GEICO is an acronym for Government Employees Insurance Company. GEICO is an auto insurance company.
GEICO was founded by Leo Goodwin, Sr. and his wife Lillian to provide auto insurance directly to government employees. He had worked for USAA, an insurer to military personnel; he decided to start his own business after he reached the highest position a civilian could hold in the military-dominated hierarchy.
Despite the word “government” in its name, GEICO is and has always been a private corporation. Goodwin’s original aim to sell to government employees reflected his belief that they were less risky as insurance customers than the general public.
The company went public in 1948.
GEICO began selling insurance policies to the general public in 1974 under the leadership of David Lloyd Kreeger.
The next year it was clear that the company had grown too quickly when it reported a $126 million loss. The company recovered by issuing a stock offering to raise money.
In 1996 GEICO was bought by Berkshire Hathaway.
Today GEICO has 12 million customers, 37,000 employees, and had $16.7 billion in revenue in 2012.