National General Auto Insurance Review: Features, Pros & Cons, and Costs
Formerly known as GMAC's Motor Insurance Corporation, National General is the 15th largest provider of auto insurance in the country. While the focus of the company has traditionally been with auto insurance, National General insurance products also include homeowners insurance, RV insurance, motorcycle insurance, and even National General health insurance policies.
So how does this company with its long-standing roots in the automotive industry stack up to the other big names in the insurance industry? Keep reading our National General insurance review to find out how it compares.
- What is National General Insurance?
- National General coverage options for auto insurance
- How does National General work?
- How much does National General auto insurance cost?
- National General vs. competitors
- The bottom line
What is National General Insurance?
Founded in 1939, National General Insurance began as the Motor Insurance Corporation formed by GMAC. This was a United States automotive insurance provider founded specifically for those purchasing vehicles through General Motors.
National General took its current form when it was acquired by GMAC insurance in 2010 and is now headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, but it does more than ensure GM vehicles today. In the Summer of 2020, Allstate announced it was acquiring National General but it’s unknown how this will affect the operations of National General. The acquisition is set to take place in 2021. Until then, National General is still going strong with an A- Excellent insurance rating from A.M.Best.
As National General has grown, it has continued to offer a wide range of insurance coverage choices and discounts for auto insurance policies — including for drivers who are traditionally considered high-risk.
National General coverage options for auto insurance
National General offers the standard options for coverage you would expect from a large insurance provider, plus a few options you don’t always find with other companies when comparison shopping.
- Bodily injury liability
- Property damage liability
- Medical payments
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist
- Personal injury protection (PIP)
- Roadside assistance
- Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)
- Auto protection plan
How does National General work?
To obtain a quote for a policy, you can use the company's free quote tool and fill out a form. You’ll need your full bio details such as current auto policy and VIN. If you prefer to call customer service, then you have that option as well.
Once you’ve received your quote online, you can purchase your policy on the spot too. And again, if you have any questions you can always pick up the phone to chat with someone about it.
How much does National General auto insurance cost?
The most effective way to find out your exact rate and make an insurance decision is to get a direct quote from National General and speaking with an insurance agent. Auto insurance rates are impacted by a number of factors, including:
- Driving history
- Marital status
- Coverage options
- Amount of your deductible
Discounts are a huge factor with National General. The company offers an impressive number of ways to reduce your premiums for auto insurance. Some of the discounts you might be able to take advantage of include:
- Paid-in-full — when you pay your annual premium upfront
- Multi-vehicle discount
- Safe-driver discount — if you complete a defensive driving course (only available in certain states)
- RVs and autos on one policy.
- Low mileage discount
- Affinity discounts — National General Insurance offers membership discounts for a wide variety of organizations.
- Multi-policy discount — bundling options with other offerings such as renters insurance
- Paperless — you can save if you switch to paperless statements.
- Auto Pay - If you set up your payments to draft automatically
- GM/GMAC customer discount
- GM family first discount
- GM supplier discount
- Onstar subscriber
National General Features
National General has several features you’d expect to find with a large auto insurance company. But then there are a few surprises too.
Fast online quote and policy purchase process
"Get your quote, get your policy, get on with your life." National General makes the process quick and painless as a free online resource. If you run into any bumps online, you can always call them for additional help.
The speediness continues after you’ve purchased your policy too. National General handles minor claims within 48 hours after you file.
Although National General doesn’t have an app for managing your policy, you can download the SmartDrive app to monitor your driving habits and receive feedback. In turn, this could lower your premiums based on your actions.
This is National General’s answer to GAP insurance. If your car is totaled, National General connects you with an expert to find a replacement car of your desired make and model.
From low-mileage driving to belonging to a specific club, you can get a discount for almost anything.
Stranded motorist help
National General will give you $500 in emergency expenses allowances, such as food and lodging, if you’re stranded due to a covered claim.
National General Motor Club
For an additional amount, you can become a member of the National General Motor Club. This membership offers you 24/7 roadside assistance, towing (without limits) to the nearest repair shop, up to $750 reimbursement for expenses due to an accident away from your home, plus other perks.
Who is National General best suited for?
National General features a policy specifically for those with a DUI/DWI on their driving record. Although the policy rates are higher, National General works with you to get your discounts in place. You also have many of the same great features as someone without a DUI/DWI. To take advantage of this for your policy, you have to complete a Safe Driver program.
Those who love their discounts
Again, there are numerous discounts available to help bring down the cost of your premiums.
Who shouldn’t use National General?
National General isn’t suitable for everyone. We suggest looking elsewhere:
If you like to use an app to manage a policy
As of right now, National General doesn’t have an app to manage your policy. With most other insurance companies offering this option, this is something to pay attention to.
If you place high value on customer service
National General has mixed customer service reviews. If you look at the NAIC customer complaint index, National General has a score of 3.2. An insurance company should strive for a score of 1 or lower. The bad news continues when you look at the JD Power 2020 Auto Claims Overall Customer Satisfaction Survey and the 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Survey where National General finishes dead last in both.
Pros & Cons
Several coverage options and discounts to tailor your policy As mentioned above, National General offers you several options to customize your policy. Plus they help you look for as many discounts as possible to reduce your premiums. If you call the customer service number then you can be sure you’re taking advantage of as many discounts as possible.
Car valet service
If you find yourself in an accident or stranded, National General offers a car valet service that picks up your damaged vehicle and then brings you a rental car after a claim.
Once your vehicle is repaired, they deliver it to you and return the rental car for you. This service is also available for those who have a DUI/DWI on their record.
Insurance for those with a DUI/DWI
National General insurers will not automatically drop policyholders' coverage or refuse to insure you even if you have one DUI/DWI on your driving record. Your premiums may increase and you have to enroll in a Safe Driving Course, but National General works with you even if your record is less-than-perfect.
Another interesting offer from National General is their Satisfaction Guarantee. If you’re unhappy with your claims service, part of your deductible (up to $250) will be waived.
But there are other points to consider if you’re thinking of switching to National General.
No app for convenience
If you like being able to file a claim, request roadside assistance, or have your policy through an app then you may want to look elsewhere. We should note however, you can access your policy information online at any time.
Mixed customer service reviews
The reviews speak for themselves. If you want an insurance company with high customer satisfaction ratings, there are other options with more impressive reviews.
National General vs. competitors
National General is hardly the only auto insurance company on the scene. How does it compare to some of the other insurance experts?
|Carrier||J.D. Power Rating||A.M. Best Rating||Discounts Available|
How can I get the lowest rate possible with National General car insurance?
In addition to using every possible discount offered, there are a couple of other ways to lower your insurance quote. You can:
- Raise your deductible. The higher your deductible (which is your out-of-pocket costs before any insurance kicks in), the lower your rates.
- Lower your coverage amounts. If it’s still too costly, look at where you can possibly lower your coverage amounts while still meeting your state requirements for minimum coverage.
The bottom line
National General offers you several options both with coverage and discounts. Plus, if you’re a high-risk driver, you’re not automatically excluded from coverage. While the customer service reviews are mixed at best, National General may be worth considering if you’re looking for multiple discounts, several extra features, and if you might be excluded from coverage from other carriers.
|PO Box 3199. Winston-Salem, NC 27102-3199|