The General Insurance Review: Low Rates for High-Risk Drivers, but Poor Claims Service

The General Insurance Review: Low Rates for High-Risk Drivers, but Poor Claims Service

Great rates for high-risk drivers, but you'll have to be OK with a poor claims process.
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Editor's Rating

2.5

Good for

  • High-risk drivers who would have a tough time obtaining insurance through another company
  • Someone who wants the ability to manage their insurance policy online or through a mobile app
  • A person with a history of car accidents

Bad for

  • Anyone who has a clean driving record
  • Drivers searching for a company with a great reputation for paying customer claims quickly

High-risk drivers who are searching for an auto insurance company with affordable rates will find The General to be one of the best-priced options. However, the company’s negative reviews and lack of meaningful discounts make The General a bad choice for those with clean driving records. Even high-risk drivers might find another insurance company to be a better choice if they value great customer service and a painless claims process over low rates.

The General Insurance: Great Rates For Certain Drivers, but Poor Reviews All Around

The General offers auto insurance that is geared toward high-risk customers, whether it’s someone who has been involved in multiple accidents or a young driver. For instance, many insurance companies shy away from offering coverage to drivers that require an SR-22. However, The General includes a question about this insurance form during the quote process. If the driver needs an SR-22, the form is then included in the policy, meaning that the driver can file an SR-22 form in a matter of minutes.

The General, unlike most companies focusing on selling nonstandard auto insurance, has a mobile app and an online portal to make managing your policy easier. The General’s online portal, MyPolicy, provides users with basic functionalities like the ability to make payments, receive ID cards and view policy details. While none of the features are unique, they provide high-risk drivers with the same benefits that standard drivers have access to through large national insurance companies, like State Farm and Farmers.

Drivers who aren’t considered high-risk will find that The General provides them with mediocre to high auto insurance rates. Furthermore, The General provides limited discounts and has poor reviews. Most drivers with a clean record would be able to find lower rates, higher discounts and better service through another insurance company.

Bottom Line: The General can be a good choice for drivers who would have trouble obtaining insurance coverage through other companies. While the company lacks meaningful discounts, its low rates for high-risk drivers mean that they’re unlikely to be missed. However, in exchange for low rates, drivers will have to put up with terrible service.

The General Auto Insurance Coverage

As a result of The General’s targeted customer segment—high-risk drivers—the company offers limited optional coverages. However, The General also offers its policyholders all of the standard coverage options that most national insurance companies have available.

Rental Reimbursement: This optional coverage reimburses you for expenses associated with renting a vehicle if your car is involved in a covered accident. While the coverage limits vary depending on your vehicle type, you can expect coverage to start at $20 per day for a maximum of 30 days. To use The General’s rental reimbursement, your policy must include comprehensive and collision coverage, a restriction not typically imposed by other insurance companies.

Deductible Waiver – Safety Equipment: The Deductible Waiver is an optional coverage that allows drivers to file a claim and forgo paying a deductible for repairs to applicable safety equipment. Currently, the Deductible Waiver applies to windshields, and door and window glass. Drivers without the optional coverage would have to pay their standard policy deductible to get this equipment repaired.

Custom Equipment: If your vehicle is customized with aftermarket parts, consider adding this optional coverage to protect your purchases. Policyholders can add up to $5,000 of additional coverage for accessories and custom parts like fog lights, bed liners and camper shells. Similar to The General’s other policy add-ons, this optional coverage can only be purchased if you have collision and comprehensive coverage.

24/7 Roadside Assistance: If you want roadside services, such as tire changes, battery replenishment, fluid delivery (gas, oil, etc.) or towing, you’ll want to purchase this optional coverage. The General’s roadside assistance is administered by Nation Safe Drivers (NSD). When you request roadside assistance, NSD will administer up to one service free of charge per instance. The towing service has a maximum benefit of 15 miles or $50, whichever is reached first. To request roadside assistance, The General’s customers can dial 1-800-338-2680.

Traditional Coverage Options Available Through The General

  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Liability coverage
  • Uninsured motorist property damage
  • Medical payments coverage

The General Auto Insurance Discounts

The General offers its policyholders access to relatively few discounts compared to other insurance companies. Regardless, high-risk drivers are able to improve upon The General’s favorable rates with a few of these discounts.

Double Deductible: As the name suggests, the Double Deductible discount doubles your deductible for the first 45 days of your policy, which causes your insurance costs to decrease over the same period. After 45 days your auto insurance deductible returns to its normal level. The discount isn’t particularly unique considering that most other companies allow customers to adjust their deductibles.

DiscountHow Do You Receive It?
HomeownersYou’re eligible for a discount if you own a home, regardless of the insurance provider.
MulticarInsure multiple vehicles with The General to receive this discount.
Paid in fullPay the total cost of your policy upfront instead of paying monthly.
Previous insuranceIf you’ve had auto insurance with a company other than The General in the past five years, you might be eligible for this discount.

The General’s Auto Insurance Rates

If you’re a high-risk driver, it’s likely that you’ll find The General offers the best auto insurance rates. However, if you don’t fall into the high-risk driver customer segment, you’ll likely receive mediocre to high rates from The General. When you factor in the discounts that drivers have to pass up to be insured through The General, it becomes clear that drivers with clean records would likely receive better rates from other insurance companies.

How Do The General's Auto Insurance Quotes Compare to Other Insurers?

Drivers should be wary not to confuse The General’s favorable rates for high-risk drivers to mean that they won’t suffer from rate increases in the event of an accident. In fact, based on the companies in our sample, The General awarded the largest rate increase after an accident. While The General’s auto insurance rates were still the lowest among the companies sampled, drivers aren’t immune from large rate increases.

Driver ProfileProgressiveAmicaState FarmThe General
21-Year-Old Male$3,938$4,976$3,199$2,824
21-Year-Old Male (with accident)$4,765$5,851$4,192$3,981
Rate Increase After Accident$827$875$993$1,157

The General Insurance Financial Strength Ratings

Policyholders have a reason to be confident about The General’s ability to pay claims, as the company is in great financial standing. A.M. Best Rating Services, an insurance company rating agency, assigned The General an A rating, which is the third highest rating possible. The high rating signifies that The General is financially capable of supporting customer claims.

The General Insurance Reviews and Complaints

The company’s ability to meet customer claims doesn’t translate to a smooth and painless claims experience. In fact, the company has a complaint rating of 2.12 from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), compared to the national median of 1.00. The rating signifies that The General has a disproportionate number of negative ratings. Furthermore, an overwhelming number of reviews cite constant rate increases and slow claims processing.

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