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Last updated on Sep 16, 2021

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 Corporation, while operating in 13 states, mostly located within the South region. 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. 

Direct Auto Insurance offers a full range of coverage options and numerous discounts for added savings, although it has received an above-average number of customer service complaints.  Thus, the carrier may be 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: 815 
  • AM Best financial strength: A+ (Superior)

Direct Auto Insurance Review

ProsCons
Accepts high-risk drivers with weak driving records or poor credit.
Large number of discounts like auto-renewal and welcome back discount.
Broad range of coverage options.
High number of customer complaints.
Operates in only 13 states.
Claims can only be made by phone.

The Auto Insurance Factors We Analyzed

Pricing

Average rates aren’t available for a Direct Auto insurance quote. However, as a number of factors determine prices, insurance costs will vary for every person. Generally, an insurer will look at your age, 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

The AM Best rating, which measures the financial strength of a carrier, paints a positive financial picture. The A+ (Superior) AM Best rating of National General, Direct Auto’s parent company, provides higher confidence a claim could be paid out if needed. When it comes to customer complaints, National General receives an above-average number of  registered complaints according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Its current score is 5.65 for private passenger insurance, which is above the industry average index of 1.00. 

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. There are other options to choose from to round out your policy, including medical payments, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist, reimbursement for towing, car rental, and roadside repairs. 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 options available for further savings. Discounts may be given to students who earn good grades, current homeowners, drivers with low annual mileage, military service members, multi-car or multi-policy-holders, those who renew their policies, safe drivers, senior citizens, new customers switching from another competitor, and returning customers.

You can also purchase roadside assistance and emergency protection plans to add-on to your policy.

Direct Auto Insurance Overview: Financial Strength, Availability and History

Founded in 1991, Direct Auto Insurance has headquarters in Nashville, TN. It operates with a network of stores within the 13-state service area, but does offer limited services through an online portal or mobile app. Under the National General Insurance company umbrella, Direct Auto earns a A+ (Superior) AM Best rating for financial strength. This rating indicates the carrier’s ability to pay out a claim if needed. Additionally, it receives a claims satisfaction rating score of 815 out of 1,000 points through National General in the 2020 J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Study and a score of 803 for overall satisfaction in the 2021 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study for the Southeast region.

The Competition

 AM Best financial strength ratingJ.D. Power 2020 Claims Satisfaction Study24/7 claims support
Direct Auto InsuranceA+ (Superior)815Yes
USAAA++ (Superior)890Yes
GeicoA++ (Superior)871Yes
State FarmA++ (Superior)881Yes
ProgressiveA+ (Superior)856Yes
NationwideA+ (Superior)876Yes
SafecoA (Excellent)870Yes

All information is accurate as of September 15, 2021

Direct Auto Insurance vs. USAA

USAA received the most points in the 2021 J.D. Power Auto insurance Study and is a leading provider in the industry, though it’s considered rank-ineligible due to membership requirements. Compared to Direct Car insurance, its financial strength is higher at A++ (Superior), and it also serves more locations. However, obtaining 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. USAA also offers rideshare insurance and accident forgiveness as optional add-ons, and neither of these are available with Direct Auto Insurance. USAA also allows you to file claims via the USAA mobile app.

Direct Auto Insurance vs. Geico

Geico is one of the largest national insurers and serves all 50 states. Gieco may offer competitive rates for high-risk drivers too, while also offering superior financial strength, innovative digital tools and reasonable customer service. Like Direct Auto Insurance, Geico offers a variety of discounts. Benefits of Geico include rideshare insurance and mechanical breakdown coverage for a new car, which are not available with Direct Auto Insurance.

In terms of digital tools, Geico offers an innovative mobile app where you can manage your account, message an agent, find parking, and request roadside assistance. Geico even provides voice assistance through a virtual assistant.

The Bottom Line

Direct Auto Insurance may be a good option for those who fall into a higher-risk category. It does not offer the digital tools and extra add-ons like accident forgiveness and rideshare insurance you find with other providers, but there is still a long list of discount offers, a full menu of standard features and flexible payment options to fit a variety of budgets.

Direct Auto Insurance FAQ

About the Authors

Sara Coleman is a personal finance freelance writer based in Charlotte, NC. A Journalism Major who studied at the University of Georgia, she enjoys creating approachable content. She’s written for sites such as WorkingMother, BetterYouMag, and SmartMoneyMamas. She loves spending time with her husband and 3 kids, and has a healthy obsession with coffee.