Direct Auto Insurance review: Considers high-risk drivers

Man driving his car, looking out the window with a thoughtful expression as he considers using Direct Auto InsuranceImage: Man driving his car, looking out the window with a thoughtful expression as he considers using Direct Auto Insurance

In a Nutshell

If you have a spotty driving record, you may be able to get car insurance through Direct Auto Insurance — a company that specializes in working with high-risk drivers. But coverage is available in only 11 states, and the company had a higher rate of complaints in 2019 than expected for a company of its size.
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Pros Cons
Specializes in working with high-risk drivers Rate of customer complaints is higher than average
Multiple opportunities for rate discounts Coverage not available in all states
Flexible payment plans available Claims must be filed by phone only

What you need to know about Direct Auto Insurance

Direct Auto Insurance is part of the Direct General Insurance Group, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. The company provides auto insurance for residents in 11 states, mainly in the Southeastern part of the U.S. Direct Auto also has other products, including renters insurance, term life insurance, motorcycle insurance and Mexico auto insurance as well as emergency protection plans and roadside assistance programs.

Considers high-risk drivers

If your driving record is less than perfect, getting the coverage you need can be difficult and costly. Direct Auto Insurance works with drivers regardless of their insurance history to find a non-standard policy that’s right for them. The company may even work with you if you’re required to file an SR-22 form to prove you have the minimum amount of liability insurance required by your state.

Just keep in mind that non-standard policies tend to cost more than standard auto policies offered by insurance companies, and your policy may have certain restrictions.

High rate of customer complaints

Direct Auto Insurance’s 2019 customer complaint index was 2.5 times higher than other insurance companies of its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, or NAIC.

Flexible payment options

When you buy coverage through Direct Auto Insurance, you get to select your payment date and choose from several pay schedules. You can either pay in full or in installments. If you decide to pay in installments, your monthly payment will be determined based on how much money you put down upfront. You can make payments online, in person, over the phone or by text. And you can pay using cash, credit card, debit card or electronic check.

Multiple opportunities for rate discounts

Direct Auto Insurance offers many of the discounts you’d expect to find from an auto insurer, including multi-policy, multi-car, good-student and safe-driver discounts. It also offers a few you might not expect.

  • Discounts for active military
  • Discount for keeping mileage under a certain number
  • Renewal discount of up to 20% if you renew your Direct policy within seven to 10 days of its expiration date
  • Welcome-back discount of up to 6% for coming back to Direct Insurance after six months or more
  • Prior coverage discount where you could save up to 25% if you’ve maintained continuous coverage with another insurance company for at least six months and haven’t had more than a 90-day lapse in previous coverage

Keep in mind that some discounts may not be available in all states where Direct Auto operates.

A closer look at Direct Auto Insurance

Here are some additional details to know about Direct Auto Insurance.

  • Limited availability — Direct Auto Insurance is available in only 11 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
  • Coverage options — The company offers a range of coverage options you’d expect from an auto insurer, including comprehensive and collision, liability, medical payments, towing and labor, and rental reimbursement. It also offers optional accidental death coverage that pays $5,000 to your designated beneficiary if you die in a covered accident.
  • Claims process — You can file a claim with Direct Auto Insurance online or over the phone. You can also upload photos of damage through MyClaimPics and get a virtual photo inspection.
  • No mobile app — Unlike some other auto insurance companies, Direct Auto Insurance doesn’t have an app that allows you to make payments, file claims, get policy information or obtain proof of insurance online.

Is a Direct Auto Insurance policy the right fit for you?

Direct Auto Insurance could be a good choice if you have multiple accidents, moving violations or other serious infractions on your driving record and are struggling to get approved for coverage by other insurance companies.

But since the company specializes in working with high-risk drivers, Direct Auto Insurance probably isn’t the best choice if you have a clean driving record.

How to get an auto insurance quote from Direct Auto Insurance

You can get a quote online at, over the phone or in person at a Direct Auto Insurance office.

People with less-than-perfect driving records typically pay higher premiums than those with clean records. So before you buy a policy with Direct Auto Insurance, shop around and compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies to ensure you get the coverage you need at the lowest rate possible. Read our article on how to compare car insurance rates to learn more.

Not sure if an auto insurance policy from Direct Auto Insurance is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re in the market for a new car insurance policy, but you’re not sure Direct Auto Insurance is right for you, here are some other car insurance companies to consider.

  • Safe Auto: Auto insurance from this company may be ideal for high-risk drivers who don’t live in a state where Direct Auto Insurance offers coverage.
  • Nationwide: This insurance company could be good if you’re a safe driver and want multiple discount opportunities.

About the author: Jennifer Brozic is a freelance financial services writer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in communication management from Tow… Read more.