Direct Auto Review: Is It Right for You?

Direct Auto is an attractive auto insurance option for high-risk drivers, but its above-average premiums could turn some drivers away.

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Direct General logo Rating ?


  • High-risk and SR-22 coverage available
  • More available discounts than many competitors
  • Flexible payment options


  • High insurance premiums
  • Limited available coverage options
  • Mixed customer service reviews

Bottom Line

Direct Auto is a great option if you’ve struggled to find insurance coverage elsewhere because of your driving record, but it’s important to get multiple quotes to make sure it offers the best rate.

Direct Auto Insurance: At a Glance

Founded 1991
Available in 16 states
Owned by National General Insurance Group
National average premium $148 per month
Mobile app Android, iOS
Customer service 1 (877) 463-4732
Claims 1 (800) 403-1077
Primary competitors Kemper, National General, SafeAuto, The General

Direct Auto Insurance, founded in 1991, is part of the Direct General Group. As a non-standard auto insurance company, its goal is to provide excellent service and affordable coverage to drivers, regardless of driving history.

Though it offers a wide variety of coverages to many types of customers, Direct Auto markets itself to high-risk drivers and people who require SR-22 certificates, since these drivers often struggle to find car insurance elsewhere.

In addition to offering insurance to high-risk drivers, Direct Auto offers its customers plenty of ways to save through discounts. But its average rates are higher than the industry average.

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Is Direct Auto a Good Choice for Car Insurance?

Category Score
Cost 4.7/5
Customer satisfaction 1/5
Ease of use 4.6/5
Availability 3/5
Industry reputation 4.5/5
Overall Score* 3.76/5
*Company ratings for each category are determined using our proprietary, objective rating formula. You can find more information on our unique scoring methodology at the bottom of this article.

The right car insurance company for you depends on your unique circumstances. Direct Auto can be a good choice for many customers, thanks to its wide variety of discounts and high-risk coverage. But it also falls short in a few areas, potentially turning some customers away.

Let’s look at where the company stands out and falls short.

Where Direct Auto stands out

Direct Auto’s standout offering is high-risk auto insurance, including SR-22 certificates for drivers who require them. It also offers more discounts than many of its top competitors.

Where Direct Auto falls short,

Unfortunately, Direct Auto has high premiums compared to many of the top companies. Additionally, while it offers all standard coverage options, it’s missing many popular optional coverages, like gap insurance.

Direct Auto Customer Reviews

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get a good read on how Direct Auto’s customers feel about their service. First, the company only has a few reviews on Trustpilot, making it impossible to get a read on its overall level of service.

Additionally, while Direct Auto earns an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the company scores just 1.07 out of 5 from users. Direct Auto’s (few) reviews are combined with reviews about its parent company, National General.

Finally, Direct Auto isn’t included in rankings by major third-party agencies such as J.D. Power or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). As a result, we can’t clearly see how it stacks up to the competition.

Unfortunately, we only have a few reviews to base our feedback on, which are primarily (though not entirely) negative. You can read a few from Trustpilot below:

Direct Auto Trustpilot review

Direct Auto Trustpilot review 2

Direct Auto Trustpilot review 3

How Much is Direct Auto Car Insurance?

Direct Auto has an average insurance premium of $148 per month. The table below breaks down its average rates for liability-only and full-coverage insurance.

Liability Only Full Coverage
$109 $186

Direct Auto’s average premiums are higher than the national averages of $77 per month for liability-only and $173 per month for full coverage. That said, several factors affect your insurance premiums, such as your age and where you live. So it’s best to shop around and get quotes from several companies.

In the following sections, you’ll learn how Direct Auto’s rates stack up in various situations.

How do Direct Auto’s rates compare to competitors?

Direct Auto is a smaller insurance company that operates in fewer than 20 states. Plus, insurance premiums vary widely across different insurance companies. Rather than comparing it to top national insurers, it’s more helpful to compare it to other similarly sized non-standard auto insurers.

We’ve broken down the average liability-only and full-coverage rates for Direct Auto and some of its top competitors in the table below.

Company Liability Only Full Coverage
Direct Auto $109 $186
Kemper $103 $207
National General $66 $148
SafeAuto $85 $187
The General $130 $244

Direct Auto has higher liability insurance rates than most competitors. Its rate is $43 more per month than National General, for example. But its full-coverage rates are more competitive — almost $60 cheaper per month than The General.

That said, each of these companies uses a unique formula for calculating insurance premiums. The only way to determine the cheapest company for you is to get a quote from each.

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Direct Auto Average Rates by Age Group

Your age is a key factor that insurance companies use to determine your auto insurance premiums. Insurance premiums tend to be highest when drivers are in their teens but decrease with age.

Let’s look at how Direct Auto rates change based on your age.

Age Liability Only Full Coverage
Teens (18 years old) $272 $488
Young adults (25 years old) $132 $237
Adults (40 years old) $111 $192
Seniors (65 years old) $101 $173

Teens pay the highest insurance premiums of any demographic. In fact, rates for this age bracket can be $100 or more per month higher than those for older drivers. Teen drivers are more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents and engage in high-risk driving habits, which accounts for these high premiums, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Once you reach your 60s, premiums decrease. But rates may increase again once you reach your 70s, as physical and cognitive impairments can make accidents more likely.

Let’s take a closer look at these two age groups.

Direct Auto rates for teens and young drivers

Teen drivers pay an average of $380 per month with Direct Auto. But the average premium drops to just $185 per month — a decrease of 51% — by the time you reach age 25.

Discount Auto offers ways for young drivers to save on their premiums, including its good student discount and driver education discount, which can save you up to 10%.

We’ll explore rates for middle-aged and senior drivers in the next section.

Direct Auto rates for seniors and retirees

Thanks to having more experience and safer driving habits once you reach middle age, Direct Auto’s rates decrease even more. Drivers around age 40 pay an average monthly rate of $151. But senior drivers generally pay the cheapest insurance premiums of any other age bracket. The average premium for drivers age 65 and older is just $137 per month with Direct Auto.

Direct Auto also offers a discount specifically designed for its senior customers. Drivers age 55 and older who complete a motor vehicle accident prevention course can save up to 5% per month.

Direct Auto Average Rates by Driving Record

It’s probably no surprise that your driving record has a greater effect on your insurance premiums than most other factors. Generally speaking, the better your driving history, the cheaper your insurance premiums.

We’ve broken down the average rates Direct Auto charges for different driving records in the table below.

Driving History Liability Only Full Coverage
Clean record $109 $186
Speeding ticket $141 $254
At-fault accident $160 $282
DUI $126 $245

Unsurprisingly, drivers with clean records pay the lowest insurance premiums. Any violation — a speeding ticket, an at-fault accident, or driving under the influence (DUI) — can increase your premiums significantly.

Let’s take a closer look at how each infraction affects Direct Auto’s average rates.

Direct Auto rates after a speeding ticket

Direct Auto’s insurance premiums increase by an average of roughly 29% after a speeding ticket. That’s lower than the national average increase of 37%, according to data.

The amount your premiums increase can depend on several key factors, including how much faster than the speed limit you were driving.

If you have a speeding ticket that’s increased your rates, you can save by taking advantage of Direct Auto’s DynamicDrive program, which allows you to save based on your safe driving habits.

Direct Auto rates after an accident

Direct Auto drivers pay an average of $221 monthly after an at-fault accident, a 40% increase from those with clean driving records. Meanwhile, the national average rate increase after an accident is 44%, according to our analysis.

It’s important to note that these rates specifically apply to drivers with at-fault accidents. Your rates may also increase after an accident where you weren’t responsible, but the increase will likely be smaller.

After an accident, you can still lower your rates using Direct Auto’s discounts, including its DynamicDrive program. Additionally, taking an accident prevention course may help you save on your premiums.

Direct Auto rates after a DUI

Driving under the influence — or DUI, for short — is among the most serious driving violations you can get and generally results in a significant increase in your auto insurance premiums.

On average, insurance premiums increase by roughly 94% after a DUI, according to data. But Direct Auto’s rates increase by an average of just 23% — less than the increase for an at-fault accident.

If you’ve gotten a DUI and want more affordable premiums, consider taking advantage of one of Direct Auto’s discount programs. Both the DynamicDrive program and an accident prevention course show the company you’re willing to improve your driving habits, and both can save you money on your premiums.

Direct Auto Average Rates by Credit Score

Your credit history can affect your insurance premiums because insurers believe it indicates your personal risk level. Generally speaking, the better your credit score, the lower your insurance premiums. On the other hand, the worse your credit score, the higher your premiums.

Here’s how much Direct Auto rates change depending on your credit score, according to data.

Credit Score Liability Only Full Coverage
Excellent $105 $184
Good $107 $192
Average $111 $192
Poor $111 $206

The table above shows that credit score is a relatively minor factor when it comes to your auto insurance premiums with Direct Auto. The premium difference between drivers with excellent and poor credit is less than 15% with Direct Auto. With other companies, the average increase between excellent and poor credit scores is nearly 165%, according to our data. That makes Direct Auto a fantastic choice for drivers with less-than-ideal credit histories.

What Car Insurance Discounts Does Direct Auto Offer?

Direct Auto offers an impressive lineup of car insurance discounts that allow you to save up to 25% on your premiums. Here are the discounts available:

  • Military: Save up to 25% on your premiums if you’re an active service member.
  • Safe driver: Save up to 10% on your policy if you’ve had no violations or accidents in the past three years.
  • Good student: Save up to 10% on your premiums if you’re unmarried and a full-time student on the honor roll or dean’s list, have a B grade average, or rank in the top 20% of your class.
  • Senior citizen: Save up to 5% on your premiums if you’re age 55 or older and complete a motor vehicle accident-prevention course.
  • DynamicDrive: Save up to 10% on your premiums by enrolling in Direct Auto’s DynamicDrive program and sharing your driving behavior through the app.
  • Driver education: Save up to 10% on your premiums if you complete an accident-prevention course or if you’re younger than age 21 and complete a driver education course.
  • Multi-car: Save up to 25% on your premiums by including more than one vehicle on your policy.
  • Vehicle equipment: Save up to 10% on your premiums for having certain vehicle safety features, including anti-theft devices.
  • Multi-product: Save up to 5% on your premiums by adding certain products to your policy, such as life insurance, emergency protection, or roadside assistance.
  • Prior savings coverage: Save up to 25% on your premiums for having at least six months of coverage with another company with no lapses of more than 90 days.
  • Homeowner: Save up to 15% on your premiums for being a homeowner, whether you own a single-family home, townhome, or condo.
  • Welcome back: Save up to 6% on your premiums if you’ve previously used Direct Auto, switched companies, and then switched back.
  • Affinity: Save up to 5% on your premiums for being an active member of an affinity organization with a partnership with Direct Auto.
  • Payment: Save up to 9% on your premiums for setting up automatic payments, agreeing to paperless statements, or paying for your policy in full.
  • Multi-policy discount: Save up to 10% on your premiums for bundling two or more insurance policies.

What Types of Coverage Does Direct Auto Offer?

Direct Auto offers eight different insurance coverages to add to your policy. Some come standard with any insurance policy, while others are optional coverages that you can add.

Here are the coverages available:

  • Liability insurance: Pays for bodily injuries or property damage sustained by others when you’re responsible for an accident.
  • Collision coverage: Pays for damage to your vehicle after an accident, regardless of fault.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Pays for damage to your vehicle caused by something other than an accident, including theft, an animal, inclement weather, and more.
  • Uninsured motorist: Pays for damage to your vehicle if you’re in an accident caused by a driver who doesn’t have car insurance or can’t be identified.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): Pays for expenses such as medical bills and lost wages after an accident, regardless of fault.
  • Towing coverage: Pays for your car to be towed if it breaks down or can’t be driven for any reason, as long as you have collision and comprehensive coverage.
  • Rental reimbursement: Pays for your rental car if you have collision and comprehensive coverage and you can’t drive your vehicle after an accident.
  • Medical payments: Pays for your medical expenses after an accident, regardless of fault.

Purchasing a Car Insurance Policy from Direct Auto

Direct Auto makes it easy to sign up for a policy online, and it only takes about five minutes. Here’s a step-by-step guide to purchasing a Direct Auto policy:

  1. Start the online quote process: You’ll answer a few basic questions about what you need from a policy, such as your current insurance coverage and how many drivers and vehicles you’ll include on your policy.Direct Auto quote process screen 1
  2. Add your vehicle: You’ll share your vehicle’s year, make, model, and trim.Direct Auto quote process screen 2
  3. Add the drivers: You’ll share information about each driver on the policy, including their name, birth date, and the address where the vehicle will be garaged.Direct Auto quote process screen 3
  4. Share your gender and marital status: If you’re married, you’ll also need to provide some information about your spouse.Direct Auto quote process screen 4
  5. Share certain personal factors: You’ll share whether you have a driver’s license, whether you have any accidents or violations on your record, and whether you’re required to file an SR-22 or FR-44 certificate.Direct Auto quote process screen 5
  6. Get your quote: You’ll receive a quote based on the information you provided. You can adjust your quote by adjusting the coverage options and limits.Direct Auto quote process screen 6
  7. Sign up for your policy: You can either complete your sign-up online or find a location nearby to sign up through a local agent.

The entire process, from quote to purchase, only takes about five minutes. It’ll take longer if you buy your policy through a local agent. And, thanks to the online quote tool, it’s quick and easy to compare premiums when you’re shopping around but aren’t yet ready to purchase.

Reviewing Direct Auto Customer Service

You can contact Direct Auto’s customer service by phone or email. If you call the company’s customer service number, you’ll have to review several menu options before speaking to a representative.

I contacted Direct Auto’s customer service line mid-afternoon. Though it took several minutes to get through the various menu options, there was no wait time to speak to a representative.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many online reviews from current and former customers to get an idea of the company’s overall customer service trends, and major third-party organizations have yet to rate the company’s customer service.

The few reviews I came across about the insurer are generally negative. But the negative reviews aren’t necessarily about customer service — many are related to the company’s high rates.

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Filing a Claim with Direct Auto

Direct Auto has several ways that you can use to file claims. First, you can file a claim online on the Direct Auto website or mobile app. If you’d prefer to file a claim with an agent, you can call the company’s claims number at 1(800) 403-1077.

If you file your Direct Auto claim over the phone, you’ll have to go through a couple of menu options before connecting with a representative. Once you indicate the type of claim you need to file, you’ll connect with a representative quickly.

Many online reviews don’t indicate what the claims process is like, but I found a couple recent examples. Remember that the claims process differs depending on whether you’re a Direct Auto customer or were in an accident caused by someone who is.

Here are some reviews of the company’s claims process:

Direct Auto customer review

Direct Auto customer review 2

Does Direct Auto Offer Other Types of Insurance?

In addition to basic auto insurance, Direct Auto also offers several other types of policies. Here are the other coverages you can get with Direct Auto:

  • Motorcycle insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Term life insurance
  • Accident medical expense
  • Health insurance marketplace
  • Emergency protection

Bottom Line: Is Direct Auto Car Insurance Right for You?

Direct Auto might be right for you if you’re a high-risk driver or need an SR-22 certificate. Not only does Direct Auto specialize in insuring this type of customer, but it also doesn’t increase its rates for certain risk factors as much as other insurers.

Additionally, thanks to Direct Auto’s many discounts, plenty of ways exist to lower your premiums.

But despite its benefits, Direct Auto isn’t right for everyone. The company has higher-than-average premiums, which means you can probably get cheaper coverage elsewhere if you’re a relatively low-risk driver. Additionally, Direct Auto is missing some popular coverages, like gap insurance. It’s important to consider your coverage needs before purchasing a policy.

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Direct Auto Auto Insurance FAQs

Are you considering an insurance policy with Direct Auto? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about this insurer.

Does Direct Auto have the cheapest car insurance?

It depends. Since personal insurance rates vary based on a lot of different factors, it’s impossible to tell if Direct Auto is the cheapest insurer for you. That said, Direct Auto doesn’t have the cheapest car insurance when looking at average rates. The company’s average car insurance premiums are higher than the industry average.

How long has Direct Auto been in business?

Direct Auto was founded in 1991 and has been in business for more than three decades.

Are SafeAuto and Direct Auto the same company?

SafeAuto is a part of Direct Auto since the company purchased SafeAuto in 2023. Direct Auto continues to serve SafeAuto’s existing policies.

If you need a new policy, you’ll have to purchase one through Direct Auto.

Which company bought out Direct General Insurance?

Direct General Insurance — the former parent company of Direct Auto — was purchased by National General Insurance Company in 2016.


Data scientists at analyzed more than 50 million real-time auto insurance rates from more than 75 partner insurance providers to compile the quotes and statistics seen in this article.’s auto insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers’ vehicles, driving records, insurance histories, and demographic information. All the quotes listed in this article have been gathered from a combination of real quotes and external insurance rate data gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. uses these observations to provide drivers with insight into how auto insurance companies determine their premiums.


  1. Trustpilot, “Direct Auto,” Accessed January 29, 2024.
  2. Better Business Bureau, “National General Insurance Company Reviews,” Accessed January 29, 2024.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Teen Drivers and Passengers,” Accessed January 29, 2024.
  4. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “Older drivers,” Accessed January 29, 2024.
  5. LinkedIn, “SafeAuto,” Accessed January 29, 2024.
  6. Crunchbase, “Direct General Insurance acquired by National General Insurance,” Accessed January 29, 2024.

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