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Direct Auto car insurance review

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Its customizable payments, local agents and SR-22 support are ideal for high-risk drivers.

finder.com's rating: 4 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get a quote if you need flexible payment methods or SR-22 coverage.
  • Pick something else if you have a violation-free record.
  • High-risk drivers who need an SR‌-22 can get coverage.

optional

Roadside assistance

New car protection

Accident forgiveness

Details

States served Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia
Roadside assistance Optional
Accident forgiveness No
New car protection No
Pay schedule monthly, custom
Claims methods phone
Rideshare coverage No
SR-22 support Yes

Pros

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

Cons

  • Limited coverage in only 11 states
  • Low customer service ratings
  • Claims by phone only
Anti-theft device discount Yes, up to 10%
Bundling discount Yes, up to 10%
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 Yes, up to 25%
Safety device discount Yes
Special employment discount No
Usage-based discount No
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Review by


Roslyn McKenna is an insurance expert who's driven to help people get a great deal on insurance to protect their families and finances. Roslyn earned a BA in writing and communications from Maryville College and has written professionally for more than a decade, showing up on Bankrate, MSN and Reader's Digest.

Expert review

Unlike most insurance companies, Direct Auto aims to insure anyone who needs it, regardless of their driving history. That earns the insurer a reputation for high approval rates. You also get the personal help of a local agent in finding the right policy.

Another big perk is its flexible payment plans, letting you choose your pay schedule and offering less common payment options like paying by text or in person. You can also choose a larger down payment to lower your monthly premium.

However, Direct Auto doesn’t have high customer ratings and reviews overall. The company does see a balanced number of complaints for its size. But if you’re looking for highest-rated service or you have a violation-free history, you probably can find cheaper rates and better service with another company.

Overall, Direct Auto works best if you’re considered a high-risk driver and live in one of the 11 states that the company serves.

How to get a free quote for Direct Auto Insurance

To apply for coverage with Direct Auto, you can start your policy online or go to one of its 450 office locations.

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

What discounts can I get with Direct Auto?

You could lower your premium with Direct Auto’s discounts, especially if you serve in the military, have a history of continuous car insurance or insure multiple cars on one policy.

  • Affinity. Active members of organizations that partner with Direct can get up to 5% off.
  • Good student. Get up to 10% off for being an unmarried full-time student in high school, college or a vocational or technical school and meet Direct’s standards for academic excellence.
  • Homeowner. Owning your own home can net you up to 15% off your rate when you keep your car at the home. You may also qualify if your spouse owns the home.
  • Mileage. Drive less than the mileage limit every year to save up to 5%.
  • Military. Active military service members can snag a 25% discount.
  • Multicar. Insure more than one vehicle to cut your premium by 25%.
  • Multipolicy. Save up to 5% when you bundle other insurance from Direct with your car insurance.
  • Prior coverage. Switch to Direct and save up to 25% when you carried insurance with another company for at least 6 months without a lapse in coverage more than 90 days.
  • Renewal. If you avoid a policy lapse for 12 months and renew 7 to 10 days before it expires, you’ll save up to 20%.
  • Safe driver. Save up to 10% when you have 36 months of history with Direct that are free from tickets and accidents.
  • Senior citizen. Policyholders who are 55 or older can save up to 5% by successfully completing an approved safe-driving course.
  • Welcome back. Returning customers can save up to 6% if it’s been six months since they last had a policy with Direct.

    What extra benefits and add-ons does Direct Auto Insurance offer?

    Direct offers a number of add-ons and features to help you buy a policy and show proof of coverage easily.

    • 24/7 roadside assistance add-on
    • Customizable payments
    • Emergency protection plan add-ons to cover additional medical and mechanical costs
    • DirectDrive app with mobile proof of insurance, driving tips and more
    • Text to pay
    • Mexico auto insurance

    Direct car insurance reviews and complaints

    National General, the parent company of Direct Auto & Life Insurance, is accredited on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website and holds an A+ rating for its response to customer complaints, as of April 2021. Its customer score sits at 2.5 stars out of 5 from over 260 BBB reviews. Customers are displeased with repeated billing issues, rejected claims and issues with how adjusters handle the claims process.

    National General also scored below average in the Southeast in J.D. Power’s Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study for 2020, and it ranked No. 24 out of 24 insurers by J.D. Power for claims satisfaction.

    To balance these ratings, Direct General Insurance Company scored a 0.39 on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index for private passenger vehicles. The industry standard is 1.00, showing that Direct sees fewer complaints than average for its business size.

    Our star ratings for Direct, explained

    Our car insurance experts rate Direct with 4 out of 5 stars because of its solid list of coverage, including rental reimbursement and towing which aren’t always available with companies that specialize in insuring high-risk drivers. We also like Direct’s steep discounts for being in the military, insuring multiple cars and keeping continuous car insurance coverage.

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    What car insurance coverage does Direct Auto offer?

    Direct Auto policies include all the coverage you need with a standard policy, plus a few extras like rental reimbursement.

    • Accidental death. Pays you or your beneficiary in the event of accidental death or loss resulting from an accident.
    • Bodily injury liability. Protects you financially if you cause a car accident that injures another person.
    • Collision coverage. Pays for damage to your car when your car hits or is hit by another car.
    • Comprehensive coverage. Covers your car from accidents, theft, vandalism and other damage on or off the road that isn’t from a collision.
    • Medical payments. This optional coverage pays for medical bills beyond what your health insurance covers.
    • Personal injury protection. Where available, this optional coverage pays for medical bills and indirect costs— like lost wages — from auto accidents, regardless of who’s at fault.
    • Property damage liability. Protects you if your car damages someone else’s property.
    • Towing, labor and rental reimbursement. Optional coverage for your roadside repairs, and the cost of a rental car when your car is repaired due to an accident.
    • Uninsured motorist. Pays for expenses related to being hit by an uninsured driver or a hit and run.

    Where is Direct Auto available?

    Unfortunately, Direct auto insurance is only available in the Southeastern US. However, with over 400 locations across 11 states, you shouldn’t have a problem getting coverage if you live in one of the following states:

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

    Pros and cons of Direct Auto Insurance

    Pros

    • Insures high-risk drivers. You can get support for filing an SR-22 proof of insurance form and get accepted even if you don’t have a violation-free driving record.
    • 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.
    • Steep discounts. Direct Auto offers high discounts to safe drivers, members of the military and those with multiple vehicles or policies, offering savings up to 25% for these discounts.

    Cons

    • Limited service area. 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 J.D. Power.

    How to contact Direct Auto

    You can contact Direct in several ways, including extended customer service phone hours.

    • Online by email, 24/7
    • In person at a storefront, hours vary based on location
    • By phone at 877-463-4732, weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. CT, and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT

    Frequently asked questions about Direct car insurance

    Car insurance ratings

    ★★★★★ — Excellent

    ★★★★★ — Good

    ★★★★★ — Average

    ★★★★★ — Subpar

    ★★★★★ — Poor

    Our insurance team analyzes car insurance providers to help you choose the best car insurance for you.

    We rank insurers from one to five stars based on key factors including customer satisfaction, policy options, price, billing, claims, and support. We create these rankings to help you narrow down an insurance provider that best suits your budget and coverage needs.

    Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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