Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Sep 3, 2019

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For drivers who have less-than-perfect driving records or credit histories, one company has been dedicated to marketing affordable policies since its inception.

Unlike many mainstream auto insurance companies The General Auto Insurance Company has coverage plans especially designed for drivers with a DUI conviction, poor credit excessive speeding violations, and other higher risk factors.

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Flexible Car Insurance from the General

The General works with drivers who often have little means to make large car insurance payments. The General has long been dedicated to flexibility in meeting consumer needs, so the company offers a variety of payment types and plans.

The General is part of a larger insurance group which manages several subsidiary companies. The parent company, PGC Holdings, Inc., has been offering auto insurance through at least one of its subsidiaries since 1963.

The General itself is an evolution of three other companies, primarily The General Automobile Insurance Company, along with Permanent General Assurance Corporation and Permanent General Assurance Corporation of Ohio.

While the company’s major offices are located in Nashville, Tennessee, and the company does have several branch offices, it is not known for on-site locations and service.

Rather, The General operates almost exclusively through internet and phone communications with customers. This allows the company to keep its overhead costs very low, which translates into lower premiums for customers.

The General Auto Insurance Ratings

The General’s approach to high-risk insuring seems to be working, at least from the financial aspect. The company has consistently been rated well by A. M. Best, an independent evaluation group which measures financial stability.

The General received an A-, or “excellent,” rating for 2011 representing a very good rating for a company no larger than The General in the context of automobile insurers as a group.

The General’s careful management of its customer’s premiums allows it to insure drivers many other companies will not cover and still maintain financial soundness.

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The General Auto Insurance Customer Service Review

It is difficult to estimate exactly how well The General succeeds at overall customer service. The fact is that The General’s customer pool is statistically far more likely to have an accident, file a claim, or be given a traffic violation than the average pool of automobile insurance customers.

Because of this, it is highly likely that The General turns down, on average, more claims, cancels more policies, and raises premiums more often than many other companies.

How much is auto insurance after a DUI?

This will translate to dissatisfied customers, although the company is only doing what every major auto insurance company does routinely. In fact, The General, because of the nature of its business, is probably more likely to continue to do business with a high-risk driver than other companies.

No overall customer satisfaction ratings are available, however, from reliable sources such as J. D. Power and Associates, so how many people are truly happy with The General’s service remains a mystery.

The General Auto Insurance Brand

The General’s directed marketing strategy has made it a far better-known company than it was ten years ago. Through targeted television and internet advertising, the company has been getting its mascot, “The General,” out in front of people for some time, and the surge in brand recognition seems to be making this strategy pay off.

The General is a tiny, mustachioed cartoon character, often seen with a dog, who prompts people to get better car insurance deals by talking to the company.

SR-22 Auto Insurance from the General

The General offers SR-22 filings in most states where it does business. An SR-22 is not an insurance policy itself; rather, it is a statement from an insurer that you, as a driver, are covered for a period of time and can prove that you have liability insurance.

This is necessary in most states if you have been convicted of driving without insurance, of a major traffic violation such as reckless driving or DUI, or for other reasons. If you have to file an SR-22, you may find that most insurance companies will not deal with you.

For this reason, The General has become very popular with drivers who need proof of insurance in order to get their licenses reinstated, or to prove that they have coverage on their vehicles.

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