AutoInsurance.com
December 13, 2022

The General Car Insurance Review

A complete review of The General’s auto insurance policies, rates, discounts, and more

The General has provided auto insurance in almost every state in the U.S. for nearly 60 years. American Family Insurance, the ninth-largest insurance provider in the country, owns both The General and PGC Holdings Corp. (The General’s parent company). The General offers a variety of coverage options, has several discount opportunities, and boasts an excellent financial strength rating, which we’ll get into below.

Key Takeaways 

If you’re a young, old, or high-risk driver, you will find some of the most competitive rates on the market with The General. The company offers SR-22s to high-risk drivers and flexible payment options for customers who want to customize their payment plans. Its national annual average cost is $2,418, which is above the national average of $1,070.47. However, The General’s average for minimum coverage is $1,394 annually, and high-risk insurance always costs more.

Who It’s Best For

  • People who need SR-22s
  • People with poor credit
  • Young drivers
  • High-risk drivers

Who It’s Not Best For

  • Anyone living in the following states:
  • People looking for the most affordable option

Pros and Cons of The General Auto Insurance

Pros

  • Excellent financial strength rating: AM Best gave The General an Excellent (A) rating, which reflects how well the company can meet its financial obligations.

  • Option for high-risk drivers: The General offers car insurance to individuals who have SR-22s, low credit scores, a history of accidents, and/or a lapse in auto insurance. For example, drivers ages 16 to 19 have some of the highest rates in the country ($3,751, on average, annually). With The General, drivers under age 20 pay $1,901 annually, on average.

  • Ample discounts: The General offers various savings opportunities, including good student, defensive driver course, multivehicle, and military discounts.

  • Seamless mobile app: The General relaunched its mobile app in 2018, providing drivers with several features for a seamless user experience. (We’ll get into these features below.)

Cons

  • Limited availability: The General offers insurance in almost every state, but people in the following states must look elsewhere for their car insurance:

    • Alaska
    • Hawaii
    • Maryland
    • Michigan
  • Higher-than-average complaints: According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, The General has a complaint index of 3.28, which is about three times higher than the industry average.1

CheckPRO TIP:

Whereas some insurance providers don’t accept drivers with SR-22s, The General will go out of its way to file your SR-22 form for you. Just let your agent know that you need an SR-22, and they will include the form with your policy documents after you apply and buy your insurance.

Car Insurance Coverage

  • Bodily injury liability: Bodily injury liability coverage covers any injuries or deaths you cause with your vehicle. All states except Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Virginia require bodily injury liability.
  • Property damage liability: Most states require property damage liability coverage, which handles damages you cause to someone else’s car or their property (such as their house, fence, or garage). Together, bodily injury and property damage coverage make up liability coverage.
  • Collision: Collision insurance helps cover incidents where you collide with another vehicle or stationary object (such as a streetlight or fence) or someone crashes into your car and their property damage limits weren’t high enough to cover your damages. Although no state requires collision coverage, we recommend adding it, since liability coverage applies only to the other party’s property damages.
  • Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage reimburses you for thefts and damages that don’t result from collisions, such as falling trees, fires, rocks, potholes, and natural disasters. Collision and comprehensive coverage are part of full coverage insurance.
  • Medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP): Medical payments coverage takes care of any medical bills that you or your passengers incur in an accident. Medical payments coverage is required in only 15 states, but we recommend it for the added protection it provides you and your passengers. PIP includes medical payments, but it also helps pay for lost wages. PIP is mandatory in no-fault states, meaning your insurance provider will have to cover your losses even if you’re at fault for the accident.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: If you get into a collision with someone who is uninsured or underinsured, this coverage reimburses you if they’re at fault. This is a good option for hit-and-run situations, as well.
  • Towing and roadside coverage: The General offers 24/7 roadside assistance for towing, jump starts, and other issues.
  • Rental car reimbursement: The General offers rental car reimbursement in some states, such as North Carolina. Rental car reimbursement will help cover the cost of a rental if you are unable to drive your vehicle after a covered loss.
  • Custom equipment: Custom equipment insurance covers the cost of damages to any additional parts you’ve added after buying your car, including features such as music systems, fog lights, or custom tires.
  • Rideshare coverage: Rideshare companies provide insurance only after you’ve accepted a ride or while you’re transporting a passenger, not in between rides. Your personal insurance may not cover you during the window in between rides (also known as period one) either, because technically, you’re working as a contractor. If you get into an accident while your rideshare app is on and you’re waiting for a request, you might be liable for the damages/injuries without any help from a provider. That’s where rideshare coverage comes in. If you drive for a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft, rideshare coverage will fill the insurance gap that neither the rideshare company’s insurance nor your personal insurance will cover.

Light BulbFYI:

With The General, not all coverage options are available in every state. Rideshare coverage, for example, is not available in California. Be sure to speak with an agent to find out what kind of coverage options are available in your area.

What Will My Auto Insurance Rate Be?

The national annual average cost of The General is $2,418, but your rate will look very different based on your demographics and situation. Factors that affect car insurance rates include your credit score, home address, driving history, age, gender, the car you drive, and more. To give you a better idea of what your premiums might look like with The General, here are a few other averages:

  • Minimum coverage: The General’s average cost for minimum coverage across all states is $1,394. Minimum coverage refers to what your state requires you to have to drive legally, both in terms of the auto insurance coverages themselves and the coverage limits.
  • Full coverage: Full coverage includes liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage. (Sometimes, it also includes medical payments and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.) The General’s average full coverage cost comes out to $3,133 annually.
  • Young drivers: Drivers under age 20 pay some of the highest rates in the country, on average. The General’s annual cost for young adults is $1,901, which is considerably lower than the national annual average cost for drivers ages 16 to 20 (about $3,500).
  • Older drivers: Drivers ages 55 to 65 will pay an average of $970 annually with The General.

The General Car Insurance Discounts

  • Defensive driver discount: Take an approved defensive driving course, and you could be eligible for a discount.
  • Double deductible discount: With this discount, you would double your comprehensive and collision deductibles for the first 45 days of your policy, thereby lowering your premiums.
  • Good student discount: High school and college students who maintain B averages or better might be eligible for a good student discount.
  • Military discount: Only available in Louisiana, this discount applies to active military members, retired veterans, or members of the National Guard.
  • Motor club discount: If you’re a member of Motor Club, which is a roadside assistance and auto insurance benefits program, you could be eligible for a discount.
  • Multivehicle discount: Insuring multiple vehicles with The General could earn you a discount.
  • Pay-in-full discount: To qualify for this discount, you have to pay your full policy in one or two payments.
  • Recent car insurance discount: You could be eligible for this discount simply for having any auto insurance for at least five years.
  • Safe driver discount: Have a clean driving record for at least three years? You could be eligible for a safe driver discount.
  • Transfer discount: Switch to The General from another insurer and you could be eligible for a discount.
  • Vehicle equipment discount: Vehicles must be equipped with safety features such as anti-lock brakes, anti-theft devices, airbags, passive restraints, and daytime running lights to receive this discount.

CheckDID YOU KNOW?

Although The General doesn’t offer an explicit low-mileage discount, you can still save on car insurance premiums by driving less. If you drive fewer than 1,000 miles a month, talk to your agent to see if you’re eligible for lower premiums.

The General Customer Service

Have a question for The General? You can reach a representative by phone at 844-328-0306, send an email through the company’s contact page (https://www.thegeneral.com/about/contact/), chat live with a representative from The General’s website, or talk to your local agent.

Mobile Apps and Online Features

With The General mobile app, you can:

  • Log in with a simple Touch ID sign-in feature.
  • Submit claims with photos and descriptions via the app.
  • Gain on-demand customer support directly from the app.
  • Sign up for payment alerts and notifications.
  • Use multiple, split, and scheduled payments.
  • Ask for quotes.
  • Show digital proof of insurance.

The General mobile app has a 4.7 (out of 5) rating in the Apple App Store and a 4.8 rating in the Google Play store.

Third-Party Ratings

  • Better Business Bureau rating: The General has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the second-highest possible BBB rating, and a glowing 4.66-out-of-5-star score from over 900 customers. The company also has a 100 percent customer response rate to all the customer complaints the BBB has on record. The General’s BBB score is a reflection of how many customers complain to The General, how well The General handles the complaints, and how transparent The General is in its business practices.2
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC): The NAIC gave The General a complaint score of 3.28, which is about three times higher than the expected complaint average of 1.0. This score measures the volume of complaints a company receives compared with the industry standard. The lower the score, the better.
  • AM Best: As the owner of The General, American Family Insurance provides The General with one of the largest and most financially reliable organizations in the country. AM Best affirmed American Family’s A (Excellent) financial strength rating, which is the third-highest possible rating. Financial strength is important because it demonstrates a provider’s ability to pay for claims and fulfill its financial promises with customers’ policy benefits.3

Company History

The General started its journey in 1963 under the name Permanent General Agency. It wasn’t until 1997 that the company started offering insurance under the name “The General,” and it wasn’t until 2000 that the familiar general mascot was born. In 2013, American Family Insurance bought both PGC (The General’s parent company) and The General, and it has continued running under American Family Insurance since then.

Other Insurance The General Provides

  • Property insurance: Homeowners, renters, condo, landlord, motor home, travel trailer
  • Business insurance: Commercial auto, general liability
  • Miscellaneous: Life, health, pet

Cancellation Policy

You must call a customer support representative or send a written request by mail to cancel your policy with The General. You can send a written letter request to the headquarters address:

  • The General
  • 2636 Elm Hill Pike, Suite 100
  • Nashville, TN 37214

Or, call The General at 1-844-328-0306.

Depending on which state you live in, The General may charge you for early cancellation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is The General affordable for older Americans?

Yes, The General auto insurance is affordable for older Americans. The national annual average for drivers ages 55 to 65 is around $1,300. With The General, drivers in the same age range will pay only $970 per year, on average.

How many people does The General cover?

The General covers more than 1 million drivers in the U.S.

Is The General a good insurance provider?

Yes, The General is a good insurance provider. It has an A+ BBB rating and strong financial support from American Family Insurance, its parent company. It also provides some of the most affordable rates in the country to young, old, and high-risk drivers.

Are National General, General Motors, and The General owned by the same car insurance companies?

No. The National General, General Motors, and The General are three separate companies. American Family Insurance owns The General, Allstate owns National General, and General Motors is a publicly held company.

Citations

  1. The Gen Automobile Ins Co Inc National Complaint Index Report. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2022).
    https://content.naic.org/cis_refined_results.htmTABLEAU=CIS_COMPLAINTS&COCODE=13703&REALM=PROD

  2. The General Auto Insurance. Better Business Bureau. (2022).
    https://www.bbb.org/us/tn/nashville/profile/insurance-companies/the-general-auto-insurance-1216-13176429

  3. A.M. Best affirms American Family’s ‘A’ financial strength rating and stable outlook. American Family Insurance. (2022, Jun 23).
    https://newsroom.amfam.com/am-best-affirms-american-familys-a-financial-strength-rating-2022/