Are you curious about The General auto insurance? Have you seen The General TV commercials, read consumer reviews, and wondered if they might be a good choice to insure your cars? If you have a hard time qualifying for auto insurance, The General might be a good choice for you, because they promise low down payments, which can be hard to find if you have issues qualifying for standard auto insurance.
However, if you don’t have a hard time qualifying for auto insurance with most companies, you may find The General is too expensive. If you are considering buying The General, this General auto insurance review will give you information, like their three year complaint record, to help you decide if you get what you pay for with The General. Included in The General Insurance review is information on competing nonstandard auto insurance companies, so you can shop your auto insurance for the best price, coverage, and service.
The smart insurance shopper checks their eligibility with all the major companies for the right combination of coverage, acceptable claims & customer service, and best price for them. Be sure to use the ad below this paragraph (or the ad at the end of this review) to request price quotes from multiple insurance companies, and find the best insurance company for you.
I update my reviews throughout the year as new data becomes available, so be sure to bookmark or place my website in your favorites, so you can keep up on how The General and other major insurance companies perform in the future. If the information in this review helps you, please like this review on Facebook and share the link to it on the Web and through social media.
The General (TheGeneral.com) Insurance Review
The General (Permanent General Assurance Corp.) is an insurance company and a licensed insurance agency, now owned by American Family Insurance (since January 2013), but operates as an independent organization. The General is available in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, & Wisconsin. The General has been selling car insurance since 1963, and continues to expand into new states.
About The General
The General (Permanent General Assurance Corp.) sells auto insurance directly through its website (thegeneral.com) and by phone, and in some areas, through independent insurance agents. The General specializes in high risk drivers — those drivers with a lapse in insurance coverage, tickets, accidents, less than 3 years driving experience, bad credit, suspended license, DUI, etc.
The General sells renters insurance, acting as an insurance agency representing a partner company, through The General Home Program. The renters insurance offered by The General is underwritten by Homesite Insurance. You can read my review here for Homesite Insurance.
The corporate offices for The General Auto Insurance are located in Nashville, TN. The General has regional call centers in Ohio, Arizona, and Louisiana.
The General Auto Insurance Phone Number: 1-866-519-7422
The General AM Best Financial Strength Rating
The General had its A- (Excellent) AM Best Financial Strength Rating with a stable outlook (no ratings upgrade or downgrade is expected in the near future) reaffirmed on 5/07/2015. A- is the fourth highest rating for AM Best. In my opinion, auto insurance companies with less than a grade of A- from AM Best for financial strength should be a concern for its policyholders.
AM Best financial strength ratings are not a measure of customer service or the quality of the claims adjusting for any of The General companies, but an opinion about their ability to pay claims, remain financially solvent, and stay in business. I recommend avoiding, if possible or practical, any auto or homeowners insurance company with lower than an “A-” rating for financial strength from AM Best, or not rated by AM Best. Some major auto & home insurance companies have higher financial strength ratings than The General companies, but the difference in financial strength among A++, A+, A, & A- rated companies is not significant to me unless higher rated companies are the same or better in terms of price, coverage, claims handling, and customer service.
The General JD Power Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Ratings
The General auto insurance, like many other smaller insurance companies focusing on a specialty line like nonstandard auto insurance, does not have enough customers at this time in any one state, region, or nationally to be included in any of the recent annual JD Power insurance customer satisfaction studies, which evaluate the largest national and regional auto or homeowners insurance companies in the USA. Not being included in a JD Power insurance study does not make The General better or worse than larger JD Power rated companies or better-known brands, but it does make it harder to objectively evaluate the quality of customer service provided by a company not rated by JD Power, like The General auto insurance.
American Family Insurance, the new parent company of The General, is rated by JD Power, but The General is a separate operation, and the JD Power ratings for American Family Insurance are not representative of The General auto insurance.
What type of customer service and claims handling can you expect from The General auto insurance?
Auto insurance customers do not have a lot of objective information available to them to evaluate how well their insurance company will provide customer service & handle claims. Unfortunately, paying more for auto insurance does not mean better service or a fair claims settlement, so the price you pay is not an indication of whether you will have a problem with your insurance and feel ripped off. Reviews of personal accounts from customers are not reliable. Even bad reviews from one hundred people, don’t tell you what the thousands of other customers think about the company, and what your experience is likely to be.
However, the number of auto insurance complaints filed & investigated by a state’s department of insurance, and how the company’s number of complaints compares with other auto insurance companies, can be useful, to avoid companies with a record of higher-than-average number of complaints. I have included below The General’s 2010, 2011, & 2012 complaint ratings, based on auto insurance complaint statistics, for you to review & help you decide if The General is best for you!
The General Auto Insurance Customer Complaint Statistics & Ratings
The complaint ratios I show below display the ratio of the company’s U.S. Market Share of closed complaints compared to the company’s U.S. Market Share of premiums for a specific policy type. Complaint ratios lower than “1” have less complaints than average, and complaint ratios over “1” have more complaints than average. The lower the complaint ratio, the less complaints against the company. The higher the complaint ratio, the more complaints against the company. The complaint ratios were obtained from the NAIC Consumer Information Source.
The complaint ratios are number scores, and may not be simple and easy for people to interpret. I devised a grade system, giving grades to auto insurance companies based on the complaint ratios, to make it as easy as possible to find the best car insurance companies and avoid the worst insurance companies.
B = Better than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios less than 75% of the average insurance company.
C = Average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios from 75% to 125% of the average insurance company.
W = Worse than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios more than 125% of the average insurance company.
The General has three subsidiaries selling auto insurance: Permanent General Assurance Corp., Permanent General Assurance Corp. of Ohio, & The General Automobile Insurance Co. Inc. Make sure you know the correct name of the The General insurance subsidiary quoting or insuring you, to check the proper complaint grade. Consider these grades, along with price and other factors (as listed on my website), when choosing an auto insurance company.
Permanent General Assurance Corporation Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings Review
B = Better than average C = Average W = Worse than average
2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (3.64)
2014 US auto insurance premium = $244,107,079
2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (3.81)
2013 US auto insurance premium = $199,470,971
2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (3.44)
2012 US auto insurance premium = $178,501,191
2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (3.14)
2011 US auto insurance premium = $181,995,618
2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.80)
2010 US auto insurance premium = $171,982,768
2009 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (3.14)
The Permanent General Assurance Corporation subsidiary is available in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, & Wisconsin.
Permanent General Assurance Corp. of Ohio Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings Review
B = Better than average C = Average W = Worse than average
2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.27)
2014 US auto insurance premium = $60,578,602
2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C (1.13)
2013 US auto insurance premium = $67,005,370
2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C (.79)
2012 US auto insurance premium = $68,805,564
2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C (.99)
2011 US auto insurance premium = $77,219,852
2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C (1.05)
2010 US auto insurance premium = $80,452,550
2009 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C (.96)
The Permanent General Assurance Corporation of Ohio subsidiary is available in the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, & Virginia.
The General Automobile Insurance Company, Inc. Complaint Statistics & Ratings Review
B = Better than average C = Average W = Worse than average
2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.60)
2013 US auto insurance premium = $52,554,501
2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C (1.02)
2013 US auto insurance premium = $42,737,430
2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)
2012 US auto insurance premium = $28,363,704
2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.04)
2011 US auto insurance premium = $20,850,915
2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C (.92)
2010 US auto insurance premium = $18,299,457
2009 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = No auto insurance policies in force for 2009.
2009 US auto insurance premium = $0
The General Automobile Insurance Company, Inc. subsidiary is available in the following states: Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, & Texas.
Permanent General Assurance Corp. is the largest of three subsidiary companies. Permanent General Assurance Corp. of Ohio, is available in several states other than Ohio, but it is about half the size of Permanent General Assurance Corp. The General Automobile Insurance Company, Inc. is the smallest subsidiary, about half the size of PGAC of Ohio. If you have your choice of the three subsidiaries, PGAC of Ohio has the best four year complaint history. Unfortunately, the customer has little control over which subsidiary company for which they qualify. Insurance companies use a specific subsidiary company to sell in a certain state or states, or to sell through a specific sales channel — such as direct from the company, or through certain independent agents or other affiliate organizations, or to sell to people meeting a certain risk profile, such as preferred, standard, or nonstandard auto insurance. I contacted an Arizona insurance agency representing The General, and was advised The General auto insurance sold by them has a different price than the auto insurance The General sells in AZ direct from the company. If you live in AZ, CA, CO, GA, IN, MO, NV, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, or VA you should be able to get a price quote through the company website, and also through independent insurance agents (you can find local agents on The General’s website), to see if you can select The General subsidiary with the best price or better complaint history.
TheGeneral.com Insurance Review: Alternative choices to The General Auto Insurance
1. If you qualify for standard or preferred auto insurance, don’t bother contacting The General.
I received a quote, as a driver with no accidents and violations, and The General was expensive for me, but that is not unusual with insurance companies specializing in high risk drivers. Also, higher liability limits to protect you from lawsuits, if you injure someone or damage another person’s property due to the use of your car, are not available, and lower than some other nonstandard auto insurance companies.
2. Progressive Insurance
Progressive sells auto insurance, usually at competitive rates, for all types of drivers. Progressive is one of the few companies willing to insure drivers with multiple DUIs. Progressive has many subsidiary companies, but they tend to have better or comparable customer complaint histories than The General. You can see customer satisfaction ratings & complaint statistics on my Progressive Insurance Review webpage.
3. Geico Casualty Company
This is the Geico nonstandard auto insurance company in most states. Like Progressive, Geico makes an effort to compete by offering low rates. Geico Casualty also has a comparable three year customer complaint history to the The General. You can see customer satisfaction ratings & complaint statistics on my GEICO Insurance Review webpage.
4. Infinity Auto Insurance
You may have not heard of Infinity, but it has many subsidiary companies selling nonstandard auto insurance across the USA, direct from the company, and through independent insurance agents. You can see customer satisfaction ratings & complaint statistics on my Infinity Insurance Review webpage.
5. Allstate Indemnity auto insurance
Allstate Indemnity is the nonstandard auto insurance company for Allstate in most states. Allstate Indemnity auto insurance has a good complaint history for a nonstandard auto insurance company, and the wide availability of local agents might be preferable to you. However, not every Allstate agent is interested in selling nonstandard auto insurance, so make sure you find an Allstate agent willing to help you and provide acceptable service. You can see customer satisfaction ratings & complaint statistics on my Allstate Insurance Review webpage.
High risk drivers have less options for insurance coverage, so keep The General in mind while shopping for auto insurance coverage, if you fall into that category. Car insurance companies focusing on high risk drivers (non-standard auto insurance) are not known for their customer service, so choose The General if they have a great price for you. The next step is to get price quotes. By shopping your auto insurance with ALL the insurance companies willing to offer you a quote, you can find lower rates. Click the ad below and start shopping now!
What do you think about this The General insurance review? Comment on my facebook page. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions and would like my help.