I filed a complaint with the CA Department of Insurance shortly after writing about the Geico adventures. These are some of the key parts of the complaint:

On December 4th, I received postal mail from Geico. Their letter was dated November 28, 2023 and was requesting additional information to process the application (vehicle registration, copy of a recent utility bill). It stated "You must provide this information no later than 11/30/2023 at 11:59pm Pacific for us to process your request to purchase a policy. If we do not receive these documents and/or information by this date, a new application for insurance with GEICO is required." Obviously I could not meet this deadline since the mail had not even reached me until December 4, 2023

[attachment: copy of the Geico letter]

I believe GEICO is engaging in unfair business practices and setting up impossible-to-meet requirements in order to avoid taking on new risk in California. I would like the state to investigate and take whatever actions are appropriate to prevent this in the future for other people. I have already chosen to use another insurance provider, so I don't need any particular resolution to my problem described above.

I did send Geico the information they requested on the chance they might approve me quickly, despite their impossible deadline, but I also wasn’t about to wait around. I immediately started the process with AAA. Geico did eventually respond in late December (around the 18th, I think) that I was approved and needed to call to make payment. Surprising, but I already had AAA coverage by that point and was happy to leave Geico behind.

On January 5th, the Department of Insurance responded in part:

I have information indicating your problem is resolved. According to GEICO General Insurance Company, your application has been approved and a payment is required to begin coverage.

Technically correct? Sure. Today I wrote back:

I am responding regarding file number [redacted]. I am not satisfied with Geico’s response in this matter.

I remain concerned that Geico is setting up impossible-to-meet hurdles for CA residents in an attempt to avoid underwriting new customers here. As the documentation in my initial complaint shows, Geico sent me mail requesting additional information after their own deadline.

I still sent Geico the additional information they requested on the chance they would approve me, but I had no reason to believe it would be accepted since their letter clearly said I would need to make a new application after the deadline. Based on the already-poor customer experience, I had no desire to wait around to find out, so I sought and eventually secured coverage from AAA.

I would like to emphasize that the 14-day underwriting process for coverage with AAA was completed before I heard back from Geico approving my application. By contrast, Geico took a month from my application to approve me and had only requested the additional information halfway through that period.

I am not currently interested in receiving coverage from Geico, but I hope you will consider this incident in a potential investigation of unfair business practices by Geico.