The General is an auto insurance agency that is part of the PGC Holdings Corporation and has been offering insurance options since 1963. Their headquarters are in Nashville, Tennessee with call centers also found in the states of Ohio Arizona, and Louisiana.

The General Automobile Insurance Services, Inc. main product is the sale of car insurance coverage for high risk drivers across 23 states.

Car Insurance Options from The General

The General offers insurance that targets drivers who have a poor driving record, bad credit or do not have a concurrent history of insurance. Most car insurance companies review credit histories and driving records to set rates for their insurance. Drivers who do not consistently keep insurance on their vehicles or who have a poor credit history typically get the highest rates. Obviously, drivers with records of traffic violations and accidents also have higher auto insurance rates.

The General maintains that they will insure just about any driver. They claim to specialize in high-risk drivers who have multiple accidents or DUI convictions offering non-standard policies to those rejected for coverage by other insurers. They even help drivers who have lost their driving privileges due to driving without insurance and assists customers who have to complete a SR-22 filing to the State DMV.

Another selling point the General uses is its flexible plans and payment options. Drivers can purchase year long policies as well as the six-month policies that are industry standard. Furthermore, they offer payment plans with an aim of having a low down payment.

The General provides the full line of standard auto insurance coverage including property damage liability and personal injury protection insurance lines to meet minimum requirements in many states. Optional insurance coverage lines such as collision, comprehensive and uninsured/underinsured driver insurance are also available.

The General’s Ratings and Awards

Since The General is an agency, they are not rated by the Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSROs) such as Standard & Poor’s and A.M. Best. However, the insurance companies that the agency sells for are rated. A.M. Best rated the three insurance companies represented by the General at an A-, or Excellent. The high rating indicates a low risk of default and a high level of financial stability.

Advertising and Commercials

The General has a solid presence in television and online marketing targeting customers who need car insurance but find it difficult to buy through traditional providers. An “Army General” is the company’s mascot, dressed in fatigues with a white handlebar moustache, resembling the stereotypical hard-as-nails military officer portrayed in movies.

The company is also a big advertiser online running banner ads animated to catch internet users’ attention (comparable to the infamous LowerMyBills ads). They generally involve The General running over something in a tank, driving in a red convertible with a penguin or shooting high insurance rates with a gun. Amusing, memorable and highly successful.

Recent television commercials have even unveiled a new, 3-D animated General resembling the animation made popular by Pixar Studios rather than traditional cartoon animation. Commercials highlight ease of service and low rates, such as $39 a month. The General’s slogan, played at the end of every commercial, is, “For a great, low rate you can get online, go to The General and save some time!”. You really have to love their marketing team.

Should I buy car insurance from the General?

You may have no other choice depending on where you live and your driving record! However this may not be such a bad thing. The General is home to pretty solid reviews from most consumers and complaints are in line with almost any company (in any industry) servicing the bottom demographic of society. Overall the General provides a pretty solid product to drivers in the high risk category – some would even say you are pretty lucky to have the General on your side, since not many other auto insurance companies would be.

Of course, the only way to find the best car insurance policy is to learn how auto insurance works, shop around and compare quotes equally. This is where most consumers fail but if you need high risk car insurance then it’s more important than ever to understand all your options.