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National General car insurance review

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Enjoy hefty discounts and special care after an accident, like paid-for emergency expenses.

finder.com's rating: 3.5 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get a quote if you like to manage your policy online or don’t drive much.
  • Pick something else if great customer service is one of your top priorities.
  • Drivers who work for GM or drive a GM car will like the extensive discounts.

Included free

Roadside assistance

New car protection

Accident forgiveness

Details

States served All 50 states
Roadside assistance Included free
Accident forgiveness Yes
New car protection No
Pay schedule 12 months, 6 months, custom
Claims methods Online, Phone
Rideshare coverage No
SR-22 support Yes

Pros

  • Unique, standout services
  • Extensive discounts
  • Claims service guarantee
  • Insures high-risk drivers

Cons

  • Expensive base rates
  • Slow claims process
Anti-theft device discount Yes
Bundling discount Yes
Defensive driving discount Yes
Good student discount Yes
Loyalty discount Yes
Homeowner discount Yes
Military discount No
Safety device discount Yes
Special employment discount Yes
Usage-based discount Yes

Expert review

Katia Iervasi

Review by


Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).

Expert review

National General Insurance was founded in 1920 and initially offered insurance to owners of GM vehicles. It still has a soft spot for GM customers and employees today, offering extra discounts and perks for those loyal to the brand.

National General also provides convenient services you won’t find with other companies, like its valet service, guaranteed collision repairs and reimbursing of emergency expenses after an accident.

However, National General’s policies often have higher starting rates than you might find elsewhere. You could lower that cost with qualifying discounts in a major way.

If you don’t drive much, can bundle policies or use GM products in any way, it’s worth getting a quote from this insurer. But customers needing a hassle-free claims service might shop around with other car insurance companies.

What car insurance coverage does National General offer?

National General offers basic liability protection plus other types of coverage to suit individual needs:

  • Bodily injury liability. This takes care of the costs if you injure someone in an accident. Maximums cap out at $300,000 per person or $500,000 per accident.
  • Property damage liability. Covers the damage your car causes to someone’s property as the result of an accident.
  • Collision. While not a legal requirement for car insurance, this covers the cost of damage to your own car whether you caused the accident or not.
  • Comprehensive. Also known as other-than-collision coverage, this pays for damage to your car from losses like fire, floods, hailstorms, vandalism or theft. If you lease or finance a car, the leasing company may require this coverage.
  • Medical payments. In the event of an accident, this helps to pay for the medical expenses for you and your passengers.
  • Underinsured motorist. This coverage helps to pay for medical expenses if someone injures you in an accident but doesn’t have enough liability insurance.
  • Uninsured motorist. Covers any damages and injuries if you’re injured in an accident caused by a hit-and-run or a driver without liability insurance.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP). Legally required in some states, PIP or no-fault insurance helps to pay for medical care, lost wages and replacement services in case of an accident regardless of who was at fault.
  • Additional equipment coverage. You can tweak your policy to add modification coverage for custom wheels, roll bars, spoilers and so on.

What discounts can I get with National General?

One major selling point for National General is its wide-ranging, steep discounts. If you’re eligible for one or more, you can lower your premium as much as 50%. Its discounts include:

  • Safe driver. In some states, completing a defensive driving course can lower your premium.
  • Accident forgiveness. For qualifying customers, National General will waive the usual penalties for one at-fault accident. To qualify, you must stay accident- and violation-free for 12 months with no major violations in three years.
  • Antitheft. Earn a discount if your car has a factory-installed antitheft system or if you installed one later on.
  • Multi-vehicle. Bundle your vehicles for up to 20% off your premium. And if your RV and car are ever in the same covered accident, you’ll only pay for one deductible.
  • Telematics. Use the SmartDrive App to show off your safe driving and earn a 5% discount. In some cases, your premium may decrease as it gets customized to your driving skills.
  • Low mileage. Available to OnStar subscribers, this is open to those who drive less than 15,000 miles a year and can slash your premium by up to 54%.
  • Autopay. Withdraw your premium from your bank account or pay with a credit card automatically for fuss-free payments and a discount.
  • Paid in full. Reduce your premium when you pay up front and in full.
  • Bundling. Let National General thank you for getting multiple types of insurance with them like car and home insurance.
  • Group membership. If you support businesses that have a relationship with National General, you’ll get a discount.

What perks does National General offer GM drivers?

National General is an attractive option for drivers with GM cars. National General is known for its affiliation with GM, and in turn, the benefits that GM drivers, customers, current and former employees and their families score as a result.

  • GM or GMAC customer. Drive a GM vehicle, have a GM card or use GMAC Auto Financing? You’ll score a cheaper premium.
  • GM loyalty. Taking it one step further, if all the vehicles on your policy are GM, you’ll get another discount.
  • GM Family First. A discount for active and retired employees of GM, GMAC and subsidiaries, plus their extended family members, including in-laws and same-sex partners.
  • OnStar subscriber. An active subscription can lead to a 10% to 20% discount on your coverage.

Does National General offer any special programs?

National General stands out in the auto industry for its variety of services. These features ease the stress of car accidents, breakdowns or other kinds of losses:

  • Guaranteed claims service. If you’re not happy with the way your claim was handled, National General will waive your deductible up to $250. This feature doesn’t apply to drivers in Washington state.
  • Guaranteed repairs. Receive a lifetime guarantee on all comprehensive or collision repairs made at National General’s Gold Medal Repair Shops. You must have rental reimbursement coverage to qualify.
  • Emergency expenses. Get reimbursed up to $250 per day in food, lodging and travel expenses after an accident that happens away from your home.
  • Valet. After a claim, National General will pick up your damaged car and bring you a rental.
  • Roadside service. This service provides optional towing for your car to the nearest repair facility as well as gas delivery — but not the cost of the gas.
  • Theft reward. For stolen cars, this feature offers a reward for information that leads to a conviction for the theft. In some cases, this reward may pay up to $1,000.
  • Post-repair inspection. Once your car has been repaired after a claim, you can request the company to inspect your car for a tip-top condition. The inspection can happen at a location convenient for you — whether it’s a repair shop, parking lot or your home.
  • Assistance with your car’s replacement. If your car gets totaled, the company will point you to professional help for finding another car that suits your needs. You can also receive special pricing if you go for a GM car.

What’s not covered by National General?

These limitations on car insurance coverage are different from state to state. In New York, National General deems certain cars an unacceptable risk. These include all Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Jensen and Tesla, plus select BMW, Porsche and Lexus models. The insurer doesn’t just look at luxury cars: Some Ford models, like Saleen Mustangs, are also considered too risky.

Pros and cons of National General car insurance

Pros

  • Standout services. The company offers services you won’t find with many other insurers, like a valet to take away your damaged car and bring you a rental.
  • Extensive discounts, including General Motors perks. You can save over 50% on your premium with the discounts offered. Also, General Motors customers or employees score extra discounts.
  • Claims service guarantee. National General offers cashback up to $250 if you’re not happy with its claims service.
  • Insures high-risk drivers. National General offers coverage for drivers with not-so-perfect records, including dedicated quotes for those with a DUI.

Cons

  • Expensive base rates. The standard rates can cost a lot, especially for teenage or high-risk drivers.
  • Slow claims process. Customers complain about the company’s slow claims payments and poor customer service, especially for minor claims. National General also received 2 out of 5 stars on the 2019 J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Study.

Compare alternatives to National General

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Get instant online support and score a low rate thanks to online data that sets premiums automatically.
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Drivers over age 50 can enjoy low rates and perks designed for mature drivers, plus freebies and AARP member perks like free replacement cost coverage.
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Roll in a variety of car insurance quotes from top insurers despite a high-risk driving profile, and view possible discounts while you’re at it.
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What do customers say about National General?

National General holds an A+ rating with with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), as of March 27, 2020. The company has been BBB accredited since 1960. Over 450 customers have reviewed National General on the BBB site, giving it an overall 3.5-star rating out of 5 stars.

In the last three years, the company handled and closed nearly 670 complaints. The majority of those complaints involve problems with its products, services or billing. While customers appreciate the discounts and services National General offers, the complaints center its customer service and slow claims processing — especially for minor and no-fault accidents.

In addition, National General ranked No. 25 in the top 25 car insurance companies for the J.D. Power 2019 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. It scored 2 out of 5 stars for overall satisfaction, including claims service, notice of loss, estimating and repair processes and settlements. It ranked 4 out of 5 stars for rental experience, possibly because of its valet service.

How to apply for National General car insurance

National General offers an online application where you can purchase a policy if you’re happy with your online quote. To apply:

  1. Head to National General’s website homepage. In the Get a Quote box, enter your ZIP code, insurance type and click Go.
  2. Fill in your personal information, driving history and details about your car and any additional drivers.
  3. View your rate and discounts. You can accept these and finalize your payment and paperwork to start coverage.

What info do I need to apply?

You’ll need the following information when applying:

  • Your contact details
  • Driver’s license number
  • Driving history
  • Information about your car
  • Other drivers’ name and driving history

How to find a National General agent near me

National General has a nationwide network of agents — some work in the company’s office, which are dotted around the country, and others operate independently. To connect with one close to you, follow these steps:

  1. Go to National General’s website.
  2. Click Auto Insurance in the top navigation bar.
  3. In the Get a Quote box on the right side of the page, click Find an Agent.
  4. Enter your ZIP code, search by agency name or enter your city and state.
  5. A list of agents near you will appear.

How to make a claim with National General

You can file a claim 24/7 either online, with the app or by calling 800-325-1088. If you need help, there’s an online chat option available as well. National General aims to process minor claims within 48 hours.

To get the ball rolling, have your policy number handy, which you can find on your insurance card or policy documents, as well as details on the accident or incident. If you have photos and supporting documents, you can submit those online.

To file a claim online, follow these steps:

  1. Go to National General’s website.
  2. Click Auto Insurance in the top navigation bar.
  3. Click Claims Center in the top navigation bar.
  4. Click File a Claim Online.
  5. Click File a Claim.
  6. Fill out the claim questions, including your insurance policy number, the location of the incident, the make and model of both cars involved and whether a police report was filed, and click Submit.

How to contact National General

You can contact National General by phone, but the number you call depends on the policy you have:

  • If your policy starts with 200 and you bought direct. Call 888-293-5108, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern standard time. It’s closed on Sundays.
  • If your policy starts with 200 and you bought through an agent. Call 877-468-3466, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. your local time. It’s closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • If your policy starts with CCA, COH, CAZ or CTX. Call 888-859-1181, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern standard time. It’s closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • If your policy starts with CNC. Call 855-234-6270, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern standard time. It’s closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

    Frequently asked questions about National General car insurance

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