Have you ever been talking to an insurance agent and then he or she has a look at your driving record and all of a sudden their enthusiasm seems to diminish?
It’s interesting how insurance ads typically claim to save you hundreds of dollars in only a matter of minutes; that is until they find out you’ve had a couple of fender-benders in the last three years.
All of a sudden, the conversation changes and you are referred to a non-standard agency around the corner. If this is something you’ve experienced, you were probably referred to The General Auto Insurance, so here is our review.
NOTE: We are not The General Auto Insurance Company. If you need to contact them, you can reach them at (877) 955-8630 or send them an email through their website: thegeneral.com/about/contact.
The company’s headquarters are located at:
2636 Elm Hill Pike
Nashville, TN 37214
Table of Contents
About The General Auto Insurance
The General Auto Insurance Services (The General®) is a licensed insurance agency that is wholly owned by a holding company, PGC Holdings, which is affiliated with American Family Insurance. Although not as popular as most “standard insurers” like Allstate, State Farm, or Farmers, PGC (the holding company) has been offering car insurance in most states for more than 50 years.
The General provides auto insurance through various underwriting companies which are subsidiaries of PGC:
- Permanent General Assurance
- Permanent General Assurance of Ohio
- The General Auto Insurance Company
The primary difference between The General and other standard car insurance companies is that The General will accept drivers that other carriers typically decline.
Through consistent advertising campaigns, The General has become very popular using its cartoon General spokesperson and celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal.
The General Auto Insurance Financial Stability
Reviewing an insurer’s financial stability will let you know whether the company you’re considering is going to be in a position to pay claims submitted by its policyholders.
Getting a great insurance rate when you’ve been turned down elsewhere can provide some relief unless your company ends up in financial trouble and can’t pay your claim.
According to A.M. Best rating services, The General (through its parent company American Family Insurance) is rated A (Excellent) which demonstrates the company is financially stable and has a positive outlook for the future.
Products offered by The General
According to The General’s website, the company offers more than just non-standard auto insurance. They also offer other personal line and commercial line products like:
- Renters Insurance
- Motorcycle Insurance
- Boat and Personal Watercraft
- Motor Home and Travel Trailer
- Small Business Insurance
- Life and Health Insurance
We noticed when reviewing The General’s website that when we attempted to get a quote for insurance products other than auto insurance and renters, we were redirected to another website called the General Labs and could not determine what company or companies actually were underwriting these products.
Although we’ll take a look at some of these other products in future articles, for this article we will take a close look at The General Auto Insurance in order to offer a review.
The General Auto Insurance
Although The General’s auto insurance policy is built on a Personal Auto Policy form, The General’s target market is the “non-standard” vehicle owner who typically purchases the minimum state-required coverages plus comprehensive and collision if the vehicle is financed or leased, or a late model vehicle.
The term “non-standard” auto insurance is not meant to be a derogatory term. It simply describes a segment of the market that shares common circumstances such as:
- tarnished driving record
- below-average credit score
- lapses in auto coverage
- require SR-22 form (to remedy a suspended license)
- history of multiple claims
- have drivers in the household that must be excluded from coverage
Here are the coverages to choose from in the Personal Auto Policy form:
|Bodily Injury Liability||Pays for injuries to other drivers or passengers in an at-fault accident subject to the limits in the policy.|
|Property Damage Liability||Pays for repairs or replacement of another person's vehicle or property during an at-fault accident subject to the limits of the policy.|
|Medical Payments||Medical Payments covers medical expenses for you and other passengers in your vehicle in an accident no matter who's at fault. This coverage will even cover you for injuries sustained in another person's vehicle or as a pedestrian up to the limit in the policy.|
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||PIP covers the driver, all passengers, or a pedestrian involved in an accident no matter who's at fault. PIP helps pay for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of services, and funeral expenses up to the policy limits. This coverage is typically mandatory in "no-fault" states.|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist||Uninsured/Underinsured motorist covers your medical expenses if the other driver (at-fault) is uninsured or underinsured. Some states also allow uninsured/underinsured property damage that covers your vehicle as well.|
|Comprehensive Coverage||Comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle after a non-collision event such as fire, vandalism, theft, or acts of nature subject to your deductible.|
|Collision Coverage||Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident that involves another vehicle or object subject to your deductible.|
|Emergency Roadside Assistance||Roadside assistance is available if you are locked out of your vehicle or required roadside assistance like a tire change or fuel for an empty tank. Your coverage for each event is subject to the limit you purchased on your policy.|
|Rental Reimbursement||Rental reimbursement helps pay for rental expenses if you are in an at-fault accident or|
hit by an uninsured driver. Most policies will have a limit per-day and per-accident.
Insurance rates from The General Auto Insurance
Since The General advertises that they offer affordable insurance to folks who often cannot get affordable insurance from the standard carriers because of their driving record or credit score, we are offering a case study of The General’s insurance rates.
Case Study for James Miller:
James is a 54-year-old single male with the following underwriting conditions:
- Owns a 2009 Ford F-150 regular cab which is paid for
- Has 2 violations on his driving record plus 1 at-fault accident over the last 3 years
- James rents an apartment in Atlanta, GA
- James’ credit score is “fair”
Here is the insurance quote offered by The General:
|Liability/Property Damage Liability||$25,000/$50,000/$25,000 (Georgia’s Minimum)|
|Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury||No Coverage|
|Uninsured Motorist Property Damage||No Coverage|
|Medical Payments||No Coverage|
|Roadside Assistance||No Coverage|
|Rental Reimbursement||No Coverage|
For the minimum liability coverage required by his state, James’ quote is $1,086.00 for six months. The payment options are: Down Payment of $352.24 plus 5 monthly payments of $146.75.
What if James wanted better coverage, not just the minimum?
If James decided not to take a chance with minimum coverages and decided to get additional coverages to cover his injuries and damages to his vehicle, we quoted the following:
|Liability/Property Damage Liability||$25,000/$50,000/$25,000 (Georgia’s Minimum)|
|Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury||$25,000/$50,000|
|Uninsured Motorist Property Damage||$25,000 ($250 deductible)|
|Roadside Assistance||$50 per disablement|
|Rental Reimbursement||$20 per day up to 30 days|
After adding the additional coverages to his policy to get more protection for himself and his vehicle, James’ quote is $1,982.00 per six months or $406.40 down plus 5 monthly payments of $337.12. This represents an increase of $896 per six months or $1,1792 per year.
The Bottom Line
Across America today there are drivers who obey the traffic laws, keep their insurance in force, and are rarely involved in at-fault accidents. And, there are drivers who don’t. For this reason, non-standard insurance companies flourish in the marketplace just like standard companies.