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National General Insurance Review 2020

Jan. 31, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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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, the nation’s 15th-largest auto insurance company, specializes in “high-risk” drivers such as first-time DUI offenders. Its policies are widely available, online and through independent agents, the company claims to offer affordable rates to first-time DUI offenders who’ve completed a safe driving and substance abuse therapy program.

Still, while National General 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

3.0 NerdWallet rating

National General auto insurance earned 3.0 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.

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 all states.
  • 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.

» MORE: SR-22s, insurance and how to get cheaper rates

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 consistently falls below average in J.D. Power’s 2019 customer satisfaction insurance surveys.

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 auto, home and RV insurance.

Mobile app: National General doesn’t offer a mobile app for managing your policy. However, if you sign up for the SmartDrive program, its Route Report mobile app will track your driving habits and offer discounts for safe behavior.

Other types of insurance from National General include: 
Homeowners insuranceSmall-business auto insurance
Condo insuranceMotorcycle insurance
Renters insuranceRecreational vehicle insurance

Recap: National General pros and cons

ProsCons
Offers policies to first-time DUI offendersFar 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 oneBelow-average customer satisfaction reviews
No mobile app for managing policy

Auto insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’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.

Methodology: Insurer complaints

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2016-2018. 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 and life insurance.

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