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The General Insurance
In Our Opinion:
The General is best for high-risk drivers looking for affordable auto insurance. The company accepts most cars and drivers with a history of driving violations or low credit scores. However, expect some difficulty with customer service and processing claims. If you have a clean driving record, you will likely find much better options with another provider.
Affordable car insurance for drivers who are high-risk or have low credit
Offers SR-22 and FR-44 filing for drivers
Ability to purchase insurance online in just a few minutes
Easy quotes process
Convenient methods for online monthly payment
Has a mobile app for filing claims, making payments, and contacting customer support
High number of customer complaints, particularly for service and claims processing
Few discounts and policy options
Does not offer the best prices for drivers with good records
There are many ways you might know of The General Insurance, or simply The General®. For one, the Tennessee-based company has been in the auto insurance industry for over 50 years. It’s one of the few providers that openly accepts high-risk drivers with less than perfect credit. And of course, it’s widely known for its eponymous mascot and his celebrity companions, Shaq and Snoop Dogg.
Below, we’ll review what the insurance company offers for coverage, and provide an overview of their claim procedures as we help you determine whether it’s a provider you should consider.
If you’re looking for other options, our team has also done extensive research on best car insurance providers. See our comprehensive review and top recommendations, or fill out the form below to start collecting quotes.
The General Coverage Options
Online, The General does not list the types of insurance they provide. You must get a quote to determine your coverage options. When we requested a quote, the standard types of car insurance coverage were available – liability, medical payments, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. While liability is the minimum requirement in most states, The General does provide additional options for full coverage.
The types included in full coverage are described below:
Liability Coverage: This type covers any injuries to another person or damage to their property due to an accident where you are responsible. It’s usually divided into bodily injury liability (BI), which covers other drivers and their passengers, and property damage liability (PD), which covers other vehicles.
Medical Payments Coverage: MedPay covers medical expenses for you and your passengers resulting from an automobile accident. It’s the most common type of medical coverage and available in most states. Personal injury protection (PIP) is another type required in no-fault states, where drivers must file a claim with their own personal auto insurance after an accident, no matter who is responsible. PIP covers medical expenses, lost wages, and death benefits for you and your passengers.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: UM/UIM covers you for accidents where the responsible party has little or no insurance to pay for your medical or vehicle expenses. This may also cover hit-and-runs cases.
Collision Coverage: This type covers your vehicle from any damage caused by accidents, no matter who is responsible.
Comprehensive Coverage: This type covers your vehicle against environmental factors, such as floods, fire, fallen objects, and vandalism.
The General can also help you file for SR-22 or FR-44 insurance, which is a document required by the state to prove a driver has sufficient car insurance.
SR-22s are typically required to reinstate a driver’s privileges after being convicted of a DUI or other serious offense. FR-44s serve the same purpose, although usually with more requirements, and are only requested in the states of Florida and Virginia.
Other options include roadside assistance, towing and labor coverage, and custom (or original manufacturer) equipment.
Keep in mind, car insurance requirements and options available from The General vary from state to state. The General currently provides policies in 47 states, as well as Mexico through its partner companies.
To learn more about the coverage you need, The General provides information specific to every state online.
The General Insurance Quote Process
The General promises free car insurance quotes in just two minutes. Fill in your personal and vehicle information using their online form, and get your initial quote in an instant.
The initial quote you receive only includes the minimum coverage required by the state, which is usually liability coverage and maybe medical payment coverage. After receiving the quote, you can add other types of coverage or modify the limits.
On the Better Business Bureau (BBB), one customer shares how she pays $650 a month for her plan, which includes five drivers and six cars. You can expect your premium to be much lower if you have fewer drivers and fewer cars. In our quote, we included two drivers with no tickets and two cars. Even when we selected high coverage options, the down payment and monthly payments stayed under $200. Again, car insurance prices are calculated through many factors, so the best thing to do is get a quote.
Once you have a policy that fits your needs, you can immediately purchase it online and print your proof of insurance. The entire process – from initial inquiry to being insured – can take as little as five to 10 minutes.
You may be redirected to another insurance site after entering your zip code. When this happens, it’s because The General usually doesn’t offer insurance coverage or provide online quotes in the area at the time. You will still be able to get a quote as quickly as you would on The General’s website. If you’d rather speak to someone, you can call 1-844-328-0306.
The General Insurance Claims Process & Customer Service
After an accident, agents at The General can assist in filing your claim and guiding you through the entire process. The following are some common concerns when it comes to processing a claim:
When Should I File a Car Insurance Claim?
If any other drivers or cars are involved, it’s best to file a claim as soon as you can, even if the damage seems small. Most people aren’t familiar with the process and all the required paperwork that comes after an accident. For this reason, having an insurance company to protect you against unreasonable demands from other drivers can be a great benefit.
If no other drivers or cars are involved, it’s your choice whether you want to file a car insurance claim. Contacting your provider may raise your insurance premium – especially if you’ve had a few accidents or tickets already. Oftentimes, if the damage cost doesn’t meet your deductible and you can afford to pay out of pocket, it might be worth taking care of the repairs yourself.
How Do I File a Car Insurance Claim with The General?
Filing a car insurance claim with The General can be done on their mobile app or through their 24/7 claims hotline at 800-280-1466 (select option number three). The company offers more information and a video on how to file car insurance claims online.
What Should I Expect When Filing a Car Insurance Claim?
While The General tries to resolve all customer concerns as soon as possible, there’s no definitive time for how long a car insurance claim will take. The more complex the claim, the longer it usually takes to process.
After filing, you will be assigned to a claims adjuster who will be your contact person for the duration of the claim. The claims adjuster will collect your personal information, the details of the accident, and any pictures of the reported damage.
While the claim is being processed, the claims adjuster will work to confirm your coverage and take care of any damages protected by your insurance policy. They will also work with the other driver’s insurance company to determine who is responsible for the accident and settle any final concerns and payments.
What if I Still Have Questions?
For all other concerns, The General directs customers to its mobile app, which facilitates online payments, easy claims processing, and on-demand support. You can also call their customer service department at 800-280-1466 for all other concerns.
The General Insurance Reviews
The General Insurance boasts a high standing with many of the notable agencies. It’s accredited by the BBB with an A+ rating, and by the credit rating agency AM Best with an A (Excellent) for its financial strength.
However, the company doesn’t have such great ratings among customers. Although many choose The General for its acceptance of high-risk drivers and the convenience of their mobile app, others have experienced issues with securing their policy and filing claims.
Below are some of The General’s recent reviews, found on the BBB:
Positive Reviews for The General Insurance
“Great customer service and always willing to help out when you need help.”
– Wayne B.
“After reading the previous reviews, I must admit I was a little afraid of what the future holds with this company, but I also firmly believe most reviews are done by angry customers. I was paying $955 a month with another company. I have five drivers and six cars on my policy. I went online and got a quote from The General – a very easy and straightforward process. They quoted me $650. They received my payment and have not changed my price. I am saving $300 a month. I am pretty happy with that.”
– Misty J.
“The General Insurance company has helped me keep my insurance profile up to date and has followed up with all of my questions.”
– Laura H.
Negative Reviews for The General Insurance
“The General Auto Insurance company added another driver to my policy without my consent, and then proceeded to charge me an extra $200. After I found out that they added this driver, I called to have the person removed, and they would not refund my money. They did not apologize for the mistake and said it was my fault because I did not respond to a letter they apparently mailed to me. I was on paperless billing and did not receive a letter from the company.”
– April H.
“Worst customer service I have ever experienced with a company. They first signed me up, then roughly two weeks later told me I needed to provide proof of insurance for my wife, which I did. I was then told I would not have to give any further information. Today I received a letter now stating that I need to prove my in-laws also have separate insurance? They do not live with me nor do they drive my vehicle. It’s a scam. They will keep trying to put anyone that you associate with or are remotely related to on your policy. I made a huge mistake by signing up with this company and should have done my research first. Moral of the story: stay away from this place.”
– Jasmine D.
“I paid for a year policy. Paid the whole thing off so I wouldn’t have a bill for a year. After three months, they are billing me again with an outrageous raise in my rates and nothing has changed …”
– Aubrey S.
Conclusion: Affordable Option for High-Risk Drivers
Anyone who’s had a number of violations on their driving record knows how difficult it can be to find affordable car insurance. In these cases, The General may be the best car insurance option.
Compared to other providers, The General can offer some of the lowest quotes and convenient monthly payment methods for drivers who are high risk or have low credit.
However, if you have a clean driving record, The General may not be the best option. There are other providers available with better customer ratings and service, such as Progressive, GEICO, Allstate, and more.
Our expert review team takes satisfaction in providing accurate and unbiased information. We identified the following rating categories based on consumer survey data and conducted extensive research to formulate rankings of the best car insurance providers.
Affordability: A variety of factors influence cost, so it can be difficult to compare quotes between providers. Our team considers auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services and discount opportunities when giving this score.
Coverage: Because each consumer has unique needs, it’s essential that a car insurance company offers an array of coverage options. We take into account types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
Industry Standing: Our team considers Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, financial strength, and years in business when giving this score.
Availability: Auto insurers with greater state availability and few eligibility requirements are more likely to meet consumer needs.
Customer Service: Reputable car insurance providers operate with a certain degree of care for consumers. We consider complaints filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), J.D. Power claims servicing scores, and customer feedback.
Online Experience: Insurers with easy-to-use websites and highly rated mobile apps scored best in this category.