Gainsco Auto Insurance Review 2023

By Kayda Norman 

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Our Take

1.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Owned by State Farm, Gainsco sells policies to high-risk drivers and can provide an SR-22 if you need one.

Gainsco Auto Insurance
NAIC complaints
Far more than expected
Ease of use
Below average
Discounts
Very few discounts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Provides coverage for high-risk drivers who may not be able to get sufficient insurance elsewhere.
  • Can provide an SR-22 form if needed.
  • Online quote available.

Cons

  • Far more than the expected number of auto insurance complaints to state regulators.
  • Website gives no coverage details.

Full Review

Gainsco earned 1.5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

Headquartered in Dallas, Gainsco specializes in nonstandard auto insurance for high-risk drivers. It sells policies through comparison websites and a network of independent agents in the states it services.

Gainsco was acquired by State Farm, the largest auto insurer in the country, in late 2020. Although Gainsco will continue to operate separately, State Farm will eventually offer combined products.

Gainsco auto insurance coverage

When you're shopping for car insurance coverage, it's important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. For instance, most states require a minimum amount of car insurance to drive a vehicle. Alternatively, if you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Read about the most common types of car insurance coverage to see how they work.

Gainsco focuses on offering the minimum car insurance required by state. It also offers the following options:

SR-22 and FR-44 forms: Many states require that your insurer file an SR-22 form to prove you have the minimum amount of car insurance after a DUI or other serious offense. Similarly, Florida and Virginia require an FR-44 form to prove you have sufficient coverage. 

Gainsco can file these forms on its customers’ behalf, unlike many companies.

Non-owner insurance: This gives you liability insurance if you don’t own a car. A non-owner policy can prevent you from being labeled as a high-risk driver due to a lapse in coverage if you're without a vehicle. Drivers who need an SR-22 form may also need this type of policy to get a driver’s license reinstated.

Auto insurance discounts

Depending on where you live, you may be able to save money on your Gainsco car insurance by:

  • Setting up automatic payments.

  • Paying your auto policy in full.

  • Owning a home, condo, townhouse or mobile home.

  • Buying a policy at least three days before it goes into effect.

  • Insuring more than one vehicle.

  • Having an auto insurance policy with Gainsco for at least six months, with no more than a 30-day lapse.

Complaints

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

More about Gainsco auto insurance

Website: While Gainsco’s site has minimal coverage details, it does have a handy FAQ section and a glossary of insurance terms. As a policyholder, you can log in to make payments and report a claim. However, if you need to make changes to your policy — such as adding drivers or cars — you’ll need to contact your agent.

App: You can request a quote, make payments and file claims with Gainsco’s Android app. For Apple users, Gainsco has a “quick estimate” app to help with claims.

Methodology

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2019-2021. 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 Gainsco’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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 and full ratings methodology for auto insurance.

Frequently asked questions