on October 10, 2016
You’ve likely heard of The General, probably from a television cartoon army commander telling you to march to The General and “save some cash.” But aside from the catchy jingle and dwarfish mascot, what do you actually get with The General car insurance? Do customers like it, or not?
That’s what we’re here to tell you, with a definitive rundown in our The General car insurance review. We looked at the company from all angles to give you an idea of the reviews for The General’s customer service and claims process, and then provide you its overall customer satisfaction ranking.
- The General insures almost anyone. If you have multiple violations, accidents, or other blemishes on your record, The General offers coverage regardless of driver history.
- It’s backed by American Family Insurance. The General operates under Permanent General Assurance Corporation and is owned by American Family Insurance, a high-ranking company in business since 1927. This means The General is financially stable and you can be confident that it can pay your claims when you need them to.
- You get flexible payment options. The General lets customers get insurance with low down payments and set up monthly installments to fit tight budgets.
- Claims reviews are generally below average. Our analysis of online reviews from customers and industry rankings left The General with only 2.5 out of 5 stars. We go into the possible reasons for these low reviews below.
- You can’t get The General everywhere. If you’re in Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, or Wyoming, you’re out of luck.
Our Favorite The General Car Insurance Features
Here are a few of the best features The General offers its customers:
- You get low rates.
- You can choose among monthly, six-month, or yearlong policies for budget flexibility.
- If you have a sub-par credit score, The General will still insure you.
- The General has an easy SR-22 process. Like we mentioned, The General insures drivers with poor driving records—even those required to get SR-22 coverage. Luckily for these customers, The General offers guidance on its website and information about how to file for SR-22 coverage.
Overall Customer Satisfaction Reviews for The General Insurance
Are The General car insurance customers satisfied enough with what they purchased, that they would recommend it to a friend or family member? That’s the heart of our ranking for overall customer satisfaction. To determine this score, we analyzed reviews from several angles.
The result? 3.5 stars out of 5. On its face, this score may seem above-average, but compared to its competitors, The General actually comes in behind other top companies. The reason that customers are less likely to recommend The General insurance could be its poor reviews for claims and customers service.
This could also be because The General offers almost no discounts. But this isn’t too surprising considering it already offers some of the lowest rates, and discounts are usually offered to drivers with good driving records and multiple vehicles—not exactly the customers The General seems to be after.
Customer Reviews on the Cost of The General Car Insurance
Cost is king for many drivers, and on this stage The General ranks lower than most for average customer reviews of the cost of car insurance. Before going on, remember that this is not a rating of the highest or lowest dollar amount that people are paying for car insurance. In fact, these rates can vary widely from person to person, based on a driver’s record and characteristics.
Our rating is the result of asking if people think they are getting a good value for their premium, or are they paying too much for the coverage they get? For The General, it seems that some customers don’t think what they pay is fair for the car insurance they end up with.
On the other hand, we did find some very positive reviews of The General’s car insurance cost. For example, insure.com says that 59 percent of customers tell them the company offered them the best price.
Widely differing reviews are common, but we did find that The General didn’t fare as high as the rest of the pack.
How Much The General Car Insurance Costs
Compared to its competitors, The General car insurance quotes tend to be on the more expensive side for safe drivers. If you have a less than stellar driving history though, The General offers the most affordable rates. Learn more about how much The General could cost you.
The General Auto Insurance Customer Service Reviews
One marker of an insurance company that can’t be ignored is how its customers rate the service they receive. To give you a better idea of The General’s customer service, we looked across the web for reviews and we asked customers ourselves to rank their experience.
Our research puts The General below average, with an average score of 3 out 5. In other words, when compared to the other dozen or so companies we surveyed, drivers are less satisfied with The General car insurance.For example, ConsumerAffairs.com rates The General auto insurance at 1.5 out of 5 stars, based on 106 ratings and 202 reviews. Compare those complaints with reviews on insure.com, which gives The General 4 out of 5 stars for customer service. Clearly, opinions range significantly for the insurance company. Of course, it’s important to remember that customers take to online reviews for negative experience rather than positive ones.
The General Car Insurance Claims Reviews
Lucky customers rarely have to file a claim with their car insurance company. For the rest who do experience an accident, the claims experience can vary from company to company. So how does The General stack up according to our research?
We found that The General is about average when comparing customer reviews of their claims process. On average, we give The General 3.5 out of 5 stars. Insure.com again rates the insurance company highly—5 out of 5 stars—while JD Power (using The General’s parent company, American Life) and our own internal survey both resulted in 3 stars.
There are common complaints about The General’s claims process, mostly involving the process being slow-moving, clumsy, and difficult to work with. Still, the company receives average scores overall when compared with competitors.
Industry Rankings for The General Car Insurance
Looking at industry rankings and awards can help you give you an idea of the financial strength and stability of a company. But because The General is operated under the name Permanent General Assurance Corporation (PGC) and owned by American Family Insurance, it can be tricky to discern the company’s rankings in the car insurance industry.
For our analysis, we used rankings for both parent companies because they’re ultimately responsible for The General’s financial strength. With that in mind, here’s how The General ranks in the insurance industry:
We found only one source for this rating, A.M. Best, which focuses on the insurance industry. In 2015 The General received an A-, one of the highest ratings, for its financial stability under Permanent General Assurance Corporation.
This high score means that you can have confidence that The General, through its corporate umbrella, is stable enough to continue paying its customers’ claims.
Final Word: The General Is Best for High-Risk Drivers
If you’re a driver with bad credit, a sub-par record, need SR-22 coverage, or otherwise find it difficult to find car insurance, The General is a good option. The company offers insurance to nearly every type of driver, but often at steep prices and with not-so-great customer service.
About The General Auto Insurance
The General is a little tyke in the car insurance world. It opened its doors in 1997. However, it operates under PGC, both of which are owned by American Family Insurance. That means that combined, the companies bring together more than 50 years of experience writing auto policies. Under the American Family Insurance name, it’s a financially stable and trusted provider of auto insurance.