National General (GMAC) Insurance Review

RATINGS BY CATEGORY
Premium Price
Claims Process
Consumer Feedback
Financial Strength
OVERALL
Products  |  Price  |  Claims  |  Complaints  |  Financials  |  Bottom Line

National General Insurance Summary

National General Insurance (formerly known as GMAC Insurance) is a nationwide insurer that began as a part of General Motors, and is the only insurance company to successfully be spun off from an auto manufacturer. The company’s headquarters are in Winston-Salem, NC, and they currently employ over 3,000 people in the US.

During the economic downturn, the GMAC business unit was separated from General Motors, and subsequently bailed out by the Federal Government. Since then, the banking and lending division was re-branded as Ally Financial, and as of July 2013 the insurance division has taken a new name, National General Insurance.

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Insurance Products

Auto Insurance

National General’s primary business is auto insurance. Their policies offer the same coverage types found with just about every other major insurer, including comprehensive, collision and liability protection. Unlike most other insurance companies we have reviewed, their “unique features” actually have some benefits not commonly found. These are primarily used as marketing gimmicks, but drivers may actually find something with National General that they cannot get anywhere else:

  • SmartServices® – This feature is packed with a lot of standard stuff like a rental car that will pick you up (usually just Enterprise Rent-a-car) and roadside assistance, but it also comes with a few services not commonly found. SmartInspect® provides inspections after a car has been repaired in order to verify it is in working order. SmartReplacement® is a service that assists in finding the exact car a driver wants after their’s is totaled in a covered loss.
  • SmartDiscounts® – The discounts offered by National General Insurance contains a pretty typical list that you would find with many other companies. They include things like paid-in-full, multi-vehicle, safe-driver, and multi-policy. But they also offer a few discounts that are unique to their customers. Policyholders that have other GM or GMAC products (like a GM card, mortgage, or GM vehicle) can get a discount. Policies that contain only GM cars (more than one) can also get a discount. Even people who subscribe to OnStar can get a reduction in their premiums.

Home Insurance

National General offers homeowners insurance, but they do not actually underwrite the policy. Similar to companies like Progressive and GEICO, home, renters and condo insurance can be purchased and serviced through them, but there is a different company that is actually paying the bills. Because of this, specific details will vary by state. However, the vast majority of plans will come with standard protection like personal property and home liability.

Recreational Vehicle (RV) Insurance

National General Insurance has a fairly large base of RV customers that get coverage from them. Their plans are similar in nature to their car insurance, and they offer a lot of the same features. The policies are actually underwritten by National General Insurance.

National General Price (Rates)

Quote Test Results
+ 9%
Rate Test Details

According to our rate test, National General was about 9% higher than the other insurance companies we have tested using the same details. It looks like the extra features the car insurance policies come with adds to the cost. Anyone interested in National General Insurance is invited to get their own quote, since it can certainly vary. Drivers of GM cars may also see a reduction, since they give a discount for them.

Claims

Reporting a claim can be done three different ways; file it online, call 800-325-1088 and report it directly, or use their iPhone app. The claims department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Once the claim is started, a representative will be assigned to assist during the process. Pictures and supporting documents of the loss can be submitted through an online portal on their website, and the progress of the claim can also be tracked.

Consumer Research and Complaints

In 2012, JD Power did a study of the US auto insurance industry that focused on the claims process of the major insurance companies. National General Insurance (GMAC at the time) received 3 out of 5 for “Overall Satisfaction” which meant about average. They scored a three in every category except First Notice of Loss, in which they got a two. A similar study in 2013 that focused on the purchase experience of a policy rated National General 2 out of 5, which was below average. The company suffered the lowest ratings in the categories Policy Offerings and Call Center Representative.

There are multiple entries for National General on the Better Business Bureau’s website, and it is difficult to determine which one people are using most. The “official” entry shows the company as accredited, but with no rating and no comments or complaints. However, this entry is very difficult to find when using a search engine like Google. The one that shows in search results has an address for an office in Missouri and shows a B- rating. This appears to be an old GMAC insurance entry, and looks as if it is the most active with consumers. There have been 37 complaints filed in the last three years, 14 of which have come in the previous 12 months.

Financial Strength

Rating CompanyGradeFinancial Outlook
AM BestA-Stable
FitchN/AN/A
S&PN/AN/A

Bottom Line

National General Insurance actually does offer a few unique features with their auto insurance policies, but you will pay for it. Their premiums came in almost 10% higher than all the other companies we have tested. Their consumer advocacy reports are below average, and their Better Business Bureau rating is low. There is not a lot of information about their financial strength, which could be due to the fact that they changed their name in July 2013. Overall, there is nothing that stands as overly positive about this company.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

Summary
Reviewer
Eric Stauffer
Review Date
Reviewed
National General
Author Rating
2

Comments

  1. Christine Black says

    This is the WORST SCAM INSURANCE COMPANY EVER!!!! Talk about BAIT ANS SWITCH??? I was quoted what appeared to be a fair price for liability on two out of five of my vehicles. Approximately three months into my new policy I received a notice that I needed to pay more than three times the original quote because they now claim I need to jump through various ridiculous hoops to regain my original quote.
    Examples: They are now requesting me to provide a copy of not only my room mates seperate auto policy but a copy of his Ca. Drivers Licence. Once I submitted that which by the way I feel is a complete invasion of his privacy. Then they turned it back on me and stated they needed a copy of my Ca. Drivers License. Ok sent it then they stated they could not offer me the original quote until I provided proof of my mileage. I ask the gentleman how? He suggested I have my car serviced (oil change etc….) so I did for both cars even though it was not time for an oil change since I rarely drive them. My everyday vehicle is a commercial vehicle. long story short a month ago I jumped ship and signed up with another Insurance provider and informed NATIONAL GENERAL INSURANCE that I was canceling my policy. I’m still receiving notices that they are now sending me to collections for over $400. So I called yesterday waited on hold over an hour spoke to three different representatives and was informed that I now need to show an additional vehicle maintenance receipt three months prior to the most recent service to show proof of mileage. This was after I threatened to call the BBB I was then transferred to a Mr [Redacted] who pretended to be a superior within the company but later admitted he was calling from a call center. WHAT A FREAKING JOKE THIS COMPANY IS!!!
    I DEFINITELY PLAN TO WARN EVERYONE THAT I KNOW AND CONTACT BBB ALONG WITH CHANNEL 9 NEWS. THESE GUYS ARE CROOKS!!!!

  2. Gayle Amato says

    I am going over my expenses line item by line item. I received a quote from Liberty Mutual that was less than half of what National General is charging me. I thought there might be a mistake and that there were perhaps more than two auto’s on my policy. Only two auto’s the only way I could save is if I paid in full instead of monthly. My savings would be $240.00. I think that is a lot to pay for the privilege of making monthly payments.

    I was a GM employee, have been with GM auto insurance since the early 2000’s. Buyer beware is right. I will cancel in the AM and go with Liberty Mutual.

  3. Andrew D says

    Back in 2011 I purchased a new vehicle, 2011 Cheverolet Cruze, and was offered an awesome Insurance Premium by then GMAC. The annual policy was nearly $800 cheaper. I actually really like GMAC until the purchase of my house in early 2013. I had lived in MD for 14 years, and had my car insurance in MD. The house I purchased was in PA, so I had to begin switching everything over. I got the car registered in PA and called GMAC to switch the policy over. Figuring it shouldn’t be any more expensive, and if anything cheaper since PA has lower cost for insurance. Boy was I wrong. The quoted me at nearly 150% higher than what I had been paying in MD. Knowing that my policy was about to expire in early March I began shopping around and found a GEICO agent around where I purcahsed my home that offered a monthly premium $80 less than what I had been paying in MD. So I jumped on this offer and promptly called GMAC to notify them of my change in insurance coverage. I was even warned by the lady on the phone that if I cancel my insruance policy before having an active policy with another compnay I could be fined by the State of Maryland. I did not worry about this as I was leaving the state and my vehicle was no longer registered to the state of MD.

    Approximately one year later I received a phone call from a debt collector saying I owed National General Insurance $94 for a canceled Auto Insurance Policy. I told them that they were incorrect as I had never had insurance with NGI. I was not aware at that time that GMAC had changed their name. Likely due to the shady under handed tactics their customers became privy to after being with for a while. New name, new reputation. Anyway, once I was informed that NGI was GMAC I explained the situation to the gentleman who called and he suggested I call GMAC/NGI to get this resolved. SO I did that. Sevreal times. First tme I called I was transferred and put on hold, I waited for nearly 20 minutes. Second time I called I was told it was the wrong department and I was hung up on. After several other attempts of the same thing I stopped trying.

    Now it has been 8 or 9 months since then and I am receiving calls again. Having to explain the situation all over. This time the gentleman I spoke with offered to file a dispute claim with National General Insurance. I doubt it will lead to anything, as I am sure somewhere in the dirty dealings of this business they did fabricate a bill to charge me to have some kind of “proof”. Either way my lesson has been leanred and everytime someone asks for an opinion on this company I advise them to stay as far away as possible.

  4. K Dzurenka says

    I have been a customer of GMAC for almost 9 years, during that time I have owned a travel trailer which is insured along with my truck. We only use our travel trailer for seasonal work (spring and fall) maybe one third of the year, I was just told that I can get a discount on my trailer insurance when it is stored. Funny, in 9 years I have called in every 6 months when my insurance renews and this is the first time a representative has told me about the storage discount. Mind you, every time I call in I ask how I can lower my premiums and if I am getting all of the discounts I am entitled to and I am just now finding out about this? Oh, I just received a $13.00 check in the mail today with another $18.00 check on the way. Wow, 9 years of overpaying and that’s what I get! I am switching to another company for one half of the price with the same limits etc.

  5. Dan HIll says

    My mother-in-law’s car caught fire and was completely destroyed while parked at her home Jan 12th. Took five calls and four days to get an adjuster to view the remains so we could drag the pieces off to the junkyard. The first set of paperwork concerning the claim is an authorization release to allow National General to access all financial records, credit cards, check stubs, bank accounts, mortgages, loans, business records, employment records, other insurance policies, and anything else that would establish some accuracy of her financial condition. This paperwork is required to be NOTARIZED as well!! SCAM companies ask for less than this! This is well beyond the scope of auto insuring, and means we will be finding a new and honest company for my in-law.

  6. Michael McCrory says

    This is the worse company I have worked with on a claim. Not only do you not have claim adjusters in the DFW area to look at RV’s, the claim people do not keep the customer advised of what is happening or follow up on phone calls.

    I turned in my claim on Oct 14th and still have not gotten things straight with your people. Thought we got it worked out on the Dec 1, but still no check at my house and your people still call on house number when I have asked and left my cell number every time.

    I will be contacting the BBB on this, Good Sam Club, and plan on looking at other carriers of RV insurance.

    Was on the phone today to take RV out of storage for repairs, and told I have to pay for having RV out and at repair facility that you recommended, but 40 miles away from me. This toke over 30 minutes, while I was trying to talk to a person in management, and not another supervisor. Your website does not even give me numbers to call for complaint.

    Right now this is the worse insurance company I had in over 45 years.

  7. JEREMIAH SMITH says

    MY NAME IS JEREMIAH SMITH. ON 10/21 I WAS IN A CAR DEALERSHIP AROUND 7 P.M. TRYING TO GET INSURANCE ON A NEW VEHICLE I WAS PURCHASING. THE INSURANCE AGENT ASKED ME IF I WANTED TOWING ON VEHICLE AND EXTENDED VEHICLE. INSURANCE ONLY PAY $50 FOR TOWING. I KNOW THAT IS NOT ENOUGH TO TOW A VEHICLE, SO I DECLINED, BUT NOT KNOWING I WAS ALSO DECLINING THE RENTAL COVERAGE. I HAVE BEEN WITH THIS INSURANCE COMPANY SINCE IT WAS GMAC (2006) MAYBE BEFORE THEN. ALL VEHICLES THAT I HAVE FULL COVERAGE ON HAS THE RENTAL ALONG WITH IT. NOW MY VEHICLE IS IN BODY SHOP AND YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT I HAVE TO PAY OUT OF MY POCKET DUE TO A MISUNDERSTANDING….I AM HIGHLY UPSET AND I WILL BE GETTING A NEW INSURANCE COMPANY BEING I BEEN HERE THIS LONG.

  8. Jason hager says

    First off I don’t live with my parents I have my own car and insurance with nationwide. But anyway my dad fell and had an ambiance take him to the hospital so I went up to my parents house to Check on my mom. Well my dad hurt his shoulder but not that bad thank goodness! He called me and told me to bring his car and pick him up well on my way up to the hospital I hit 2 deers walking across the interstate. I hit them both didn’t do much damage. So yes police report etc. made a claim with my dads insurance on comprehensive here we are 2 weeks after the accident no call backs or anything my dad finally had to call his agent to get ahold of the adjuster. Finally on Friday nov 14 2014 she said the claim was going through the claims desk review. So here we are going into the 18th haven’t heard anything at all. We call the adjuster and her supervisor no call backs at all. My dad only has 30% heart left. This is to much stress for elderly parents to babysit there own insurance company. I give them NO STARS!!!

  9. Connie Pope says

    Am not insured by NGIC, but had my car totaled by someone who is. They also left the scene, but I got their license plate # and turned in to police officer. That was 9/5/14 and I have not been paid for my car. Luckily I had another vehicle to drive or I would be renting at this time. My car is still in storage at the tow company and is accumulating charges every day, but I cannot get a response from CS. Finally let me know on 10/6 that the claim was turned over to Total Loss Specialist. Have not heard from her either. Called on 10/9, had to leave a message, no response as of 10/10 at 12:41 pm. Don’t know what to do at this point. Lawyer? Insurance Commisioner?

    • Eric Stauffer says

      Hi Connie,

      If it were me, I would call every day and get names as well as direct numbers to those contacts. In these types of cases, it is often the squeaky wheel that gets the oil.

      Should it progress further, getting representation may be the next step.

      Best,
      Eric Stauffer

  10. sue anderson says

    I gor rearended one month ago and have yet to get my car fixed. i have spent more time trying to have someone get back to me. with no luck. I have been driving with my bumper hanging off, tied up with rope. i have made report after report. I cant belieive this bs.

  11. Sharlene says

    I HAVE BEEN INSURED BY YOUR COMPANY FOR 6 MONTHS. I AM EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED WITH YOUR BAIT AND SWITCH METHODS ON THE PREMIUMS, I HAVE BEEN PAYING ONE PRICE FOR 6 MONTHS AND NOW YOU HAVE INCREASED MY POLICY FOR NO REASON AN ADDITONAL 50%. AND THEN YOU HAVE THE NERVE TO CHARGE ME A 50.00 CANCELLATION FEE. YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE DID NOT LET ME SPEAK TO A SUPERVISOR WHEN I ASKED. I WILL NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH YOUR COMPANY AGAIN.

  12. catherine mathews says

    Today we waited 6 hours 3 feet off of I 5 near Williams, Ca. Not just waiting for a tire change on our r.v. but having constant calls with people who said they had no record of us or our policy number. We were given different numbers and then told THEY had no customers by that name or policy number. (Even though I was holding my policy plan in my hand as I spoke.) Our insurance people should have been there for us earlier. We still don’t know what happened with our policy but wanted you to know how disappointed we are.

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