The General is a car insurance provider that specializes in providing affordable policy options that cater to the needs of high-risk drivers who might otherwise struggle to find reasonable car insurance quotes.
What is The General Insurance?
The General automobile insurance company is a Nashville, Tennessee-based car insurance company that specializes in providing affordable and accessible policy options for high-risk drivers.
The company has been around since 1963, although they only adopted their current moniker in the late-90s. They proudly boast almost 60 years of cumulative car-insurance expertise and are known for their loveable mascot and their hit ad-campaign featuring basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal.
The General prides itself in offering reasonable policy options where other big-name providers fall short.
The General pros and cons
- Affordable policy options for high-risk drivers
- 12-month policy renewal options
- Convenient features like an online app and claims management options
- Lack of discounts and limited service options make these policies less than ideal for anybody with a clean driving record
- No website-based claim reporting options available
The General’s basic car insurance offerings
The General can offer you most standard car insurance policy options, but the type of coverage will depend on your individual policy.
Bodily Injury/Property Damage Liability
Bodily injury/property damage liability will cover any related medical expenses or legal fees up to your policy’s limit if you are found at fault for an accident.
Liability coverage is legally required in most states. There are two types of liability coverage: bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. To make sure you have adequate coverage, it’s generally a good idea to purchase both.
Medical payment coverage is typically sold as an optional add-on that will help cover the costs of any medical or funeral expenses for you, your family members, or your passengers regardless of who is found at fault.
While basic liability coverage only applies to the other party, medical payment coverage will ensure that your medical expenses are also taken care of up to your policy’s limit.
Uninsured Motorist / Underinsured Motorist
Both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is designed to protect you should you find yourself in an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn’t have sufficient liability coverage.
This type of insurance is legally required in a large handful of states so make sure you have the coverage you need.
Collision coverage will help cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle up to your policy limit should you be involved in a collision with another vehicle or object. A standard collision coverage policy will also cover you for one-car rollovers as well.
Comprehensive coverage policies come into effect when a vehicle is damaged or destroyed by external forces which typically include the following:
- Hitting an animal
Optional insurance coverage options
The General offers up optional roadside assistance coverage that will give you access to 24/7 emergency roadside services. The program is offered through Nation Safe Drivers (NSD) and includes the following:
- Emergency towing up to 15 miles or $50
- Emergency delivery of supplies like gasoline, water, oil, or other necessary vehicle fluids (the cost of supplies may not be covered)
- Emergency battery jump-start service
- Emergency road service
The General’s customers need to call a toll-free line at 1-800-338-2680 to request emergency roadside assistance for their vehicles.
SR-22 coverage is not technically a policy option, but rather a certificate of insurability that the government might require you to obtain if you have DUIs, multiple tickets, or have had your driver’s license suspended or revoked.
The General specializes in offering SR-22 certificates and coverage options to help you get your driver’s license so you can get back on the road.
The General offers a rental reimbursement add-on that will help you cover the cost of renting a vehicle if your car ends up in the shop for repairs after a claimable incident. The average rental reimbursement policy will cover about $20 a day for the cost of a rental.
While some providers only require collision coverage to take out a rental reimbursement policy plan, The General requires you to have both comprehensive and collision policy options in place in order to be eligible for rental reimbursement coverage.
This optional policy add-on will allow you to forgo the usual deductible payments should you claim for repairs or replacement of certain safety features including door and window glass, and windshield repairs and replacements.
If you have aftermarket add-ons or custom parts on your vehicle, they will not be covered by a standard insurance policy. The General offers an optional policy add-on that provides up to $5000 of coverage for custom vehicle equipment such as camper shells, fog lights, and truck bed liners.
24/7 Roadside Assistance
The General provides optional roadside services, such as tire changes, battery replenishment, fluid delivery (gas, oil, etc.), and towing. The towing service has a maximum benefit of 15 miles or $50, whichever is reached first.
Keep in mind, product offerings, coverages, payment plans, discounts, and features are subject to verification and vary by state and program.
The General’s auto insurance discounts
Since they cater to the insurance needs of higher-risk drivers, The General offers less meaningful discounts to their clients than standard insurance providers. However, you might still be able to benefit from the following discount options should you subscribe to The General’s car insurance policy options.
- Double deductible discount: This type of policy will help you decrease your insurance rates by doubling your deductible amount for the first 45 days of your policy coverage period
- Homeowners insurance discount
- Paid-in-full discount
- Multi-car insurance policy
How much does The General car insurance cost?
If you are a driver with a good driving record, you will probably find better pricing plans and policy options through other providers. However, The General offers more competitive pricing options for anybody who has violations on their recent driving record and might even provide reasonable options for those who can’t obtain policies elsewhere.
The average cost of a car insurance policy through The General for a 21-year male is about $2,824 a year. These numbers can fluctuate drastically depending on the type of vehicle you drive, your location, your driving record, your age, and the type of tailored options you add to your policy.
For instance, a 21-year old male who has had an accident, the average annual policy cost jumps to $3,981.
Meanwhile, if you are a 45-year-old-female who has a good driving record, you can expect to pay about $909 for an annual insurance package with The General.
How will a crash impact my rates?
While The General provides convenient options for those who have had accidents in the past, you can still expect a significant rate increase if you are in an accident that results in a claim.
You can expect the same premium hike from any major insurer in this scenario; however, The General does not offer some of the accident-forgiveness initiatives that the competition will often provide.
For instance, if you are a 21-year-old male who is currently paying $3,981 a year for a car insurance policy with The General, you can expect your rate to increase by about $827 the following year if you have an accident while covered by this policy.
The General vs. other insurance companies
So how does The General insurance stack up against the competition?
To put it simply, The General provides great opportunities to save if you fall into high-risk categories, but you will sacrifice service as a result.
Since their policy offerings tend to come in at a higher price-point for lower-risk categories, you are probably going to find a better deal and better service offerings if you already have a strong driving record.
For instance, if you are a 21-year-old male who has an accident on your policy, the $3,981 average cost that you can expect to pay annually for a policy through The General easily beats out Progressive’s $4,765 offering for this category. The same goes for the $4,192 policy that State Farm offers.
However, the tables will turn if you are a 65-year-old female with a good driving record. You can expect to pay about $1,316 a year with The General, while Progressive and State Farm will probably offer up pricing around $855 a year for the same policy.
When you take the lack of discounts and limited customer service options available through The General into account, it easily makes more sense to go with one of the competitor’s policies if you have a clean driving record.
How to get a car insurance quote
The easiest way to get a quote from The General is to visit their homepage and request a quote online. You can also call up an agent to get a quote if you prefer.
Keep in mind that in order to accurately compare car insurance quotes from different providers, you will need more sophisticated technology on your side.
The best way to get a good idea of what you can expect to pay for the coverage you want is to use Jerry.ai to assess your needs and generate a variety of hassle-free car insurance quotes online (in just 45 seconds!).
How do customers rate The General’s auto insurance?
According to the 2018 J.D. Power Associates U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, The General doesn’t excel in terms of customer ratings, but it does lock in “about average” scores across the board in all of the following categories:
- Claim Servicing
- Estimation Process
- First Notice of Loss
- Overall Satisfaction
- Repair Process
- Rental Experience
These scores really aren’t bad considering The General has built their name by providing policy options for high-risk drivers.
However, when it comes to the 2018 U.S Auto Insurance Shopping Study, The General racks up impressive customer satisfaction scores, scoring “better than most” in all of the following categories:
- Local Agent
- Overall Satisfaction
- Policy Offerings
The General’s services and features
The General Auto Insurance Mobile App
The General offers up a convenient and well-rated mobile app that provides plenty of nifty online policy-management and payment tools. It also provides instant access to any policy ID cards and includes claim submission options as well.
How to file a claim with The General
The General offers clients two ways to file a claim. The simplest way is to use the convenient online claims filing tool provided via the mobile app.
Simply visit your profile, click on the big green button that says “Start a New Claim” and follow the prompts from there. Alternately, you can call 1-800-280-1466 and select option #3 to begin a new claim.
Once you begin the claims process, you will receive a claim number that you will need to keep handy throughout the course of the claims investigation process.
In order to ensure the claim filing process goes as smoothly as possible, be prepared to provide the following information:
- The location, date, and time of the accident
- The names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance policy numbers of anybody else involved
- A summary of the weather conditions
- Photo evidence of the accident scene and damage
- Any relevant copies of the police and/or accident reports
Keep in mind, using the mobile app will make it easier to upload any relevant data quickly and efficiently.
Once the claim is filed, it’s a good idea to review your policy so you have an idea of what to expect with regard to your particular coverage. Once your claim is approved, you can proceed with the repairs and secure a replacement vehicle (if it is part of your coverage plan).
The General offers their clients a diverse range of payment options to suit their needs and lifestyles. You can take advantage of the following payment options:
- Automatic online payments
- Credit card payment
- Debit card payments
- Electronic checks
- Mail payments
- Mobile app payments
- Multi-payment installment plans
- Online payments
- Phone payments
- Cash payments
- Pay-through-your-agent options
The General’s car insurance cancellation policy
The General’s cancellation policy is less-than-ideal. You cannot cancel online or over the phone. Rather, you will have to submit a cancellation request letter through mail or to a local agent.
For most states, the cancellation fee is 10 percent on any remaining unpaid policy premiums. They will refund any premiums that have already been paid in advance. This means it might be worth it to wait until your policy expires before canceling or switching to another provider.
When writing up your cancellation notice, including the following information will help you avoid any snags.
- Name, address, and primary phone number of the primary policy-holder
- Social security number
- Relevant driver’s license number
- Your policy number
- Your preferred effective date for policy cancellation
- Date and signature
Keep in mind that you may also be asked to provide some basic information on your new provider, so be sure to have this handy if necessary. It is important to make sure that you are always covered when switching policies, so be sure that you have another policy lined up before committing to canceling your current coverage.
The Takeaway: is The General right for me?
When all is said and done, The General offers up some impressive cost-savings and package options for anybody with a less-than-ideal driving record. The same might also apply if you fall into a high-risk driving category. The General is also a great option for anybody requiring an SR-22 certification.
However, if service is top-priority, The General is probably not a good choice for you. The claim-filing process can be tedious, and you won’t have access to the same range of discounts and service options that are the standard fare of bigger insurance providers.
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