The General car insurance review 2021
Get affordable coverage even with a spotty driving record, but not many coverage extras.
finder.com's rating: 3.5 / 5
Bottom line: The General is one of the best picks if you’ve had trouble getting coverage elsewhere, especially if you need SR-22 suppport. But if you have a clean record, you’ll find better coverage and quotes from other companies.
New car protection
|States served||All states except Hawaii Massachusetts Michigan and New Jersey|
|New car protection||No|
|Pay schedule||12 months, monthly|
|Claims methods||Phone, App|
- High-risk drivers welcome
- Instant online access
- SR-22 support
- Flexible payments
- Transparent quoting
- No-frills policies
- Claims by phone or app only
- Limited discounts
- Website lacks info
|Anti-theft device discount||Yes|
|Defensive driving discount||No|
|Good student discount||Yes|
|Safety device discount||Yes|
|Special employment discount||No|
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.
The General is ideal for basic, affordable coverage for high-risk drivers who have trouble getting coverage elsewhere. We tested the quoting tool and found that The General offers quotes, even if you have several accidents or violations on record.
For drivers with a clean record, we found that the car insurance rates stick close to the national average of $100 a month. Your rates can vary a lot based on your area and driving profile.
One feature that we like about The General is its app, which offers instant proof of insurance, filing and tracking claims and flexible payments. You can even pay in cash if you select the cash option for payment and pay at a participating retailer like CVS.
If you have a less-than-perfect driving record or need an SR-22, The General might have the lowest rates you can get. But if you’re a low-risk driver or are looking for extra coverage, explore other companies to compare their specialized coverage and costs.
This article was reviewed by Andrew Flueckiger, a member of the Finder Editorial Review Board and certified insurance counselor and licensed insurance agent in five states.
The General car insurance rates
Most drivers pay around $100 a month for car insurance with The General, close to the average that most drivers pay. Your cost may differ based on your car, age and driving record — some customers say that The General quoted them the cheapest rates compared to other companies.
Compare sample monthly car insurance rates for The General policyholders across the US.
|18 year old man||$136||$442||$309|
|18 year old woman||$152||$413||$273|
|25 year old man||$80||$297||$86|
|25 year old woman||$80||$305||$79|
|35 year old man||$49||$197||$55|
|35 year old woman||$54||$248||$58|
|45 year old man||$47||$191||$52|
|45 year old woman||$53||$274||$60|
|56 year old man||$59||$179||$47|
|56 year old woman||$66||$197||$47|
How to get a car insurance quote with The General
To get auto insurance coverage with The General, you can call 866-378-1042 or use the agent locator on its website to find an agent. Otherwise, start by getting a quote online.
- From The General’s website, enter your ZIP code and tap Get quote.
- Enter general details about your location, credit, prior insurance and driver information. Tap continue when prompted between sections.
- Enter your vehicle details like year, make and model and continue.
- Review your coverage and policy details, then continue if you’re satisfied.
- Create a password and enter your contact information, then continue.
- Enter your parking address and any other application questions, then continue to review your policy’s details.
- Enter your payment information and buy your policy.
What discounts can I get with The General?
Although The General specializes in no-frills auto insurance for high-risk drivers, it offers a solid list of auto insurance discounts — not typical of all high-risk insurers.
- Airbag. Qualify for a discount if your car is equipped with factory-installed airbags.
- Antilock brakes. Get a discount if your car includes antilock brakes.
- Deductible doubling. Double your deductible for your policy’s first 45 days for a discount.
- Defensive driving. Those who complete an approved driving course may get a discount.
- Homeowner. Lower your premium because you own your home, which suggests financial stability.
- Lump-sum payment. Get a discount for paying in a single payment rather than monthly.
- Military. Active service members could get a discount if they qualify and live in specific areas.
- Multi-vehicle. Get a discount for insuring several vehicles on the same policy.
- Specified driver. You may get a discount if you only let drivers with over five years’ experience and a clean record drive your car.
- Switch and save. Save by switching to The General with six months of continuous coverage from another car insurance company.
What add-ons and perks does The General offer?
The General features openness about its pricing as well as several features to make your policy convenient and accessible.
- SR-22. This certificate of insurance helps those with driving violations prove their coverage.
- Towing and roadside assistance helps if your car breaks down and you need services like a flat tire change, tow or battery jumpstart.
- Instant access to ID cards. Once you’ve signed up and paid for a policy, you can download and print your insurance card immediately.
- Flexible payments. You can change your payment due date once per policy period, or typically every six months. This flexibility comes in handy if your paycheck is late or you have an unexpected bill.
- Transparent quoting. The General’s online quote tool shows your coverage, discounts, fees, down payment and monthly premium. And if you don’t like your quote, you can compare several competitors on the same page.
The General car insurance reviews and complaints
The General boasts an impressive A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), as of April 2021. It also holds a composite score of 4.65 out of 5 stars, based on BBB customer reviews — unusually high for an insurance company.
Customers also rate The General with a 4.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, representing over 60,000 customer reviews. As a caveat, The General requests that customers leave reviews on these sites, and it typically responds to negative reviews within 24 hours.
However, The General holds a 5.89 score on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index for private passenger vehicles. Its score seems high compared to the national industry score of 1.00. But it’s based on only nine complaints filed with the NAIC in 2020.
Over 200 customers have filed BBB complaints as of April 2021, citing issues with billing, not getting a refund after canceling and denied claims. Positive reviews focus on the company’s cheap rates and helpful interactions with customer service.
Our star ratings for The General, explained
Our car insurance experts rank The General above average because of its stellar customer ratings from sites like Trustpilot and the BBB. It also boasts a high BBB score, which shows that the company quickly answers and closes complaints. The General’s basic coverage options do hurt its overall score, though.
|AM Best financial rating||A|
|Trustpilot score||4.7/5 out of 60,125 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||28 June 2021|
Compare The General to alternatives
If you’re in search of a company that specializes in helping high-risk drivers, Direct Auto falls in that category — but with more discounts and local offices for personalized support.
On the other hand, Progressive and Allstate offers SR-22 support even though they’re mainstream insurers. That means you get access to Progressive’s comprehensive list of coverage, discounts and types of insurance for bundling.
And Allstate offers competitive rates and a cashback rewards program that can benefit high-risk drivers. For more options, look at the coverage and perks for companies in the table, and select Get quotes to see your customized rate.
What car insurance coverage does The General offer?
While The General doesn’t offer many extras like new car replacement or rideshare coverage, you can get the standard coverage that most drivers need to get on the road.
- Bodily injury liability protects you if you injure someone with your car, but it doesn’t cover damage to you or your car.
- Collision pays for your car’s damage when you hit another car or object like a fence.
- Comprehensive covers damage to your car unrelated to a collision, such as hail, theft or fire.
- Medical payments. For an added fee, this pays medical bills if anyone is injured in your car.
- Property damage liability covers damage you cause to someone’s property like their car.
- Underinsured motorist covers your car damage or injuries caused by a driver without enough insurance to pay.
Does The General accept all drivers?
Yes. The General claims that most drivers qualify, including those with past accidents or filing an SR-22. We tested the limits with The General’s online quotes, finding that you’re denied if you have four or more major at-fault accidents or claims within three years.
You can have up to 10 minor incidents on record and still get offered a quote. These parameters are pretty flexible, even for a high-risk insurance company.
But if you have any incidents like speeding or failing to stop, expect your rates to hike up. With each minor incident we added to the sample quote, the quote went up by $500–$1,000 per year.
The General insurance locations near me
You can see if you live near one of the company’s agency locations. Agent availability can be hit or miss, especially if you live in a rural area. Search for an agent or location near you, using the agent locator.
- From the main website, scroll down to the bottom and click Find a Local Agent under About Us.
- Enter your ZIP code and tap Search.
- View the map or listed results. Choose the location to find that agent’s contact information.
- Call or visit the location in person.
Car insurance ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
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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.