I have been a long time customer of Geico so when my eighteen year son received his driver's license, the first company I thought about to obtain an auto insurance quote was Geico. On December 24, 2003, I contacted Geico and requested a quote to insure my son's "beeter" a 1993 Ford Taurus. The rep I spoke to ask for my son's name, driver's license number and tag information. My son was at work at the time so I was unable to provide the driver's license information and the card he gave me for the registration was the wrong one.
I explained this to the rep and clearly stated that I am simply asking for a quote to get an idea what would be needed to insure the vehicle so that my son could drive it. Since I did not have all of the information that he requested, the conversation ended with the need for me to call back with the information. AT NO TIME AT ALL DID I REQUEST THAT MY SON BE ADDED TO MY POLICY OR THAT I WANTED A CHANGE TO MY CURRENT COVERAGE.
A few days after this phone call, I received an amendment to the renewal policy that Geico had sent about two weeks earlier. The renewal policy was to become effective February 1, 2004. To my utter amagement, the premium for the six month period jumped from $500+ to over $1200. When I contacted Geico to ask why my premium was increased, I was told that my son was added to my policy. I asked why and was told that any licensed driver residing in my household is automatically added to my policy.
I proceeded to obtain insurance from another company and called Geico on January 9, 2004 to request that my current policy be cancelled. You would not believe the nightmare that I encountered from the company that I had been doing business with for over ten years.
The rep told me that she would go ahead and cancel the renewal policy effective immediately and that I was entitled to credit on the current policy that was due to expired January 31, 2004 because I had paid up the policy in advance. She said my credit would be approximately $167. She then said wait a minute and continued to do what I assumed was further calculations. To my utter chagrin, she informed me that I owed Geico $127 despite having paid my account in full. The nightmare began when she tried to explain why, and despite two conversations with her which lasted over one hour, the matter was not clarified.
She informed me that the additional money that I owe was for them covering my son (who remind you is legally an adult) from December 24, 2003 to January 9, 2004, despite me not requesting such covering. This all happened because I contacted Geico to ask for a QUOTE. Geico never gave me the opportunity to shop around for the best rates as it took it upon itself to determine who I am liable to pay insurance premiums for.
At no time prior to my conversation with the rep on January 9, 2004 was I made aware that I was being billed additional premiums for the paid-up period that was to end January 31, 2003. I was never sent an amended policy or any invoice. I only learned of this when I called to cancel the policy.
THIS LED ME TO BELIVE THAT GEICO WAS INTENTIONALLY PUNISHING ME FOR CANCELLING THE RENEWAL POLICY BECAUSE THEY INCREASED MY INSURANCE PREMIUMS BY 250% WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE AND OR CONSENT!!!! I argued until I was out of breath but it was useless. The rep assured me that this was Geico's policy and that it was in my contract. I demanded to know where that appeared in my contact and she promised to provide me with that information. She called me back and said it was on page 4, paragraph A. I read the section she referred to and all it said, and I paraphrase, is that all members of my househould are covered under my current policy if he/she operates my vehicle (the one currently insured with Geico) with my permission/consent.
No where did this clause says that I gave Geico permission to add anyone to my policy without my express knowledge or consent and that liability for every member of my household is automatically imputed to me so long as he/she is a licensed driver, regardless of whether this person is a child or adult.
Imagine what would happen if I had ten (10) roommates who did not have their own auto insurance coverage. I asked for the FLORIDA STATUTE that gave them the right to do this and was told that she could not find the law but that Geico's policies were approved by the Florida Department of Insurance.
Needless to say, I am extremely frustrated and angry at the steps that were taken by Geico. When I asked to speak to a superior the rep told me no one else was available to deal with the matter. I asked her if she didn't think what was done to me was wrong and she said "she had a job to keep and bills to pay and she is not willing to risk her job or her insurance license to determine if Geico's policies were right or wrong.
I need help with this situation because I believe that my legal rights were seriously infringed upon and that I am not the only one. I am sure that I can bring some type of legal action against Geico but I don't think it will bring much weight unless it is a class action. I need this publicized to see if anyone else has been victimized in a similar manner. I will also be filing a report with the State's Department of Consumer Affairs and the Department of Insurance and any other agency or person that will listen.
I am a veteran, I served my country, am an honest tax paying citizen and will not take being ripped off laying down.
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