20 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (August 1998)
GEICO Direct, one of the country’s fastest-growing auto insurers, reached a milestone when it recently added its 3 millionth policyholder.
“Our national advertising campaign is helping drivers realize the savings from dealing directly with the company and the convenience of 24-hour service, seven days a week,” said Bob Miller, a GEICO regional vice president. “The company adds more than 10,000 new drivers each week.”
GEICO grew by 10 percent in 1996 and 16 percent in 1997. Its growth reached 18.9 percent during the first quarter of 1998. It ensures more than 4.5 million automobiles.
– As reported in The Golden Eagle. GEICO has continued to grow faster than most other auto insurers; by last year it insured more than 24 million vehicles owned by its more than 15 million policyholders. It passed Allstate in 2013 to become the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S. It still trails State Farm by 5.3 percentage points of market share, but if its current pace of growth continues, GEICO could surpass State Farm in less than a decade.
15 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (August 2003)
Aftermarket parts manufacturers and CAPA are likely vexed by the newly released “Crash Parts Certification Study” published by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). The report blasts the parts certification process, concluding that “certification has no value to the customer … If there are problems with the certified product, the certifying entity does not stand behind their own certification process.”
Legislation enacted in 2001 authorized $125,000 to be spent by the BAR, a sub-agency of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, to study the best process for certifying crash parts and to designate the agency to bear responsibility for overseeing crash parts certification. For two and a half years, the BAR held meetings with repairers, insurers, OEMs and aftermarket parts certifiers. It sent out surveys to auto body repair shops and conducted field tests on crash parts. In the end, the BAR reached several conclusions, most notably:
• Elimination of non-certified aftermarket crash parts is not a viable option. Outlawing non-certified aftermarket parts (as suggested by CAPA) would make the market less competitive and leave a shortage of such parts.
• Certification does not protect consumers from poor quality parts … If the certifying entity warranted their certified parts, it would provide “added value” to the certified part and protect consumers against poor quality parts.