Has the GEICO Gecko Trampled on the Second Amendment?
One of our Tatler readers alerted me to this story in comments on another post. It seems that GEICO, the insurance company whose ads feature cavemen, Eddie Money, two bluegrass pickers and a loveable gecko from origins unknown, has canceled a customer's policy because the customer is engaged in the firearms industry. Here is the letter that GEICO sent to the canceled customer. Click to enlarge.
What's going on here? The letter is straightforward. GEICO says it is canceling the policy because the insured vehicle "is used in conjunction with a company that deals in the weapons industry." Apparently the customer, now former customer, owns a company that manufactures gun parts. That's quite a bit less sinister than "deals in the weapons industry." GEICO's phrase makes it sound like the customer is involved in running guns to Mexico or Syria. Those jobs have been picked up by the federal government in the Obama era.
I called up GEICO this afternoon and spoke with a nice gentleman. He was not in the company's public relations department; GEICO makes contacting the public relations department extremely difficult if not impossible. The gentleman said he was aware of the issue and that there had been some misunderstanding with the customer back in December and that GEICO has tried reaching out to him. I pointed out that the letter is dated 1/22/2013, not December. The GEICO employee had no explanation for that. He did not confirm that the policy has been canceled. He also was not able to confirm whether GEICO would ever issue any public statement on the issue.
I pointed out to him that GEICO probably has millions of customers who own firearms, and who will be upset by this turn of events. He had no response to that, which would not be fair to expect of him, as he is not in the company's difficult-to-reach public relations department.
GEICO does have a company blog. There are no statements about this story posted there. It has not been updated since January 17, 2013. The authors' emails or other contact information have not been posted.