First, we had to fact check the politicians. Then, we had to fact check social media posts. But now, things have really gotten bad. Because now, we have to fact check GEICO commercials!
Save Me Time!
- GEICO makes false promises in its ad.
- Consumers need someone to protect them from being misled and buying insurance that won’t pay.
- Informed can help you avoid misinformation.
The Rest of the Story
Check out this recent ad from GEICO about water damage in a home.
(Editor’s Note: We are aware that Geico removed the video from their site and their youtube channel within 24 hours of us publishing this story. We do not yet know whether that is a coincidence.)
Notice how it opens with a leak coming from the ceiling (5 second mark) followed by the gecko claiming (beginning around the 10 second mark) that GEICO can protect you from “in this case, water damage”.
Let’s stop the tape right there for emphasis…”in this case, water damage”. In other words, the water damage we’re about to see in the remainder of the ad is something GEICO suggests it would cover.
Fact Check: FALSE!
The event GEICO is about to show as the cause of the water damage is – spoiler alert – NOT something covered by insurance.
To see why, let’s roll the tape. Next, we see (beginning at 15 seconds) kids upstairs filling an inflatable pool indoors with a hose and splashing and spraying water everywhere causing the ceiling to leak.
For home damage to be covered, the loss has to be accidental. There is nothing accidental about the kids purposely setting up a pool and running a hose in their house!
Furthermore, it’s not like the leak resulted from them thinking they turned the hose off, but accidentally leaving it on, in which case you might have an argument for an insurance claim.
No, they are actively causing the water damage with their behavior and can clearly see the water spilling over onto the floor. I would also wager the pool is labeled for outdoor use only.
The Small Print
But the real kicker is GEICO surely must know their ad is false!!! Why do I believe this? Look closely at the bottom of the ad while the kids are in the pool!
Do you see it? There in the small print… “do not attempt”! GEICO itself knows this is a bad idea.
Why do they think it’s a bad idea? Are they really worried your children would get injured in the pool? Doubtful.
No, they know your house would get injured and they would almost certainly deny your insurance claim. And yet they let you think otherwise! What kind of company does this???
Kind of ironic the lawyers thought to insert the “do not attempt” language, but didn’t ask a claims adjuster if this event constitutes a covered loss!
But wait, it gets worse! What’s the thing they always say? It’s not the lie that gets you…it’s the coverup. Well, let’s see what happens next.
The gecko speculates on what is causing the leak and suggests it is caused by a broken pipe.
If it were truly a broken pipe, then he is correct, home insurance would cover it. But this is a very deceiving tactic.
Even if we are to believe the gecko is naive to what is happening above his head, that doesn’t excuse GEICO, the company, from being dishonest with the viewer.
They full well know this leak would not be paid for by insurance…or perhaps they don’t know, in which case, you should really be worried!
Regardless, what’s more important is most viewers don’t know insurance contracts well enough to understand whether the kids causing a leak would be paid for by insurance or not.
Therefore, it is important that they are given accurate information in these advertisements. When GEICO implies this leak is covered, it is being disingenuous in its advertising.
Give Us A Few Minutes and We’ll Save You From Harmful Misinformation
Yeah, that may not be as catchy a slogan as the other one, but that’s essentially our mission. We are here to make sure individuals understand what they are buying so they can make educated decisions.
Let us know how we can help you Get Informed!