You may have seen The General’s commercials on television starring well-known sports personality, Shaquille O’Neal. The General provides low-cost auto insurance to high-risk drivers and those needing SR-22 insurance. High-risk drivers, those who have lapsed insurance, and drivers with imperfect credit might be able to get coverage from The General if unable to do so elsewhere. However, if you often travel and rent cars, you may want to ask additional questions or research other options.
- Pros and Cons
- Company Overview
Accepts high-risk drivers
Provides SR-22 and FR-44 insurance certificates
Offers non-owner policies, along with optional coverage for loan/lease payoff and custom equipment
May not cover rental trucks or cars
Not available in all 50 states
- Official Website www.thegeneral.com
- Insurance Offered Auto insurance, term life insurance
- Customer Service Call 1-844-328-0306
- Year Founded 1963
The General has implemented additional flexible payment options to assist customers with financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include allowing customers to pay 50% of the amount due to help reinstate or prevent cancellation of a policy, and allowing customers to restore coverage within 90 days. Customers who need payment assistance are asked to call 1-800-280-1466.
The General Car Insurance Coverage
The General’s coverage options vary by state, but always include your state’s minimum liability insurance requirements or greater. Coverage limits and requirements will also vary by state.
Auto coverage from The General includes these fairly standard options:
- Liability (bodily injury and property damage you cause to others), required in most states
- Personal injury protection (PIP)
- Medical payments
- Underinsured and underinsured motorist coverage
Optional coverage or endorsements that may be available to add to your policy, depending on your location:
- Rental reimbursement
- Roadside assistance
- Towing and labor
- Loan/lease payoff
- Custom equipment coverage
- Restricted coverage (only covers named drivers) and non-owner policies
If your state requires minimum insurance coverage proof due to your accidents or traffic citations, The General can help you obtain the proper SR-22 or FR-44 documentation.
If you use your car for business purposes other than driving to work, be aware that the General has numerous restrictions on business-related duties. For example, you may only be able to insure one car per policy; you might not be able to transport clients in your vehicle or travel to more than three jobsites per day. Disclose use, and ask for more information if you need to use your car for work.
The General Car Insurance Costs
Insurers offer unique rates depending upon individual factors, including your driving record, location, age, your vehicle, and how you use it (business, personal only), typical mileage, credit-based insurance score, and other factors that can vary between U.S. states. The amount of insurance coverage you want to purchase also impacts your premium.
We obtained sample auto insurance quotes from The General for the standard coverage annual premiums for Minnesota state minimum requirements. (The General does not allow self-selecting as transgender or non-binary.) Your premium may vary.
|45-year-old, female safe driver (0 prior accidents, 2018 Ford Explorer All-Wheel Drive.||24-year-old, male high-risk driver (2 prior at-fault accidents) Ford Explorer All-Wheel Drive.|
Liability (bodily injury and property damage)
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
|PIP medical with $100 deductible||$629||$1,804|
|Any other included items||PIP Economic||PIP Economic|
|Total Quoted Premium||$1,542.00||$4,910.00|
The General accepts most drivers, even those considered high risk due to driving violations or accidents, poor credit, or who haven’t maintained insurance coverage.
The General Car Insurance Discounts
The General’s discounts vary by state, but may include the following:
- Youth discounts: Good student discount
- Safety discounts: Uninterrupted liability coverage discount, discount for restricted use, anti-theft and safety device discount
- Payment discounts: Double deductible discount, paid in full discount
- Other: Military discount (Louisiana only), homeowner discount
The General Car Insurance Availability
The General insurance is available in 47 states and the District of Columbia. It isn’t available in Michigan, New Jersey, or Hawaii.
How to Get a The General Car Insurance Quote
You can obtain a car insurance quote from The General online very quickly. Unlike many other insurers, you do not have to give your personal information to get an auto quote from The General. However, the site does recommend using your Social Security number to obtain the best quote.
Your quote is saved, and you can make the purchase online anytime you are ready and obtain insurance ID cards immediately. To receive a telephone quote, call 1-844-328-0306, option 2.
How to File a Claim with The General
You can file a claim with The General online, with the app, or call 1-800-280-1466, option 3. Claims services are available 24/7. Once you've submitted a claim, a claims adjuster will be assigned and contact you to schedule an inspection.
The General Customer Service
|Study or Organization||How The General Fared|
|NAIC Complaints Index||
0.61 Better than average
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners publishes the (NAIC) Complaints Index to show how a company fares compared to the industry average for complaints received. The NAIC rating in 2019 for The General is 0.61, which is better than the expected national complaint average index of 1.00.
This is a big improvement compared to previous years–in 2018, it was 2.30 and in 2017, it was 2.71. Historically, most NAIC complaints for The General have centered on claims—delays, denials, and unsatisfactory settlements.
The General offers a mobile app and a customer chat feature on the company’s website. The General’s opt-in text messaging program called, “Hi Marley,” can provide information on claims.
If your policy cancels but you make a payment after the cancellation date, The General says in most cases it can offer to reinstate coverage for up to 60 days after cancellation.
AM Best is a rating agency that reports on the financial strength of insurance companies. The AM Best rating for The General Auto Insurance Company is “A-“ or Excellent. While this is not the best possible rating, it is still very strong.
Other Insurance Provided by The General
The General also provides term life insurance.
This insurance option may be offered by The General or by another company that the General coordinates with.
Compare Other Car Insurance Reviews
If you aren’t a high-risk driver and want to compare coverage for those companies who may offer more discounts for good driving records or even obtain comparable rates for high-risk drivers, you can compare quotes through other car insurers like Progressive, GEICO, or Allstate.
If you cancel your policy to move to a new company, you’ll pay 10% of the unearned premium as a penalty, in some states.
- The General Auto Insurance Company is a non-standard car insurance provider.
- If you’ve had a lapse in your auto insurance coverage, have less than perfect credit, are a high-risk driver, or need SR-22 insurance The General may offer you insurance when others won’t.
The Balance strives to give consumers unbiased, comprehensive reviews of auto insurance providers. To ensure that our content helps you make the right insurance decision for your needs, we review each insurance provider’s coverage options, discounts, customer service and satisfaction, and financial stability.
In addition, we look at the cost of a basic policy for a Ford Explorer—one of the most popular cars in the U.S., but not so popular that it’s among the most stolen cars and therefore, more expensive to insure. Our fictional applicants live in a residential suburb of Minneapolis. Insurance premiums in suburbs generally tend to be between the higher rates in urban areas and lower premiums in rural regions. We chose Minnesota because it has about average exposure to severe weather incidents (it has snow, but no hurricanes or tornadoes) and its rates are in the middle of the pack compared to other states.
To give an idea of the range of premiums available to different risk profiles, we got quotes for a middle-aged woman with a clean driving record and a young male with a couple of accidents. Your situation may be quite different, but our quote is not meant to cover every kind of situation, but rather give a sample of what premiums could be with this provider. We use the same profile for every car insurance provider we review, to give the best chance of comparing providers’ costs across the board.
The General. "What is The General Doing to Help Customers During the COVID-19 Pandemic?" Accessed Oct. 8, 2020.
The General. "Common Definitions." Accessed Oct. 8, 2020.
The General. "Quote and Buy Car Insurance Online." Accessed Oct. 8, 2020.
NAIC. "CIS Refined Results The General." Accessed Oct. 8, 2020.
The General. "Help Center Billing and Refund Questions." Accessed Oct. 8, 2020.
The General. "The General FAQs." Accessed Oct. 8, 2020.
The General. "Is There a Penalty if I Cancel my Policy Early?" Accessed Oct. 8, 2020.