Advertiser Disclosure

The General Auto Insurance Review 2020

July 20, 2020
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.

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.

 

Who it’s good for: Drivers with poor credit, moving violations, accidents, or who have let their insurance lapse 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.

Discounts
Website and tech
Consumer complaints

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.

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.

Our take: Anyone can get car insurance from The General, but it’s best suited to those who need proof of insurance quickly or who have poor credit or a bad driving record, which could include at-fault crashes, moving violations or a lack of continuous auto insurance coverage. The General makes getting a quote, managing a policy and filing a claim easy through its website and mobile app, but its limited discounts and high number of complaints resulted in poor affordability and customer satisfaction ratings.

The General insurance availability by state

While The General is headquartered in Tennessee and only has physical locations in Louisiana, it offers high-risk car insurance to drivers in every state.

The General’s discounts

The General scored low in affordability in our analysis because it offers few discounts to customers, including those that other auto insurance companies usually provide. While its website doesn’t offer much insight into all discounts available, The General could offer:

  • Discount for being a homeowner.
  • Good student discount.
  • Driver training discount.
  • Military discount (Louisiana only).
  • Discount for drivers who have maintained insurance with fewer than 30 days uninsured.
  • Discount 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.

Complaints about The General

The General scored low on customer satisfaction. It 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.

These are the top four types of customer complaints over the last three years:

  • Delays in handling claims.
  • Denial of claims.
  • Premium cost or increases.
  • Lack of response.

The General’s website and tech

The General scored high on usability. Through its intuitive website and mobile app, the company offers a variety of ways for customers to manage policies and claims, as well as the ability for potential customers to get a quote and buy online.

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 that 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.

The General’s phone number is 1-844-328-0306.

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, 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.

About the author