Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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The General Car Insurance Company

The General Car Insurance Company is among the top 20 car insurance companies in the United States according to the website of Consumer Affairs, consumer news and advocacy organization founded in 1988 by veteran journalist, James Hood.

The General Car Insurance is a licensed full service auto insurance company with accredited agents around the country. They are known for their affordable down payments and willingness to work with drivers who have poor driving record and need the SR22 insurance. In a January 2015 survey with over 3,000 participants, The General earned a company satisfaction rating of 4/5 with a customer service rating of 7/10. They are one of the few companies with a perfect 10 star rating for ease of policy set-up.

About The General Car Insurance

With headquarters in Tennessee, The General Car Insurance company or The General is owned by American Family Mutual Insurance Company and is a subsidiary of PGC Holdings. The General is an agency with A- rating in financial stability and has been operational for over 50 years with online partnerships with The General Insurance Company, Permanent General Assurance Corporation, and Permanent General Assurance Corporation of Ohio.

At the start of their operations in 1963, they sold under the name Permanent General Agency. It was only in 1997 that it became known as The General. It also created its own logo and slogan and began expanding to other states. In addition, it is one of the first insurance agencies to go online. They have their own mobile app but it is not performing as well as similar apps with an average 6/10 approval rating.
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The General Full Coverage Car Insurance

The General Car insurance gets high rates for customer service and use of IT . To get full coverage insurance, you can add the following options to your basic policy. It should be noted that full coverage has the usual fine print which should be read in detail.

  • Roadside assistance
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Upgraded item coverage up to a $1,500 limit

The General Overall Performance

Aside from its reputation for having a solid financial foundation, The General is mostly known for low rates for special cases. Their main product is car insurance and their product is not available in all states. In fact, in Georgia and California, they are known as The General Automobile Insurance Services while in Ohio, they operate under the business name, A-1 General Insurance Agency.

Their overall online performance is good because they are known to reply quickly to inquiries and offer online quotes in minutes. They do not request for personal data until you start the online application process. Among other car insurance companies, The General is one of the better companies to offer a 3 step, streamlined and customized application process. However, they are not known to be overly friendly which has upset a number of customers in the past.

The General has been on the receiving end of numerous issues most involving delayed delivery of service and higher rates for car owners with good driving records.

The General Insurance Discounts

Unlike the top 5 car insurance companies, The General has a limited range of available discounts for its policy holders. The highest discount is 10% if you take a defensive driving course. Other discounts vary depending on personal records like low mileage, multiple car under one policy, lump sum payment, and clean record.

The optional coverage available under The General include roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, and personal/upgraded item coverage. However, all these options have their corresponding fees and limitations. For example, road assistance will cost an additional $125 a year and is only available to certain policy holders. The rental reimbursement starts at $20 to $60 daily depending on your policy limit.

Comparative Analysis

The General only does business online; its agents will only transact with you online although some of them are willing to conduct follow-up business through phone. They have been given a rating that ranges from A- to B++. High risk drivers will not have a problem signing up with them. Good drivers though should seriously consider shopping around since The General quotes higher premium rates compared to the top 5 car insurance companies because their market is the secondary risk pool or high risk drivers.

The fast quote, flexible payment options, and quick sign-up process could be tempting if you are rushing but without a comparative study on rates, you might find out too late that you are paying higher than you should be. Unfortunately, The General charges 10% cancellation fee based on the remaining balance and will require something in writing about the cancellation before it is processed.The profile of The General policy holder is one who has had more than 1 recent accident, several violations, poor credit score, or one who has gaps in his coverage. Their market also includes drivers with SR-22 requirements and those convicted of DWI/DUI.

The General will quote prices based on your personal circumstance which means you can pay as low as $59 a month to $125 a month or higher. The factors the company places high on its list include your zip code, model and make, safety features, credit score, driving record, and the number of drivers living with you.

Compared to the top insurance companies, The General provides car insurance for high risk drivers including those that are given a difficult time in buying car insurance. They draw in this market by affording lower monthly rates, comparatively speaking and by giving them the option of paying their bills through their automatic electronic billing system. Unfortunately, getting out of The General billing system can be harder than getting enrolled.


The General is an option if you are rushed and need insurance within the day. It is also an option if you have been tagged as a high risk driver and you are being charged extremely high rates with your current provider. The company is financially sound although not available in all states.

The issues seem to happen when you make changes to your policy by improving your credit score or driving record or vice versa. The rates will dramatically change in which case you should start shopping around to find out if the rates you are being charged are within range. As with all insurance companies, it is advisable to start window shopping at least 3 months prior to the end of your current policy. This should give you enough time to study the rates and inform The General of any changes you want.