Saturday, May 01, 2010

How can Warren Buffet live with himself and own Geico?

Just reading about yesterday's Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder meeting.  I have always admired Warren Buffet for his social consciousness and charitable giving. 

So,  I was stunned to learn that Berkshire Hathaway owns Geico.  Geico is an insurance company that advertises quite a bit, but apparently does not facilitate claims processing, which is, of course, the number one thing you would want an insurance company to do.

A google search on "Geico sucks" yields 136,000 hits.  Compare this to:
"Farmer's Insurance sucks" with 35,000 hits, or
"State Farm Insurance sucks" with 50,000 hits.

Any very large organization will, at any given time, have some percentage of dissatisfied customers, but Geico seems to be far over the top.  Perhaps this is no surprise since Geico sells its very low insurance rates, and does not claim to have pro-active and timely customer service.

Still, it is disappointing to me that Warren Buffet would own a business that takes advantage of average folks who are just trying to save a little money on their car insurance.  That just doesn't seem to square with Buffet's values.

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