National General Review: Is It the Best Choice for Car Insurance in 2024?

You’ll find low rates, rare coverage options, and premium insurance options at National General, but customer service issues may outweigh the benefits for some.

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National General Insurance
Compare.com Rating ?
3.50

Pros

  • Low rates for high-risk drivers
  • Lifetime guarantee on auto repairs
  • SR-22 filing available

Cons

  • Poorly rated mobile apps
  • Low customer and claims satisfaction scores
  • Double the average number of customer complaints

Bottom Line

National General offers some unexpected coverage options at a great price, especially to drivers with poor credit or a recent driving under the influence (DUI) conviction. But the company is plagued with service issues — including billing and policy cancellations — so be sure to compare National General with some of its competitors before buying.

National General Auto Insurance: At a Glance

Founded 1920
Available in 44 states (not available in AK, HI, MD, MI, NJ, or RI)
Owned by Allstate
National average premium $107 per month
Mobile app Android, iOS
Customer service (800) 462-2123
Claims (800) 462-2123
Primary competitors Dairyland, Direct Auto, SafeAuto, The General

Founded as Motors Insurance Corporation by General Motors in 1920, National General has offered auto insurance policies for more than 100 years. The company — which specializes in high-risk drivers — has also changed hands three times in the last 20 years and is now part of the Allstate family.

At $107 per month, National General’s average premiums are cheaper than what you’ll find from most companies. The company offers the best deals to drivers with a DUI, but most people can uncover savings with National General. But better service could be found elsewhere.

Read on to learn what it’s like to have your car insured by National General.


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Is National General a Good Choice for Car Insurance?

National General can be a good choice for some drivers, especially those with driving record issues looking for a better deal on their auto insurance policy. But good rates — and other benefits, like its DynamicDrive telematics program and convenient payment options — come with a trade-off.

The company trails the competition in terms of customer care. And, though National General offers a premium selection of auto insurance coverage packages, you won’t find options for some of the more popular specialty coverages, like rideshare or gap insurance.


Where National General stands out

National General offers affordable rates to drivers who traditionally have to pay more for auto coverage, especially drivers with a DUI and those with poor credit. The company also offers some hard-to-find coverage options and an excellent website.


Where National General falls short

National General scores below average for claims handling, and many negative reviews describe a poor experience with their claims. Customer satisfaction ratings are also below average, and the company has more than double the industry average number of complaints.


National General Insurance Customer Reviews

Overall, feedback skews negative for many National General customers. Review scores are low across several well-known review sites:

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): 1.06 out of 5 stars
  • Trustpilot: 2.2 out of 5 stars
  • WalletHub: 3.7 out of 5 stars

It appears the reason for the low ratings is largely related to National General’s claims handling. Most of the complaints I found talk about a terrible experience with the claims process. For example, the reviewer below highlights several main themes — lack of communication and more than a 90-day wait for their claim to be resolved.

1-star customer review of National General insurance

Another theme I found was billing errors. This reviewer claims to have canceled their policy but was suddenly charged two and a half months later — and they had a difficult time getting their money back. The company’s response also falls a bit short.

1-star customer review of National General insurance

Among the positive feedback are customers thanking specific representatives, showing appreciation for low rates, or being generally happy with the buying process.

5-star customer review of National General insurance

How Much Does National General Insurance Cost?

We’ve mentioned low rates, but exactly how much can you expect to pay for car insurance from National General? Here are the average monthly rates for National General, based on Compare.com data.

Liability Only Full Coverage
$66 $148

Both average rates put National General well below the national averages of $131 for liability and $271 for full coverage. But national averages don’t tell us much about how the company will price your policy. Several factors — such as your age, location, vehicle, driving record, insurance history, and more — affect how much you pay for car insurance.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how National General stacks up against competitors and how rates change based on a few of the most relevant factors.

National General Insurance Rates Compared to Top Competitors

First, let’s check out how National General’s average rates compare to some of its direct competitors.

Company Liability Only Full Coverage
National General $66 $148
Dairyland $76 $316
Direct Auto $109 $186
SafeAuto $85 $187
The General $130 $244

Compared to other “non-standard” insurers that specialize in high-risk car insurance, National General is among the cheapest for both liability and full-coverage policies. In fact, liability rates are 13% less than the next cheapest option, while full-coverage rates are 20% cheaper. But most of the companies on the list offer rates below the national average.


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National General Car Insurance Rates by Age Group

Your age has a substantial effect on your car insurance costs. Let’s review how age affects average premiums with National General.

Age Liability Only Full Coverage
Teens (18 years old) $298 $613
Young adults (25 years old) $79 $187
Adults (40 years old) $68 $154
Seniors (65 years old) $78 $164

When you’re young, you typically pay the highest rates due to a higher likelihood of causing an accident. Fortunately, rates tend to decrease with age, with drivers in their retirement years typically having the lowest rates. National General mostly follows this pattern but favors middle-aged drivers more than seniors, according to data from Compare.com.

Let’s take a closer look at rates for two of the most cost-affected age groups: teens and seniors.

National General Rates for teens and young drivers

Rates for 18-year-olds are higher than the national average ($263 for liability and $530 for full coverage), but that trend reverses for 25-year-old drivers. Rates drop significantly by the time you reach age 25: 73% for liability rates and 69% for full coverage.

National General doesn’t offer special programs or incentives targeting young drivers, but you can take advantage of several discounts, including the company’s DynamicDrive telematics program.

National General Rates for seniors and retirees

Typically, 65-year-old drivers pay higher rates than drivers in middle age, but rates are about average for this age group with National General. The national average for 65-year-olds is $80 for liability and $164 for full coverage, and National General’s average rates are within a couple dollars for both.

While the insurer doesn’t offer senior-specific discounts or programs, its low-mileage discount (among others) often applies to drivers older than 65. Seniors may also enjoy the additional benefits offered by National General’s Auto Protection Plan.

National General Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record

Your driving record significantly influences car insurance rates — nearly as much as your age. The table below shows how various driving records affect rates at National General, based on research from Compare.com.

Driving History Liability Only Full Coverage
Clean record $66 $148
Speeding ticket $110 $244
At-fault accident $134 $277
DUI $93 $269

Drivers with a clean record earn lower premiums, while those with accidents, traffic violations, and claims pay higher costs. National General follows this trend, but, unlike many competitors, the insurer offers lower rates to drivers with a DUI than those with an at-fault accident or a speeding ticket.

Let’s review these rates more closely.

National General rates after a speeding ticket

The average driver sees their rates increase by 37% after a single ticket, according to Compare.com data. These rate increases are larger at National General — more than 65% higher for both liability and full coverage. Still, liability premiums are the same as the national average, while full coverage is $8 less per month.

If you have a recent speeding ticket, avoiding future tickets is the best way to lower your rate. The further away in time from the incident, the lower your rate.

National General rates after an accident

A single at-fault accident can have a substantial effect on how much you pay for car insurance. Nationally, rates increase by 44% after an at-fault accident, according to Compaer.com data. But rates more than double after an accident for liability-only policies and increase by 88% for full coverage with National General.

Drivers with an at-fault accident should consider the company’s DynamicDrive program. It encourages safe driving, lowering the chance of another accident and reducing premiums.

National General rates after a DUI

Driving under the influence usually comes with large rate increases: 94% for a single DUI conviction, according to data from Compare.com. But that isn’t the case with National General. Liability rates increase by just 41% with the insurer, and full-coverage policies see increases of 82%, so you may find a great deal if you have a recent DUI charge.

National General Car Insurance Rates by Credit Score

In most states, your credit score can also affect rates — drivers with higher credit scores typically pay lower premiums, while those with lower scores pay more. Here’s how your credit history can affect monthly premiums with National General.

Credit Score Liability Only Full Coverage
Excellent $65 $148
Good $68 $154
Average $83 $217
Poor $106 $267

Liability and full-coverage rates for drivers with excellent credit are near the national average, but liability rates for people with good, fair, and especially poor credit are significantly cheaper than the national averages for each category. In fact, National General offers average rates that are 42% less than the national average for drivers with poor credit scores.

National General Car Insurance Discounts

National General offers a handful of discounts to policyholders, including:

  • Bundling: Discount for combining auto and home insurance products
  • Pay in full: Discount for paying the whole policy term up front
  • Low mileage: Reduces rates for driving fewer miles than average
  • Security device: Savings for having anti-theft or security devices in your vehicle
  • Multi-vehicle: Discount for insuring multiple vehicles in one policy
  • Safe driver: Discount for maintaining a good driving record without accidents or violations
  • Paperless: Savings for opting for electronic communication and policy management
  • DynamicDrive: A telematics program that discounts policies based on good driving behavior

The company doesn’t advertise the value of each discount on its website, but it mentions that discount availability and value differ by state.

What Types of Coverage Does National General Offer?

National General offers the following coverage options:

  • Bodily injury liability: Covers medical costs for others if you injure them in a car accident you cause.
  • Property damage liability: Pays for damage you cause to someone else’s property.
  • Collision: Covers repairs to your car after an accident, no matter who’s at fault.
  • Comprehensive: Pays for non-collision damage to your car, like theft or natural disasters.
  • Medical payments (MedPay): Covers medical bills for you and passengers, regardless of fault.
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist: Protects you if the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance coverage or if you’re involved in a hit-and-run.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): Covers medical expenses and lost wages, no matter who’s at fault.
  • Accidental death and dismemberment: Provides a benefit for accident-related death or specific injuries.
  • Roadside assistance: Offers help like towing and tire changes when your car breaks down.

The Auto Protection Plan, a membership club product, provides these additional coverages:

  • Rental car coverage: $25 per day, 10-day maximum
  • Emergency travel rental coverage: $25 per day, 5-day maximum
  • Accidental death and dismemberment: Up to $10,000
  • Ambulance assistance: Up to $100
  • Medical expenses: Up to $1,000
  • Hospital room indemnity: $125 per day, 365-day maximum
  • Rental car personal effects loss: $300 max
  • Mechanical first aid: Up to $100

How to Purchase a Car Insurance Policy from National General

You can purchase a policy from National General quickly and easily online. The quoting process is fast — it took me just four minutes to get my quote. You can also customize your coverage options online.

Buying is simple as well. You need your license, VIN, and payment information to activate your new policy.

National General also gives you the option to buy over the phone — but when I called, I couldn’t get an agent on the phone.

Getting a quote from National General

I began the quoting process by going to National General’s home page and entering my ZIP code.

National General home page

Next, I answered basic questions about my policy needs and insurance history. The site also prompted me to select potential discounts, like the DynamicDrive program.

National General quote starting page

Vehicle details were next. I only had to enter my year, make, and model from the drop-down menus. I also let the company know that I’m still making payments on my car (which means I need comprehensive and collision coverage).

National Teneral quote page requesting vehicle information

Next up, my driver information: name, address, contact information, and information about my gender, marital status, driving record, and payment history.

National Teneral quote page requesting driver information

National Teneral quote page requesting additional driver information

And that was it! I got my quote, plus the option to compare rates through other companies. The deductibles were automatically set to $500, and the roadside assistance option was automatically checked.

National General car insurance quote results

If I clicked the light-blue button, “See All Discounts and Edit Coverages,” I could see more details about my quote, including the applicable taxes and fees.

National General quote page for customizing coverage

National General quote page for customizing coverage

Clicking on the “View Details” link expanded the coverage options and provided detailed information about what each did and didn’t cover.

National General quote page explaining each coverage type

I could also use the drop-down menu to customize my coverage. Most had several coverage levels to choose from.

Ability to customize coverages

Overall, the process was smooth and simple. I appreciated how easy it was to customize the policy, making the pricing fairly clear. And the information about coverage options was more detailed than what I found on competitor websites.


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National General Customer Service

With the hope of learning how National General’s customer service fares, I called the company at 1:30 p.m. on a weekday. Selecting “get a quote” from the automated system led me to a dead end. I tried the existing customer option and waited four minutes to speak with a knowledgeable and friendly customer service rep. A bit frustrating, but it’s nice to be able to speak to someone in less than five minutes.

However, actual customers give National General a lower-than-average satisfaction rating, according to J.D. Power, and a higher-than-average complaint rating, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Plus, I found low ratings on several notable review sites as well.

Beyond claims complaints, which we’ll get to next, there were many negative reviews about the payment process and sudden cancellations. This reviewer talks about their cancellation and being charged unexplained fees.

1-star customer review of National General customer service

The positive reviews tend to mention a specific agent, as in this review below.

5-star customer review of National General customer service

Filing a Claim with National General Insurance

You can file a car insurance claim with National General in a few short steps. The easiest way is to report the claim online through the online claims form. You’ll need to answer questions about the claim and your policy information. In some cases, you can upload photos of damage from your smartphone to receive a virtual estimate, speeding up the claims process.

But how does this work in real life? The reviews are mixed. Several customers wrote about the lack of communication with the claims agent and adjuster, plus an excessively long process. This review below neatly sums up this common complaint.

1-star customer review of National General claims process

Positive reviews of the claims process were pretty scarce. Across review sites, this short review is the only positive one I could find for National General.

5-star customer review of National General claims process

What Other Types of Insurance Does National General Offer?

Though National General focuses primarily on car insurance, it offers several other insurance products — some of which you can bundle with your auto policy for a discount. Additional types of insurance available at the company include:

  • Commercial auto coverage
  • RV insurance
  • Motorcycle coverage
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Condo insurance
  • Renters insurance
  • Flood insurance
  • Private collections coverage
  • Umbrella insurance
  • Health insurance

Insurance offerings (and discounts) vary by state, so check with your agent about which options are available to you.

Bottom Line: Is National General Car Insurance Right for You?

National General offers affordable rates to drivers with diverse backgrounds, especially those with a DUI. The company provides a wide range of coverage options, plus additional insurance products if you want to bundle policies.

However, National General struggles with customer service, claims service, and billing. Be sure to weigh your options carefully before deciding on your next policy.

National General Auto Insurance FAQs

National General has been in business for over 100 years, but people still have questions about the company. Below are answers to the questions most commonly asked about National General.

Is National General a good insurance company?

National General scores below average in the 2023 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction survey, and customer reviews online are mixed. So, National General may be a good insurance company for some drivers and less advantageous for others. The best way to know if it’s right for you is by comparing quotes from multiple companies.

Why is National General Insurance so expensive?

You might find inflated rates with National General for a variety of reasons. However, National General is about average in terms of cost, and it’s one of the cheapest options among companies specializing in high-risk policies.

Will National General Insurance file an SR-22?

Yes. National General will easily file an SR-22 or FR-44 on your behalf. The company specializes in high-risk car insurance and markets specifically to drivers with a DUI on their driving record, so the company is well-versed in SR-22 filings.

Who is National General Insurance owned by?

Allstate acquired National General in 2020. The company was previously owned by General Motors and known as GMAC Insurance. It became National General in 2013.

Is National General good at paying claims?

With a complaint index almost twice the national average and a score of 863 (below average) in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, it appears that National General is difficult to deal with when filing insurance claims.


Methodology

Data scientists at Compare.com analyzed more than 50 million real-time auto insurance rates from more than 75 partner insurance providers in order to compile the quotes and statistics seen in this article. Compare.com’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 Compare.com quotes and external insurance rate data gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. Compare.com uses these observations to provide drivers with insight into how auto insurance companies determine their premiums.


Sources

  1. NAIC, “National Gen Assur Co. National Complaint Index Report,” Accessed December 13, 2023.
  2. J.D. Power, “Auto Insurers Manage Customer Expectations as Repair Cycle Times Double in Two Years,” J.D. Power Finds, Accessed December 13, 2023.
  3. J.D. Power, “Auto Insurers Manage Customer Expectations as Repair Cycle Times Double in Two Years,” J.D. Power Finds, Accessed December 13, 2023.
  4. J.D. Power, “2023 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study,” Accessed December 13, 2023.
  5. USA Today, “Allstate insurance company acquires National General for $4 billion,” Accessed December 13, 2023.

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