The General is the official car insurance provider for more than one million drivers. It has been in business for almost 60 years, established in 1963 as the Permanent General Agency.

In 1997, it was rebranded as The General, and it is a subsidiary of PGC Holdings Corp. (PGC) and an affiliate of American Family Insurance.

Today, there are over 100 agents and representatives to help. It’s an excellent option for car insurance, working with drivers of all ages, credit scores, and driving records for flexible car insurance.

With Shaq as the official celebrity spokesman and sidekick to the General, there is no arguing that The General Insurance is one of the more well-known car insurance companies. But how does it stack up against the other car insurance companies? We take a deep dive.

Key Highlights
  • Easy online quotes
  • Excellent mobile resources
  • Forgiving of bad credit and driver history
  • Pricey for drivers with good credit
  • Not available in all states
  • Limited insurance coverage options
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Written by:
Lena Borrelli
Contributing Researcher
Lena Borrelli is a freelance financial writer specializing in business, including the financial and insurance industries. Her work has appeared in Forbes, TIME, Investopedia, Policygenius, Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, ADT and Home Advisor.
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Reviewed by:
Ashlee Tilford
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Managing Editor
Ashlee is a dynamic business writer with a special focus on finance. With an MBA and more than twelve years in the finance industry, Ashlee brings a practical and relatable perspective to the area of business writing. She is passionate about personal finance and empowering others with the knowledge to succeed. When she isn’t writing, Ashlee manages a team of supply chain professionals at a university and enjoys spending free time with her partner and dog on their farm in Kentucky.

The General auto insurance coverage options

The General offers the standard auto insurance coverage options for your policy.

The General also offers no-fault insurance and insurance for those drivers with bad credit. It is also a huge help when it comes to high-risk insurance, even filing the SR-22 form for your insurance to make the process that much easier for today’s busy, overburdened drivers.

The General offers 24/7 roadside assistance, but travelers beware because there is no rental car insurance coverage available.

The General car insurance discounts

Discounts vary by state, but there is certainly no shortage of car insurance discounts. The General’s car insurance discounts include several options that appeal to all kinds of drivers.

  • Safety features: Earn extra savings off your policy when your car is equipped with safety features, like factory-installed passive restraints.
  • New car owners: If you recently purchased a brand-new car, The General may give you an extra discount.
  • Recent insurance: If you have had insurance within the last five years, you can receive a lower premium, even if your Insurance coverage was with a different provider and not with The General.
  • Multiple vehicles: You can save extra money off your premiums when you insure multiple vehicles within the same household, such as adding insurance for your spouse or children.
  • Paid-in-full: The General not only offers the option to earn a discount for paying your policy in full, but you can also choose from either six or 12-month policies for your extra payment discount.
  • Quarter payment discounts: Not everyone can pay ahead for an entire year’s worth of premiums, and even six months can be difficult to pay at once, so the General gives the option for quarter payment discounts instead. However, this discount is limited to some select states only, so be sure to ask your agent about availability when purchasing or renewing your policy.
  • Homeowner discount: If you own your own home, you can receive an additional discount – even if you do not maintain your homeowners insurance policy with The General.
  • Previous insurance discount: If you have had insurance before, the General can give you a discount when you have maintained continuous insurance for five years.
  • Good student discount: The General offers young drivers extra discounts with special savings for full-time students.
  • Safe driver: If you have successfully completed a defensive driving course, The General may reward you with extra safe driver discounts.
  • Accident-free: That safe driver discount also applies when you are accident-free for three to five years.

The General offers an exclusive Double Deductible discount, which doubles your deductible for your first 45 days with your new policy. It is a one-time discount that is available in some states.

You also have the option to bundle your policy with several types of insurance, including homeowners insurance, renters insurance, life insurance, boat insurance, motor home insurance, and even pet insurance.

Where is The General auto insurance available?

The General is available in 46 states, as well as the District of Columbia. They do not currently sell car insurance in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan or New Jersey.

The General financial stability ratings

For financial stability, The General receives an A (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best, but there are no ratings from other industry rating providers, such as Standard & Poors and Moody’s.

Instead, we look to American Family, the parent company of The General car insurance. It receives an A+ rating from Fitch and 83/100 Comdex rating, which averages all available ratings for an insurance company.

The General customer reviews and complaints

The General is a BBB-accredited insurance provider since 2005 and currently holds an A+ rating.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) judges a company based on the number of complaints reported to state insurance regulators.

It gives The General a 0.51 score, which is well below the median benchmark of 1.00 for all providers and is a satisfactory rating.

J.D. Power is another respected industry rating provider that rates a company based on overall customer claims satisfaction. The J.D. Power 2020 Auto Insurance Study is available based on several regions, but The General remains unrated, so we look to American Family instead for rating information.

American Family is also unrated in several regions, including California, Florida, the Mid-Atlantic, New England, the Southeast, and Texas. Although it scores in first place for best customer satisfaction in the Southwest region, American Family scores well below average in New England and the Central and North Central, even coming in dead last in the Southwest.

The General car insurance claims

The General makes it easy to file a claim with your choice of online or phone support. You can also use the mobile app for 24/7 access every day of the week. There is also 24/7 roadside assistance available to help if you run into trouble on the road.

The General website and apps

The General offers excellent online and mobile resources, including a fantastic mobile app that you can use to make payments. You can access instant ID cards on the go, file claims, and receive on-demand support for all-inclusive capability. The app is available for download on the App Store or Google Play.

You can benefit from online policy management via The General’s MyPolicy account portal, and there is also live chat support online. You can also call in for phone support, or if you are busy, you can schedule a call.

Who is The General car insurance a good option for?

The General will cover drivers who have been without insurance for six months or more. It makes a point of offering insurance to high-risk individuals, believing in second chances for drivers with poor credit or a spotty driver record.

It can also be an excellent fit for new drivers, uninsured drivers, and teen drivers looking for additional car insurance coverage.

The verdict: Is The General worth it?

The General is one of the more forgiving car insurance companies available today. It may not be the provider for you if you are looking for rental car insurance, although some existing policies may provide coverage for both rental cars and credit cards.

It may also run a little pricey for drivers with great credit or a clean driving record because those drivers may be able to find cheaper car insurance coverage elsewhere. Be sure to calculate car insurance options to see which quote is best for you.

Laura Longero

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Laura Longero

Executive Editor

Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

John McCormick

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John McCormick

Editorial Director

John is the editorial director for CarInsurance.com, Insurance.com and Insure.com. Before joining QuinStreet, John was a deputy editor at The Wall Street Journal and had been an editor and reporter at a number of other media outlets where he covered insurance, personal finance, and technology.

Leslie Kasperowicz

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Leslie Kasperowicz

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Leslie Kasperowicz is an insurance educator and content creation professional with nearly two decades of experience first directly in the insurance industry at Farmers Insurance and then as a writer, researcher, and educator for insurance shoppers writing for sites like ExpertInsuranceReviews.com and InsuranceHotline.com and managing content, now at CarInsurance.com.

Nupur Gambhir

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Nupur Gambhir

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Nupur Gambhir is a content editor and licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert. She has extensive experience bringing brands to life and has built award-nominated campaigns for travel and tech. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service.

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Contributing Researcher

Lena Borrelli is a freelance financial writer specializing in business, including the financial and insurance industries. Her work has appeared in Forbes, TIME, Investopedia, Policygenius, Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, ADT and Home Advisor.