Direct Auto Insurance Review 2023 (2023)

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About Direct Auto

Nashville-based Direct Auto was founded in 1991 as a nonstandard car insurance company specializing in policies for high-risk drivers. Drivers considered high risk typically include those with bad credit, a lapse in insurance coverage or a history of driving violations or claims. Direct Auto offers flexible payment plans, and if you want to pay cash for your policy, you can by visiting one of their 400 office locations.

National General Insurance acquired Direct Auto in 2016. And in 2021, Allstate purchased National General and its subsidiaries, making Direct Auto a part of Allstate. Direct Auto continues to keep its name and operates independently.

Auto Insurance from Direct Auto

Similar to other car insurance companies, Direct Auto sells the following standard types of car insurance:

Liability Insurance

Liability car insurance covers the property damage and medical expenses of others when you’re at fault for an auto accident. Liability insurance also covers court judgments, settlements and your lawyer fees related to your accident.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist insurance covers the medical expenses of you and your passengers if you’re in an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability car insurance. Underinsured motorist insurance pays medical expenses for you and your passengers if the at-fault driver doesn’t have sufficient liability insurance to cover your bills. “Property damage uninsured motorist coverage” is also available in some states, and it reimburses you for repairs if an uninsured driver damages your vehicle.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal injury protection pays medical, hospital and funeral expenses associated with an auto accident, regardless of which driver is at fault. PIP also covers lost wages and replacement services for tasks you cannot carry out due to your injuries, such as child care.

Medical Payments (MedPay) Coverage

MedPay covers medical expenses related to a car crash, no matter who is at fault for the accident. Medical payments insurance typically has lower limits and doesn’t have the extra benefits PIP provides, such as payment for lost wages.

Collision and Comprehensive Insurance

Collision car insurance pays to repair or replace your vehicle when it’s damaged or destroyed in an accident, such as in a wreck with another car or if you hit an object, like a pole.

Comprehensive insurance covers non-crash damage to your car. Situations covered by comprehensive car insurance include hitting an animal, fire, theft, vandalism and damage from severe weather and falling objects.

Collision and comprehensive insurance are optional and often sold together. If your car is leased or financed, your lender may require you to purchase both.

Additional Direct Auto Insurance Options

Some optional coverages available when buying a Direct Auto insurance policy include:

  • Accidental death: Pays $5,000 to your beneficiaries if you die in an auto accident covered by your Direct Auto policy.
  • Emergency roadside assistance: This add-on benefit provides 24-hour emergency towing, along with gas delivery, lockout assistance, battery jumpstart service, minor mechanical repairs and other services.
  • Mexico auto insurance: Direct Auto sells car insurance for those driving into Mexico, where your U.S.-based auto insurance won’t apply.
  • Towing coverage: Helps cover towing if your vehicle can’t be driven due to a breakdown or accident. You can buy towing coverage if you have collision and comprehensive coverage on your policy; otherwise you need to get emergency roadside assistance.
  • Rental reimbursement: Covers the cost of a rental vehicle while your car is being repaired after an auto accident or other problem covered by your collision or comprehensive coverage, such a car fire.

Does Direct Auto Offer Accident Forgiveness?

Yes, Direct Auto offers accident forgiveness coverage. If you qualify for accident forgiveness with Direct Auto, you can include it—for an additional cost—so that one at-fault accident will not cause your rates to rise.

Typically, you must have a clean driving record to add accident forgiveness to your insurance policy. Then, if you’re involved in a minor accident or violation, your car insurance will “forgive” the incident and your premium will not increase. However, this incident will remain on your official driving record.

Does Direct Auto Offer New Car Replacement?

No, Direct Auto does not offer new car replacement coverage.

New car replacement coverage is designed to cover the cost of a brand new vehicle of the same make and model as your vehicle if it’s totaled due to a problem covered by your policy, such as an accident or fire. Without new car replacement you receive a depreciated amount for your car.

Does Direct Auto Offer Gap Insurance?

No, Direct Auto doesn’t sell gap insurance.

Gap insurance is helpful to car owners who owe more on a vehicle than it’s worth. Gap insurance—also sometimes called lease/loan coverage—pays the difference between what your vehicle is worth and what you owe on it, in the event of a total loss.

Does Direct Auto Offer a Diminishing Deductible?

No, Direct Auto does not have a diminishing deductible feature.

A deductible is the amount deducted from your claim payout check when you make a collision or comprehensive insurance claim. Diminishing deductible coverage typically lowers your deductible amount every year you don’t make a claim.

Does Direct Auto Offer SR-22s?

Yes, Direct Auto offers SR-22 filings, often called SR-22 insurance.

An SR-22 is a form your car insurance company files with the state that proves you have the state’s minimum liability car insurance requirements. Common reasons why you may be required to file an SR-22 include causing an accident while driving uninsured, having a DUI conviction or having your license reinstated after a suspension.

Does Direct Auto Offer Usage-Based Insurance?

Yes, DynamicDrive is Direct Auto’s usage-based auto insurance program.

  • With DynamicDrive, you install the Routely app on your phone, so your driving can be monitored. You receive a discount of up to 10% for enrolling in the program and can earn higher savings if you demonstrate safe driving. The app tracks:
  • Handling your phone while you’re driving
  • Time of day you’re driving
  • Speeds at which you drive (you get a speed indicator if your speed exceeds 80 mph)
  • Hard and extreme braking

Does Direct Auto Offer Pay-Per-Mile Insurance?

No, Direct Auto does not offer pay-per-mile insurance. With pay-per-mile insurance you normally pay a daily or monthly base rate plus a per-mile rate. This type of program can be a good fit for low-mileage drivers.

If you’re looking for a pay-per-mile insurance company, consider a company such as Metromile or the SmartMiles program by Nationwide.

Direct Auto’s Insurance Discounts

Direct Auto offers a variety of car insurance discounts. Discounts and savings may vary by state.

  • Affinity: Active members of organizations that are partnered with Direct Auto may receive a discount of up to 5%.
  • Auto-pay: If you set up recurring payments you can save up to 5%.
  • Driver education: If the primary driver on the policy has completed an approved accident prevention course or an under 21-driver on the policy has completed a state-approved driver’s education course there may be a savings of up to 10%.
  • Good student: If you have a driver on your policy who is unmarried and a full-time student in high school, college or a vocational school and gets good grades, you may receive a discount of up to 10%.
  • Homeowner discount: If you own a home, townhome or condo you can save up to 15%.
  • Military: Active service members with a copy of current orders can save up to 25%.
  • Multi-car: By insuring more than one vehicle on your policy you can save up to 25%.
  • Multi-policy: If you purchase two or more insurance policies with Direct Auto, such as auto and motorcycle insurance, you can save up to 10%.
  • Multi-product: If you add certain products to your auto policy, such as an emergency protection plan or term life insurance, you may save up to 5%.
  • New vehicle: If you own a current model year vehicle you may be eligible for a discount of up to 2%.
  • Paperless: Choosing to receive your documents electronically can earn you a 1% discount.
  • Pay in full: By paying your policy in full upfront you can get a price break of up to 9%.
  • Prior coverage: If you’ve been with another auto insurance company for at least six months (and not had a coverage lapse of more than 90 days) you can save up to 25%.
  • Safe driver: If your driving record is free of violations and accidents for at least the last 36 months you may receive a 10% discount.
  • Senior citizen: If you’re 55 years or older and complete an accident prevention course you may save up to 5%.
  • Vehicle equipment: If your car is equipped with anti-theft devices or certain safety features—such as air bags and anti-lock brakes—you may save up to 10%.
  • Welcome back: Returning customers who previously had a Direct Auto policy at least six months prior to purchasing a new policy with Direct Auto can save up to 6%.

Auto Insurance Complaints Against Direct Auto

Direct Auto has a complaint level that is about six times higher than the nationwide industry average. This complaint level is substantially higher than most of the nation’s largest car insurance companies. Direct Auto’s insurance complaints tend to be about claim handling, including claim delays and denials.

Direct Auto Insurance Review 2023 (1)

Direct Auto’s Grade from Collision Repair Professionals

In a survey of collision repair professionals by CRASH Network, Direct Auto earned a D+ grade, based on the score given to its parent company National General.

The survey was based on the opinions of auto body professionals, who see how insurers compare in the use of lower-quality repair parts, whether insurers encourage the use of repair procedures recommended by car makers, and whether an insurer’s claims processes lead to fast and satisfactory claims for customers.

Where Direct Auto Insurance Operates

Direct Auto offers auto insurance in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Other Types of Insurance from Direct Auto

Direct Auto offers more than just car insurance. The company also sells:

  • Commercial auto insurance. Offers business auto insurance for individuals or commercial auto insurance policies for fleets of up to 20 vehicles.
  • Life insurance. Direct Auto offers term life insurance policies for up to $25,000 in coverage.
  • Motorcycle insurance. Direct Auto sells standard insurance coverage options for a motorcycle—such as liability, collision and comprehensive—as well as optional coverage like custom parts and motorcycle replacement coverage.
  • Renters insurance. Direct Auto sells renters insurance, which covers your personal belongings, gives you personal liability coverage and pays for additional living expenses if you’re unable to live in your rental due to problems covered by your policy, such as a fire.

Direct Auto Mobile App

Direct Auto’s mobile app provides an easy way to access your account. Features include:

  • File a claim.
  • Find a local Direct Auto agent office to visit.
  • Make a payment, review your payment history and receive notifications about your account.
  • Request roadside assistance, if you’ve paid for that coverage.
  • Review your car insurance policy details, including what coverages you have and discounts you’re receiving.
  • View your digital car insurance ID card.
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