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Last updated: December 9, 2022

Direct Auto Car Insurance Review

Is Direct Auto worth the cost?

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Find The Right Insurance

Let our Perfect Policy Connectors do the work for you!

Auto Insurancephone-icon(855) 909-2474Request a free quote
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Founded more than 30 years ago, Direct Auto specializes in providing high-risk car insurance for the Southeastern U.S. Since then, the company has expanded outside of that region and grown to offer a wider variety of car insurance policies. Direct Auto also offers some harder-to-find insurance options, such as Mexico car insurance, as well as a wide range of discounts.

Key Takeaways

Who It’s Best For

  • High-risk drivers, who may find that Direct Auto will cover them when other insurers won’t.
  • Customers who want to pay in cash. Direct Auto accepts cash payments at its many store locations.

Who It’s Not Best For

  • Drivers looking for cheap insurance, as Direct Auto’s average annual cost is significantly more than the national average.
  • Drivers in states other than Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

Pros and Cons of Direct Auto

Pros

Pros

  • Customizable payment options: Customers have the opportunity to choose their own payment frequencies, amounts, and dates. Direct Auto accepts a range of payment methods, including paying in cash at any local Direct Auto office location.

  • Bundle with life insurance: Direct Auto also offers term life insurance, which can pay for loss of income, medical and funeral expenses, groceries, rent, other daily needs, and school tuition after the policyholder’s death. The company’s life insurance policies start at a cost of less than $1 per day.1 If you bundle Direct Auto’s life insurance and auto insurance together, you can save 5 percent on your auto insurance.

Cons

Cons

  • More expensive than average: We’ve found that Direct Auto has an average annual cost of $2,487 per year, more than twice the national average cost for car insurance at $1,070.47. Keep in mind that Direct Auto specializes in high-risk auto insurance, which tends to be more expensive to begin with.

  • Poor consumer ratings: The Better Business Bureau lists an average rating of 1.08 out of five stars from more than 350 customer ratings for Direct Auto via its parent company, National General Insurance Company (owned by Allstate). A high number of reviews cite the company canceling policies unexpectedly, as well as having unhelpful or unresponsive customer service. Take complaints about cancellation with a grain of salt, as legally, insurance companies can only cancel your policy mid-term under circumstances like nonpayment and fraud.

What Does Direct Auto Cover?

  • Liability insurance: Composed of bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage, liability insurance is the most basic kind of car insurance. Every state except for Virginia and New Hampshire legally requires some amount of liability insurance.If you’re determined to be at fault in an accident, this coverage can pay for medical care for injured parties other than yourself and your passengers, and for the cost of repairing other peoples’ property. Because liability insurance doesn’t pay for damage to your vehicle or for medical bills for you and your passengers, we recommend expanding your insurance policy beyond the legal minimum.
  • Collision insurance: If you’re involved in an accident, collision insurance will pay for damage to your car, or for your car to be replaced if it’s totaled, no matter who is at fault.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive coverage helps pay for damage to your vehicle if it’s vandalized, stolen, or damaged by an event other than a collision, such as a storm or contact with an animal.
  • Medical payments coverage: Medical payments insurance can pay for medical, hospital, and funeral expenses for yourself and others on your policy in the event of an accident. Medical payments coverage differs from personal injury protection, which expands beyond medical costs to replace lost wages and pay for services like childcare if you’re injured in an accident.
  • Uninsured motorist auto coverage: In the case of an accident where the driver at fault does not have auto insurance or can’t be identified (such as in a hit-and-run), uninsured motorist coverage can pay for your medical care and car repairs.
  • Accidental death coverage: Direct Auto’s accidental death coverage is an optional add-on that would pay $5,000 to your beneficiaries in the event of your death from a covered accident.
  • Rental reimbursement: Rental reimbursement is an optional add-on to comprehensive and collision insurance that’s intended to reimburse you for the cost of renting a car if your own vehicle is rendered undrivable under a covered claim.
  • Roadside assistance: Direct Auto offers optional roadside assistance coverage administered by NationSafeDriver. Services include 24/7 emergency towing, jump starts, lockout assistance, and gas and essential fluid delivery.
  • Towing and labor coverage: This supplemental insurance reimburses you for the cost of emergency towing when your car is disabled. It also reimburses you for any labor required to make your car towable.
  • Mexico car insurance: If you’re planning to drive to Mexico, keep in mind that your American auto insurance policy won’t protect you outside the country. Direct Auto locations in Texas and Louisiana offer auto insurance that will cover you while you’re in Mexico. Drivers in other states can call Direct Auto customer service for more information on adding coverage in Mexico.

What Will My Auto Insurance Rate Be?

Our up-to-date market analysis has found that the average annual cost for Direct Auto is $2,487 per year. While your individual price may depend on factors like your age and other demographic information, your driving record, and your car model, Direct Auto’s average cost is significantly more than the average annual price for car insurance.

Keep in mind that Direct Auto specializes in high-risk car insurance, which tends to cost more because high-risk drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents. Direct Auto’s average annual price may be more favorable for lower-risk drivers.

CONSIDER THIS:

Stay up to date on strategies to lower the cost of your auto insurance such as shopping around, maintaining good credit and a good driving record, and getting a policy with higher deductibles.

Discounts

Discount type Description and requirements Maximum savings
Military discount Direct Auto offers a discount to active-duty members of the U.S. military. You must show a copy of your current orders or other acceptable documentation of your active duty status to qualify.

This discount is only available in Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana.

25%
Senior citizen discount This discount is available to drivers 55 years old or older who provide a certificate of completion for an approved motor vehicle accident prevention course. 5%
Safe driver discount Direct Auto Insurance offers this discount to drivers who have been accident-free and have not had a violation for the past 36 months. 10%
Good student discount If you’re an unmarried, full-time student in high school, college, or a technical or vocational school, you could qualify for this discount by providing proof that you are an honor student, are on the dean’s list, have a B grade average or better, or scholastically rank in the top 20% of your class. 10%
Homeowner discount If you or your spouse own your own home, townhouse, or condominium, you can qualify for this discount.

Your proof of home ownership must be under the same name and property address as the garaging address that’s listed on your car insurance policy. The garaging address indicates where you park your car the majority of the time.

15%
DynamicDrive discount You can qualify for this discount by downloading the company’s Routely app to share data and insights about your driving with Direct Auto’s DynamicDrive program. 10%
Driver education discounts If you’ve successfully completed a qualifying accident prevention course in the last 36 months, you can save on your policy.

In Texas only, young drivers can complete a state-approved driver’s education course to earn a 10 percent discount that will be applied until the first renewal following their 21st birthday.

10%
Multicar discount If you and your household members insure more than one vehicle with Direct Auto, you qualify for the company’s multicar discount. 25%
Multipolicy discount If you have car insurance through Direct Auto, you can qualify for this multipolicy discount by purchasing motorcycle insurance and/or commercial auto insurance policy from the company. 10%
Multiproduct discount When you’re adding optional policies onto your car insurance plan, you can receive a discount by adding services including roadside assistance, term life insurance, and/or an emergency protection plan. 5%
Prior coverage savings Eligibility for this discount depends on showing proof that you have continuously maintained liability coverage with a different auto insurance company for at least 6 months, and that policy must have lapsed or ended within the past 90 days. 25%
Renewal discount If you renew your Direct Auto policy within seven to 10 days of its expiration date (depending on the state you live in), you can qualify for this discount.

Your coverage must not have lapsed in the previous 12 months.

20%
Welcome back discount If you previously purchased a car insurance policy from Direct Auto, which then expired or was canceled within the last 6 months, you may be eligible for this discount. 6%
Affinity discount If you or your spouse is a member of a direct Direct Auto affinity partner organization such as a place of employment, church, club, university, government organization, wholesale shopping organization, retiree organization, or fraternal society, you qualify for this discount with proof of your membership. 5%
Auto-pay discount You must set up recurring, automatic payments from a checking or savings account to qualify.
Paid in full discount If you pay for your entire policy upfront rather than in monthly installments, you can qualify for this discount. 9%
Paperless discount Qualify by opting to receive all policy documents and updates via email rather than in the mail.

If you are already a Direct Auto policyholder, you can always change your preferences to paperless communications mid-term and start saving.

1%
Anti-theft recovery discount If your car has anti-theft technology that includes a tracking system and/or a recovery device, you may be eligible for this discount. 10%
Airbag discount For Florida and Pennsylvania residents only, you can save if your car is equipped with a functional single or dual airbag safety system. 10%
Anti-lock brake discount This discount is available in Florida only. You’ll be able to save on your policy if your vehicle is equipped with a two-wheel or four-wheel system. 5%
New vehicle discount You can qualify for this policy simply by owning a current model year car.

In Virginia only, this discount applies to the previous three model years.

2%

Availability

Currently, Direct Auto is available in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Direct Auto Customer Service

  • Customer service toll-free phone number: 1-877-463-4732. The hours of operation are:
    • Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. CT
    • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. CT
  • Claims toll-free phone number: 1-800-403-1077, available 24/7.
  • Online form: https://www.directauto.com/emailus

THE MORE YOU KNOW:

You can walk into one of Direct Auto’s more than 450 store locations for in-person customer service options, including paying for your policy in cash. Find your nearest store using the company’s store locator service: https://local.directauto.com/search?_ga=2.83896217.1440568871.1666359151-11247495.1666359151

Mobile Apps and Online Features

Direct Auto offers an online portal called MyAccount, which allows users to access policy ID cards, keep track of upcoming payments, and file claims, among other features. For customers on the go, Direct Auto offers a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices.

The app has a 2.9-star average rating in the Apple App Store, aggregated from 52 ratings. Several negative reviews mention bugs with the app that cause it to freeze and crash. The company’s iOS app is designed for use on the iPad, and may not be as easy to use on iPhones.

Direct Auto’s Google Play Store App has a 3.9-star average rating aggregated from 336 reviews. Some Google Play Store reviews also mention the app crashing and freezing, as well as rejecting valid login credentials.

Third-Party Ratings

  • Better Business Bureau: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) first accredited Direct Auto in 1994. The BBB gives Direct Auto a rating of A+, though the 354 customer reviews give the company an average rating of 1.08 out of five stars. Many customer reviews mention difficulty getting in touch with customer service and delayed settlements and payments.2
  • AM Best: AM Best is the largest credit rating agency in the insurance industry. It issues a financial strength rating for various insurance providers, which in practical terms translates to a company’s ability to pay out claims. AM Best has given Direct Auto an A+, or excellent, rating for its financial strength, further stating that the company has a stable financial outlook.3

Company History

Direct Auto was founded in 1991 and is based in Nashville, Tennessee currently. Initially founded to provide insurance for high-risk drivers, Direct Auto has since expanded its offerings and locations. The company now has more than 450 store locations spread out across the 16 states it covers, allowing customers to get in-person customer service.

Direct Auto is an affiliate of the National General Group insurance company. Allstate owns both National General Group and Direct Auto.

Other Insurance Types Direct Auto Provides

  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Health insurance marketplace
  • Life insurance
  • Medicare
  • Motorcycle insurance

Cancellation Policy

If you’re looking to cancel an existing policy, Direct Auto offers several options for doing so. You can sign a cancellation request at your local Direct Auto store location or call the company’s toll-free customer service line at 877-463-4732.

To cancel by fax, write out a statement that includes your policy number, full name, address, date of birth, and the date you need the policy canceled. Sign the statement and fax it to 877-622-7338.

You can also request a cancellation online by emailing customer service using the email form at https://www.directauto.com/emailus. The email should include an explanation of your request, your policy number, full name, address, date of birth, and the date you need the policy canceled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Direct Auto?

The National General Holdings Corp. owns Direct Auto, and Allstate owns the National General Holdings Corp.

Does Direct Auto sell homeowners insurance?

No, Direct Auto does not sell homeowners insurance.

Is Direct Auto in California?

No, Direct Auto is not one of the car insurance companies available in California. Get insurance quotes from companies like Allstate, GEICO, and Mercury, which offer minimum and full coverage car insurance in California.

Citations

  1. Term Life Insurance. Direct Auto Insurance. (2022).
    https://www.directauto.com/our-products/life-insurance

  2. Direct Auto Insurance Business Profile. Better Business Bureau. (2022).
    https://www.bbb.org/us/tn/nashville/profile/insurance-companies/direct-auto-insurance-0573-20230

  3. Search Results. AM BEST. (2022).
    https://ratings.ambest.com/SearchResults.aspx