Direct Auto car insurance review: High-risk coverage

Direct Auto specializes in offering car insurance for high-risk drivers, including people who need an SR-22, but if you have a clean record another company might be better.

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Andrew HurstSenior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance ExpertAndrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

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Anna SwartzAnna SwartzSenior Managing EditorAnna Swartz is a senior managing editor who specializes in home, auto, renters, and disability insurance at Policygenius. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic and a writer at The Dodo. Her work has also appeared in Salon, HuffPost, MSN, AOL, and Heeb.

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Direct Auto

Direct Auto logo

Policygenius rating

Our proprietary ratings methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the “Ratings methodology” section for more details.
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AM Best rating

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).



Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).






The bottom line

Direct Auto may be right for you if you’re having trouble getting car insurance because of your driving record. But if you have a clean record, you might find cheaper rates and better coverage options at another car insurance company 

Direct Auto offers all the basic types of car insurance that most drivers need, but there’s not much to customize a policy. But Direct Auto does offer roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement as optional add-ons.

While Direct Auto can be expensive, it offers lots of car insurance discounts. Direct Auto claims that drivers can save up to 25% on their premiums by qualifying for discounts.


  • Good for high-risk drivers

  • Lots of discounts

  • Backed by Allstate


  • Not a lot of coverage options

Basic coverages offered

Direct Auto may offer these basic types of car insurance depending on where you live:

  • Bodily injury liability: Covers the cost of injuries to other people when you’re responsible for an at-fault accident.

  • Property damage liability: Covers the cost of property damage that you’re responsible for in an at-fault accident.

  • Collision coverage: Covers damage to your car after a collision, no matter who was at fault.

  • Comprehensive coverage: Covers damage to your car that’s not caused by a collision, like damage from animals, vandalism, falling objects, or weather.

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: Covers injuries and property damage caused by someone who’s not insured or doesn’t have enough coverage.

  • Personal injury protection: Covers injuries to you, lost income, and medical care after an accident no matter who’s at fault. PIP is required in no-fault states.

  • Medical payments: Covers your injuries after a crash, but has lower limits than personal injury protection (PIP).

Additional coverages offered

Direct Auto doesn’t offer as many endorsements as some competitors, but you can add these extra coverages to a basic Direct Auto car insurance policy:

  • Roadside assistance coverage: Direct Auto’s roadside assistance covers tows, fuel delivery, lockouts, and jumpstarts after a breakdown, and it provides free maps to lost drivers.

  • Rental car reimbursement: Covers the cost of temporary transportation, like a rental car or public transportation fare if your regular car is damaged.

Ratings methodology



We collected rates from every ZIP code in the country to find the cost of car insurance from Direct Auto. Our sample driver was a 30-year-old male car owner with a clean driving record and a 2017 Toyota Camry.

Customer experience


Direct Auto receives more complaints than average, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The average complaint index is 1.0, but Direct Auto has a complaint index of 2.02.

Coverage options


Direct Auto has fewer car insurance coverage options and endorsements than its competitors. The extras that Direct Auto offers are commonly found at other companies, too.

Financial strength


Direct Auto received an A rating from A.M. Best, meaning Direct Auto’s long-term financial stability is strong. Direct Auto is also owned by Allstate, which has the strongest financial strength ratings that a company can be awarded.

Cost of Direct Auto car insurance

On average, car insurance from Direct Auto costs $2,351 per year. That’s $713 more expensive than the national average cost of car insurance, which is $1,638 per year. 

If you have a claim on your record, Direct Auto is more affordable than other insurance companies. After an accident, ticket, or DUI, the cost at Direct Auto increases by an average of 29% — lower than the national average increase of 71%.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to compare rates before you buy a policy so that you find the company with the best prices for your driving history.

Coverage amount

Average annual rate for Direct Auto

Required state minimum


Full coverage ($50,000/$100,000)


Full coverage ($100,000/$300,000)


Car insurance discounts from Direct Auto

Direct Auto offers a wide range of car insurance discounts. You can qualify for more than one discount, but you can only save up to 25% on the cost of your policy.

  • Affinity discount: Save up to 5% if you’re a member of an organization that partners with Direct Auto, like an employer, church, university, or club.

  • Defensive driving education discount: Complete an accident prevention course and qualify for a discount on your Direct Auto policy (up to 10%).

  • Good student discount: Get a discount (up to 10%) if you or an insured driver on your policy is an honor student, on the dean’s list, have a B average, or rank in the top fifth of your class.

  • Homeowner discount: Save up to 15% if you own a home (excluding a mobile home) and keep your cars there.

  • Military discount: Receive a discount (up to 25%) if you’re an active-duty member of the military.

  • Multi-car discount: Insure more than one vehicle with Direct Auto and save up to 25%.

  • Multi-policy discount: Get a discount (up to 5%) if you buy more than one kind of insurance policy from Direct Auto, including life insurance.

  • No-lapse in coverage discount: Receive a discount (up to 25%) if you’ve been insured for at least the last 6 months and haven’t ever gone more than 90 days without car insurance.

  • Payment discounts: Receive a discount of up to 9% if you set up automatic payments, pay your policy all at once, or switch to paperless billing.

  • Safe driver discount: Get a discount (up to 10%) if you’ve gone 36 months without an accident.

  • Senior citizen discount: Drivers 55 years and older who complete a safety course can save up to 5% on their car insurance.

  • Vehicle safety discount: You can get a discount (up to 10%) if your vehicle has anti-theft or anti-crash features.

  • Welcome back discount: Purchase car insurance with Direct Auto after not having a policy for at least 6 months and get a discount (up to 6%).

Usage-based car insurance from Direct Auto

Direct Auto’s DynamicDrive is the company’s usage-based car insurance program. If you’re a good driver, signing up for DynamicDrive could save you up to 10% on your car insurance premiums.

When you sign up for DynamicDrive and download the app Routely, you share details about your driving and your trips with Direct Auto. You can receive a discount if you drive safely, although you might get higher rates if you drive poorly.

Where is Direct Auto car insurance available?

You can get car insurance from Direct Auto in these 24 number states:

  • Alabama

  • Arizona

  • Arkansas

  • California

  • Delaware

  • Florida

  • Georgia

  • Illinois

  • Indiana

  • Kentucky

  • Louisiana

  • Maryland

  • Michigan

  • Mississippi

  • Missouri

  • North Carolina

  • Ohio

  • Oklahoma

  • Pennsylvania

  • South Carolina

  • Tennessee

  • Texas

  • Virginia

  • Washington

Direct Auto is not available in New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Oregon, New Jersey, and a handful of other states.

What to expect with Direct Auto insurance

  • How to get a quote: You can get a car insurance quote from Direct Auto online or over the phone by calling 855-644-0392.

  • Customer service options: You can use Direct Auto’s mobile app to make a payment, view and manage your policy, access your insurance card, request roadside assistance, file a claim, and find an in-person Direct Auto office.

  • How to file a claim: You can make a claim with Direct Auto online, by using the mobile app, or by calling 800-403-1077.

  • How to cancel your policy: You can go to a physical Direct Auto office and sign a cancellation request, request a cancellation by emailing Direct Auto’s customer service, or by calling customer service at 877-463-4732.

Direct Auto vs. other car insurance companies

Here’s how Direct Auto’s overall rating, financial strength, and rates stack up with other car insurance companies.


Policygenius rating

AM Best rating


Direct Auto
















Liberty Mutual












State Auto




National General








The General








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Frequently asked questions

Who owns Direct Auto?

Allstate owns Direct Auto, but it operates as its own company. That means you’ll deal with Direct Auto’s representatives if you have to make a claim or have questions about your policy.

How long has Direct Auto been around?

Direct Auto was founded in 1991. It was purchased by National General in 2016, which was then bought in 2021 by Allstate.

Does Direct Auto offer SR-22 insurance?

Yes, Direct Auto is known for offering SR-22 insurance to drivers who need high-risk coverage.


Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.


Anna Swartz is a senior managing editor who specializes in home, auto, renters, and disability insurance at Policygenius. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic and a writer at The Dodo. Her work has also appeared in Salon, HuffPost, MSN, AOL, and Heeb.

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