Is ‘The General’ Car Insurance Legit?

Last Updated on December 2, 2021

The General is one of America’s best-known cheap car insurance providers. The company’s commercials, with its cartoon military general mascot or with Shaquille O’Neal, its spokesman, can frequently be seen on TV.

Because of The General’s far-reaching advertising campaign and low-cost insurance policies, the company is gaining popularity throughout the United States. But is The General a good place to buy car insurance? Is The General car insurance legit? Or is this car insurance too good to be true? Keep reading to find out.

Table of Contents:

What Is The General?

The General is a legitimate car insurance provider. They’re regulated and licensed across the United States. They’re a reputable company specializing in a specific car insurance niche: high-risk car insurance.

If you have been in multiple at-fault car accidents or if you have a DUI, then you might be considered a high-risk driver. Car insurance companies charge higher rates to high-risk drivers. Some car insurance companies might even deny any type of coverage.

When mainstream providers fail to provide fair or affordable quotes to high-risk drivers, The General steps in to serve. The General specializes in offering relatively affordable car insurance to high-risk drivers.

Even if you’re not a high-risk driver, you may be able to find affordable car insurance prices from The General – especially if you’re just looking for bare minimum liability insurance that allows you to legally drive on the road.

The General is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. The company has provided car insurance since 1963. In 2012, The General was acquired by American Family Insurance. Today, The General functions as a separate brand underneath the American Family Insurance umbrella.

How Does The General Make Money by Providing High-Risk Car Insurance?

Obviously, there’s a reason high-risk drivers pay more for car insurance: they’re more likely to get involved in an accident and make a claim. Claims cost car insurance companies money.

How can The General offer affordable rates when it caters to some of the riskiest drivers in America? How can The General possibly be a profitable company?

Well, The General is able to offer affordable car insurance to high-risk drivers through careful marketing and intelligent business practices.

The General, like any car insurance company, will charge higher rates to higher-risk drivers. If you’re more likely to make a claim, then you’re going to pay higher insurance premiums. Lower-risk drivers will pay lower insurance premiums.

The General also has two major differences with other nationwide car insurance companies, and those differences allow The General to offer cheap car insurance while still being a profitable company.

What’s the Difference Between The General and other Nationwide Car Insurance Providers?

There are two major differences between The General and other car insurance providers. These differences allow The General to save a lot of money and then pass those savings onto consumers.

Difference #1: The General Focuses on Direct Sales Instead of Employing an Army of Salaried Salespeople

One distinction between The General and a traditional car insurance provider is that The General focuses on direct sales.

Customers can purchase a policy online, then print the proof of insurance immediately. This is very convenient for drivers who need car insurance right away, but it also saves The General a huge amount of money: they don’t need thousands of full-time salaried insurance salespeople to interact with customers.

Most of The General’s business is done online through a form – not through salespeople. Most of your interactions with your car insurance policy from The General will take place online – either through the website or the mobile app. You can make payments, get an auto insurance ID card, and view your policy online without talking to any employee from The General.

Difference #2: The General Focuses on Under-Served Car Insurance Niches

We’ve already established that The General focuses on providing high-risk car insurance to high-risk drivers. However, this is just one of the niches served by The General. The General sells non-owners auto insurance coverage to drivers who frequently rent or borrow cars, but do not have vehicles of their own. The General also targets those who need exotic and collector car insurance, for example.

Typically, the drivers who own exotic and collector cars are some of the safest, least-risky drivers in the world. By insuring these drivers, The General is able to balance out the risk of its insurance pool. The end result is an insurance pool with a risk factor similar to other nationwide providers.

What Else Do I Need to Know About Getting Car Insurance from The General?

Basic Liability Insurance: Your online quote from The General will cover basic liability insurance for your vehicle. If the quote seems low, then remember that this is the lowest amount of insurance required to legally drive on roads in your state. To see the minimum coverage requirements for your state, click here.

Full Coverage is Available: Your initial quote from The General might include just basic liability insurance. However, you can add optional coverage – like collision and comprehensive coverage – to your policy with The General just like you would with any insurance company. Full coverage auto insurance, unlike the name suggests, does not cover absolutely every event that could happen to you on the road. However, an insurance policy with liability coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage, otherwise known as “full coverage” auto insurance, will have you covered for almost every accident.

You Can Get a Double Deductible Discount: Want to bet that you won’t make a claim within the first 45 days of your policy? The General offers a unique discount. Customers can choose to double their deductible for comprehensive and collision coverage. If you need to make a claim in the first 45 days of your policy, then you’ll pay double the deductible. In exchange, The General gives you a discount. If you don’t make a claim in the first 45 days, then you’ll save a lot of money.

SR-22 Insurance: The General can provide an SR-22 in most states, which is a document proving that you have sufficient car insurance coverage. SR-22 forms are typically required if you’re considered a high-risk driver – say, after a DUI or multiple at-fault accidents. SR-22 auto insurance is usually more expensive than other basic types of coverage, but The General can help you find affordable SR-22 coverage if your situation requires it.

Final Word on The General Insurance

When you read about Nationwide’s car insurance, you might picture Peyton Manning humming “Nationwide is on your side” due to the popular TV commercials. When you think of GEICO, you might think of the gecko. When you think of State Farm you might think of “Jake.” The General, meanwhile, has been running the same distinctive commercials for over two decades: “For a great low rate you can get online, go to The General and save some time.”

The General’s slogan is true! The company specializes in providing cheaper rates on car insurance to high-risk drivers, and you can buy that car insurance online today and print off an insurance card immediately. Since 2012, the company has been owned by American Family Insurance – one of the country’s largest and best-known car insurance providers. So yes, The General is a legitimate car insurance company – and it might be the best option for your car insurance needs.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for InsurancePanda.com and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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