The General Insurance Profile
The General is a U.S. insurance company that caters to the non-standard market – in other words, to higher-risk drivers who have trouble getting insurance elsewhere. They write basic car insurance policies and advertise as a low-cost option for nearly any driver, regardless of driving record.
About The General
The company was founded in 1963 as Permanent General Agency, and started using The General as their name in 1997. Their mascot, an army general, has gone through several incarnations over the years and is a well-recognized figure in the areas the company serves.
The General’s headquarters is located in Nashville, Tennessee, but they have offices in several states. The company has expanded across the United States but has not yet crossed the border into Canada. They sell insurance policies through agents, as well as online and over the phone, promising instant coverage and printable proof of insurance.
The General is well known for offering low down payment options and affordable monthly payments, and focuses mainly on drivers seeking bare bones, basic insurance on a tight budget.
The General’s Products
The General writes mainly auto insurance, although they do also offer renter’s insurance as well.
Their auto insurance program is simple; there are not many options or add-ons, which is in keeping with their low-cost image. They do offer common optional coverage to create a full policy in addition to their basic legal minimum liability policies. Even at full coverage, the policies are intended to offer a no-frills, budget option to meet legal and lienholder requirements at the lowest price.
Because The General writes insurance polices for the high-risk market, they don’t market their policies towards the type of driver that can easily obtain a good premium from a major standard insurer. Those drivers typically chose standard insurance companies for their auto coverage.
Renter’s Insurance is as basic as the auto program, offering up to $100,000 in personal property coverage along with personal liability coverage starting at $100,000. The General’s renter’s policy is a named perils policy that covers only specific risks named in the policy.
The General’s Reputation
The General is seen as a cut-rate insurance company that attracts drivers who pay high rates elsewhere. This can include drivers who have tickets or accidents on their record, major violations, or who simply lack driving experience, such as new teen drivers or recent immigrants.
Overall, the company has a pretty strong reputation, although there are complaints regarding claims handling and poor customer service typical of most large insurance companies. The BBB rates them an A+.
Quoting With The General
The General offers quick online quoting, but doesn’t state what level of coverage is being quoted, which makes it difficult to compare to other insurance companies. It is likely that quotes are given with the legal minimum for whichever state of residence the driver enters into the system, but no information is provided. That makes the quoting system easy but less than informative.
The General also offers quotes by phone, allowing drivers to provide and obtain more detailed information in order to get a more accurate quote.