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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One of the largest auto insurance companies in the nation which deals with “high-risk” customers is The General Auto Insurance.

The General is well-known for having low rates for drivers with less-than-perfect driving histories or credit reports. However, there have also been complaints about The General’s overall service and commitment to customers.

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Who is the General Auto Insurance Company?

The General is a company which began in 1992 with the specific purpose of insuring drivers who were having trouble obtaining “traditional” insurance policies.

The General does business under various names, such as A-1 General Insurance in Ohio, and has a larger presence in some states than others.

The General Auto Insurance Coverage

The General offers very liberal policies for those who have experienced rejection with traditional auto insurance companies.

For drivers who have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI or DWI), those who have received a “reckless driving” citation, or for those who have been declared at fault in an accident which resulted in significant damages, The General may be one of the few auto insurance companies which will offer them a policy.

The General often has the lowest premiums of any company offering these types of drivers insurance.

Complaints about the General Auto Insurance

There are rumors online about the quality of service and coverage provided by the General Auto Insurance company however like any company which deals with high-risk drivers, The General must closely monitor how it handles claims in order to stay financially viable.

Because of this, The General may deny claims or raise premiums more often if a high-risk driver continues poor driving behavior.

The General Auto Insurance also has a large clientele of people who have poor credit ratings. Many people with poor credit are punished by auto insurance companies with higher auto insurance rates.

Unfortunately this often has nothing to do with the applicant’s driving history, but a “high-risk” of filing a future claim simply as a member of a risk pool which has proven to file more claims.

First-time drivers and young people often fall in the high risk category as well since they typically do not have a strong credit history.

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Complaints about The General often fall into one of two categories: complaints about customer service and complaints about lack of coverage, or denial of coverage.

Because The General is not included in national surveys of auto insurance customer service ratings such as J. D. Power and Associates, it is difficult to determine how many of The General’s customers are honestly satisfied with the company’s service.

However, various websites dealing with complaints have noted that there are customers who state that The General does not handle customer service in the way they would like. On the other hand, other websites contain glowing reviews of The General’s customer service.

To truly understand why the complaints may occur, and whether there is merit to them, we must look at what The General is designed to do and determine if it is doing that job.

The General Auto Insurance Company’s Role in the marketplace

If you have a poor credit rating and try to buy a home, you will understandably not have the same options as those who have higher credit scores.

This is because your credit score is predictive of how well you will pay your bills, and many companies do not want to do business with a person they can be fairly sure they will have to deal with continually in terms of late payments and non-payments.

While you, as an individual, might pay your bills with regularity, you are judged by the group of which you are a part.

Similarly, The General understands before offering you a policy that you are in a high-risk group. Because of this, you will not have the same policy opportunities, discounts, and low prices for premiums as someone who is not high-risk.

It is very likely that some people find fault with The General’s lack of coverage in certain circumstances due to a desire for this company to treat them as if they were not “high-risk” drivers.

Unfortunately, any company insuring high-risk drivers is not only going to have to charge more for the same coverage it would give good drivers, but the company is going to have to keep a close watch on the drivers’ behavior.

If a claim is denied, it is often due to the fact that it is not a first offense for the driver, and the circumstances demand that the insurance company change the nature of that driver’s coverage.

For example, if a driver insures with The General after one DUI, and then obtains a second DUI, the company may well be forced to deny or cancel coverage. To do otherwise would bankrupt the company very soon, and put all the other customers at risk.

Overall, The General seems to be doing exactly what it is designed to do: insure drivers who are not insurable by other companies, and keep its customers secure by carefully monitoring the status of its drivers.

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