The Government Employees Insurance Company is an auto insurance company headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It is the second largest auto insurer in the United States, after State Farm. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway that as of 2014 provided coverage for more than 22 million motor vehicles owned by more than 13 million policy holders. GEICO writes private passenger automobile insurance in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. GEICO uses a direct-to-consumer sales model. Its mascot is a Gold dust day gecko with a Cockney accent, voiced by English actor Jake Wood. GEICO is well known in popular culture for its advertising, having made a large number of commercials intended to amuse viewers.HistoryGEICO was founded in 1936 by Leo Goodwin, Sr. and his wife Lillian to provide auto insurance directly to federal government employees and their families. Since 1925, Goodwin had worked for USAA, an insurer which specialized in insuring only military personnel; he decided to start his own company after rising as far as a civilian could go in USAA's military-dominated hierarchy. Based on Goodwin's experience at USAA, GEICO's original business model was predicated on the assumption that federal employees as a group would constitute a less risky and more financially stable pool of insureds, as opposed to the general public. Despite the presence of the word "government" in its name, GEICO has always been a private corporation not affiliated with any government organization.