National General (GMAC) Insurance History
Two companies would ultimately combine to create the insurance company known as National General (GMAC). One of the companies, Integon, was founded in Winston-Salem in 1920. The second company, Motors Insurance Company, was founded in 1925 by General Motors.
Because it was founded by GM, National General is the only insurance company in the United States to originate within the automotive industry. General Motors wanted to launch an insurance company as a way to protect drivers of GM vehicles after purchasing from a dealership – including vehicles financed through GM’s financing division called GMAC (which was founded in 1939).
Integon would continue operating independently throughout the 20th century. In 1969, Integon started a holding company and began to insure high-risk drivers. Over the decades, however, the company went through a number of struggles, ownership changes, and changes in business strategy. In 1997, GMAC announced it was acquiring Integon for $550 million. By 2000, Integon was officially called GMAC Insurance Personal Lines.
In 2006, GM sold 51% of its stake in GMAC to an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management. Today, GMAC is known as Ally Financial. In 2009, American Capital Acquisition Corp. bought GMAC’s U.S. consumer property casualty insurance business, GMAC Insurance Holdings. In 2013, GMAC changed its name to National General Insurance – which is how we get to where we are today.
Today, the company continues to be headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and is one of the city’s largest employers. Unlike some of America’s other largest insurance companies, however, National General does not crack the Fortune 500 list (it ranked number 563 for 2018).
National General Insurance Rankings
National General (GMAC) insurance isn’t the largest insurance company in the United States. However, it tends to be about average compared to its competitors in terms of customer service and claims satisfaction.
Unfortunately, because National General isn’t among the largest insurance companies in the United States, the company is not currently ranked by J.D. Power in terms of value, claims satisfaction, and other rankings.
Back when the company was known as GMAC, however, J.D. Power gave the company a rating of 2 out of 5 for purchase experience and 3 out of 5 for claims satisfaction and overall customer satisfaction, which is average or lower than most other insurance companies in the United States. J.D. Power does not currently rank National General Insurance, making it difficult to determine where the company stands today.
Financial strength rating agency A.M. Best, however, does continue to rank National General (GMAC) today: the company was ranked at an “A-“ or “Excellent” for its financial strength.
National General has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau, currently holding a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 with over 350 customer reviews.
What Makes National General (GMAC) Insurance Unique?
National General has a number of features that distinguish itself from other insurance companies in the United States:
Multiple Types of Insurance: National General offers multiple types of insurance, including auto insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, condo insurance, flood insurance, umbrella coverage, earthquake insurance, RV insurance, commercial vehicle insurance, motorcycle insurance, and collector and classic car insurance, among other policies.
Roadside Assistance: National General makes it easy to order roadside assistance. The company offers roadside assistance through GM Motor Club.
Health Insurance: Some car insurance companies offer health insurance while others do not. National General offers health insurance through VelaPoint, making it easy for customers to have their health, home, and car insurance under one roof.
Is National General (GMAC) Insurance a Good Insurance Company? Our Review
National General Insurance isn’t one of America’s largest insurance companies. Reviews online for the company tend to be average: the company isn’t among the best in terms of claims satisfaction, but it’s also not the worst.
Back when the company operated as GMAC, it earned low-to-average ratings from J.D. Power, including ratings of 2 to 3 stars out of 5 in most categories. That may sound bad – but it’s in line with what other major insurance companies received in the same J.D. Power rankings. Today, operating under the name National General, the company is not ranked by J.D. Power. However, the A.M. Best rating for the company continues to be “A-” or “Excellent”, indicating that National General is in a strong financial position to pay its liabilities.
Many people also appreciate National General features like the National General Motor Club, which is available to all National General car insurance customers. Any eligible member driving any car can pay $59 per month for 24/7 roadside assistance along with discounts on entertainment, dining, retail stores, and more (available through a partnership with Perksconnect). There are three levels to the National General Motor Club depending on your desired level of service, including elite, standard, and basic.
Interestingly, National General also offers discounts to GM vehicle owners, former GM employees, former GMAC employees, and their families. If you drive a GM vehicle, for example, you may be able to access an exclusive discount. Active and retired employees of GM, GMAC, and its subsidiaries also qualify for GM Family First, an employee discount program that lets you buy discounted GM vehicles.
Another perk with National General is that the company has a lifetime guarantee on any collision repairs made through any of their Gold Medal Repair Shops.
Overall, National General functions like most major insurance companies despite not being as large as some of its competitors. Policyholders enjoy 24/7 claims service, average claims satisfaction ratings, and a strong network of collision repair centers across the United States.
National General (GMAC) Auto Insurance Policies and Products
National General has a number of unique auto insurance policies that may appeal to policyholders, including:
Guaranteed Collision Repairs: If you repair your vehicle at one of National General’s Gold Medal Repair Shops, then your collision repairs are backed by a lifetime guarantee.
GM and GMAC Discounts: Customers who drive GM vehicles or are financing a home or car with GMAC may qualify for specific GMAC discounts through National General.
SmartValet: National General’s SmartValet service picks up your damaged vehicle and brings you a rental car after you have reported a claim. Once repairs are complete, National General will bring your vehicle directly back to you and return the rental vehicle. SmartValet is available to all customers who carry rental reimbursement on their auto insurance policy.
Multiple Types of Car Insurance: National General offers certain unique types of car insurance, including Mexico insurance for cars, RVs, and motorcycles that complies with all Mexican law requirements. You can also buy commercial vehicle insurance, collector or classic car insurance, and umbrella insurance, among other policies.
National General, known as GMAC until 2013, isn’t one of America’s largest or best-known insurance companies. However, the company offers service comparable to major insurance companies in the United States, including competitive premiums, 24/7 claims service, roadside assistance, and a wide range of auto, property, and health insurance policies.