National General: Expensive insurance for high-risk drivers

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In a Nutshell

National General offers car insurance to drivers with less-than-perfect driving records, but its premiums may be expensive.
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National General specializes in nonstandard coverage, but it can be expensive.


  • $500 emergency expense allowance
  • Will file SR-22 forms if needed
  • Issues policies to drivers with a DUI conviction


  • Higher-than-average premiums
  • Doesn’t seem to offer gap coverage

What you need to know about National General Car Insurance

National General is an insurance company that issues auto, homeowners, renters and umbrella insurance policies. Allstate, one of the four largest private passenger auto insurance companies based on direct premiums written, acquired National General in 2021.

If you’re considering getting insurance through National General, here’s what you should know.

Its emergency expense allowance is a stand-out perk

Buying a National General auto policy gives you access to several benefits, including a $500 emergency expense allowance. With this perk, National General will cover up to $500 for food, lodging or travel expenses after a covered claim, so you’re not stuck away from home after an accident.

It has a below-average customer satisfaction rating

National General may not be known for its customer service, having ranked 19th out of 21 insurance companies in the 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Claims Auto Satisfaction Study with a below-average score.

SR-22 coverage is available

If you have a DUI conviction, too many at-fault accidents or repeated driving infractions, you may be required to file an SR-22 form with your state. Not all insurance companies will work with drivers that need an SR-22, but National General does.

National General offers coverage options for first-time DUI offenders that complete Safe Driving and Substance Abuse Therapy programs. Once you purchase a policy, National General will submit the SR-22 form to your state licensing authority, if required.

It can be expensive

National General primarily serves the nonstandard car insurance market. Nonstandard insurance can be an option for drivers having a hard time finding insurance for the following reasons:

  • Specific driving infractions
  • Lapses in coverage
  • No history of coverage
  • Being a first-time driver in the U.S.
  • Lack of credit history or low credit scores (in states that allow insurers to consider credit scores)

Drivers with high-powered sports cars or other specialized vehicles may also be candidates for nonstandard insurance policies.

As a result, National General’s premiums can be much more expensive than the national average.

A closer look at National General auto coverage

Here are some additional details you should know about National General.


Claims can be submitted over the phone or online through Minor claims can be handled over the phone and paid within 48 hours.


National General offers the typical auto coverage you’d expect from an insurer, including …


National General offers the following standard discount programs:

  • Multipolicy discount
  • Low mileage discount
  • Multivehicle discount
  • Safe driver discount
  • Paperless discount

Repair guarantee

If your car is in an accident and you get it repaired at one of National General’s partner Gold Medal Repair Shops, the work is backed by a lifetime guarantee.


National General’s telematics program is DynamicDrive. It uses an app to track your driving habits, and driving safely may help you save money. DynamicDrive isn’t available in every state.

Is a National General car insurance policy right for you?

Because National General specializes in nonstandard coverage, it may be a good fit if you’re a new driver, don’t have a strong credit history or have a history of driving infractions.

But its premiums tend to be higher than the national average for all drivers. You can likely find lower rates elsewhere if you have a clean driving record.

How to get an insurance quote from National General

To purchase a policy, you must work with an independent agent. National General has a network of more than 55,000 independent agents nationwide.

There are several factors that affect car insurance rates, including your age, location, driving record, vehicle make and model and even your credit (in some states). Premiums can vary between insurers, so requesting quotes from multiple companies is wise.

Not sure if National General is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re researching car insurance options and aren’t sure if National General is the right insurer for you, here are other companies to consider.

  • Geico: Like National General, Geico offers several discount programs and covers SR-22 drivers. But it has a better rating for customer satisfaction.
  • Progressive: With Progressive’s Snapshot tool, you could qualify for discounts based on your driving habits.

About the author: Kat Tretina is a personal finance writer with a master’s degree in communication studies from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Obsessed with her many side hustles, she focuses on helping people pay down their … Read more.