Skip to Main Content

Direct Auto Insurance review 2022: Overview & rates

man buckling his son into his car seat
Jessica Peterson/Getty Images
Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . This content is powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838). For more information, please see our

Direct Auto got its start with non-standard car insurance in 1991, and has since expanded to include other insurance offerings, including term life insurance. Those who are considered high-risk or have difficulty qualifying with other standard carriers may be able to find a solution with Direct Auto. But before purchasing a policy with Direct Auto, you’ll want to consider the perks and drawbacks of its auto and life insurance policies to see if it’s the best fit for you.

Perks Drawbacks
High-risk drivers who may not qualify for car insurance with other carriers may be able to consider Direct Auto High score on the National Association Of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Complaint Index indicates that Direct Auto receives three times as many complaints compared to other companies in the market
No medical examination or approval period required for Direct Auto term life insurance Average premium for car insurance is significantly higher than the national average
Term life insurance can be purchased for less than $1 a day and renewal may be guaranteed for two years at the same premium Direct Auto’s term life insurance only offers up to $25,000 in coverage

Founded in 1991, Direct Auto is a small, regional carrier that only offers insurance in 14 states, most of them located in the southeast. Non-standard car insurance and term life insurance are two of its most popular offerings, especially for those who have trouble qualifying at standard carriers, need flexible payment plans or have some other challenging situation.

Direct Auto car insurance | Bankrate Score: Unrated

Direct Auto may be an option to explore for high-risk drivers who might not be able to qualify for car insurance due to their driving record, insurance history or another car insurance rating factor. Compared to other carriers, Direct Auto’s coverage options are more limited to the basic offerings, but they do include optional accidental death coverage, which would pay $5,000 to your spouse or other beneficiary if you passed away due to a covered accident while in your car.

As part of Bankrate’s study to find the best car insurance companies, we reviewed dozens of companies for their average annual premiums through Quadrant Information Services, policy offerings and discounts, as well as third-party ratings for financial strength and customer satisfaction. The higher a company scored in each category, the higher its overall Bankrate Score for a maximum score out of 5. Because much of this information was limited for Direct Auto, it did not receive a Bankrate Score.

Direct Auto car insurance cost

Direct Auto car insurance is expensive, especially when compared to the national average. Drivers with Direct Auto pay an average of $2,766 per year for full coverage car insurance. While the average cost of car insurance is much lower at $1,674 per year for the same coverage, actual rates may vary due to different car insurance rating factors, such as location, type of vehicle, annual mileage and more.

Full coverage annual rates National full coverage annual rates
Clean driving history $2,766 $1,674
Speeding ticket conviction $4,428 $2,062
Adding a 16-year-old driver* $6,930 $2,531
At-fault accident $4,798 $2,311

*16-year-old rates reflect the added cost to their parents’ full coverage car insurance policy.

Direct Auto car insurance discounts

Direct Auto offers a long list of discounts on car insurance to give drivers an opportunity to stack savings. Some of these discounts include:

  • Military discount: Active service members can earn up to 25% off their car insurance. Direct Auto does request that documents be submitted to add this discount to your policy.
  • Prior coverage savings: Drivers who are new to Direct Auto may be able to qualify for up to 25% off their car insurance if they have been insured with another carrier for six months. Additionally, the coverage must not have lapsed for more than 90 days, although this period may vary by state.
  • Driver training discount: New young drivers may be able to add a 10% discount on their car insurance if they complete a state-approved course, and can keep this discount until their 21st birthday.

Direct Auto car services

Another service that Direct Auto provides in conjunction with its auto insurance is Dynamic Drive. This usage-based telematics insurance program tracks good driving habits through the Routley app. Participation is optional, but drivers earn 10% off their Direct Auto car insurance just by signing up, with the potential to earn more based on driving safely.

Direct Auto life insurance

Direct Auto’s life insurance offering is limited compared to other carriers, both in terms of policy type and features. It only offers term life insurance with 6-month and 12-month policy periods and a maximum coverage of up to $25,000. Some key draws to Direct Auto’s life insurance policy may be its lack of medical examination requirement, instant approval responses and guaranteed renewal for two years — subject to policy terms and conditions — at the same premium. However, others may find that Direct Auto’s maximum coverage amount for term life to be too low for their needs or may want the savings component found in other types of life insurance instead.

Direct Auto life insurance endorsements

Direct Auto does not appear to offer any add-on coverage options to its term life insurance policy.

Direct Auto life services

Direct Auto does not offer any additional services to those who purchase its term life insurance policy.

Other Direct Auto perks worth considering

In addition to personal auto and term life insurance, Direct Auto offers a few more insurance products:

  • Renters insurance: Renters may not need to insure the structure of the home they live in, but a renters insurance policy could provide coverage for their belongings and liability.
  • Motorcycle insurance: A personal auto insurance policy will not cover a motorcycle, as this is considered a different type of vehicle. If you own a motorcycle, you will need to purchase a separate motorcycle insurance policy.
  • Mexico Auto insurance: Driving your vehicle outside of the United States means your car insurance may not provide coverage, so purchasing this kind of travel insurance may help cover the gap.

Direct Auto social responsibility

Direct Auto does not disclose if they contribute or support any charitable causes or programs.

Not sure if Direct Auto is right for you? Consider these alternatives

  • Bristol West: Bristol West is a member of the Farmers Insurance Group and could be ideal for high-risk drivers, as it also specializes in non-standard car insurance. The company also offers an online portal and mobile app accessibility.
  • Encompass: Backed by Allstate, Encompass sells home and auto insurance through local independent agents and provides a wide range of coverage options and discounts to help build the right policy for your needs.
  • Geico: Geico offers a long list of car insurance discounts to help make premiums affordable. It also sells term, whole and universal life insurance through partnerships with other companies.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 40-year-old male and female homeowners with a clean claim history, good credit and the following coverage limits:

Auto

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the age 16 (base: 40 years) applied. Depending on age, drivers may be a renter or homeowner. Hawaii rates indicate age is not a contributing factor.

Incidents: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), single speeding ticket and a single DUI conviction.

Homeowners

  • Coverage A, Dwelling: $150,000, $250,000, $350,000, $450,000
  • Coverage B, Other Structures: $15,000, $25,000, $35,000, $45,000
  • Coverage C, Personal Property: $75,000, $125,000, $175,000, $225,000
  • Coverage D, Loss of Use: $30,000, $50,000, $70,000, $90,000
  • Coverage E, Liability: $300,000
  • Coverage F, Medical Payments: $1,000

The homeowners also have a $1,000 deductible and a separate wind and hail deductible (if required).

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes will differ.

Written by
June Sham
Insurance Writer
June Sham is an insurance writer for Bankrate. Before joining the team, she worked for nearly three years as a licensed producer writing auto, property, umbrella and earthquake policies.
Edited by
Insurance Editor