The Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO ) is an American auto insurance company with headquarters in Maryland. It is the second largest auto insurer in the United States, after State Farm. GEICO is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway that provides coverage for more than 24 million motor vehicles owned by more than 15 million policy holders as of 2017. GEICO writes private passenger automobile insurance in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The insurance agency sells policies through local agents, called GEICO Field Representatives, over the phone directly to the consumer via licensed insurance agents, and through their website. Its mascot is a gold dust day gecko with a Cockney accent, voiced by English actor Jake Wood from 2005 until GEICO sacked him for refusing to take a huge pay cut in 2015. GEICO is well known in popular culture for its advertising, having made numerous commercials intended to entertain viewers.