I used to have Farmers insurance until I got in an accident. Even though I had a local insurance agent, because I had to file my claim after hours, I had to contact a generic claims call center. Then, since I initiated the claim using the 1-800 number, I had to complete the rest of the process that way. At that point I was asking myself why I was paying a premium to have a local agent when he was doing nothing to help me. After the whole experience, I decided to shop around and ended up choosing Progressive. They had much better prices and since it no longer mattered to me to have a local agent, I signed up. I've had nothing but a positive experience with Progressive so far.
Geico is bought and sold directly online, which means you will not be going into an agent's office. Direct insurance is not new and is continuously growing in popularity. You can speak with a licensed agent with a simple phone call. Some look at it as skipping the middleman with a little extra savings in your pocket. It does help to have some familiarity with car insurance before buying it online.
I was with Liberty Mutual for about 15 years and was very satisfied with their prices and service, although I never filed a claim. When I retired and moved from California to Florida, my auto rate went up a ridiculous amount, to almost $10,000 a year even though I had no accidents and one minor moving violation in the last ten years. On top of that, Liberty Mutual screwed up my umbrella policy and told me it was “unenforceable,” whatever that means, but I had to pay for the policy anyway up to the time I canceled and switched to Progressive, which cost about one third the cost of Liberty Mutual for an identical policy. Even good companies change over time.