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Last updated: May 13, 2024

Direct Auto Car Insurance Review 2024

Direct Auto offers high-risk car insurance, but at higher prices.

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Are you a high-risk driver looking for quick insurance? Direct Auto’s tagline, “Drive with Peace of Mind,” has been its motto since its inception in 1991. Known for offering policies to high-risk drivers, Directo Auto is there for those who have trouble getting insured by major providers.

As a writer for, when evaluating a provider, I consider various factors, including average cost, discounts offered, coverage options, the quoting process, and customer feedback. Direct Auto may charge higher premiums, but that’s to be expected for a provider that caters to individuals with a bad driving record.

If your driving record is clean, you can definitely get better rates elsewhere. Direct Auto’s average rates are almost a third higher than national averages. If not, Direct Auto may be an ideal choice, with multiple discounts available and some harder-to-find insurance options.

Below I’ll go over some highlights based on industry research and my personal experience getting a quote to help you decide whether Direct Auto is the right provider for you.

In addition to Direct Auto, we’ve reviewed dozens of companies, including the best insurance companies for drivers with a bad record.

Quick Look: Direct Auto Pros and Cons


  • Insures high-risk drivers

  • Customizable payment options

  • Variety of discounts


  • Higher-than-average premiums, especially if you have a good driving record and decent credit

  • History of unsatisfactory customer ratings

Who Is Direct Auto Insurance Best For?

Direct Auto Is Best for Those Who:

  • Are high-risk drivers and have trouble getting coverage from other providers
  • Want to pay in cash, as customers can make cash payments at Direct Auto’s store locations

Direct Auto Is Not Best for Those Who:

  • Are looking for low car insurance rates
  • Want reliable customer service, especially during the claims process
  • Live outside of:
    • Alabama
    • Arkansas
    • Delaware
    • Florida
    • Louisiana
    • Michigan
    • Mississippi
    • North Carolina
    • Ohio
    • Pennsylvania
    • South Carolina
    • Tennessee
    • Texas
    • Virginia
    • Washington


Direct Auto may be a good option if you need an SR-22. Learn more about SR-22s in Texas and SR-22s/FR-44s in Florida, two of the major states Direct Auto serves.

How Much Does Direct Auto Car Insurance Cost?

Overall, policies at Direct Auto are on the pricey side. The average annual cost for full coverage is $2,487 per year, about 29 percent above the national average. The average annual cost for minimum coverage is $1,076 per year, almost double the national average. Since the provider is known for offering insurance to high-risk drivers, it makes sense that it would charge more for policies in general.

If you have a clean driving record, good credit, and other favorable factors, you may be able to get a lower rate at Direct Auto. However, you’ll find considerably better prices at other providers for the same coverage.

Take a look at the table below to see how Direct Auto stacks up against other insurers:

Company Average annual premium for full coverage Average annual premium for minimum coverage
National average $1,924 $547
AAA $2,211 $894
Allstate $2,639 $597
American Family $1,785 $713
Direct Auto $2,487 $1,076
Farmers $2,320 $634
GEICO $1,572 $413
Nationwide $1,805 $613
Progressive $1,891 $481
State Farm $1,697 $482

How You Can Save on Your Policy With Direct Auto

Direct Auto offers many auto insurance discounts, so make sure to see which ones you qualify for. For instance, you can save nearly 10 percent if you pay your policy in full, 5 percent for setting up autopay, and 1 percent just for going paperless.

You’ll also enjoy a discount at Direct Auto for:

  • Being a military member
  • Being a senior citizen
  • Being an unmarried, full-time student
  • Owning a home
  • Completing an accident prevention course
  • Have more than one vehicle on your policy
  • Having a clean driving record for three years
  • Renewing your policy within seven to 10 days of the expiration date
  • Setting up automatic billing on your account
  • Paying for your policy in full upfront
  • Choosing the paperless option for policy documents
  • Having a car with anti-lock brakes

Highlighted Discount: Prior Insurance Coverage Discount

Direct Auto’s prior insurance coverage discount is one of the easiest to earn, which is why I’m highlighting it. This discount reduces your premium by up to 25 percent if you’ve had continuous insurance with a different provider for the past six months or so.

If you qualify, you just need proof of your prior insurance. Eligible forms of proof include:

  • A renewal quote from your insurer
  • A letter from your insurer or agent
  • Your insurance ID card or declarations page

This discount stands out because it could lower premiums considerably and it’s not commonly offered among major providers. Plus, it takes much less effort to meet the qualifications, unlike other typical discounts that provide significant savings.


Insurance companies like to see that you have a history of continuous coverage, because it demonstrates that you don’t drive without insurance. The longer your history of coverage is, the lower your premium will be. If you don’t own a car, you can maintain coverage with a low-cost non-owner car insurance policy.

Highlighted Discount: Multi-Car Discount

Similar to other providers, Direct Auto offers a discount if you have more than one vehicle on your policy. However, Direct Auto gives drivers up to 25 percent off, higher than the typical 10 to 20 percent discount you’ll find with most major providers. The vehicles on the policy must be in the same household, so it’s ideal for couples or families with multiple vehicles.

This discount isn’t available in all states, so check if it’s offered in your state if you plan to take advantage of it. Direct Auto may have higher average premiums, but it may be worth it with this discount.

My Experience Getting a Quote With Direct Auto

Though I’m not a high-risk driver, my premium with my current provider has been going up even though I’ve had the same policy, so I headed to Direct Auto’s website to see if I could get a lower rate.

Direct Auto makes it fairly simple to get a car insurance quote online. All I needed to do was enter my personal information and other details, including the number of vehicles and drivers on the policy.

Direct Auto Number of Vehicles

Once I entered those details, I got an initial quote for minimum coverage in my state, along with an estimate for other coverages, like collision and comprehensive.

Direct Auto Quote

There was also an option to select different coverage amounts, though the site directed me to contact an agent when I tried to update my quote.

Direct Auto Discounts

I recommend getting an online quote with Direct Auto if you want minimum coverage. The whole process is simple and easy, though you’ll need to call Direct Auto if you’re looking for higher coverage limits. You also won’t be able to see other discount options on the site other than its Good Driver discount, which will also require calling an agent.

I spoke to an agent and found out that the company doesn’t offer insurance in my area. Even so, the initial quote made it clear that I’d be paying more at Direct Auto, even with the Good Driver discount. As a driver with a clean record and low mileage on my odometer, I have more options when it comes to providers.

However, I’d say that Direct Auto is a great option if you’re considered a high-risk driver and need auto insurance. Keep in mind that it offers coverage in select states only, so you may need to search for other options depending on where you live.

What Types of Auto Insurance Coverage Does Direct Auto Offer?

Direct Auto provides the typical car insurance coverages, including liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured/underinsured motorist, and medical payments.

While you can opt for minimum coverage when purchasing your policy, I’d recommend raising your liability limits. Minimum liability often isn’t enough to cover all the costs of a collision, and it’s ideal to be prepared. Even if you’re on a tighter leash with your finances, you can often still get $50,000 in bodily liability injury per person, $100,000 in bodily liability injury per accident, and $50,000 in property damage for just a little extra per month.

I’d also suggest going for comprehensive coverage with a $500 deductible or lower: If your car is damaged in any situation that is not a collision, it will pay for repairs. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters or a neighborhood where your vehicle is more likely to be vandalized, it’s especially useful. Plus, depending on your provider, lowering the deductible may raise your premium by only $5 to $15 per month.

When shopping with Direct Auto, you can also choose additional coverages, like rental reimbursement and roadside assistance. They may be useful to add to your policy depending on your needs. Some may add only a few bucks to your monthly premium, so they’re worth considering.

Here’s a list of add-on coverages:

Coverage type What it covers How much it costs
Emergency roadside assistance 24/7 emergency towing, jump-starts, lockout assistance, and gas and essential fluid delivery As little as $3 per month
Rental reimbursement Covers the cost of a rental car if you get into a covered accident and your car is undrivable Depends on your state, the car you’re renting, and your existing limits
Accidental death coverage Pays $5,000 to your beneficiaries in the event of your death from a covered accident Varies
Mexico car insurance Provides coverage for your car if you drive to Mexico Depends on the length of your stay
Towing and labor coverage Covers the cost of emergency towing if your car is disabled, along with any labor required to make your car towable Usually no more than a few dollars per month

Direct Auto: Customer Satisfaction Data

When it comes to customer satisfaction, Direct Auto has mixed reviews. Since the provider is smaller than other auto insurance companies, there isn’t as much third-party data available. It isn’t reviewed on sites like the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and J.D. Power, though there’s still some information available.

Direct Auto has a strong financial rating, so you can expect it to follow through with claims payouts. Although it has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, the hundreds of customer reviews give the company an average rating of 1.06 stars (out of 5). The reviews commonly mention delayed claims payouts and trouble getting in touch with customer service.

Category Direct Auto rating/score
AM Best Financial Strength Rating1 A+ — Stable
Better Business Bureau Customer Reviews2 1.06 stars (out of 5)

Filing a Claim With Direct Auto

Direct Auto allows you to file a claim online or on the app. When filing a claim, make sure you have your policy number within reach. You can also call 1-800-403-1077, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time, to speak to a claims specialist.

You’ll need additional details, including the date of the incident, the vehicles involved, the other party’s contact information, and an account of the incident.

Several customers have complained about Direct Auto’s claims process, mentioning difficulty contacting claims adjusters and prolonged settlement times. When deciding whether to purchase car insurance from Direct Auto, you may want to consider these details. Ultimately, claims fulfillment is an insurer’s primary job.

Direct Auto’s Website and Mobile App

Direct Auto offers a straightforward website experience for customers. Its online portal is called MyAccount, and it allows users to access policy ID cards, keep track of upcoming payments, and file claims, among other features.

You can also access all of these features on the mobile app. You’ll need your policy number to use Direct Auto’s app. Since I’m not a Direct Auto customer, I can’t speak to the mobile experience. The iPhone app has 2.4 stars and 237 reviews — many of which mention trouble logging in and major glitches, including errors during payment. The Android app has a 3.8-star rating from 1,320 reviews. Users also complain about login issues and difficulties making payments. Multiple reviews mention the app taking too long to load or shutting down immediately.

App Rating (out of 5)
iPhone (App Store) 2.4 stars
Android (Google Play) 3.8 stars

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Direct Auto?

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

How long has Direct Auto been around?

Direct Auto has been around for over 30 years and was founded in 1991 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Is Direct Auto available in California?

No. Direct Auto is not one of the car insurance companies available in California. Get insurance quotes from companies like GEICO, Mercury, and Wawanesa, which offer some of the cheapest car insurance in California.

Methodology: How We Review Insurance Companies

We evaluate companies using the following methodology:

  1. Cost and coverage: We break down the price of coverage based on affordability, discounts, and value.
  2. Customer experience: Since we are auto insurance customers ourselves, we take firsthand experience into account when providing analyses of the shopping experience. We also look at third-party data and customer reviews for a comprehensive overview of each provider.
  3. Claims handling: An insurance company’s most important job is claim fulfillment. We use third-party data, customer evaluations, and our own experience to analyze the claims process.
  4. Industry ratings and reviews: We put together data from independent agencies to evaluate factors such as financial strength, complaint records, and customer satisfaction.
  5. Digital tools and technology: We assess the ease of use of websites, mobile apps, and online account management features.


  1. Search Results. AM Best. (2024).

  2. Business Profile Direct Auto Insurance. Better Business Bureau. (2024).