National General Auto Insurance Review: High Rates but Some Fantastic Discounts

National General Auto Insurance Review: High Rates but Some Fantastic Discounts

 Pros

  • Drivers with GM vehicles
  • Someone looking for both car and RV insurance
  • Low mileage drivers

 Cons

  • Shoppers looking for the cheapest base rates
  • Drivers seeking an insurer with good customer service

Low mileage drivers and others who can qualify for some of National General's unusually high discounts might be able to secure a great deal on their car insurance. However, those stuck paying standard rates will typically have premiums much higher than those available from other auto insurance companies. National General's high base rates coupled with fairly negative reviews from its customers mean that it's not a recommended choice for the majority of car insurance shoppers.

National General: A High Cost Auto Insurance Company

While National General's high rates and negative ratings make it a poor option for most people looking for auto insurance, it does offer fantastic GM related discounts for qualifying drivers and guarantees for repairs and claims satisfaction. The annual insurance rates included below highlight National General as typically being the most expensive auto insurance company across different driver profiles.

Profile

National GeneralGEICOProgressiveFarmers
18-Year-Old Male$15,260$7,602$4,330$10,849
18-Year-Old Female$15,298$7,882$4,960$10,359
42-Year-Old Male$4,822$1,170$1,748$4,831
42-Year-Old Female$4,852$1,491$1,826$5,243
75-Year-Old Male$4,220$1,944$2,338$3,110
75-Year-Old Female$4,048$1,825$2,094$2,966

If you have a GM car, an OnStar subscription, or drive fewer than 15,000 miles per year, National General could be a very affordable option due to its unique discounts. For example, by qualifying for the for the low mileage discount you can save 13%‒54% on your auto insurance rates. Discounts above 50% are rare among auto insurers and are very valuable for drivers who qualify for them.

National General also provides appealing insurance options for drivers looking for both RV and auto insurance. Not only do they offer up to a 20% discount for combining policies, you are only responsible for one deductible for collision claims that involve both your insured car and RV. Other insurers may offer similar discounts, but the single deductible feature is rare among car and RV insurers. Therefore, if you drive your RV with your car in tow and get into an accident, you wouldn't be responsible for as large a sum out-of-pocket.

National General History

National General started as the Motors Insurance Company founded by General Motors. Until 2013, it was known as GMAC Insurance. While National General is no longer owned by GM, its discounted policies for GM cars still reflect its history with the company.

National General Coverage and Discounts

National General offers insurance for all standard coverages including:

  • Bodily injury and property liability coverage
  • Collision and comprehensive coverage
  • Medical payments and personal injury protection
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist liability coverage

In addition to offering standard coverages, National General auto insurance policies also include the following features:

  • Quick Pay, the National General payment portal, to pay their bills and check policy information
  • A lifetime guarantee for any collision repairs made by one of National General's certified repair shops
  • National General will waive your deductible for up to $250, if you are not satisfied with your service for collision or comprehensive claims

An interesting aspect of National General's offerings is that additional rates for many of its coverage options are the same regardless of driver profile or premium cost. So, even though premiums could be more than four times higher for our 18-year-old drivers than our 75-year-old drivers, the annual cost of adding additional coverages might be the same. This differs from other auto insurers who charge an increase in price for additional coverages that's proportional to the rate for standard coverage.

Add-On Coverages

Accident Forgiveness: Adding this coverage will waive the usual penalties—including loss of safe driver discounts and rate increases—for one at-fault accident. To qualify for this option, you must fit the following criteria:

  • No traffic violations in the past 12 months
  • No at-fault traffic accidents in the past 12 months
  • No major traffic violations (ilke a DUI) in the past three years
  • No more than one at-fault traffic accident in the last three years

For the quotes we gathered from National General, the average increase in insurance premiums for adding Accident Forgiveness was around 6%.

Rental Reimbursement (SureDrive): To qualify for this option, your policy must include collision and comprehensive coverage. With Rental Reimbursement, National General will pay for a rental vehicle through Enterprise Rent-A-Car for up to 45 days. The amount that will be covered may have a per day limit. The cost of this coverage was $84 per year according to the quotes we gathered.

Towing: With this coverage, you are covered up to a certain amount per event if your vehicle needs to be towed. National General also limits the amount it will payout for this coverage per policy term. With limits of $75 per occurrence and $450 for each policy term, the additional cost for the quotes we gathered was $6 per year. Towing coverage is only available if you have comprehensive insurance.

Diminishing Deductibles: With Diminishing Deductible, every year that your policy is claim free you will earn a credit that can be used to reduce your deductible by 25%, if you have a comprehensive or collision claim. You can have up to four of these credits at a time. This option costs an additional $42 per year, judging from the quotes we gathered.

Emergency Expense Allowance: In the event that you incur travel, food, and lodging costs due to a covered accident, National General will reimburse up to $500.

SmartReplacement®: If your car is totaled, National General will connect you to an expert who will help you find a replacement car of your desired make and model.

Filing a Claim with National General

You can file a claim with National General either online or by calling the National General auto insurance claim phone number at 1-800-325-1088.

National General’s Unique Discounts

In addition to the standard discounts for vehicle safety features—insuring multiple vehicles, safe driving, and being a good student—National General offers additional discounts that can greatly reduce costs for qualifying customers.

RV and Auto: Drivers can save up to 20% by combining car and RV insurance. Also, if you are in a covered accident that involves both your car and RV, you are only responsible for one deductible.

Low Mileage Discount: OnStar subscribers who drive fewer than 15,000 miles a year could receive a 13%‒54% discount. The fewer miles you drive, the greater your discount. OnStar subscriptions start around $200 per year, so if you don't put many miles on your car, it might be worth purchasing to qualify for this discount.

GM Related Discounts

National General offers a bevy of discounts for policyholders that have a connection to GM. You can qualify for these discounts by meeting one or more of the following criteria:

  • Drive a GM vehicle
  • Have a GM Card, GMAC Mortgage, GMAC Auto Financing, or an active OnStar® subscription
  • Are a former or current GM or GMAC employee or are a family member of one
  • Have only GM vehicles on your auto insurance policy
  • Are employed by a business that works with GM

How Do National General's Quotes Compare?

Of the insurers that we gathered quotes from, National General provided the highest rates in most cases. Quotes from National General were, on average, around 50% higher than the mean for each driver profile. National General's rates for our teenaged driver profiles were three times greater than the cheapest auto insurance company.

National General Annual Insurance Rates Comparison

National General Reviews and Complaints

National General is reviewed somewhat poorly by its customers. It was especially criticized for its claims and billing process, but received praises for it's prices–contrary to the quotes we gathered. Additionally, National General received a very high rate of complaints compared to the national average for auto insurers. The only positive ratings that this company received from the professional insurance rating organizations was for its financial strength.

Customer Service Reviews of National General Auto Insurance

Customers of National General have mixed feelings about their auto insurer. The company performs poorly in national studies of customer satisfaction, but existing customers do praise National General for its auto insurance rates. Though the company is generally a higher-cost insurer, its discounts for those customers that qualify, as well as its unique coverage benefits, make National General a good deal in some scenarios. These benefits could include a lifetime guarantee on certain repairs and waived deductibles for customers who aren't satisfied with their comprehensive and collision claims.

Of the reviews that we surveyed, there were many complaints about how National General handles claims, and its customer service in general. However, many of these were from people trying to receive payment for a claim from one of National General's at-fault clients. While these complaints aren't from National General customers, they are indicative of the company’s claims process.

National General Customer Complaints and Financial Strength

National General received a very high number of customer complaints according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) report. Its complaint index was more than 3.5 times the national median for all auto insurers. This number reflects the number of complaints that National General received and accounts for its size relative to other insurers. The NAIC report included for all of National General Holding Company's subsidiaries including the following:

  • National General Premiers Insurance
  • National General Insurance Company
  • National General Insurance Online Inc
  • National General Assurance Company
  • American National General Insurance Company

National General customers need not worry about if their insurer has the ability to pay out for claims, as the company did receive positive reviews for it's financial strength from A.M. Best. This is important for an auto insurance company, because it indicates if an insurer has the capital to meet its insurance obligations.

Industry Reviewer

RatingValue
NAICComplaint Index Rating3.59
A.M. Best Rating ServicesFinancial Strength RatingA- (Excellent)
J.D. Power (South East Region)Claims Satisfaction Rating3

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