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

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Summary:  

The General is an auto insurance company that specializes in insuring high-risk drivers.  Founded in 1963, the company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating.  In 2012, American Family Insurance Company acquired The General; however, it still remains a separate company.  The General is a good auto insurance company for people who have tickets, accidents, bad credit, and those who have lapses in their auto insurance coverage.  One of the primary reasons for this is that The General has excellent financial strength for an auto insurance company that serves high-risk drivers. It is, however, known to try to avoid paying its claims to the satisfaction of its customers. Thus, drivers with clean driving records would be better serves elsewhere.

Pros:

  • The General offers its customers low down payment options.
  • The auto insurance company is willing to insure high-risk drivers who may have trouble obtaining insurance with other auto insurance companies.
  • The company has excellent financial strength and is rated an A by A.M. Best.  
  • The General provides SR-22 certification insurance.

>>MORE: Why is SR-22 insurance usually more expensive?

Cons:

  • The General is not known to have a high claims satisfaction rating.
  • Many consumers claim that The General’s advertised rates fail to include some of their hidden fees.  Thus, actual rates are higher than advertised.

The General specializes in insuring high-risk drivers who may have trouble obtaining car insurance from the premier auto insurance companies. For people who have been in a number of accidents, have bad credit, or are in need of an SR-22 certification, The General may be a good choice for car insurance.  However, drivers who do not fall into the high-risk category are better off finding car insurance elsewhere.

The General is known for trying to avoid paying for the coverage that they promise their policyholders.  Therefore, even though they have excellent financial strength and are able to pay the claims for their policies, you may still face a difficult time receiving a payout.  Furthermore, their advertised rates are known to be inaccurate. Thus, The General should be a last resort for all but high-risk drivers. Yet, due to its financial strength, The General may be the best option for people who cannot get car insurance from companies that do not insure high-risk drivers.

The Value Equation ($$$)

Car insurance premium price is normally one of the primary factors for consumers when they are shopping for car insurance.  However, this may not be the case with high-risk drivers who have trouble obtaining car insurance through the more desirable automobile insurance companies.  The General caters to high-risk drivers and those who have significant blemishes on their driving record. Consumers who do not fall into the non-standard driver or high-risk category may want to consider getting car insurance elsewhere to find cheaper rates.  

The General bases their car insurance rates on the traditional factors such as your age, location, driving history, coverage options and type of vehicle. Under driving history, the reason that you are seeking high-risk driver insurance can have a significant impact on your rates; however, this is true with any auto insurance company.

To get a quote from The General you can go on their website and click ‘Get A Quote’ or you can call 1-844-328-0306.

Here is a quick glimpse of how The General’s annual premiums compare to another high- risk auto insurer, Acceptance Insurance, as well as two large national car insurance providers.  

 AcceptanceThe GeneralGeicoProgressive
18-year-old (clean record)$2,409$2,394$1,711.6$1,934
30-year-old (clean record)$964$669$590$572
30-year-old (with DUI and require SR-22)$1,375$880$2,262$766

As you can see, The General’s rates most closely compare with Acceptance, another high-risk company.  Progressive, however, does offer a better rate for a 30-year-old with a DUI who needs SR-22 certification.  Thus, even the high-risk auto insurance companies do not necessarily offer better rates for high-risk drivers.

Discounts

The General does not have discounts for car insurance listed on their website.  However, The General offers a few discounts to help reduce the cost of car insurance for its customers.  The discounts the company offers includes:

  • Driver Education – The General offers a 10% discount for customers who take a defensive driving course.
  • Payment in Full – You get a break in your auto insurance for paying the bill in full.

Claims Satisfaction

An auto insurance company’s claims satisfaction rating is just as important as price when shopping for quality automobile insurance.  The General’s claims satisfaction ratings are known to be far below standard.

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

  • File a claim by using The General’s app available for Apple and Android.  This app walks you through the steps of filing a claim to make the process easier.
  • File a claim by calling 1-800-280-1466.

Coverage Options

Although, less than large auto insurance companies, The General offers several auto insurance coverage options.  These options include:

  • Bodily Injury Liability
  • Property Damage Liability
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Medical Payments
  • Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist
  • Rental Reimbursement
  • Towing & Labor Cost

Although these coverage options are not as extensive as with other large auto insurance companies, The General actually offers more coverage options than a lot of car insurance companies that specialize in insuring high-risk drivers.  Many car insurance companies for high-risk drivers do not offer rental car reimbursement or medical payments insurance.

Other Insurance

In addition to automobile insurance, you can also purchase American Family Life Insurance from The General.  The company offers term life insurance which provides financial protection for your loved ones and is an affordable way to cover temporary expenses such as mortgage, child care expenses, student loan debts, and more.  You can purchase this term life policy either through The General’s website or by calling 1-844-536-2624.

Website Experience

The General’s website is rather easy to navigate making it much better than that of many auto insurance companies that specialize in insuring high-risk drivers.   According to The General, you can get a quote on their website in 2 minutes or less. Furthermore, you can purchase the policy online and print out proof of insurance. You can also manage your policy and chat with a representative.  The General also has an app through which you can report a claim and manage your policy. Thus, regardless of The General’s claims satisfaction rating, The General offers a high-quality website experience.

The Bottom Line

  • The General specializes in insurance for high-risk drivers including those in need of SR-22 certification.  The company has more coverage options than most car insurance companies that cater to high risk drivers. Furthermore, unlike a lot of car insurance companies that cater to high-risk drivers, The General has an Excellent financial strength rating, rated an A by A.M. Best.  Thus, The General is a good car insurance company for high-risk drivers who cannot get insurance at a reasonable rate at a prime auto insurance company.
  • The General does not offer as many discounts as traditional car insurance companies.  Additionally, The General is known to tack hidden fees onto their rates which make them higher than advertised. Moreover, The General is known to try to avoid paying out on their claims to some extent. Therefore, The General is not the car insurance company for good drivers who can find better rates elsewhere.
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