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National General auto insurance review for 2021

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National General was founded in 1939, and over the last 80 years, has been selling auto insurance to customers across the country. In addition to affordable insurance premiums, the company also advertises reliable claims handling and guaranteed customer satisfaction. National General is best suited for high-risk drivers who need an SR-22 or do not qualify for standard car insurance.

National General Quickpoints

National General customer satisfaction and complaints

National General insurance reviews indicate poor customer satisfaction compared to other providers, and lower claims satisfaction. In J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Study, National General ranked last on the list of 23 providers. The company earned a score of 2 out of 5 Power Circles, which is well below average.

Additionally, National General has a high number of customer complaints. In the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Company Complaint Index, the company received a score of 6.40, which is more than twice as high as the industry-wide average score of 1.0.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that National General caters to high risk drivers, which can naturally lend itself to more negative feedback in that scenario.

National General auto insurance discounts

National General Insurance offers a wide variety of discounts. Most of the savings opportunities are similar to what other insurance providers offer, despite the fact that many of National General’s policyholders fall in the high-risk category. For example, customers can save money by paying their premium in full, enrolling in autopay, getting paperless statements, insuring multiple vehicles and taking a defensive driving course. Some of National General’s more unique discounts include the following:

RV and auto insurance bundle

Customers who bundle an auto insurance policy with an RV insurance policy from National General will receive a 20% discount on their premium. The company also offers a single deductible if the vehicle and the RV are both involved in the same covered claim. 

Low mileage discount

Drivers can save money on their insurance policy simply by reducing their mileage. To claim this discount, drivers must have an eligible vehicle equipped with OnStar technology that was delivered after April 2004.

Affinity discount

National General offers an auto insurance affinity discount for drivers who belong to certain membership groups and organizations. The provider does not disclose which groups qualify, but an agent can explain which membership discounts are offered in each state when you reach out for a quote. 

National General auto insurance premium length

National General sells 12-month policies. Drivers can choose to pay their annual premium in full, or pay the annual premium over 12 monthly installments. Customers who pay their annual premium upfront and in full will qualify for a discount on their car insurance rate

After the 12-month term is over, the policy will be up for renewal. At that time, National General can adjust the policy’s premium based on changes in a driver’s credit score, driving record or claim history. Certain discounts may also expire at the end of the policy term.

Based on premium adjustments, some drivers may choose to switch providers to avoid a rate hike. National General does not charge a termination fee if drivers cancel during the renewal period. However, drivers may pay a small fine if they cancel outside of the renewal period. 

National General vs. other insurance companies

National General auto insurance is one of the largest high-risk car insurance carriers by market share. It competes with other major providers, like Progressive and The General. Before choosing a car insurance company, drivers should compare multiple providers to see which one meets their unique needs and fits their budget. Here is how National General compares to Progressive and The General:

National General vs Progressive

Overall, Progressive offers more strengths as a car insurance company than National General. Progressive has better rankings for customer satisfaction and financial strength. It was ranked 3 out of 5 stars by J.D. Power in the 2019 claims satisfaction study, and has an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best. Progressive also has better digital tools, online resources and discounts compared to National General.

However, one of the downsides is that Progressive does not sell high-risk insurance or issue SR-22s. To get a car insurance policy from Progressive, drivers need to have a relatively good driving record and credit score. Drivers who cannot purchase standard car insurance are better off with National General or a similar provider that focuses on high-risk coverage.

National General vs The General

National General and The General are similar in many ways. The General is another carrier that specializes in high-risk insurance and offers SR-22s. The company also promises affordable car insurance to drivers who struggle to qualify for a standard policy. Like National General, The General sells basic coverage and lacks the robust online tools and resources major providers typically make available to policyholders.

In terms of ratings, The General is not ranked by J.D. Power. However, the company has higher than average customer complaints based on the NAIC Complaint Index. National General and The General have similar auto insurance discounts, but The General offers a good student discount, military discount and car safety equipment discount.

National General mobile app and digital experience

National General offers a minimal selection of online tools. Currently, there is no National General insurance app, which many competitors have. However, National General does have a few helpful resources that can help first-time insurance buyers navigate the process. Here is a look at the digital tools available through National General:

  • Online quotes
  • Online claims
  • Live chat support available in English and Spanish
  • Learning Center with relevant articles and links

In the spotlight

  • National General is ideal for high-risk drivers and those who need an SR-22.
  • The company has poor ratings for customer satisfaction and claims handling compared to other providers in the industry.
  • Drivers can get access to basic coverages, plus a few add-ons.
  • National General offers online quotes and claims but does not have a mobile app. 

Overall, National General is not the best insurance carrier available on the market. However, drivers who are considered high-risk based on their driving record or credit score may find it easier to qualify for a policy from National General. You may not get a wide variety of policy options or the highest quality customer service, but you will be able to get the essential coverage you need to comply with state laws.

Drivers who can get standard car insurance from any provider may find better options from other top carriers. National General policies tend to be more expensive — accounting for a significant number of high-risk policyholders — and coverages and discounts are more limited. When shopping for car insurance, it is important to compare multiple companies based on average price, policy offerings, discounts and customer reviews, in addition to what your specific coverage needs are.

Elizabeth Rivelli

Elizabeth is an insurance writer for coverage.com, where she covers insurance providers and reviews policies to help consumers find comprehensive and affordable coverage for every area of their life. She has more than three years of writing experience for top online insurance and finance publications.

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