I started Insurance Blog by Chris™ because I have a passion for insurance. Here at the blog, our job is to educate and inform people about the best insurance for them. Since then, we have grown into national brands with a large team of researchers helping people understand all forms of insurance.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insu...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 18, 2021

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Direct Auto Insurance Company, based in Nashville, Tennessee, is a subsidiary of the Direct General Group.

The company offers free car insurance quotes online and says it’s committed to providing low rates and flexible payment plans to customers, even if they have what could be called a colorful driving history.

direct auto insurance company logo

In this review: 

Direct Auto Insurance Coverage

To find out how much car insurance costs, take into account the different types of coverage offered by Direct Auto.

  • Bodily Injury Liability: This pays for injuries and death that occur because of an accident caused by you or another person driving your car.
  • Property Damage Liability: It reimburses others for damage to another vehicle or property, such as a building or utility pole, in an accident caused by you or another driver using your car.
  • Collision: This optional coverage pays for damage to your car because of a collision with another vehicle or other object in an accident you cause. Collision policies also protect you from damage due to potholes or from rolling your car.
  • Comprehensive: This policy option takes care of theft and damage due to a non-collision event, including most natural hazards.

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Claims Satisfaction

After creating a policy with a Direct Auto representative, most insurers don’t deal with the company again for many months.

Unless you have a life event that changes your insurance needs (teen driver, new car, additional car, or drivers) or the occasional billing question, the only time most drivers will speak with Direct Auto is during the claims process after an accident.

For these reasons, you should place a high level of importance on how well an insurer deals with customers making a claim.

Direct Auto Company Ratings

Market research firms such as J.D. Power or Consumer Reports rank insurers based on various criteria, including three key performance indicators that evaluate the claims process. These KPIs are communication, ease of service interaction, and timeliness of responses.

The J.D. Powers 2017 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study doesn’t actually include Direct Auto insurance ratings.

However, the Better Business Bureau gives the company an F and lists 117 complaints filed with the BBB by unhappy Direct Auto customers, with 36 of 42 complaints closed in the past year.

The F rating in the Direct Auto insurance review indicates the BBB’s evaluation of a company’s interaction with clients and is largely due to the company’s 93 unanswered and four unresolved complaints.

Direct Auto Customer Reviews

When drivers shop around for insurance, one of the criteria they look for is how satisfied current customers are with their coverage. All interactions with the company impact this category, including online, in person, and direct mail. How complaints are managed sets the stage for the customer experience and how likely customers are to recommend the insurer to a friend or family member.

In the J.D. Power shopping study, Direct Auto isn’t listed, but a total of 44 Yelp reviews filed since 2010 yield an average score of 1 out of 5 stars.

The National Association of Insurance Commission does show improvement in complaint ratings with a high of 16 complaints in 2016 and only one complaint filed against Direct Auto (NAIC #12721) in 2017.

Pricing

All car insurance policy prices depend on several factors such as age, gender, driving history, geographic location, and the make and model of your car.

For comparison purposes, the following scenario was used to simulate Direct Auto insurance pricing:

Single Female (licensed 9 years) / One car (Toyota Camry) / One violation and one no-fault accident in the preceding three years / Driving 12,000 miles per year / Living in Miami-Dade County, Florida

In this scenario, Direct Auto would charge $4,866 for the state minimum coverage for PIP and property damage, and $8,893 for full coverage, including bodily injury, uninsured/underinsured motorists, and collision and comprehensive options.

It falls at the bottom of a list of 20 insurers. By contrast, United Services, at the top of the list, charges $536 for minimum and $2,442 for maximum coverage for the same scenario.

Direct Auto bills itself as a go-to company for drivers with a spotty driving history. However, that doesn’t seem likely for Florida drivers given the above scenario. Changing the scenario to a senior couple or single male driver yields similar placements at the bottom of the list.

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Financial Strength

Many consumers don’t think about how a company’s financial strength and stability impact its ability to pay existing and new claims.

However, it’s a vital part of your Direct Auto insurance reviews. Otherwise, there’s no telling whether an insurer has the financial capacity to cover its outstanding obligations.

The Insurance Information Institute has some helpful information on how to research Direct Auto ratings from five independent companies.

A.M. Best provided Direct Auto insurance ratings for three subsidiaries and each scored an A- (excellent) but for some reason, the company’s Nashville location, where it’s headquartered, is not rated.

Moody’s Investors Services does not currently evaluate the company.

Use the above information to help you decide whether Direct Auto’s insurance ratings increase your confidence in choosing it as your insurer.

You can apply these same tests to other car insurance companies you’re considering to help you make the best coverage choice for you and your family.