Direct General: The Inside Scoop

Direct General specializes in non-standard auto insurance, which is insurance for high-risk drivers. These drivers tend to have car accidents and moving violations that can make it hard to find auto insurance. Direct General can supply SR-22s for drivers who are required to show proof of financial responsibility.

Direct General sells only auto insurance and most of its business (69%) is in Florida, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. The company is also licensed in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Related companies are Direct General Insurance Co. of Louisiana and Direct General Insurance Co. of Mississippi.

Direct General is based in Nashville, Tennessee. It's not the same company as The General, which also specializes in non-standard auto insurance.

Direct General insurance options

Every insurance company must file its auto insurance rates and policies in each state where it operates. We reviewed filings by Direct General in many states to bring you the inside scoop on coverage options, discounts, fees and surcharges.

Direct General offers all the coverage types you'd expect such as liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, medical payments, towing and rental reimbursement coverage. It also offers accidental death coverage.

Here's a look at whether Direct General offers the following auto insurance options.


SR-22 filings

Proof of financial responsibility.

Yes
Gap insurance
Also called auto loan/lease coverage. This can pay the difference between the value of a totaled or stolen car and what's still owed on a car loan or lease.
No
Usage-based insurance
Insurance with rates based on driving habits, such as hard braking.
No
Non-owner insurance

Liability insurance for people who don't own vehicles.

Yes
Rideshare insurance

Extra coverage for Uber and Lyft drivers and others.

No
Source: EverQuote research. Product options might not be available in all states.

Direct insurance discounts

We reviewed state filings to find the details of Direct General's discounts for auto insurance. Note that these discounts may not be available in all states.

Homeowner

Affinity
For new customers who belong to specific groups such as employees of certain companies. Check with your agent on which groups qualify in your state.

Military
For active service personnel.

Mileage

Good student
For unmarried full-time students under age 25 who have a B average or better, 3.0 or above, or meet other academic criteria. The student also must also have no at-fault accidents or violations in the past 36 months to get the discount.

Friends of Direct
A discount for policies referred through social media sites.

Senior
For customers age 55 and older who take an accident-prevention class.

Safe driver

If all drivers on the policy have had no accidents or violations in the last 36 months.

Prior insurance
For folks who had insurance from another company for at least six months with no lapse of more than 90 days.

Multi-car
For insuring more than one vehicle.

Multi-product
For auto insurance customers who also buy certain other products such as term life insurance.

Renewal
For folks who've been customers for at least 12 months with no lapse in coverage.

Welcome back
For customers who had a Direct General policy at least six months ago and return to the company.

EFT
For paying with electronic funds transfer.

Direct General fees

Saving money is important to many car insurance shoppers, so know what fees that could add to your cost. Here are the types of fees charged by Direct General. Note these fees can change based on the state.

  • Policy fee: Varies, for new and renewed policies. For example, it might be $25 for a six-month policy.
  • SR-22 or FR-44 fee: Varies, such as $25 per filing.
  • Installment fee: $10 for each installment payment.
  • Processing fee: $25 for new policies being set up with an installment pay plan.
  • Late fee: $10 for each installment that's more than 10 days late.
  • Not sufficient funds fee: $25 for returned payments.

Direct General surcharges

Auto insurance companies usually raise rates if you have certain problems, such as accidents and moving violations.

You can generally show that an accident was not your fault with a police report, court judgment, statement from your previous insurance company, or other documents.

Direct General uses point values for assessing accidents and violations that occurred in the 36 months before the policy started. Violations include convictions such as drag racing, failure to yield, driving without a license, speeding and following too closely.

Insurers must disclose their surcharges in state filings. Here are surcharges we found in our review of Direct General's insurance filings. These might vary based on state.

Direct General's possible surcharges apply to:

  • At-fault accidents.
  • Moving violations.
  • Driver's without a valid U.S. driver's license, even if they have a valid foreign or international license.
  • Drivers whose driving record cannot be verified by a DMV (excluding drivers under age 19).
  • A driver whose license is suspended, revoked or cancelled.
  • Business use of a vehicle.

Insurance filings source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

Posted Nov. 19, 2018

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