National General Insurance Review & Complaints

National General Insurance offers a variety of insurance products with a focus on auto and home insurance. National General Insurance reviews show that the company has a relatively high frequency of complaints but a decent overall customer satisfaction rating. Various National General discounts can help combat their above-average rates.

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Feb 12, 2021

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National General Insurance

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Formerly known as GMAC, National General Insurance is a big company with a long and somewhat unusual history. Though no longer associated with General Motors, National General car insurance does still hold ties to GMC. 

With so many transitions through their company history, learning about National General Insurance Company can be tough. We’ll clear that up with an overview of National General Insurance Company, National General customer reviews, and more about National General.

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What products does National General Insurance offer?

National General Insurance Company focuses strongly on personal insurance, particularly on auto insurance. Their products are comprehensive and customizable in an effort to stand out in a competitive industry.

Auto Insurance

In addition to all of the basics, you would expect from a big insurance company, National General Insurance Company offers several added benefits and coverage options. The company’s auto insurance coverages start with SmartServices.

SmartServices is the name given to the personal auto program‘s extended benefits that are meant to provide coverage above and beyond the ordinary. This program offers, at no additional premium:

  • Lifetime guarantee on repairs through the preferred shop network
  • SmartInspect – post-repair independent inspection of the work
  • Claims satisfaction guarantee, with the deductible waived (up to $250) if the customer isn’t satisfied
  • $500 in emergency expenses allowance, such as food and lodging, when the insured is stranded by a covered claim
  • A $500 theft reward
  • Minor claims handled within 48 hours
  • SmartValet, which picks you up and brings a rental car to you, as well as returning your car to you and picking up the rental car after repairs
  • SmartReplacement car shopping services after a total loss

There are also a few options that can be added to enhance the coverage:

  • SmartAssist nationwide towing to the nearest repair facility
  • SmartDrive, which delivers up to a full-size rental car to you
  • Additional equipment coverage

Some of these services are fairly standard with most insurance companies, while others – such as the delivery of a rental car – are unusual and are nice perks to have if a little gimmicky in terms of the value they offer.

Continuing the smart theme is the list of Smart Discounts, and the insurer does differentiate itself somewhat here. We’ll break down the National General Insurance discounts when we cover rates.

RV Insurance

National General also has an RV insurance program, which they present almost as strongly on the website as their auto insurance. They offer a program in which the RV can be insured along with a vehicle on a single-deductible policy.

The specialized RV coverage available includes:

  • Optional full replacement coverage
  • Optional “in storage” coverage during winter months
  • Full replacement cost on personal belongings up to $3,000
  • Permanent attachments coverage
  • Optional full-timer coverage
  • Access to RV specialist claims adjusters

Most of the same coverage offered on the auto policy also applies to RV policies, including the waiver of the deductible up to $250. Also included are the SmartValet, SmartReplacement, and SmartInspect services.

SmartAssist for RVs provides coverage for up to one hour of labor at the site of a breakdown as well as towing to the nearest repair facility with no limit on mileage or cost.

Home Insurance

The homeowner’s insurance program provides both homeowner’s insurance as well as renter’s insurance options. Coverage includes all of the basics you would expect – dwelling coverage, personal property, and liability – with some extras that National General adds on to make their policies stand out.

The homeowner’s program offers extended and guaranteed replacement cost coverage as well as up to $50,000 in “Green Upgrade” coverage to rebuild with sustainable and eco-friendly products after a loss.

Free basic identity theft protection is included with every policy. Add-ons include upgraded personal property protection and extended identity theft coverage.

National General writes policies for both detached homes as well as condos under their homeowner’s program.

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The NatGen Premier program is designed specifically for high-value homes and offers more extensive coverage and highly customized options, including coverage for private art and other collections.

This program has its own website and appears to be a separate branch of the company focused on high-income customers.

Business Insurance

National General writes package policies for small businesses and other commercial needs. These include options such as business property coverage, general and specialized liability, worker’s compensation, and more.

Commercial auto coverage is also offered as part of a package or as an independent policy.

Some business insurance is underwritten by partner companies, but National General underwrites their commercial auto directly. The website itself offers somewhat limited information on commercial auto, directing visitors to contact a representative for details.

The business products are all listed in the “other products” section of the site, and clearly do not form a large part of the company’s business overall.

Other Products

The company partners with other companies to offer specialty coverage, such as motorcycle or collector car insurance.

Classic and collector car coverage is underwritten by Hagerty, a well-known and established specialty car insurer that works with a wide variety of classics and collector vehicles.

They also provide assistance with obtaining health coverage and setting up group benefits (although National General health insurance isn’t sold directly).

These are really just referral services that the company partners with in order to provide assistance to customers with obtaining all of the coverage they need.

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Are the National General car insurance rates reasonable?

Looking for car insurance quotes? The company does provide online quoting, but their system does have limits that may not provide you direct quotes.

In previous rate tests, we have found the company’s auto rates to be above average. We see no reason why this would have changed in recent years. National General coverage has been roughly double the price of other competitors in some samples.

This is not the type of company that advertises based on the lowest rates, but instead focuses on offering extended benefits and services to create a more value-focused approach to insurance.

What car insurance discounts are offered by National General?

With higher rates than many other companies, the insurer is likely to be much more affordable coverage for insurance customers who qualify for a lot of their population-specific discounts.

Looking for affordable National General coverage? They offer a handful of discounts as noted below.

  • Paid-in-Full
  • Multi-Vehicle
  • Safe Driver
  • Motorcycle
  • Low Mileage
  • Affinity (Corporate Partnerships)
  • Multi-policy
  • Paperless
  • Anti-theft
  • AutoPay

There is a good selection of potential discounts for prospective policyholders. Their affinity discounts appear to be one of the most favorable due to their ties with GM.

For example, a GM employee, driving only GM vehicles, with multiple policies in place and an On-Star subscription is going to get a lot of the biggest discounts.

That means people who fit that market are likely to find this company more affordable than someone with none of those qualifications. It is worth noting that our past rate quotes with this company did not include affinity discounts, and they still came in not far above average.

Is the National General claims process simple?

Policyholders can file claims online with a live chat option as well for assistance with getting everything entered correctly.

National General’s claims service phone number is toll-free and can be called to file a claim over the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That number is 800-325-1088.

As promised in the policy, the National General and GMAC claims can complete processing in as little as 48 hours. More complex claims will depend on the damage and repairs that are needed.

The company offers drive-in appraisal facilities and will also assist with getting a non-drivable vehicle to that facility.

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Also, as promised in the policy, customers can arrange to have a rental car delivered to their location and have their repaired car delivered when the work is done.

The assumption here is that these items are available on full coverage policies, as a liability-only policy would not have rental car or collision coverage at all.

National General has a preferred repair shop network through which they will guarantee all of the work for as long as you are the owner of the vehicle. Customers are also welcome to select any repair shop of their choosing, even outside the network – but guarantees will not apply.

What is the National General Insurance rating?

When shopping for any insurance, it’s important to know the company ratings for financial strengthcustomer satisfaction, and more.

National General has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with a total of 485 consumer complaints on file in the past three years. This number is concerning for most consumers.

Keep in mind that the National General auto, home, and health insurance reviews are all typically compiled into one location. The National General health insurance review average might bring the auto insurance reviews up or down.

The Consumer Affairs page for this company is focused on homeowner’s insurance, with a total of 38 reviews and an overall 4-star customer reviews rating. There are a few negative reviews mixed in with overall positive comments.

Yelp shows an opposite picture, with 35 customer service reviews resulting in less than two stars overall. These reviews are mixed between auto and home, but there is little in the negative reviews to raise any serious concerns.

Overall, the National General complaints and customer satisfaction ratings are comparable to some other insurers. The volume on these sites is actually reasonable considering the size of the company.

It is possible that some of the lack of complaints here is due to the name change, although that took place five years ago and should have long since stopped impacting National General Insurance reviews.

The overall impression of this company is that they have a pretty solid reputation and a complaint history that is not bad.

The National General phone number for customer service can answer most questions quickly, including things like National General cancellation fees.

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What are the pros and cons of National General?

With so much information about a company, it’s important to be able to make some key takeaways. Let’s highlight the National General pros and cons.

Pros

  • Strong policy features
  • Numerous discounts
  • Other products to stack

Cons

  • Expensive rates
  • High frequency of customer complaints
  • Previous financial bail-outs

At the end of the day, no car insurer is perfect. Does National General have the right policy options for you?

What is National General insurance?

When researching the top car insurance companies, you might be surprised to find a smaller company like National General. Is National General Insurance legit?

National General’s history traces back to the founding of Security Life and Trust Company in 1920. That company eventually changed names to Integon, and it became a popular choice in the non-standard auto market over the years.

While the actual National General name seems to be a new one to customers used to GMAC, it was one of the companies that combined to become GMAC itself.

Originally founded as National Insurance Underwriters out of St. Louis, it was operating as National General when, along with Integon, it was acquired by General Motors in 1991. The combination of companies operated as GMAC Insurance for more than two decades.

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GMAC also operated a financial services branch, and it was part of the major government bailout of financial companies that took place in 2008. They received two more bailouts over the following years according to Reuters.

Distancing itself from this, GMAC’s financial branch changed its name to Ally, while the insurance branch went back to an old name – National General Insurance. The two now operate separately.

But wait, who owns National General Insurance? Allstate purchased National General Insurance in January of 2021. The small insurer will now be part of one of the largest insurers in the country.

National General Insurance writes mainly personal lines insurance, including auto and home insurance, as well as some commercial policies. Not all products are underwritten directly by National General, which is a common practice for large insurers, particularly with specialty policies.

Even though the GM name is gone from the company name, the connection remains. GM employees and even GM owners are still offered a discount on their insurance. Auto insurance is the company’s main focus, but they also have home and specialty policies as well.

Commercial coverage is available for businesses, including commercial auto insurance business coverage. Polices are sold online, over the phone, and through independent agents as well, putting National General in the market through multiple approaches.

National General Insurance: What’s the bottom line?

With many car insurance competitors to choose from, National General Insurance might have some trouble sticking out. National General has some nice policy features but at an expense that many competitors can beat.

Wondering if you can beat your National General Insurance quotes? Compare rates from top competitors in just a few clicks with our free quote tool below.

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