UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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About Discovery Insurance
Discovery Insurance Company was founded in 1993 in Kinston, North Carolina, where their headquarters remains today. They focus on the non-standard insurance market, providing auto insurance coverage to high-risk drivers who have been turned down by standard insurers for a variety of reasons. These include a problematic driving record, major violation resulting in the need for an SR-22, bad credit, and more.
Discovery products are sold through independent agents, and policies are available throughout North Carolina. As of the time of this review, there is no indication that the company plans to expand to other states.
Discovery’s website is very bare bones, containing basic information; they are likely a company that sees most new business through agents and not website visitors.
Discovery Auto Products
Discovery does not offer much information about their auto insurance policies on the website. There is a basic overview of how auto insurance works and a glossary of terms, but no specifics in regards to what to expect from a Discovery policy.
Discovery writes insurance for the non-standard market, which means they likely write a lot of basic liability policies to meet state legal requirements. They also offer higher liability limits and optional coverage that can be added to the policy.
Discovery only insures personal autos and does not offer motorcycle insurance.
Although Discovery has a setup on their website for obtaining a quote online, it is not functional. The website states that this option will be available in the future, but currently quotes are only available by contacting an agent. Based on our previous review of Discovery, this has been the case for more than a year, which indicates they have not made much effort to get the quote function up and running.
The website does have an agent search function using a zip code.
As a non-standard insurer, we do not expect that Discovery’s rates will compare to those offered by standard insurance companies.
Discovery has more information in the claims section of the website than any other section.
There is also a toll-free number to report a claim directly over the phone. The site does not say whether or not the line is available 24/7.
There is a link to track an existing claim, but that area is currently not functional; this is the second area of the site where the company appears to be behind on getting things working. Again it appears to reflect a lack of interest in web-based marketing.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Discovery Insurance has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are only four complaints on file in the past three years. There are no complaints closed in the past 12 months.
We found 68 Google reviews of this company with an overall 3.7-star rating out of 5. It is very important to note that a look through the reviews found multiple 5-star ratings not from customers, but from agents that sell Discovery products. This has the effect of skewing the overall rating to make it appear that more customers rated them highly. In fact, it appears that there are more negative reviews from customers than there are positive ones. Repeated complaints refer to poor customer service and difficulty with claims.
The company’s Facebook page has 12 reviews, with an overall 2.7-star rating. Similar to the other reviews, we found that the positive reviews appear to come mainly from agents who work with Discovery, while the actual consumer reviews are universally negative.
Discovery’s ratings are a good reminder that it is always worth reading through the reviews rather than basing an opinion on the overall star rating. In this case, agents seem to have artificially bumped up the company in a way that does not seem to reflect the actual customer experience.
The Bottom Line
If you are in need of non-standard auto insurance in North Carolina, Discovery might be worth investigating. Finding a good value in non-standard insurance is difficult, as is finding a company with a really solid reputation. Our look at the company did raise some concerns in regards to claims service, which is what really matters when it comes to an insurance company. Agents who work with this company, however, do seem to hold it in very high regard and go out of their way to praise it. While we would prefer to see happy customers, that does carry some weight.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.