an impromptu review of GEICO’s mobile claims service

March 9th, 2015 | written by:
in: Culture, Review, Tech

So, I started my day off with a minor car accident. It sucked and I’m pissed off, but shit happens. Oh, and I’m fine. And the car is mostly OK, just a little more crumpled that she was when I left the house.

So, after all of the waiting while a police report was written, I was finally on my way to work and to get in touch with my insurance company.

I have GEICO. They have good rates and a relatively easy to navigate website. I haven’t had a problem with them yet, so I’m pretty happy with them. I decided that I would work on using their iPhone App to file my claim.

(I’ve never been in a car accident before, so I’ve never dealt with auto insurance other than purchasing it… so I have no idea, really, whether I’m doing things in the right order or not.)

I opened the app, navigated my way through to the “report a claim” area, and started filling things out. Well, I was at work by this time and I needed to put my phone down and, well, work. Plus, I wasn’t looking forward to using my phone’s on-screen keyboard to fill out my description of what happened.

About an hour or so later I got an email from GEICO about the claim I’d recently filed.

What claim? I never finished filing a claim…

It seems that the GEICO App will automatically file a claim, whether you’ve completed it or not, if it sits idle. It DOES NOT give you an option to save and complete later, an option that I noticed was missing.

I made an effort to get in touch with GEICO about what I need to do since it filed my claim for me before I was able to complete it… I haven’t heard back from them yet, it could be “the following business day” before I hear back. I really just want to get it all straightened out. I have photos of my car. I need to have someone come out and look at it so I can get an estimate. I really just want to get it to the shop as soon as possible so I can have it fixed, I really hate leaving my car in disrepair.

From a usability standpoint, not having a “save for later” option on something like an accident claim is a huge oversight. So is not having a place to edit your claim… GEICO offers an option to submit updates, but you can’t make edits once it’s been submitted. Sure, it makes sense to not change something that could be a legal issue, but I also think that offering a vague form submission that doesn’t seem to go anywhere specific is less than helpful.

I probably won’t hear anything until tomorrow, however, I just want to have this taken care of. Waiting for a response and the thought of having to take more time off of work to deal with this stuff isn’t sitting well with me.

So, I should probably finish this review: GEICO’s app works and I don’t have any general issues with it, but it’s lacking some basic elements for its claims submission feature that I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that noticed. The developers really need to have another look at offering a “save and return later” feature. It would also be nice to have a “cancel” option when filing the claim. If you’re like me, you might check it out when you don’t need to file a claim just because you want to see how it works… (you may also need to restart the claims process…) It would also be nice if there were any sort of instructions for what your next steps should be or even when you can expect to talk with a representative from the insurance company… or a “call” button. That would be nice.

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