An Overview of National General
National General is formerly known as General Motors Acceptance Corp. (GMAC). In 1997, GMAC acquired Integon at a value of $550 million and subsequently changed its name to National General by July of 2013. GMAC and Integon have been around since the 1920s and both have demonstrated solid financial performance, outstanding credit, and paying ability.
Although National General is more widely known for auto insurance, it enjoys a considerably strong presence in the home insurance market with attractive offers that go against the more popular players. The company is based in North Carolina and operates through a network of more than 10,000 brokers and independent agents across the country.
National General offers basic features across its homeowners insurance plans, but one distinguishing product offering is their "Green Update", an option that provides up to $50,000 for house repairs by using sustainable materials. They also offer a more flexible scheme in covering the objects you have in your home, a feature not usually offered by some insurance providers.
In case of a total loss, National General guarantees to rebuild your home even if the cost would be bigger than the original value of your property.
An Overview of National General
National General home insurance includes the following coverages:
Guaranteed and extended replacement of your home
In the event of a total loss, the cost of rebuilding your home will be fully covered even if rebuilding costs more than the original value.
Restore with sustainable materials
Green Upgrade options allow up to $50,000 coverage to rebuild your home with environmentally friendly materials.
Coverage for belongings beyond the home
Options are provided to protect your valuables. From your watercraft, trailers, to your jewelry, you are given added protection without an incremental increase in rates.
Personal liability coverage
National General provides a free identity theft 911 service to help clients restore their stolen identity. A $15,000 coverage for identity restoration is also offered through reimbursement. This is a unique and great offer, considering identity theft is one of the most common forms of fraud in the U.S.
Living expenses outside of home for the duration of rebuilding or repair
While your home is undergoing repairs/reconstruction, your expenses for renting a temporary dwelling will be totally covered, a feature that stands out among many home insurance providers.
National General offers discounts to make premiums more manageable, but such offers are available only to certain locations and based on various eligibility criteria. Age of home, college education, gated community, protective devices, and superior construction, to name a few. Before you make your decision, it would be wise to verify your eligibility and factor in the actual discount value. This allows you to make a realistic comparison with your other options, particularly on the premiums.
National General prides itself in having one of the most convenient claims processes. Customers can file their claims online, through phone, or any digital device. With just the policy number and details of the incident, the need for tedious screening and submission of voluminous information is avoided. To make it even more convenient, adjustor visits can be made at the customer’s preferred schedule.
A.M. Best rated GMAC with an “A-“ Excellent rating for financial strength. National General (GMAC and Integon) has maintained a sturdy presence particularly in the auto insurance industry and has exhibited a solid financial strength even in the home insurance segment.
J.D. Power's 2018 U.S. Home Insurance Study Based on a 1,000-point scale, National General posted 767 points which gives it a dismal score of 2 out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction. Unlike ratings obtained by GMAC, this study more accurately reflects National General in its present corporate configuration.
BBB rated National General “A+”, the highest rating for customer interaction with a range of 97-100 out of 100 points. The Better Business Bureau rates companies based on their ability and manner by which customer complaints are handled and resolved, together with excellence in the conduct of their business.
The pros and cons of National General Home Insurance.
Excellent financial strength
National General and the companies that gave rise to it (GMAC and Integon) demonstrated superior financial strength, credit, and paying ability throughout their industry presence. Clients can be confident knowing their insurance company can fulfill its financial obligations.
National General offers extended benefits to cover objects or properties inside your home that are not part of the basic insurance plan. When customers have valuables inside their homes that are not covered by standard coverage plans, National General can be a very viable option.
The company offers various discounts to make premiums more affordable. Depending on location and eligibility criteria, clients can avail of discounts to get the lowest premium possible.
Claims can be made online 24/7 without the need for tedious screening and voluminous details before a claim can be processed.
Covers the total cost of repair/restoration in case of total loss regardless if the value exceeds the original cost. Although this feature may not be unique to National General, it is most definitely a great addition.
Clients can expect better attention to their unique needs, but at some point, this can also be a cause for concern as independent agents don’t exclusively sell insurance policies from just one company.
Low Customer Satisfaction Rating
J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Home Insurance Study puts National General at the bottom group. With a score of 2 out of 5, it belongs to the group called “The rest” which sits below a higher rated group called “About average”. Quite dismal.
Flexibility in extended benefits mean higher rates than average.
Not Focused on Home Insurance
The limited availability of their home insurance plans in contrast to their auto insurance business can be a clear indication of their focus in a different market segment.
Though attractive, extended features are not directly underwritten by National General.
Questionable Financial Viability
The company figured in a controversial government bailout in 2008, and A.M. Best ratings were made at a time when the company was still GMAC and not the company that it is today.
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