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It also offers the ability to get a policy immediately online for those who need to fill out an SR-22 (proof of insurance form) to get their drivers licenses reinstated. This is common for non-standard insurance companies, making the term “SR-22 insurance” popular for referring to this and other insurers in the niche.
The company is headquartered in San Diego and sells its products through dedicated agencies in each state where policies are issued. Altogether the company employs over 70 people, and handles all of its claims in-house rather than hiring adjusters or outside claims staff.
Anchor General markets its products primarily through its agencies (like Anchor General Insurance Agency), with very little information on its website addressed toward potential customers. Much of the site is hidden behind a password for members only, and the main purpose of the site seems to be geared more toward collecting payments than establishing new business.
Anchor General sells auto insurance, but the does not offer any information about their policies. This seems to be customary with low cost, high risk insurers where their target market is more concerned about getting insurance coverage than what bells and whistles come with the policy. In general, high-risk insurance companies tend to provide bare-bones policies designed to meet the state’s minimum legal requirements to drivers whom by other standards are simply uninsurable.
Anchor General’s website claims that it offers competitive rates, however, the user is unable to obtain a quote on the website. There is no listing for agencies, and there is not a clearly marked customer service line to call for this information. The customer service/underwriting phone number, 800-542-6246, is a general office number that leads to an agency open between 7am to 6pm Monday through Friday.
While high-risk insurers tend to claim they have competitive pricing, what they generally mean is compared to other non-standard insurance carriers. High-risk drivers cost more to insure, so their prices are going to be quite a bit higher than a standard insurance carrier. This is just the nature of the beast when dealing with high-risk insurance.
The claims phone number listed on the website is inaccurate; when you call it, it directs you to call 888-308-7900.
Note that this line is available during business hours, Monday through Friday from 7am to 6pm; if you call outside of those hours, you’ll be directed to an answering service that will take down rudimentary information and direct you to contact the company again during business hours.
Although not accredited, the Better Business Bureau gives the company an “A” rating, listing 70 complaints, 22 of which have been closed in the last 12 months.
The popular site Yelp gives the company an overall rating 1 out of 5 stars. The website shows 236 reviews, most of which are negative.
Common complaints levied against the company are long claim handling times, poor customer service and an overall lack of communication.
It’s also worth noting that the California Department of Insurance launched an official investigation into the company’s claim handling back in 2005 in response to the high volume of complaints against the company. More information about this investigation can be found here.
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Non-standard auto insurance companies frequently receive bad reviews from customers who simply don’t understand what they’re signing up for. In the case of Anchor General, though, many reviews tend to hint towards a greater issue specific to them. The company’s small size appears to have crippled its customer service. Offering a poorly designed website with an unclear indication of how to contact an agent and a small in-house claims service, the company simply does not seem able to meet the needs of their customers.
If you require high-risk auto insurance there are other companies that, in our opinion, will be more responsive.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.