Overview of The General Car Insurance
The General gives parent company American Family Insurance a foothold in the market for higher-risk auto insurance. Drivers with a history of incidents, lapses in insurance coverage, or lower credit scores can get a policy with The General when rates are too high at other companies, or when they have been refused altogether elsewhere. This company acknowledges and embraces this role in low-budget advertising featuring a CGI mustachioed army general. Basketball star Shaquille O’Neal also appears in ads, praising the General for covering him throughout the years.
How Does The General Car Insurance Rate?
Financial Strength Rating
A Best’s Financial Strength Rating opinion addresses the relative ability of an insurer to meet its ongoing insurance obligations. It is not a warranty of a company’s financial strength and ability to meet its obligations to policyholders. View our Important Notice: Best’s Credit Ratings for a disclaimer notice and complete details at http://www.ambest.com/ratings/notice.
Financial Strength is rated on a scale of D (poor) to A+ (superior). A rating notch of either a second “+” or a “-“ indicates the gradation of financial strength within the category. We can’t guarantee that the subsidiary of The General Insurance rated here is the subsidiary that will underwrite your insurance policy. Check with your insurance agent and review A.M. Best’s Financial Strength Rating Guide for more information.
Best’s Credit Ratings™ are under continuous review and subject to change and/or affirmation. For the latest Best’s Credit Ratings™ and Best’s Credit Reports which include Best’s Credit Ratings™), visit the A.M. Best website at http://www.ambest.com. See Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings™ for explanation of use and charges.
Best’s Credit Ratings™ reproduced herein appear under license from A.M. Best and do not constitute, either expressly or impliedly, an endorsement of MoneyGeek.com or its recommendations, formulas, criteria or comparisons to any other ratings, rating scales or rating organizations which are published or referenced herein. A.M. Best is not responsible for transcription errors made in presenting Best’s Credit Ratings™. Best’s Credit Ratings™ are proprietary and may not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission of A.M. Best Company.
Source A.M. Best
Effective Date: December 2016
Customer Complaint Ratio
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) collects complaint information from state insurance regulators. The national median complaint ratio is 1. A score of less than 1 means a company has a lower than average number of complaints, while a score higher than 1 means it has more than average. The General Insurance Company subsidiary rated here may not be the subsidiary that underwrites your insurance policy. Check with your insurance agent for more information.
Last Updated: September 2016
Pros and Cons of The General Car Insurance
- The General will insure higher-risk drivers who may not be able to get affordable rates elsewhere, if at all.
- The online quote tool is quick and easy, allowing you to get an initial quote in two minutes, and immediately purchase a policy online and print proof of insurance.
- You only have to report the past three years of driving history when quoting a new policy.
- In addition to 6-month policies, The General offers 12-month policies, which reduces the number of opportunities for them to raise your rates.
- The online quoting tool initially presents the very bare bones legal minimum coverage, which may be the cheapest rate, but rarely provides adequate coverage.
- The General requires you to include any household member age 14 or older on the policy, or else specifically exclude them from the insurance coverage.
- Claims cannot be reported online, you must call the claims center.
The General Car Insurance Coverage
All insurance companies have to be profitable in order to stay in business, so companies that insure higher risk drivers at affordable premiums need to keep costs down in other areas. One way to do this is to reduce the number of choices for coverage. This also speeds up the quoting process. Almost all of The General’s policies are built from the same set of limited coverage options.
The standard coverage options from The General are in keeping with the speed and simplicity that the company seeks. The initial quote will give numbers for the very lowest legal minimum coverage allowed, and if you want higher liability coverage or lower deductibles, you’ll need to manually enter them.
The liability coverage combines both the bodily injury and property damage coverages into one set. You can choose from among a limited number of coverage variations.
If you choose UM coverage, it must be equal to or less than the bodily injury liability coverage, and you have even fewer choices than you have for the BI.
The General’s medical payments coverage includes funeral costs, but is limited to a choice between $500, $1,000, $2000 and $5,000.
You can choose among five deductible options ranging from $250 to $2,000, or you can decline coverage. Fewer choices means a quicker quote and less complicated paperwork.
Similarly, the collision deductibles are limited to the same five choices. Be aware, however, that the pre-populated $1,000 deductible might not meet the coverage level required by some auto financing companies.
Optional coverage choices and levels are limited, as one would expect from a company that specializes in quick and easy auto insurance.
You can choose from three levels of rental reimbursement, up to $60 per day for 30 days. This is only available for vehicles that have comp or collision coverage. If you purchase this option, it applies across the board to all vehicles on your policy that are eligible for it.
If you have comp and collision coverage, you can also purchase extra coverage for your after-market audio gear and electronics.
This is another optional coverage that is dependent upon having comprehensive and collision coverage. The coverage is a flat dollar amount per vehicle disablement, with no flexibility.
The Hospital Indemnity Travel Program is not exactly a part of your auto insurance, but the option to purchase it is included in your quote. It provides coverage for accidental death and dismemberment, medical expense and hospital indemnity, and you must select which drivers on your policy receive the coverage.
Available Discounts on The General Car Insurance
In its effort to keep things simple and affordable, The General offers fewer separate discounts than other insurance companies. For example, it doesn’t offer a good student discount. The discounts it does offer tend to be built in to the quote.
|Type of Discount||Description|
|Double deductible option||You can choose to double the comp and collision deductibles for the first 45 days of your policy, and in return, you will get a discount on your premium.|
|Pay in full discount||You will save money by paying your entire premium up front.|
|Quarterly pay discount||In some states, you can get a discount by selecting a quarterly payment plan.|
|Good driver discount||During the quote process, you will be asked If you have taken an accident prevention course approved by the Motor Vehicle Department. If so you are eligible for a discount as long as you can provide proof.|
How to Make a Car Insurance Claim with The General
The preferred claim reporting method at this company is by phone, and representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The same toll-free number is used to report a new claim or to check on the status of an existing claim.