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Last updated on Oct 28, 2020

Direct Auto Insurance Review

Broad coverage and great discount offers for high-risk drivers. ​
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Direct Auto Insurance

  • High-risk driver insurance
  • Discount opportunities
  • Provides SR-22 form
  • Flexible payment options
  • Slow response times
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How We Reviewed Direct Auto Insurance

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6 companies compared

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10 features evaluated

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5 ratings analyzed

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Direct Auto Insurance is a part of National General Holdings. While its main business is car insurance, Direct Auto Insurance also offers life insurance, rental coverage, motorcycle covers and commercial car covers. Operating in 11 states in the south, Direct Auto Insurance distinguishes itself as a non-standard insurance carrier by focusing on high-risk drivers who may have a bad driving record or poor credit. It rewards customers with plenty of discount opportunities for good students, safe drivers, policy renewals and senior citizens, to name a few.

Direct Auto’s car insurance products have broad standard features. In addition to liability and comprehensive protection, options like accidental death coverage, rental reimbursement, roadside assistance and towing reimbursement are also available.

While Direct Auto Insurance offers reliable protection and lots of discounts, it has received an above-average number of customer service complaints.  Thus, it’s best suited for high-risk drivers struggling to qualify for a reasonably priced policy elsewhere.

  • In business since: 1991
  • J.D Power auto claims satisfaction score: not rated
  • A.M Best financial strength: A-
  • BBB rating: A+

Direct Auto Insurance Review

ProsCons
  • Accepts high-risk drivers with weak driving records or poor credit.

  • Plenty of offers like renewal and welcome back discount.

  • Broad range of coverage options.
  • High number of customer complaints.

  • Operates in only 11 states.

  • Claims can only be made by phone.
  • The Auto Insurance Factors We Analyzed

    Pricing

    Average rates aren’t available for Direct Auto Insurance. However, as prices are determined by a number of factors, insurance costs will vary for every person. Generally, an insurer will look at how old you are, if you live in an urban or rural area, your vehicle type and its age, yearly mileage, driving record, credit score, gender, marital status and insurance claims record.

    Customer experience

    According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Direct Auto receives an above-average number of complaints. However, Direct Auto does well on Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating and 3.5-stars from customer reviews. When you examine recent customer experiences closely, complaints or problems tend to be about response times being unreasonably slow. 

    In terms of application, getting a Direct Auto Insurance quote is straightforward. You can either call the company or visit its website. You’ll need to provide information about the drivers and vehicles you’d like to have on your policy. Vehicle details would include its make, model and whether it’s used for personal or commercial purposes. You’ll also be asked for personal information like your driver’s license, driving history, mailing address, where you park your vehicle and the type of insurance you’re looking for.

    Coverage

    There are several standard options to choose from, including liability for bodily injury and property damage, collision insurance, comprehensive insurance for non-collision damage, medical payments, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist and reimbursement for towing, car rental and roadside repairs.

    What stands out about this insurer is that policies are offered to non-standard or high-risk drivers. Direct Auto can also help drivers file for an SR-22 to prove you meet your state’s minimum liability coverage.

    Deals, discounts, and add-ons

    There are many discount opportunities available. Discounts may be given to students with good academic results, homeowners, those who drive under a specified yearly mileage, military service members, multi-car or multi-policy-holders, policy renewals, safe drivers, senior citizens, new customers switching from another competitor and even returning customers.

    You can also get roadside assistance and emergency protection plans as an add-ons.

    Direct Auto Insurance Overview: Financial Strength, Availability and History

    Direct Auto car insurance enjoys a solid reputation in the industry with an “Excellent” financial strength rating from AM Best, meaning that the insurer can pay out claims.

    While it also has an outstanding A+ rating from BBB, customer reviews reveal potential problems with slow claims response. Despite this, customer satisfaction appears to be high around assistance in choosing coverage.

    The Competition

     AM Best financial strength ratingJ.D. Power 2019 claims satisfaction study24/7 claims support
    Direct Auto InsuranceA-N/AYes
    USAAA++5Yes
    GeicoA++3Yes
    State FarmA++3Yes
    ProgressiveA+3Yes
    NationwideA+3Yes
    SafecoA3Yes

    All information accurate as of June 18, 2020.

    Direct Auto Insurance vs. USAA

    USAA received the best rating in the J.D. Power auto insurance customer satisfaction survey and is a leading provider in the industry. Compared to Direct Auto Insurance, its financial strength is higher at A++, and it also serves more locations. However, getting a policy with USAA requires membership, which is only available to active military members, veterans and their families.

    USAA also offers a wide range of discounts, but Direct Auto Insurance’s discount list is slightly longer. What’s great about USAA is that you can also get rideshare insurance and accident forgiveness as add-ons, and neither of these are available with Direct Auto Insurance. USAA is a step ahead with its digital offering too, as you can file claims via the USAA mobile app.

    Direct Auto Insurance vs. Geico

    Geico is one of the largest national insurers and serves 50 states. It’s known to provide solid rates for high-risk drivers and enjoys a good reputation from its superior financial strength, innovative digital tools and reasonable customer service. Like Direct Auto Insurance, Geico offers a variety of discounts. Geico’s perks include rideshare insurance and mechanical breakdown coverage for a new car, which aren’t available with Direct Auto Insurance.

    In terms of digital tools, Geico is lightyears ahead with its fantastic mobile app where you can manage your account, text and agent, find parking and request roadside assistance. Geico even provides voice assistance through a virtual assistant.

    The Bottom Line

    Direct Auto Insurance is a solid choice for high-risk drivers who struggle to get a policy elsewhere. While you won’t get fancy digital tools and extra add-ons like accident forgiveness and rideshare insurance, there is still a long list of discount offers, a full menu of standard features and flexible payment options.

    Direct Auto Insurance FAQ

    About the Authors

    Kristie Kwok is a finance content writer with in-depth knowledge of the banking industry from her previous work experience in banks such as UBS, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland. She is a qualified accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, specializing in Accounting and Finance.