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The General Auto Insurance Review 2021

May 10, 2021
Auto Insurance, Insurance
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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The General auto insurance at a glance

  • Can file SR-22 form if you need one.
  • Had far more than the expected number of complaints to state regulators, relative to its size, for auto insurance.
  • Offers car insurance for high-risk drivers.

Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, The General provides car insurance for high-risk drivers and can issue SR-22 forms in most states, but has far more customer complaints than other auto insurance companies of similar size.

Drivers with poor credit, moving violations, accidents or insurance lapses would be a good fit for The General, as well as drivers who have had difficulty in the past getting insured by other auto insurance companies.

The General auto insurance

3.5 NerdWallet rating

The General auto insurance earned 3.5 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.

A quote from The General includes the minimum level of car insurance required to drive legally in your state. In many states, this means only liability insurance, while in some states additional coverage such as personal injury protection and uninsured motorist insurance is required.

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 typeWhat it pays forRequired?
Bodily injury and property damage liabilityCosts for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.Typically required.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverageMedical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.Often required.
Collision coverageRepair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.A car loan or lease may require it.
Comprehensive coverageRepair costs from events outside of your control — including weather events, hitting an animal while driving, theft and vandalism.A car loan or lease may require it.

SR-22 insurance forms: The General can provide an SR-22, a document that proves you have sufficient car insurance. Your state might require you to file one if you’ve been convicted of a DUI or another serious traffic offense, such as driving without insurance, or if your license recently was suspended or revoked.

» MORE: Compare car insurance rates

The General’s auto insurance discounts

Car insurance discounts from The General vary by state. Depending on where you live, you may be eligible for discounts for:

  • Homeowner.
  • Good student.
  • Driver training.
  • Military (Louisiana only).
  • If you’ve maintained auto insurance with another company for the past six months and transfer to The General.

Double deductible is an optional discount available to new customers. It can provide a discount on the premium you pay but comes with the condition that your deductible for comprehensive and collision coverage will double for the first 45 days of your policy.  This discount may not be available in some states.

» MORE: Discount car insurance: Your guide to getting the best price

Complaints about The General

The General had far more than the expected number of complaints to state regulators for auto insurance relative to its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

More about The General

Website: The General’s website offers plenty of useful information, including minimum requirements by state, a robust FAQ page and the ability to chat with a live representative. The Manage MyPolicy platform also allows current customers who log in to:

  • Make payments.
  • Get an auto insurance ID card.
  • Make policy changes.
  • View policy documents.

The General’s mobile app offers the same functions as the MyPolicy platform, plus on-demand phone support and the ability to file a claim. You can also use the app to find nearby payment locations to pay your bill in cash.

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: The General pros and cons

ProsCons
Provides insurance to high-risk drivers who may not be able to get it anywhere elseFar more than the expected number of complaints for auto insurance
Can file an SR-22 form for drivers who require itDrivers who aren’t considered high-risk will likely have a better experience with other carriers
Offers few discounts and policy options

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 and discounts. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. 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.

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