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Nearly every state requires drivers to have car insurance, so forgoing it isn’t an option — even if you have trouble finding an insurance company willing to give you a policy. Nashville-based insurance company The General could be an option for difficult-to-insure drivers looking for the right car insurance for their needs.
The General company provides coverage to high-risk drivers and drivers with poor driving records. Here’s what to know about The General, its rates, discounts, and reputation.
What is The General car insurance?
The General has provided insurance coverage since its inception in 1963 under the name Permanent General Agency. It wasn’t until 1997 that the company began to sell insurance under The General brand.
Based in Nashville, Tennessee, The General also operates regional call centers in Arizona, Louisiana, and Ohio. In addition to its automobile coverage, The General offers a full suite of insurance products, including:
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
A.M. Best analyzes an insurer’s financials, operating performance, business profile, and other factors to generate an opinion-based rating of a company’s financial and credit strength. Ratings range from A++ (exceptional) to D (poor).
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
Owned by PGC Holdings Corp., an affiliate of American Family Insurance, The General specializes in providing auto insurance to high-risk drivers and those with poor driving records. The company also sells homeowners, renters, life, pet, and other types of insurance. Available discounts include bundling, good student, multiple drivers, and more. The General has a slightly higher than expected number of complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Consumer Complaints Index. The company also has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best, indicating its strong track record of paying claims.
Competitively priced options for high-risk drivers or those with violations
SR-22 filing available in most states, and FR-44 filing in Florida and Virginia
Comparatively high number of customer complaints
No usage-based insurance option to help save good drivers money
I can get insurance cheaper by 100 dollars elsewhere.
Robbalee - September 10, 2023
They are a good company.
Charles - July 11, 2023
I don't like the plan, but the rest of their plans are too expensive!!! I need full coverage.
The General claims it has affordable car insurance rates and focuses on quality customer service. It’s also known for providing coverage for individuals with poor credit and driving records. The company sells insurance primarily online or by phone. Prospective customers can receive a customized car insurance quote online within minutes by providing some basic personal and vehicle information. Once you receive a quote, you can sign up and choose from the available policy options based on your needs.
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The General car insurance coverage
Drivers must buy at least the minimum amount of liability coverage that their state or car lender requires. The General offers several types of auto insurance coverage for various needs, but its options are limited:
Liability insurance: Liability coverage protects you if you’re at-fault in an accident. Having liability insurance also helps you avoid violations and fines for being uninsured or underinsured in your state. However, with liability-only coverage, you’ll still have to pay out of pocket for any damage to your vehicle.
Comprehensive insurance: Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle against theft and damages from incidents other than collisions, such as theft, vandalism, fire, and wether hazards. Having comprehensive coverage ensures you’re protected in almost any situation except car accidents.
Collision insurance: Collision coverage protects you financially from damage to your vehicle when you’re at-fault in a car accident or collide with another object, such as a tree fence, or light pole. It also covers rollover accidents and damage from hitting a pothole.
Gap insurance: Gap coverage helps pay the difference between your vehicle’s depreciated value and your outstanding auto loan balance. It’s helpful if you total your car and the amount you owe on the vehicle is less than the insurance payout, but it isn’t worth it if your car is paid off or you owe less than the car’s value.
How to get a car insurance quote from The General
You can request a quote online through The General’s website or by phone. To get a quote, enter the insurance type you want and your ZIP code. As you navigate through the quote process, you must provide additional personal and vehicle information. The General and its partner providers consider other factors — like your driving record, past claims history, and credit history — to determine eligibility and provide an accurate quote. It typically only takes a few minutes to receive a quote from The General.
You can also use an online quote-comparison tool like Insurify, which allows you to quickly compare car insurance quotes from The General with other insurance companies all in one place.
The General car insurance cost by state
Car insurance requirements vary between states, as do insurance costs. Where you live will influence your car insurance premiums. Below is a sampling of average full-coverage and liability-only car insurance quotes through The General, by state.
The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Tuesday, November 7 at 11:00 AM PST.
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
The General auto insurance rates by driving history
Your driving record also contributes to how much you pay for car insurance. You can expect to pay more if you’ve had several moving violations rather than a clean driving record. Here’s a look at the average monthly premiums through The General for full-coverage and liability-only insurance based on driving records.
Quote Price by Driving Record
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
The General car insurance discounts
Unfortunately, The General doesn’t advertise any discounts on its website. To find out what discounts you might qualify for, you must get a quote or speak to a company representative or an independent agent in your area.
This is a clear downside of The General car insurance: Customers can’t efficiently shop around for car insurance without potential discount information readily available. However, you may still reduce car insurance costs by removing certain coverage options or bundling policies.
The General doesn’t advertise discounts for bundling multiple insurance policies. Many insurance companies offer discounts for bundling insurance policies. You can often save money by combining your car insurance with other coverage, like homeowners or renters insurance, under the same company.
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The General insurance reviews and ratings
The General has some high ratings on Trustpilot, but an insurance company is only as good as its reputation among its customers. Searching online for customer reviews and ratings can give you a better sense of how customers view the company and how it responds to customer issues.
The General customer reviews
Like most insurance companies, The General has received mixed reviews from customers.
The General ratings
Here’s how The General stacks up on various rating sites:
Trustpilot: 4.7 out of 5 stars with 76,111 reviews
Google Play Store: 4.8 out of 5 stars with more than 26,000 reviews
Apple App Store: 4.7 out of 5 stars with more than 112,000 reviews
The General vs. other insurance providers
Choosing the right car insurance provider can be difficult in this highly saturated market. Here’s a look at how The General compares to the competition.
The General vs. Allstate
Allstate is one of the largest insurance companies by market share. It also offers more coverage options than you’ll find with The General. Not only does it offer liability coverage to meet state minimums, but it also offers options like uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments coverage, and personal umbrella policies. Allstate also offers more discounts than the General, including discounts for safety equipment installed on your vehicle.
Allstate’s average premiums are cheaper than The General’s, with $212 a month for full-coverage insurance and $146 for liability-only insurance. The General’s average monthly quotes are $451 for full-coverage and $259 for liability-only insurance.
The General vs. Liberty Mutual
Like other insurers, Liberty Mutual has an edge over The General because of its long list of advertised discounts, making it easy for drivers to see how they may save on car insurance costs. However, the two companies are similar in that they both have an A rating from AM Best, indicating their strong financial stability and abilities to pay out claims.
Drivers may find cheaper rates with Liberty Mutual. The General’s average monthly premiums are $451 for full coverage and $259 for liability-only insurance, while Liberty Mutual’s are $284 for full coverage and $198 for liability-only insurance.
The General vs. Progressive
Progressive is the second largest auto insurance companies in the U.S by market share. The insurance giant offers more coverage types than The General, including optional coverages like rental car reimbursement, roadside assistance, and rideshare coverage.
The average monthly premium for Progressive liability-only coverage is $161 — almost $100 less than The General.
The General car insurance pros and cons
Before choosing an auto insurance policy from The General, consider some of its pros and cons:
Insurance for high-risk drivers: The General offers coverage options for individuals with prior violations.
SR-22 insurance: The General offers SR-22 filings in most states, and FR-44 filings in Florida and Virginia.
Mobile app: Customers can use the mobile app to file claims, make payments, and access their accounts.
High level of consumer complaints: Nearly twice as many as expected in the market, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Few incentives for good drivers: The General doesn’t accident forgiveness, vanishing deductibles, or usage-based insurance.
Limited advertised coverage options: The company doesn’t offer many coverage options past collision and comprehensive based on what's listed on its website.
Filing an auto insurance claim with The General
An auto insurance claim is a request by the policyholder for compensation for a covered loss or event. If you’re in a car accident, and it’s not your fault, your insurance company provides financial help up to the policy limits for covered damages and loss, depending on your state.
Customers can file an auto insurance claim with The General online, by phone, or through its mobile app. When filing a claim, document the incident by taking photos. Share details about the incident and other pertinent information with the claims department.
Once you’ve filed a claim, an insurance adjuster will gather facts and documentation about the accident and decide whether it’s covered. Once it determines fault, The General will negotiate with the other insurance companies to determine which company will pay for damages and additional costs.
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The General insurance FAQs
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about The General car insurance.
Is The General legitimate?
The General is a legitimate insurance company affiliated with American Family Insurance, and it has no history of fraudulent practices. The insurance provider carries high ratings overall on customer review platforms.
What is the average cost of The General car insurance?
The General and its underwriting companies have an A rating with A.M. Best, which calculates a company’s financial stability and ability to pay out insurance claims.
Is The General car insurance right for you?
The General is a great option for high-risk drivers who may have trouble qualifying for coverage through other providers. However, drivers with clean driving records may find more affordable coverage options elsewhere.
Does The General offer SR-22 insurance?
SR-22 is a certificate of insurability that drivers may be required to obtain if their licenses have been suspended or revoked, or they were convicted of a DUI or driving without insurance. The form, which insurance companies provide, certifies that the driver carries the required liability coverage for their state. The General offers SR-22 insurance and provides SR-22 filings in most states. It also provides FR-44 filing in Florida and Virginia.
Kevin Payne is a freelance writer and family travel and budget enthusiast behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com. His work has been featured in Forbes Advisor, CreditCards.com, Bankrate, SlickDeals, Finance Buzz, The Ascent, Student Loan Planner, and more. Kevin lives in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and four teenagers.