GEICO’S Revenge!

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The new commercials from GEICO bring back the iconic caveman! Great publicity, but this insurance giant won’t like the publicity we’re about to dish out! A popular Austin car repair shop owner shares incriminating surveillance video of his exchange with a GEICO employee. What happened next? GEICO’S REVENGE!

“Oh, f-ck! F-ck! Holy shit.”

The cuss words fly as a body shop owner in Austin gets in a real-life collision with his own body and a moving car. 

“Are you f-cking kidding me? What the f-ck?”

The body belongs to Mike Chanata, owner of Hail Specialists, a big car repair company in Austin.

The car that runs over his foot, you won’t believe it, it was driven by the claims adjuster from Geico Insurance.

“She parked her vehicle on my foot while I’m trying to get my foot out. They get out of the car and they’re like oh my god! We ran over his foot! And parked the car on it,” said Mike Chanata.  

Mike works with claims adjusters all the time.

His business… also known as Catastrophic Solutions, fixes vehicles damaged in collisions or by hail. And repairing hail damage is big business in Austin.

And Hail Specialists quickly became one of the town’s busiest repair shops, known for its good customer service, expertise with paintless dent repair.

Mike proved he would stick his neck out for customers who thought insurance companies were trying to get out cheap, shortcutting necessary repairs.

Of course, we all know insurance companies make more money by paying as little as possible to fix cars.

Mike says when he sees abuses, he goes into battle mode.

“They’re not properly indemnifying their insurers, which basically means they are not abiding by the contracts that they’ve sold to their insureds,” Chanata said.

“My insurance company, kind of, which is Geico, left me out to dry,” said Geico customer Bill Ives.

One example is what happened to Bill Ives, who took his hail-damaged truck to Mike’s shop for repair.

Bill said everything was fine with his claim and repairs until Geico pulled the plug.

“And then all of a sudden at the very end, Geico decided that they didn’t want to pay the balance of $700,” Ives said.

When Bill couldn’t settle with Geico, Mike told him about the appraisal clause in Texas law, a way to mediate a settlement.

Bill won his case. Geico covered the 700 bucks and Mike earned a happy customer.

“Couldn’t have been happier with the work, and I couldn’t have been happier with the way he went out of his way to help me,” Ives said.

It’s a story we’ve seen before. On Yelp, Becky writes, “We had issues with my insurance company so took longer than quoted.”

“We don’t just bend over, uh, we try to go ahead and, uh, push for proper repairs, approvals for our customers,” Chanata said.

But Hail Specialists has its unhappy customers too, and Geico, they went to war against Mike claiming he had been harassing insurance adjusters when they went to his place.

That letter was sent September 14th of 2022. Look what happened the very next day.

“B-tch ran over my fucking foot.”

Geico adjusters were arguing with Mike in his parking lot when their 2017 Nissan ran over his foot. Seconds later the Geico car drives off before the cops were called.

One of the Geico adjusters later claimed Michael’s yelling brought out all of his employees as they ran from the shop out towards the scene.

Seeing this, the employees panicked and got back inside the vehicle and drove away to avoid any altercation.”

Unfortunately, that story is quite the stretch. The video clearly shows employees coming out to see what was going on, then retreating, before the Geico adjuster decided to leave the scene.

“After that, I mean, I was definitely on someone’s blacklist,” Chanata said.

Mike says Geico didn’t ask about his foot but instead escalated the fight with a lawsuit 12 days later, alleging Mike and his employees created such a hostile environment that the company was having to hire independent adjusters just to go there.

“After they ran me over, they sued me and they try to file an injunction against me, so I could not come to my own business,” Chanata said.

In June of 2023, Mike filed his own lawsuit against Geico and not just for the injury to that foot.

He believes Geico is now waging a war to injure his business.

“Geico employees have made comments to insureds that Hail Specialists commits fraud, and that they are somehow, scammers. And that’s an allegation that we vehemently deny,” said Attorney Derek Mueller.

Derek Mueller is one of Mike’s lawyers. He cites evidence coming from customer statements when they talk to Geico.

Eli Carter writes the Geico employee made bold claims throughout the conversation that Mike’s shop was out to take peoples money.

Another customer, Jackie Duncan shows how Geico steers customers away from Hail Specialists.

He writes that a Geico adjuster gave him a repair estimate of $12,000, but when he told them he wanted to take his car to Hail Specialists, “her attitude changed instantly.”

Geico then just totaled the car, depriving Mike a customer.

Geico’s response to Mike’s lawsuit was to countersue. The company alleging fraud.

But is Geico now spreading rumors before proving that Mike did anything wrong? Is this retaliation for that whole foot fiasco?

Geico isn’t the only company Mike says is now spreading lies about his business.

Enter the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the NICB.

“An organization that is a four-letter organization NICB, almost like FBI, CIA, right? NSA, you know, they’re just trying to almost sound like super official.

NICB sounds official, but they have no enforcement authority.

It’s simply a private organization funded by 1,200 insurance folks.

In 2022, the NICB spent $36 million investigating 150,000 questionable claims.

But their website doesn’t say how many of the tips were legitimate or how many convictions they got.

“The NICB came here to investigate this car. They said it was stolen. Doesn’t look stolen to me? Insureds know it’s not stolen,” Chanata said.

The NICB won’t confirm or deny they’re investigating Hail Specialists, but we know they are.

Special Agent Jeffrey Watts has been trying get info from Mike’s employees.

Looks like they’re spreading the word about Hail Specialists through a system called ForeWARN available to insurance companies to flag companies under investigation.

The NICB is accountable to no one, but it can dirty up a business’s reputation without showing proof.

Car customer Juan Guerra took his car elsewhere for repairs and signed an affidavit saying USAA told him Hail Specialists was being investigated for fraud.

“My insurance company told me y’all were doing some illegal crap and committing fraud. Look, if I don’t hear back from mike by tomorrow, the news will be involved. My attorney will be involved, and the police will be involved,” A customer said.

“These whispers, defamatory whispers that are going on. That’s the big issue for us. Geico considers their good name to be a very valuable asset. And we feel the same way about our name,” Mueller said.

Geico commercials may be great, and yes, the Caveman is back. But have you looked at the public records?

In 2020, the insurance giant was fined $3 million by the state for failing to pay auto insurance claims on time, another $2 million in late claims, including interest.

Across the country in 2022, a national study showed that Geico customers’ complaints were 76% higher than average.

Because of those lawsuits between Hail Specialists and Geico, customers appear to be suffering, cars languishing in their storage lot because adjusters arent assigned on time. And they keep calling to find out why.

“It’s been 18 days and it’s still unassigned. We need this claim to be moving.”

“This is really, really weird.”

But it’s not just weird. To Mike, it’s intentional.

“Being that there’s this lawsuit, I’m not sure why it has not been assigned out as of yet, that’s why I’m actually having to reach out to the manager here.”

“She just sent me a message that you guys have to address your concerns through your attorney.”

Does that mean Geico customers may be waiting a longer time for their cars to be fixed?

“I’m sure it’s going to be probably for all the Geicos that are in your shop being that that there’s a legal suit pending.

Hail Specialists charges up to $300/day for inside storage fees, one of the highest in the Austin area. But the rates, well, they’re not a secret.

They are posted on the company website and on, a website that tells you which car repair place is cheaper.

“Insurance companies that have never had issues paying the storage fees, have always paid it, are now magically having issues with them or requesting money back,” Chanata said.

All after that run in with the Geico folks.

Here’s a letter from State Farm simply abandoning a vehicle on his lot because they don’t want to pay now.

“The fact that you don’t like what our rate is doesn’t mean that we’re defrauding somebody,” Mueller said.

“Earlier this year, a Central Texas teacher hit a deer on her way to work. Her auto insurance company disagreed with the body shop’s repair estimate by thousands of dollars, leaving her to pay the difference.”

The teacher’s insurance company was Geico, and guess who her auto shop was. Hail Specialists.

When it was all said and done, the appraisers agreed true damages were $4,600 more than what Sierra’s insurance company tried to pay.”

You can see why Mike Chanata is crying foul, accusing the insurance companies of ganging up on him. He’s certainly not popular.

“They’re actually unhappy with the fact that it’s the biggest shop in town and they’re trying to drive him to accept lower payments across the board,” Mueller said.

Under Texas law, consumers have the right to choose the repair shop they want.

But thanks to this whisper campaign against him, Mike says his losses since that parking lot incident are in the millions of dollars.

“As far as the reputational damages, how do you calculate that? What’s your good name worth?” Mueller said.

“I’d just like them to leave me alone. Let me repair vehicles the proper way. Stop trying to steer business away,” Chanata said.

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