The General Car Insurance Review & Complaints: Auto Insurance

The General car insurance promises affordable rates to drivers that are high-risk. Writing mainly non-standard auto coverage, The General auto insurance rates are higher than standard companies like Progressive as they offers policies to drivers with traffic tickets, accidents, and credit issues. One DUI will raise your rates to about $410 a month. The General car insurance quotes will vary based on driving record.

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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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Written by Eric Stauffer
Founder & Former Insurance Agent Eric Stauffer

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 Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2022

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The General Insurance

Financial Strength

What are the highlights?

  • The General offers auto insurance to high-risk drivers
  • Car insurance for high-risk category drivers is much more expensive
  • One DUI can raise your rates to about $410 a month for an SR 22 policy
  • It is difficult to get a complete online quote from The General
  • The General insurance reviews for customer service are mixed

 It can be hard to find the best insurance companies when you don’t have a clean driving record, but there are some good options out there. For those of you with a spotty driving record, our The General car insurance review can help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

The General should not be confused with Lamar General Agency Insurance. Both The General and the Lamar General agency specialize in high-risk drivers while promising affordable rates, a combination that can be difficult to find.

The General’s memorable mascot and lively commercials make them a recognizable brand among non-standard insurers.

Looking for cheap high-risk insurance or other types of coverage like that offered by The General? Enter your ZIP and start comparing quotes right away.

What is The General Automobile Insurance Services, Inc.?

The General was founded in 1963 as Permanent General Agency, and later sold products as Permanent General Assurance Corporation (PGAC). In 1997, the name The General came into use, although the company remains officially PGAC.

The following year, American Family Insurance acquired The General, although they continue to operate as a separate company. The company is currently headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.

Policies are sold directly over the phone and online, as well as through independent insurance agents across the country. There are several service centers in other states, but not in all covered areas.

The General writes mainly non-standard car coverage and offers policies to drivers who have had trouble obtaining coverage elsewhere, due to matters such as:

  • Traffic tickets
  • Accidents
  • Credit issues

For those seeking the best insurance for an SR-22, The General might be on your list. The company also markets itself towards budget policy shoppers, offering low down payments and affordable billing options.

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What types of insurance does The General offer?

The General’s rates are designed for those who are considered high-risk drivers, and as a result, insurance premiums are not necessarily meant to be competitive with major standard insurers.

Rates are likely to be on the high side for a driver with a clean record, but for those seeking non-standard insurance and still want comprehensive coverage, they may be more competitive.

The General does offer low down payments – slightly more than one monthly payment, likely due to a small new policy fee. That is less than some companies require getting a policy started.

The online access quoting system is simple and straightforward. However, it does not provide any information about what level of coverage is being quoted. This makes it difficult to compare their rate quotes and coverage options to other companies.

Without knowing what level of coverage and what coverage options might be included in the quote, it is impossible to make an apples-to-apples comparison with other companies. More detailed auto insurance quotes are likely available over the phone, or through an agent.

What types of car policies does The General offer?

The General writes a lot of basic car policies, including liability-only. This is because their target markets are high-risk drivers who are generally in need of basic insurance coverage they can afford. Along with liability car insurance, they offer medical payment’s coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, and comprehensive and collision coverage.

Your driving record is the number one factor car insurance companies look at when determining rates. Standard companies may be less lenient when it comes to your driving history and charge more for car insurance.

Check out this table to see just how much impact one traffic ticket, accident, or DUI can have on your car insurance rates with standard car insurers.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates Based on Driving History
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates with a Clean RecordAverage Annual Rates with One AccidentAverage Annual Rates with One DUIAverage Annual Rates with One Speeding Violation
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75$4,330.24$3,025.74
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01$3,636.80$3,186.01
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.78$7,613.48$5,701.26
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If you have a clean driving record, you’ll pay about $260 a month for car insurance coverage. One accident will cause those rates to jump to around $340 a month. A DUI will skyrocket at that rate to an average of $410 a month for SR 22 coverage.

Driving safely will save you over a hundred dollars a month.

Your rates are affected by many factors, including age and where you live.

The General also offers full coverage policies with comprehensive and collision. There is very little detail on the website regarding policy options, and the company does not appear to offer much in the way of add-ons or added features.

The website also lacks information regarding available auto insurance discounts, although it does state that there is a paid in full discount.

There is no sign of the more common trends in car insurance such as accident forgiveness, although again, that’s not surprising considering the target market for The General.

What is SR-22 insurance?

An SR-22 form may also be called a certificate of insurance or a financial responsibility filing. It is not a type of auto insurance policy, but it is simply a certificate filed by your insurance company to provide evidence that you are meeting your obligation to the state’s financial responsibility law.

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Is renters insurance available from The General?

The General offers renter’s insurance as a named perils policy – meaning it covers losses only from a specific list of causes.

Coverage includes personal property and liability, and there are optional riders available for high-value items and other options. Personal property coverage ranges from $15,000 to $100,000. Liability starts at $100,000. $1,000 in medical payments coverage is also included in the basic policy.

The company’s website does not state whether The General offers a bundling discount for auto and renters.

How to Get an Insurance Quote From The General

You can get an insurance quote by visiting The General’s website. However, The General also has Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, so you can also reach out to them through their social media channels.

Can I file a claim online with The General?

What is The General car insurance customer service line to start the insurance claims process?

The General phone number is a 24-hour toll-free line: 1-800-280-1466 for claims reporting, and it also offers an app that can be used to submit a claim or check on the status of a pending claim.

The website is once again lacking in any sort of detailed information when it comes to claims. There is nothing about the process, although the site does provide a list of things policyholders should do in the event of an accident.

The General’s customer portal, which can be used for policy management, does not appear to offer any claims status updates, but it appears that their mobile app provides access to this information.

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Are there any consumer complaints against the company?

Is The General good to work with as a customer? The General car insurance reviews are mixed.

The General, under Permanent General Companies, Inc., is Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited and has been since 2005. The BBB gives the company an A+ rating.

There have been a total of 209 complaints against the company in the past three years. This may seem a little high, but not alarming for a company of this size. There are no government actions or other major problems listed.

When it comes to car insurance, customer service ratings are very important. has a total of 245 reviews of The General, with 56-star ratings, all of which are one-star reviews. Most of the complaints are related to claims and billing issues, with many stating that the company is unresponsive and has poor customer service.

Is The General the same as Progressive?

No, but they do have a lot in common. Both companies have very distinctive and recognizable television and other advertising, well-known name recognition, favorable ratings, and low-cost policy options.

While The General focuses on non-standard insurance, Progressive Insurance targets a broader audience. However, both companies are worth looking at more closely as you shop around for an insurance policy and costs that are right for you.

What is The General’s financial strength rating?

The General reviews for financial strength are promising.

The A.M. Best rating service gives Permanent General Assurance Companies, The General’s parent company, a grade of A/Excellent, indicating their opinion that the company has an excellent ability to meet their ongoing obligations.

A.M. Best additionally classifies PGAC’s financial outlook as stable.

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The General Car Insurance: The Bottom Line

The General does offer many benefits, such as affordable coverage for all types of drivers, but if you have a good driving history, you may find a wider range of car insurance elsewhere.

With a less than informative website, it is difficult to obtain a clear picture of what their products or services are or really cover.

It is also difficult to determine how competitive rates are, even for non-standard drivers. This is due to the fact that the quoting system provides no information regarding the coverage and limits being quoted.

Although The General may be difficult to get online quotes with, we can make it easy for you to compare quotes. Just enter your ZIP to get multiple car insurance quotes you can compare.



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