The bottom line:
This company specializes in car insurance for high-risk drivers, but be wary of the high volume of customer complaints.
Pros & Cons
- Provides insurance to high-risk drivers who may not be able to get it anywhere else.
- Can file an SR-22 form for drivers who require it.
- Far more than the expected number of complaints for auto insurance.
- Drivers who aren’t considered high-risk will likely have a better experience with other carriers.
- Offers few discounts and policy options.
Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, The General provides car insurance for high-risk drivers and can issue SR-22 forms in most states. But it 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 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 in order to drive a vehicle. Although minimum coverage requirements vary from state to state, they generally include liability insurance and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
If you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Full coverage isn’t a specific policy type; it's 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:
What it pays for
Bodily injury and property damage liability
Costs for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
Medical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.
Repair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.
A car loan or lease may require it.
Repair 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.
The General also offers rideshare insurance and gap insurance in California and accidental death coverage in Tennessee, with plans to roll these types of coverage out to more states in 2022.
The General can provide you with an SR-22 insurance form. This document 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
Auto insurance discounts
Car insurance discounts from The General vary by state. Depending on where you live, you may be eligible for these discounts:
Good student discount.
Discount for completing a defensive driver course.
Discount for having passive restraints in your vehicle.
Safe driver discount.
Previous insurance discount, which applies if you’ve had insurance with another company during the past five years and switch to The General.
Military discount (Louisiana only).
New customers can also opt in to the “double deductible” discount. This lowers your premium if you agree to double your deductible amount on your comprehensive and collision coverage for the first 45 days of your policy.
Pricing based on tracked driving habits
The General is new to usage-based insurance, offering it only to drivers in Alabama and Indiana, with more states to come in the future. If you opt in, you will be rewarded for safe driving with lower premiums.
Auto insurance buying guide
Before you compare car insurance companies, you’ll need to collect some basic information. This includes the driving history of everyone who will be on the policy, as well as facts about your car, such as safety features and annual mileage driven. You’ll also want to determine 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 make your decision based on price alone. Look at how many consumer complaints each company has, as a high number of complaints could be a red flag about the quality of service you'll 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.
Relative to its size, The General had far more than the expected number of complaints to state regulators for auto insurance, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
More about The General auto insurance
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:
Get an auto insurance ID card.
View policy documents.
Mobile app: The General’s app is compatible with Apple and Android devices. It allows you to pay premiums and file claims, and offers on-demand phone support. You can also use the app to find nearby locations to pay your bill in cash.
Other insurance from The General
Auto insurance aside, The General sells these types of coverage through third-party companies:
Accidental breakdown and lockout coverage.
Business insurance, including commercial auto insurance and workers’ compensation.
Boat and personal watercraft insurance.
Life insurance through a partnership with American Family.
Auto insurance ratings
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.
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.
Frequently asked questions
You can start the quote process online. Enter your ZIP code on The General’s homepage, and then fill out the form with your email address and details about your car and who will be driving it. Otherwise, call 844-328-0306 or schedule a callback on the site.
The General sells car insurance in all states except Alaska, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C.
To file a claim, log in to The General’s app or call 800-280-1466 and select option No. 3. Claims representatives are available 24/7.