The General Insurance Review: Analyzing Cost, Customer Experience, Plans, Discounts, and Ratings
When it comes to choosing auto insurance, the options can be overwhelming. One company that stands out in the crowd is The General Auto Insurance. Known for its flexible policies and coverage for high-risk drivers, The General has carved a niche in the insurance market. As an independent insurance agent, I aim to provide an unbiased review of The General Auto Insurance, covering everything from its coverage types to its customer service quality, claims process, and unique features.
This review will also examine customer feedback and compare The General’s offerings with its competitors. Whether you’re a first-time insurance buyer or looking to switch providers, this comprehensive review will equip you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.
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Overview of The General Auto Insurance
The General Auto Insurance, also known as The General, is a licensed insurance agency that specializes in auto insurance. The company was established in 1963 under the name Permanent General Agency and has since evolved to become a subsidiary of PGC Holdings Corp., which was acquired by American Family Insurance in 2012. Despite the acquisition, The General continues to operate as a separate brand.
The General primarily caters to high-risk drivers, offering a variety of coverage options including liability insurance, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. The company is known for its flexible policies and empathetic approach, aiming to establish itself as the most flexible and empathetic insurance company in the nation.
The General has a long history of serving its customers when they need it most, with nearly 60 years of experience in providing quality coverage. The company has been recognized by AM Best for its financial stability, and it offers coverage across 47 different states.
The General has also made efforts to evolve its brand to drive growth among new audiences. This includes a brand refresh and a new ad campaign launched in 2021, which aimed to more accurately depict the kind of quality company they are and tackle misperceptions among new audiences.
Coverage Types Offered by The General Auto Insurance
The General Auto Insurance provides a range of coverage options to meet the diverse needs of its policyholders. Here are the primary types of coverage available:
Liability insurance is a fundamental component of auto insurance that covers damages to other people and their property if you are found at fault in an accident. It is the minimum required coverage in most states and does not cover damages to your own vehicle or your medical expenses.
Collision insurance is designed to cover damages to your vehicle resulting from a collision, whether it’s with another vehicle or an object like a guardrail. This type of coverage is not mandatory by law but may be required by lenders if you have financed or leased your vehicle.
Comprehensive insurance covers damages to your vehicle that are not caused by collisions. This includes a variety of incidents such as theft, vandalism, fire, natural disasters, and encounters with animals like deer. It’s also known as “other than collision” coverage and, similar to collision insurance, may be required by your lender or lessor.
Full coverage is a term often used to describe a policy that includes liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance. It provides a broad range of protection, covering liability claims, collision damage regardless of fault, and non-accident damage from events like theft or weather.
When considering these coverage types, it’s important to assess your individual needs, the value of your vehicle, and any requirements from your lender or state laws. The General offers these coverage options to cater to a wide array of customers, including those who may be considered high-risk drivers.
Cost of The General's auto Insurance Policies
The cost of auto insurance policies from The General varies depending on several factors such as the driver’s history, age, state, and coverage limits. On average, The General’s car insurance costs $1,394 per year ($183 per month) for a minimum-coverage policy, which is higher than the national average of $720 per year. For full coverage, the average cost is $616 per month ($7,393 per year). However, another source suggests that the average monthly premiums are $451 for full coverage and $259 for liability-only insurance.
It’s important to note that these are average costs and individual premiums may vary. The General is known for providing coverage to high-risk drivers and drivers with poor driving records, which can influence the cost of the policy.
For a more accurate estimate of the cost of an auto insurance policy from The General, it’s recommended to get a personalized quote from the company. This will take into account your specific circumstances and coverage needs.
Discounts Offered by The General
The General offers a variety of discounts to its policyholders, which can help to offset the cost of premiums. Here are some of the main discounts available:
**Defensive Driver Discount**: Policyholders can earn a discount for completing an approved defensive driving course.
**Good Student Discount**: Students who maintain at least a “B” average may be eligible for a discount.
**Multi-Car Discount**: Insuring more than one car on the same policy can lead to savings.
**Homeowner’s Discount**: Homeowners may be eligible for a discount.
**Previous Insurance Discount**: Maintaining consistent car insurance coverage without any gaps can lead to a discount.
**Passive Restraint Discount**: Vehicles equipped with factory-installed passive restraint devices like motorized seatbelts may qualify for a discount.
**Pay in Full Discount**: Paying the entire premium upfront can result in savings.
**Safe Driver Discount**: Drivers with 3-5 years of a clean driving record may be eligible for a discount.
**Double Deductible Discount**: In some states, allowing your comprehensive and collision deductibles to be doubled for the first 45 days of your policy can lead to premium savings.
Customer Reviews and Feedback about The General
The General’s customer reviews and feedback are mixed, with some customers praising the company for its services and others expressing dissatisfaction.
Ease of Application
The General’s application process is generally viewed as straightforward and user-friendly. The company’s website and mobile app are praised for their ease of use, allowing customers to obtain quotes, make payments, view their ID cards, and submit claims.
Claim Processing Speed
The claim processing speed at The General has received mixed reviews. Some customers have reported that the process is slow and have experienced delays in claim processing. However, the company states that it aims to settle claims within 30 days, although the exact timeline can vary depending on the complexity and severity of the claim.
Overall Customer Satisfaction
Overall customer satisfaction with The General is varied. WalletHub’s editors give The General a rating of 2.3/5, citing affordable prices and good customer service as positives but noting that the company has received more complaints than the average car insurance provider. The General’s customer satisfaction rate for claims is reported to be poor, with a J.D. Power score of 812, below the national average of 835.
On the other hand, The General holds a 4.6-star rating out of 5.0 from over 900 customers on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a 4.7-star average score out of 5.0 on Trustpilot. These high ratings suggest that many customers are satisfied with the company’s services.
However, it’s important to note that The General caters to high-risk drivers and those with poor credit, offering affordable policies with low down payments. This niche focus could influence the nature of the reviews, as high-risk drivers may have different expectations and experiences than standard-risk drivers.
The General vs Competitors
The General’s offerings, costs, and services can be compared with its competitors to understand its position in the market.
The General provides standard coverage options like liability insurance, comprehensive and collision coverage, and additional coverage options such as accidental death and custom equipment coverage. However, it does not offer some optional coverage types found at other insurers, such as accident forgiveness or a diminishing deductible.
Compared to competitors like Progressive, AAA, Esurance, and Geico, The General’s policies and discounts differ. For instance, while The General offers most discounts expected from a significant auto insurance company, many large companies offer more.
The General’s car insurance costs an average of $183 per month for a minimum-coverage policy, which is more than the national average. In comparison, the average cost of a Geico policy in Texas is $71 per month, and State Farm has the cheapest car insurance rates in Florida, with an average annual rate of $138 per month.
The General’s services are tailored towards high-risk drivers who may not be able to get coverage from major insurers. This includes people who need an SR-22, have DUIs or have multiple accidents.
Regarding customer service, The General’s overall customer satisfaction is varied, with some customers praising the company for its services and others expressing dissatisfaction. In comparison, Progressive and State Farm score better in key areas, including overall customer service.
Claims Process at The General
The claims process at The General is designed to be straightforward and user-friendly. In the event of an accident, The General is prepared to assist you with your car insurance claim and guide you through the process.
**Filing a Claim**: You can file your claim online at the insurance company’s website or by calling 1-800-280-1466. The most common first step after a car insurance claim is the assignment of a claims adjustor. They will usually contact you within a few days after the accident.
**Claims Adjustor’s Role**: The claims adjustor will want to get your side of the story, take pictures of the damages to your car, talk to the other drivers involved or any witnesses, and more. The claims adjustor will be your go-to person throughout the claims process.
**Coverage**: While the car insurance claims process is taking place, your insurance company will typically cover all your damages and injuries. Once fault is determined, the at-fault driver’s insurance should pay for the claim.
**Claim Resolution**: Your insurance company will determine who is at fault based on the evidence provided. Once your claim is complete, the two insurance companies will negotiate over who is covering what, and your claim will be closed.
**Claim Time Limit**: Insurance usually takes 30 days to pay out after a car accident. Most car insurance companies try to resolve accident claims as quickly as possible.
Cancellation Process at The General Auto Insurance
The General’s cancellation process involves contacting the company directly. You can cancel your policy by calling them at 1-800-280-1466 and cancel your policy with a representative over the phone.
**Cancellation by Phone**: You can cancel by calling your agent or 1-800-280-1466.
**Cancellation by Mail**: You can also cancel by mail by writing a letter that includes your name, policy number, and desired cancellation date, among other information.
**Cancellation Fee**: The General charges an early cancellation fee of up to 10% of the remaining premiums in certain states. To avoid The General’s cancellation fee, it may be worth waiting for your car insurance renewal date before switching to a new provider.
Please note that the cancellation process may vary based on your location and policy specifics. It’s always a good idea to review your policy details or speak with a representative to understand any potential fees or requirements associated with cancellation.