GEICO closes California offices, ends telephone sales here

GEICO, the nation’s second-largest auto insurer, is limiting its physical presence in California and eliminating telephone sales of new policies here.

The company is closing 38 local offices in the state and laying off hundreds of employees, according to the Sacramento Bee and industry trade journals, and is pausing telephone sales of new policies here, although consumers can still sign up online. Existing policies will remain in force.

“We continue to write policies in California, and we remain available through our direct channels for the more than 2.18 million California customers currently insured with us,” the company said in a statement to The Sacramento Bee.

GEICO did not respond to Chronicle requests for comment, but the California Department of Insurance confirmed that the insurer had closed its brick-and-mortar offices here, a move that does not require the department’s approval.

“GEICO is continuing to serve customers and sell policies in California, but only via online and its app,” the department said in a statement. “We are monitoring this situation closely to make sure consumers continue to be protected.”

GEICO’s website offers a drop-down menu to find agents by state. Selecting California returns no results.

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