Direct Auto insurance review | finder.com

Direct Auto car insurance review October 2018

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Discounts, flexible payments and a “life coach” that guides you to your best rates and coverage.

Direct Auto Insurance attempts to eliminate the guesswork involved in finding the exact coverage you need by providing a “life coach” to guide you through the process.

Specializing in “non-standard” auto insurance coverage, Direct offers coverage to all customers, regardless of their driving history. From SR-22 forms to motorcycle insurance and everything in between, here’s what Direct Auto Insurance has to offer.

Description Discounts, flexible payments and a life coach that guides you to your best rates and coverage with Direct car insurance.
States served Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia
Roadside assistance Included free
Pay schedule
Claims methods phone
New car protection

Pros

  • Discounts and savings of 25% or more
  • Flexible payment options
  • Customized services
  • DirectDrive app

Cons

  • Limited coverage in only 13 states
  • Low customer service ratings
  • Claims by phone only
Defensive driving discount Yes, up to 10%
Good student discount Yes, up to 10%
Loyalty discount Yes, up to 25%
Homeowner discount Yes, up to 15%
Military discount
Safety device discount
Special employment discount No
Usage-based discount
Other discounts Senior Citizen Discount up to 5% If you're 55 years or older, Multi-product discount up to 5% when using other policies from Direct

What is Direct Auto Insurance?

Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Direct Auto Insurance is a division of the National General Insurance Company. With over 100 locations across the Southeastern US, it offers auto and life insurance with “pleasant surprises” to set it apart from the competition.

In an industry saturated with century-old providers and rigid underwriting guidelines, Direct is a breath of fresh air. Unlike most providers, Direct aims to insure anyone who needs it, regardless of their driving history. This provider’s refreshing attitude towards car insurance has earned it a reputation for low-cost policies with high approval rates and remarkable customer service. From discounts to customer reviews, our Direct auto insurance review covers everything you need to know.

Compare car insurance providers

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Available states
Allstate
Included free
Yes, cars under 2 years old
All 50 states
Enjoy having your own dedicated agent to help you get the best discounts and coverage.
Liberty Mutual
Included free
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All 50 states
Car insurance through Liberty Mutual will give coverage options for almost any situation.
Root
Included free
No
AZ, AR, DE, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MD, MI, MS, MT, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, TX, UT
Root offers simple, affordable insurance that’s ideal for good drivers. Try the Root app for 2 weeks and see how much you could save. Available in 20 states.
Esurance
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All states except AK, DE, HI, MT, NH, VT, WY
Esurance offers a modern online and mobile experience that helps you take your insurance on the go. Available in 42 states.
Metromile
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA, WA
Drive less than 30 miles a day? Save on the coverage you need with pay-per-mile insurance from Metromile. Get a low monthly rate then pay just a few cents per mile. Available in CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA and WA.
USAA
Included free
No
All 50 states
USAA offers affordable car insurance with highly rated customer service to millions of military members and their families. Only available to military members, veterans and affiliated military members.

Compare up to 4 providers

Where is Direct auto insurance available?

Unfortunately, Direct auto insurance is only available in the Southeastern US. However, with over 400 locations across 11 states, you’ll have no problem getting coverage as long as you live in one of the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Who is Direct auto insurance best for?

Direct Auto Insurance offers low-cost insurance policies to “nonstandard” drivers — also known as high-risk drivers — that may have a hard time finding coverage elsewhere. It can help drivers file for an SR-22, if required for coverage. Regardless of your driving history, Direct is a great choice for those looking for affordable coverage and great customer service.

What coverage does Direct Auto Insurance offer?

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    Discounts on Direct auto insurance

    Despite its already cheap car insurance rates, Direct also offers a number of discounts that can help reduce your premiums.

    • Military Discount– Up to 25% off: If you are an active service member and can provide documentation proving so.
    • Safe Driver Discount – Up to 10% off: If you’re a policy member and have been violation and accident-free for the past three years.
    • Good Student Discount – Up to 10% off: If you’re a full-time student in high school, college, or a vocational/technical school, and hold a “B” average or better, fall in the upper 20% of the class, or are on the dean’s list.
    • Senior Citizen Discount– Up to 5% off: If you successfully complete a motor vehicle accident prevention course and are 55 or older.
    • Multi-Car Discount– Up to 25% off: If your policy covers more than one vehicle.
    • Mileage Discount– Up to 5% off: For driving under a certain mileage on an annual basis.
    • Multi-Product Discount– Up to 5% off: If you include one or more qualifying products in your auto policy.
    • Prior Coverage Discount– Up to 25% off: If you switch from another insurance company that you’d been with for at least 6 months without more than 90 days of lapse in previous coverage.
    • Homeowner Discount– Up to 15% off: If you, or your spouse, own a home and keep your vehicles at that address.
    • Renewal Discount– Up to 20% off: If you renew your policy within 7 to 10 days of the expiration date and have had no policy lapse in the prior 12 months.
    • Welcome Back Discount– Up to 6% off: If you have previously purchased a policy with Direct but have not had one within 6 months of that former policy.
    • Affinity Discount– Up to 5% off: If you’re an active member of an organization that has partnered with Direct.

    Does Direct auto insurance offer any special programs?

    Direct offers various types of auto insurance coverage backed by great customer service and a number of additional perks. Here are some of the many “pleasant surprises”:

    • Text to pay
    • Online bill pay
    • 24/7 Roadside Assistance
    • Emergency Protection Plans
    • Toll-free access to friendly agents by phoneq
    • DirectDrive app with mobile proof of insurance, driving tips, and more
    • Customizable payments
    • E-sign to apply for coverage online
    • Mexico auto insurance

    Pros and cons of direct auto insurance

    Pros

    • Discounts.Direct Auto offers discounts to safe drivers, members of the military and more, with additional savings for bundling coverage. They claim to save customers who switch 25% or more.
    • Flexible payments.You decide when and how much you’ll pay each month based on your budget. And you can pay online, text, by mail or at one of 400 Direct Auto offices.
    • Customized services.A Direct Auto “life coach” guides you through questions to determine how much coverage is right for your needs.
    • DirectDrive app.Use your smartphone to monitor your driving behavior, log car trips or access ID cards.

    Cons

    • Limited coverage.Direct Auto Insurance services only 11 states at this time. If you live outside its territory, you’ll have to look elsewhere for coverage.
    • Customer service.Online reviews reveal low ratings and complaints with the BBB and National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
    • Claims by phone only.At this time, Direct Auto does not offer the ability to file a claim online or through its app.

    Direct auto insurance customer reviews

    Direct General, the parent company of Direct Auto & Life Insurance is NOT accredited on the official BBB website, but it does hold an A+ rating. However, despite its high rating, there are over 150 total customer complaints, and only 1 of the 20 customer reviews are positive. Many customers are displeased with customer service, rejected claims, and lack of coverage.

    While the official BBB website usually offers an accurate representation of a company’s business practices, you should always take customer reviews with a grain of salt. Most customers won’t take the time to report positive experiences, which is often why there are so many more negative reviews.

    How to apply for Direct auto insurance

    In order to apply for coverage with Direct, you’ll first need to visit the homepage.

    1. Enter your zip code, then click “Start now”
    2. Call the number you’re given to speak with an agent and discuss your auto insurance needs.
    3. Your agent will help you find a policy and get the coverage you need.

    How to file a claim with Direct auto insurance

    Unfortunately, you can’t file online claims with Direct. Instead, you’ll need to call a representative to get the claims process started. You can reach the claims line at 1-800-403-1077, and you can start a new claim by pressing 1.

    What do I need to file a claim with Direct?

    Filing claims can be stressful, especially if you’re dealing with injuries or damage from an accident. However, you can streamline the process by having all of your information ready for when you speak to your representative. Here’s what you should have hand:

    • Policy number
    • Police report
    • Names and contact information for all parties in your vehicle at the time of the accident

    Your vehicle information:

    • Year, make, model, and color
    • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
    • License plate number
    • Documentation (notes and photos) of damage to your vehicle
    • Current location of your vehicle

    Other vehicles’ information if there was more than one vehicle involved:

    • Year, make, model and color
    • Insurance information

    How do I contact Direct auto insurance?

    You can contact Direct a few different ways:

    • Online (email)
    • Live chat
    • Find a store
    • By phone: 1-877-463-4732

    Customer Service hours of operation

    Monday – Friday: 7:30 AM CT – 8:00 PM CT

    Saturday: 7:30 AM CT – 5:00 PM CT

    Sunday: Closed

    Sales hours of operation

    Monday – Friday: 7:30 AM CT – 8:00 PM CT

    Saturday: 8:00 AM CT – 6:00 PM CT

    Sunday: Closed

    What other coverage does Direct offer?

    Direct offers a range of other insurance policies. Here’s what’s in store if you’re looking for coverage beyond auto insurance:

    • Motorcycle insurance.Extends to cruisers, sports bikes and scooters.
    • Roadside assistance.Low-cost 24/7 emergency towing, tire repair and lockout services.
    • Life insurance.Individual policies that start at $0.75 a day.
    • Emergency protection plans.Fills the gaps to cover unforeseen hospital stays, ambulance rides and even child care that your typical auto insurance may not fully cover.
    • Mexico auto insurance.Tourist policies that protect you while driving south of the border.
    • Commercial auto insurance.Protects your single work vehicle or your fleet of 20 business trucks.

    What other insurance providers are similar to Direct auto insurance?

    Direct is a bit unique in that it is one of the only providers that offers coverage to customers regardless of their driving history. However, here are a couple providers that may be similar in price.

    • Geico. Geico tends to be the cheapest among mid-range insurance providers for most average drivers, and also ranks above average for customer satisfaction.
    • Nationwide. In some cases, policies at Nationwide are even cheaper than Geico. This provider offers good coverage and competitive pricing.
    • Progressive.This provider claims to be able to save you hundreds on car insurance, and in some circumstances, it’s true.

    Bottom line

    Direct Auto can take the frustration out of finding the exact coverage you’re looking for, whether to cover state minimums or protect multiple assets. Its customized service approach extends to higher-risk drivers, who may find it difficult to get coverage at all. However, if you don’t live in one of the 11 states it services or simply want to know what else is out there, you should compare rates and options of other car insurance providers.

    Find the cheapest rates

    Compare the best car insurance companies near you.

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    Frequently asked questions about Direct auto insurance

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