Direct Auto Insurance Review 2016

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Founded in 1991 as a non-standard insurance company, Direct Auto Insurance offers affordable insurance policies for drivers that other companies might consider too risky to insure. Its policies include those that meet the basic liability insurance levels required in most states along with options such as comprehensive and collision insurance, roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement. Direct car insurance is part of the Direct General Group based in Tennessee and is not affiliated with its competitor, The General auto insurance company.

If you’re in need of high-risk insurance because you have poor credit, a record of at-fault accidents or you simply want insurance for driving in Mexico, Direct may be a good choice for your insurance needs, but it’s important to do your due diligence before you commit to a policy with this company.

The Good

If you have a history of accidents and major traffic violations or a low credit score, or if you lack a checking account or credit card, you can still get the coverage you need to drive your vehicle legally through Direct Auto Insurance. If you’re required to obtain an SR-22 and appropriate insurance, this company provides it, too. Direct also lets you customize your payment options; you can select a payment schedule and date that work for your budget. This is helpful since it lets you choose a time that coincides with your paychecks. You can also take advantage of other services, such as:

  • Text-to-pay and online bill-pay options
  • Payment kiosks
  • Roadside assistance
  • Emergency protection plans
  • SR-22 certification
  • Discounts available to customers who qualify
  • DirectDrive app to monitor driving behaviors, log your car trips and access your identification cards

The Bad

Despite its intention to provide premier insurance products to its customers, Direct Auto Insurance has a B rating from A.M. Best and multiple complaints from customers to the Better Business Bureau. According to the BBB, Direct has more than the average number of complaints for a company of its size, and most of the complaints come from customers having difficulty processing claims. The company also only offers insurance in 13 states, primarily in the southeast United States. Unless you live in one of the following states, the company cannot insure you:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia

Direct General Auto Insurance

Direct General Auto Insurance offers many of the same options other insurance providers carry, which makes it one of the top car insurance companies if you’re a high-risk driver. These options include:

  • Liability coverage to cover the cost of damages you cause to other people and their property during an accident
  • Collision protection that pays for repairs to your vehicle if another vehicle or object hits it and causes damage
  • Comprehensive coverage that handles the costs of repairs for damage to your car that doesn’t occur from a collision, such as hail, wind or fire
  • Uninsured motorist protection, which pays for damages caused by another motorist who doesn’t have auto insurance or enough coverage to pay for medical bills you incur in an accident
  • Medical payments coverage to assist with medical, hospital and funeral expenses for those covered under your policy
  • Rental car reimbursement to defray the cost of renting a vehicle while yours is in the shop after an accident
  • Roadside assistance, including emergency towing, gas delivery, lockout service, jump starts and mechanical help if your vehicle breaks down on the side of the road

Direct Motorcycle Insurance

In addition to auto insurance, Direct General Auto Insurance offers motorcycle insurance. Available policies include the following options that you can customize for your needs:

  • Liability insurance covers the cost of damages you cause to another person while driving your motorcycle
  • Collision is optional coverage that pays for damages your motorcycle sustains after colliding with another vehicle or object
  • Comprehensive is another optional type of coverage that pays for damages caused by vandalism, floods or other covered incidents
  • Medical payments cover medical and funeral expenses that result from an accident you cause for other people
  • Personal injury protection pays for medical expenses that you, your passengers and pedestrians involved in an accident may incur
  • Uninsured motorist protection pays for the injuries and property damage of you or your passengers if you’re involved in accident that an uninsured driver causes
  • Custom parts and equipment coverage is available if you purchase comprehensive and collision coverage and pays to replace accessories such as saddlebags, seats and chrome pieces damaged in an accident
  • Motorcycle replacement coverage is available if you have comprehensive and collision coverage and provides a replacement motorcycle if the company declares yours a total loss after an accident
  • Towing assistance transports your motorcycle if you can’t drive it following an accident

Is Direct Auto Insurance Right for You?

Although it’s not the right insurance company for every driver, Direct Auto Insurance can meet your needs if you have limited options from the better-rated, larger insurers. To find out more about rates and the types of coverage available in your area, use the online quote tool available on the company’s website. You can then compare Direct’s plans with those of other companies and read the fine print carefully before you choose the policy that suits your lifestyle and budget.

Allison Hache
Allison Hache is a freelance writer based in south Florida. By day she writes curriculum and coaches teachers new to public education. At night she writes about marketing, real estate and personal finance for U.S. and European markets.

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