National General reviews and ratings
- Provides coverage to high-risk drivers.
- Has far more than the expected number of complaints to state regulators relative to its size for auto insurance.
- Offers SR-22 forms.
National General specializes in “high-risk” drivers and claims to offer affordable rates to first-time DUI offenders who’ve completed a safe driving and substance abuse therapy program. National General insurance policies are widely available, both online and through independent agents.
Still, while the company offers a wide variety of products and discounts, it has far more than the expected number of auto insurance complaints for its size.
National General auto insurance
National General auto insurance earned 4 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account pricing and discounts, ease of filing a claim, website transparency, financial strength, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more.
Common types of car insurance coverage
When you’re shopping for car insurance, it’s important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. Most states require car insurance to drive a vehicle, although minimum coverage requirements vary from state to state. This generally includes liability insurance and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
If you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Full coverage isn’t a specific policy you can buy, but rather a combination of coverage types like liability, collision and comprehensive insurance.
Check out the most common types of car insurance coverage below to see how they work:
|Coverage type||What it pays for||Required?|
|Bodily injury and property damage liability||Costs for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.||Typically required.|
|Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage||Medical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.||Often required.|
|Collision coverage||Repair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.||A car loan or lease may require it.|
|Comprehensive coverage||Repair costs from events outside your control — including weather events, hitting an animal while driving, theft and vandalism.||A car loan or lease may require it.|
National General offers basic car insurance as well as these additional benefits:
- SR-22 availability. Many states require an SR-22 form to prove that a driver has insurance after a DUI or another serious violation. Florida and Virginia drivers may need a similar form, called an FR-44, to show they have more than the state’s minimum required car insurance.
- Customer satisfaction guarantee. National General will waive part of your deductible (up to $250) if you aren’t satisfied with its claims service. This is not available in Washington state.
- Emergency expense allowance. National General covers food, lodging and travel expenses up to a daily limit so you won’t be stranded after a covered claim.
- SmartValet. Get your car picked up after an accident and receive a rental car after you submit a claim. Your vehicle will be delivered to you after it’s repaired, and National General will return the rental car for you. You must have rental reimbursement coverage to use this service.
National General has auto insurance discounts for:
- Paying your premium in full, upfront.
- Insuring more than one vehicle.
- Completing a defensive driving course (in certain states).
- Using electronics that track your mileage.
- Membership in certain organizations.
- Having multiple policies with National General.
- Going paperless.
- Anti-theft features in your car.
- Making automatic payments.
SmartDrive allows National General to monitor your driving through an app on your phone. If you drive safely, you may qualify for cheaper rates when you renew your policy. However, bad habits like speeding, hard braking and distracted driving could cause your rates to go up instead.
» MORE: Compare car insurance rates
National General complaints and customer satisfaction
National General had far more than the expected number of complaints for auto insurance to state regulators relative to its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
National General ranked below average in J.D. Power’s 2020 auto insurance claims satisfaction survey.
More about National General
Website: National General’s website allows you to get a quote, report a claim and pay bills online. It also features a learning center where users can find out more about topics like coverage options, common insurance terms and which factors affect your rates.
Mobile app: National General doesn’t offer a mobile app for managing your policy. However, if you sign up for the SmartDrive program, its Routely mobile app will track your driving habits and offer discounts for safe behavior.
|Other types of insurance from National General include:|
|Homeowners insurance||Small-business auto insurance|
|Condo insurance||Motorcycle insurance|
|Renters insurance||Recreational vehicle insurance|
Auto insurance buying guide
Before you compare car insurance companies, you’ll need to collect basic information, such as the driving history of everyone on the policy and facts about your car, including safety features and annual mileage driven. You’ll also want to understand which types of coverage you need. For example, do you want only the bare minimum insurance that your state requires, or do you need more extensive coverage, such as gap insurance or rideshare coverage? Check that each company you’re considering has the options you want.
When comparing rates among insurers, make sure each is offering the same coverage limits and deductibles. You may not want to decide based on price alone. Look at how many consumer complaints each company has, as high numbers can be a red flag about the quality of service you might receive.
Depending on which company you choose, you may be able to buy insurance online, over the phone or through an agent. For more guidance, see how to get car insurance.
Recap: National General pros and cons
|Offers policies to first-time DUI offenders||Far more than the expected number of complaints to state regulators relative to its size for auto insurance|
|Can file an SR-22 if you need one||No mobile app for managing policy|
Auto insurance ratings methodologyNerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints, website transparency and affordability. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
INSURER COMPLAINTS METHODOLOGY
NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.