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National General 2019 Auto Insurance Review: Rates, Claims Satisfaction, and Coverage

BravoDollar Editor rating:

Summary:  

Founded in 1920, National General Insurance was formerly the GMAC Insurance Group, a North Carolina based property and casualty insurance group.  It changed its name to National General Insurance company in 2013. The company offers a full range of coverage options and discounts.  It’s rates, however, are not known to be as competitive as some low-cost insurers which offer the same coverage. Still, the company has guaranteed repairs and claims satisfaction making it an almost okay choice for your average driver.  Even though the company has changed its name, drivers with GM vehicles still receive discounts making this a good choice for those drivers.

Pros:

  • Has a financial strength rating of A- by A.M. Best.
  • The company used over 10,000 independent agents and broker across the United States to sell its insurance.
  • Rated an A+ by the Better Business Bureau
  • National General guarantees repairs done at an approved Gold Medal Repair Shop
  • The company also guarantees its claims service satisfaction with a deductible waiver for customers who are not satisfied with the handling of their claim in all states but Texas.

Cons:

  • Rates are so high that if you do not qualify for a number of discounts to low the price significantly, this company is not worth considering.
  • More than 3 times the median average number of complaints were levied against National General according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

All the information about National General looks pretty good until you get to the price.  The price of this company’s premiums are so excessive when compared to other auto insurance companies of its size with good reputations that this company cannot be recommended to anyone unless they can lower their rates with discounts that are either not offered or not as significant by another auto insurance company

The Valuation Equation ($$$)

The cost of insurance is one of the things that customers look at when they are trying to decide on an auto insurance company.  The main problem with National General is that you really need to not care about price at all to select this company for auto insurance.  Its rates are not just slightly higher than other auto insurance companies, in some cases they are extremely out of proportion to what auto insurance is supposed to cost.  

Sill, just as any other auto insurance company, National General considers some of the same criteria when setting your rates.  These criteria include the company’s base rate, your age, your vehicle types, your address, your coverage options, your driving history, and possibly your credit score.

Here is a glimpse of how National General stacks up with several other large national insurance companies.

 National General Geico Progressive Farmers
20s male$14,497$7,222$4,114$10,307
20s female$14,839$7,646$4,811$10,048
30s male $5786$1,404$2,098$5,797
30s female$6,065$1,864$2,283$6,554
60+ male$4,431$2,041$2,455$3,266
60+ female$4291$1,935$2,220$3,144

Discounts

Similar to other auto insurance companies of its size, National General offers a number of discounts that can help to reduce your policy premium.  These discounts include:

  • GM/GMAC Customer Discount
  • Paid-in-Full Discount
  • Multi-Vehicle Discount
  • GM Loyalty Discount
  • Safe-Driver Discount
  • RV’s and Autos on One Convenient Policy
  • Motorcycle Discounts
  • OnStar Subscriber Discount
  • Low Mileage Discount
  • GM Family First
  • Affinity Discounts
  • GM Supplier Discount

Like with other auto insurance companies, the discounts that you qualify for with National General Insurance Company are mostly determined when you obtain the policy.  However, you can add discounts you become eligible for later to save on your rate. And just like with any other car insurance company, you need to remain eligible for the discounts you receive throughout the life of your policy in order to keep receiving the discount.

Claims Satisfaction

An auto insurance company’s claims satisfaction rating is just as important as price when shopping for quality auto insurance.  National General Insurance Company is not ranked by J.D. Power.

How easy is it to file a claim with National General?

  • File a claim on their website
  • File a claim by calling 1-800-468-3466.
  • Contact your insurance agent to file a claim. 

What is the average customer experience and satisfaction with National General?  

Every year, J.D. Power surveys an estimated 10,000 customers who have filed a claim in the past six months.  The company then ranks and rates auto insurance companies on their claims satisfaction based on the results of this survey.  When National General was still GMAC Insurance, the company received three out of five stars for its claims satisfaction as well as overall satisfaction.  National General, however, has never been rated by J.D. Power.

National General received high ratings from approximately 350 customers who reviewed the company with the Better Business Bureau.  It averaged 4.49 stars out of five. This is a little unique due to the fact that consumers with a complaint about a company are more likely to review it with the BBB.  Furthermore, National General offers Guaranteed Claims Service Satisfaction.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, however, National General received more than three times the median number of complaints.  Thus, the company’s claims satisfaction and customer satisfaction ratings get mixed reviews.

Coverage Options

National General seems to offer the basic coverage options that are offered by most car insurance companies.  These coverage options include:

The company also offers some features and benefits which include:

  • Smart Valet – The company picks up your damaged vehicle and delivers you a rental car.  When your car is repaired, the company will bring it back and return your rental car.
  • Guaranteed Repairs – Lifetime guarantee on collision repairs made at any of their repair shops.
  • Guaranteed Claims Service Satisfaction – Will waive deductible up to $250.
  • Emergency Expense Allowance – Covers up to $500 in food, lodging, and travel after a claim.
  • SmartReplacement – If you need to replace a total vehicle, National General will refer you to an expert who will find you the perfect car.
  • SmartInspect – After your car has been repaired, National General will inspect it to make sure it is done correctly.

Other Insurance

In addition to auto insurance, National General also offers Home Insurance. Furthermore, the company also offers Small Business Auto Insurance, Small Business and Commercial Property Insurance, National General Motor Club, Motorcycle Insurance, Collector/ Classic Car Insurance, Asset Protection for Lenders, Health Insurance, Mexico Insurance and Benefits Solutions.

Website Experience

National General’s website experience is easy to navigate and includes a menu at the top of the homepage so that you can easily find what you are looking for.  It is not the best looking, most professionally designed website of auto insurance companies, however, it is fully functional and serves its purpose. On the website you can find all of its coverages listed along with its features and benefits.  You can get a quote, file a claim, view and manage your policy and more. Thus, despite the look of the website, it is actually more functional and better laid out than that of many auto insurance companies.

>>MORE: Century National Auto Insurance Review

The Bottom Line

  • National General’s rates for young drivers is excessive, as much as $11,000 higher than some large national insurance companies with good reputations. The company’s rates for other groups is still higher than many other insurers.
  • National General makes it easy to handle your policy online which is a plus.
  • National General has positive reviews with the Better Business Bureau.  Furthermore, when it was known as GMAC, it received three out of five stars on the J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Study in 2013. However, it has three times the median number of complaints according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Thus, its claims handling combined with high rates makes this auto insurance company a very hard sell.
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