companies provide rental car coverage that is much more affordable than the options at the rental counter. Don't assume you have coverage-instead, call your GEICO representative to find out what is covered or how you may be able to add it to your policy before traveling.
    • Medical. You may have additional medical coverage available through your car insurance policy.
    • Belongings. If your car is broken into, check your car insurance or homeowners coverage. Depending on the items stolen and their value, you might be covered.
    • Full glass coverage. Road debris and other objects can result in a costly broken windshield. This is optional on some coverage but for the small additional amount it might be a good investment. Ask your GEICO representative if it's included in your policy or how to add it.
  • What is a car insurance deductible?

    A car insurance coverage deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay if making a claim under coverages such as comprehensive, collision, uninsured motorist property damage, and personal injury protection.

  • How does an auto insurance deductible work?

    Let's say you have collision coverage, with a $250 deductible. You're involved in a car accident that causes $2,000 of damage to your car. If you file a claim with your insurance company, you'll pay your $250 deductible and your insurance company will pay the remaining $1,750 for your car repairs.

  • How do I choose my car insurance deductible amount?

    In most situations, you can choose your deductible amount for each coverage. Here's a few things you should think about when choosing a deductible.

    • First, consider how much you can comfortably afford paying out of pocket. In most situations, when you file a claim, you'll pay the deductible.
    • Second, the deductible amount will impact your car insurance bill. The lower your deductible, the more you'll likely need to pay on your insurance. On the other hand, if you pick a higher deductible amount, you'll likely pay a lower insurance bill. Make sure to compare different deductibles when you're looking for car insurance.

    You can also check out our coverage calculator to see what options work for you.

  • Can a car insurance deductible be waived?

    In most situations, your deductible will apply. However, there are some cases where your deductible may be waived. If you have comprehensive coverage and make a claim to repair windshield glass damage, your deductible may be waived.

    You can always check with your insurance representative for any questions. In some states, you may purchase additional auto insurance coverage that will waive your deductible in some scenarios. Check your state reference page for more info.

  • What are common myths about auto insurance?

    Myth #1: Red cars are the most expensive to insure.
    Fact: A red car won't cost you more than a green, yellow, black, or blue car. Insurers are interested in the year, make, model, body type, engine size, and age of your vehicle.

    Myth #2: My insurance will cover me if my car is stolen, vandalized, or damaged by hail or fire.
    Fact: Unless you have comprehensive coverage, you're not covered for any of these things. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your car that is not the result of a car accident.

    Myth #3: If my car is totaled, my insurance will pay off what I owe on my loan or lease.
    Fact: It will only pay you the actual cash value of your car, minus your deductible, factoring in depreciation. You're still responsible for any outstanding amount on the loan or car lease.

    Myth #4: If someone else drives my car and gets into an accident, their auto insurance will cover them, not mine.
    Fact: In most states, the car owner's insurance must pay for damages caused by an accident. Get familiar with the laws in your state before allowing another person to drive your car.

    Myth #5: My credit doesn't affect my insurance rate.
    Fact: In many states, insurers generate a numerical ranking based in part on your credit behavior, known as the "insurance score". Studies have shown that how you manage your finances can help predict the likelihood that you'll be involved in an accident. To learn more about how your credit affects your rate read our credit use FAQs page.

  • How is my auto insurance rate determined?

    Here are just some common things that help determine your auto insurance rates.

    • Driving record. Safe drivers are generally rewarded with lower auto insurance rates or safe driver discounts.
    • Mileage. How much you drive each year can increase your auto insurance rates because it places you more at risk of being involved in an accident. People who drive fewer miles than average may be eligible for lower rates on their auto insurance.
    • Location. Where you live can affect your rates. Some places are more inclined to collisions or theft and also have higher costs for car repairs, lawsuits, and medical care. Always check with your GEICO representative when relocating to see if it will affect your auto insurance rates.
    • Vehicle. The car you drive also affects your rates. Things like cost of replacement parts and repair, likelihood of theft, and safety ratings can all affect your auto insurance cost.
  • Should I finance my car or pay cash?

    If you can afford it, buying a car with cash is normally the cheapest option. Now, if you can't afford to pay cash you can still finance your new car. When you finance a car, you'll have to meet certain obligations from the lender, like down payments, interest rates, and meeting monthly payments. Financing also means paying a lender monthly payment plus interest on the loan, meaning you'll end up paying more than if you paid cash. Your lender will also probably require comprehensive and collision coverages as part of the loan agreement.

  • Should I lease a vehicle?

    Leasing involves paying to use the vehicle for a period of time. The leasing company or financial institution actually owns the vehicle, not you. You'll still need to meet the same obligations as you would if you buy your car through a lender. Once you complete your lease payments, you'll have the option to return the vehicle to the lender or buy the car from the lender. Also, most lease agreements cap the mileage you can put on the vehicle.

    Are you asking yourself, "Well, if I have to buy the car from the lender after making those payments to lease it, why don't I just buy a used car to start with?" That's a very good point. The difference is that after leasing it, you know the car's history, how it's been maintained and whether or not it's a good fit for you. When buying a used car, you're relying on your mechanic (who you'll have to pay for the service unless you have a friend or family member who's a mechanic) to spot any problems with the car.

  • What should I know before buying a used car?

    • What are the prices for similar makes/models? Research other used cars with similar features. You might save more and get more features with another model.
    • What's the history of the car? Ask the seller about previous or near future maintenance issues beyond oil changes, etc. Also, ask if the car has been in a previous accident or flood. The National Insurance Crime Bureau's (NICB) VINCheck and CARFAX have an online database where you can search and review previously damaged vehicles. Cars can be buffed up to look great while hiding previous body damage, water damage, or other little surprises.
    • Where's the title? A vehicle's title is a legal document, usually issued by a state Department of Motor Vehicles, which establishes who is the legal owner of a vehicle. Your state Motor Vehicle Department can help you determine the car's title history and any notations such as "salvage" (meaning that the vehicle was so badly damaged in an accident that the cost of repairs at the time was more than the vehicle was worth) or "rebuilt" (meaning that someone bought a salvaged vehicle and repaired it to the point where it could again be titled and used or sold). If you see the words salvage or rebuilt, it's best to run in the opposite direction.
    • What are the safety features? Many insurers offer discounts for features that reduce the risk of injuries or theft. Check out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) top safety picks.
    • Is there a warranty? Some used cars may be under the factory warranty. You can contact the manufacturer to make sure you can use the coverage. Be sure to have the car's VIN available when you call.
    • What's the mileage? The car's value is often determined by the number of miles on the odometer. If you're looking to buy a high-mileage car, have a mechanic inspect the vehicle carefully for any parts that may have become damaged over the lifetime of the car.
  • Should I get collision coverage when I buy an older car?

    If you end up buying an older car, you may not want to get collision coverage since you might pay more for the premium than the car is worth. It's a balancing act, though; if the car is totaled and you don't have collision coverage, you'd have to replace it yourself.

  • What is GEICO's Car Buying Service?

    If you need help with your research, GEICO offers a Car Buying Service that will help you with information, tools, and a low upfront price. The Car Buying Service can help you learn about other resources you can use to buy a car the easy way.

  • Which booster seat is best for me?

    The purpose of a booster seat is to provide a proper fit for a child with a seatbelt designed for an adult. By boosting the child, the safety restraint can better protect them in the event of a crash. Proper fit includes a lap belt that fits flat across the child's upper thighs and a shoulder belt that sits in the middle of the shoulder firmly.

    There are 2 kinds of booster seats: high back and backless. High back boosters can sometimes be converted into backless boosters and are especially recommended in vehicles that do not have head restraints in the back seat. Backless boosters are often more affordable and popular with older children. They may require a plastic clip to properly position the shoulder belt.

    For additional information on car seat safety you can visit the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

  • How do I update my address when I move?

    Updating your address is easy, just download the GEICO Mobile app and you can easily update your address there. You can also update your address by logging into your account on geico.com. Your premium may change based on your new location, but we keep everything else on your policy consistent. If you aren't already insured with GEICO get an online quote now.

    Remember to contact your DMV to let them know you moved so you can get an updated license and vehicle registration. Then notify your bank, USPS, and anyone who sends you mail.

  • What should I do for my car insurance when I move to a new state?

    You can easily update your address on the GEICO Mobile app or on geico.com. Please note, each state has its own laws and regulations about coverages and available discounts that can affect your premium. Check out our state information page to learn more about your new home.

    You can also check your state DMV website to make sure you complete all needed steps by your new state to help avoid any fees or penalties.

  • Will moving change my premium?

    Moving may change your premium. We base rates on your location, state laws, coverages, and various other factors. States may require different insurance coverage types and amounts.

  • What if I'm moving, but only for a little while?

    If you move for less than 6 months, we consider it temporary, so you don't need to tell us. If you are moving for 6 months or more, we do need to update your policy.

  • Will my discounts or accident forgiveness carry over?

    It depends. Discounts, premium reductions, and benefits are subject to state laws, so they are sometimes not available in your new location. On the other hand, you may be eligible for different discounts. Check out our auto insurance discounts.

  • Will I owe additional premium on my current policy period if I move?

    Your new bill may be a little higher or lower based on the timing of your move and other factors that affect your premium.

  • Will my billing due date change if I move?

    There is no impact if you moved within the same state. If you move states, then your billing date may change.

  • Will my policy number change?

    Not usually, but it might. One instance in which it may change is if you have a more complex transaction. An example would be if you have multiple vehicles and they are in different states.

  • How will my drivers and vehicles be affected?

    Unless you make changes, your drivers and vehicles will likely remain on your policy.

  • What happens with my policy when I move states?

    We may rewrite your policy for a new term to meet the state's requirements and regulations. It may affect your billing due dates and your rates.

  • What if I bought another home and/or my vehicles will be in different places?

    Call our team at (800) 207-7847. We're experts at making those complicated changes to your policy so that you are fully covered.

  • Should I add my spouse to my auto policy when I get married?

    You could save money by combining auto policies. With a Multi-Vehicle Discount you could save when you insure more than one vehicle on your policy. If you have renters or homeowners through the GEICO Insurance Agency, you could also save with a Multi-Policy Discount.

Please note:

The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages. These descriptions do not refer to any specific contract of insurance and they do not modify any definitions expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. We encourage you to speak to your insurance representative and to read your policy contract to fully understand your coverages.