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Direct General Insurance: Review, Coverage Options, and Ratings

Direct General Insurance Review 2020

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3 Rating from The Zebra

Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Direct Auto Insurance is a part of Direct General Group and was founded in 1991. It was established as the premier insurer for the non-standard market, meaning it caters to drivers who are considered high-risk. Like other non-standard insurance companies, Direct General advertises flexible payment options without requiring a credit card or checking account, and offers low down payments and rates for drivers with less-than-ideal driving histories.

We’ll explore coverage options, discounts, and customer satisfaction sentiment in our review of Direct General’s insurance offerings. Continue reading to learn more about the company.

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JD Power Rating — Not rated

Financial strength — Excellent: Direct General received an A- rating from AM Best. This rating correlates to solid and stable financial health and illustrates an ability to pay out claims.

NAIC Rating — Below average: According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Direct General received more customer complaints than the national average.

JD Power Rating — Not rated

Financial strength — Excellent: Direct General received an A- rating from AM Best. This rating correlates to solid and stable financial health and illustrates an ability to pay out claims.

NAIC Rating — Below average: According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Direct General received more customer complaints than the national average.

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Direct General car insurance coverage options

State-mandated coverage such as liability can be purchased via Direct General, with the option of adding additional coverage for comprehensive, collision, medical payments, uninsured/underinsured motorist, rental reimbursement, personal injury protection, and towing. The provider also offers some optional add-ons that policyholders can use to customize their policies.

Roadside assistance

Offered by most auto insurance companies, roadside assistance allows some peace of mind should mechanical issues arise on the road. Direct General’s roadside assistance is comprised of 24-hour emergency towing, delivery of gas and other essential fluids, lockout service, map service, and tire service.

Emergency protection plan

Direct General’s emergency protection plan is meant to be used for unexpected expenses following an accident. It may vary by state and features the following benefits:

  • Accidental medical expense reimbursement: This covers up to $1,000 for out-of-pocket medical expenses for medical costs that were not covered by your health or auto insurance.
  • Hospital stay benefit: If you end up in the hospital following a car accident, this benefit pays for each day you’re hospitalized. You can get up to $1,000 per policy period to be used for any expense, including bills and childcare.
  • Ambulance expense reimbursement: This benefit reimburses up to $100 to help cushion the cost of an ambulance.
  • Auto rental reimbursement: If you need a rental car after an accident, Direct General will reimburse you. If you already have rental reimbursement on your policy, this provides additional coverage.
  • Lost personal effects coverage: This applies only to items that were stolen or damaged from your rental car. It covers up to $300 to replace your personal effects.
  • Mechanical first aid: Get up to $25 reimbursed for any service call you make for the safety and wellbeing of your vehicle (excluding tire and fluid delivery).
  • Accidental death and dismemberment: Should you suffer an injury or in the event of death after an accident, this will pay up to $10,000 to cover burial costs or loss of income.
  • Trip planning services and travel discounts: Take advantage of discounts on travel and complimentary trip planning services with this benefit.

Diminishing deductibles

Get a 25% deductible credit for every year you forgo making an insurance claim (excluding claims for towing and labor). It maxes out at 100% — so four years of being claim-free — and can be applied toward your comprehensive or collision deductible if you need to file a claim. This is also known as a vanishing deductible.

Accident forgiveness

Applicable only to the first accident on your policy and available in select states, accident forgiveness ensures your premium doesn’t increase after making a claim in which you’re at fault. Learn more about accident forgiveness here.


Direct General auto insurance discounts and rewards programs

Plenty of discounts that aid in alleviating the financial burden of your premium can be found at Direct General. For the most part, these are popular car insurance discounts that can also be found at larger insurers. See more information below for specific discounts and how much you can reasonably expect to save.

Discounts based on your insurance policy

  • Multi-product: Save up to 5% by adding life insurance, roadside assistance, or emergency protection plan to your auto insurance.
  • Prior coverage: If you’ve maintained your insurance for at least six months, you may be eligible for up to 25% off if you switch to Direct General.
  • Renewal: Get up to a 20% discount by renewing within 7-10 days of the expiration date on your current policy.
  • Welcome back: Available in select states, you can save 6% on insurance if you’ve previously had Direct General for car insurance and it’s been less than six months since the prior policy’s expiration or cancellation.

Discounts based on the driver or vehicle

  • Multi-car: Add more than one vehicle to your policy to get a discount of up to 25%.
  • Military: Members of the US military are eligible for up to 25% off by providing proof of their active service. This discount is only available in select states.
  • Safe driver: If you’ve had no accidents or citations in the past three years, you may qualify for a 10% discount on your policy.
  • Good student: Fulltime students with at least a “B” average can expect a good student discount of up to 10%.
  • Senior citizen: Drivers over age 55 who have completed an approved accident prevention course may qualify for up to 5% off their premium.
  • Mileage: Get up to 5% off by taking steps to lower your annual mileage to be eligible for this discount.
  • Affinity: If you’re a member of an affinity group that has partnered with Direct General, you can save up to 5%.
  • Homeowner: This discount is reserved for policyholders who own their homes.


Additional lines of insurance

Direct General also offers the following lines of insurance.


Is Direct General Insurance right for you?

With plenty of discounts for price-conscious shoppers and a decent array of coverage options, Direct General may be a great option for high-risk drivers who are looking to lower their rate after an infraction or two. Whether you’re just looking to carry the legal minimum amount of insurance or seeking a more robust policy with full coverage, Direct General can meet your insurance needs.

There’s one caveat — despite the company's superior financial health, Direct General’s customer service may not be stellar, as evidenced by its high complaint ratio, as logged by the NAIC. This is something to keep in mind when you’re comparing quotes. If a smooth and relatively pain-free claims process is important to you, consider exploring other options. Enter your ZIP code to compare rates and find the coverage you want at the best price.


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Kristine Lee LinkedIn

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent and one of The Zebra’s in-house content strategists. With a background in copywriting, she covers the ins and outs of the home and car insurance industries. She has been a contributor to numerous publications focused on the nuances of insurance, including

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