The General Accident brand has been taken out of retirement to provide an online car insurance service. Parent company Aviva uses the brand to provide a presence on the price comparison websites that it avoids.
Defaqto rating: 4/5 stars
In 2020, General Accident's general car insurance business was awarded four out of five stars by Defaqto, the independent financial research and ratings company.
Note: Not all Defaqto products with the same star ratings have the same covers and terms.
Trustpilot rating: 1.3/5 stars
General Accident gets generally unfavourable reports on the consumer review website Trustpilot. Its rating of just 1.3 stars reflects the fact that out of 410 reviews only 5% gave it an 'excellent' rating and 89% gave it a 'bad' rating.
A caveat, however, must be made here – many of the 'bad' reviews appeared to be from disgruntled Telematics insurance policy holders venting their frustration about poor scores awarded for their bad driving.
General Accident offers the usual range of policies and benefits and also has a telematics – or black box – insurance scheme to help reduce costs for careful drivers.
Although it is largely an online-only policy provider, the company offers telephone support for the first 28 days after first buying a policy: "If people have questions, it's usually in the early days of buying their new policy," the company says.
Contact Uswitch: 0800 688 8557
General Accident was originally founded in Perth, Scotland, in 1885 but was acquired by Commercial Union in 1998, which itself was then merged with Norwich Union to form Aviva, Britain's largest general insurer.
The brand was dropped by Commercial Union in 1999 but was resurrected by Aviva in 2013 after being found to be a respected brand name with a strong legacy.
Its website is uncluttered but easily navigable and quotes are provided quickly, with the minimum of fuss. All policies provided by General Accident are underwritten and administered by parent company Aviva.
General Accident prides itself on its legacy of more than 100 years in the insurance business, and while the reviewers may be lukewarm about its services, it is designed for drivers who want help from a human to navigate the purchase and understanding of their policy.
The company provides a reasonably well-regarded telematics insurance scheme – if you discount the comments from consumer reviewers on Trustpilot – which scores four out of five stars on both Defaqto and Moneyfacts.
Four-star Telematics scheme
Human touch through telephone support
Backing of insurance giant Aviva
In April 2020, parent company Aviva pledged support in the form of deferred payments for General Accident policyholders experiencing financial difficulties due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In early July 2020, Amanda Blanc was appointed new chief executive of parent company Aviva following the retirement of Maurice Tulloch.
Blanc had previously been in board positions with Zurich and AXA after starting her career in insurance with former General Accident parent Commercial Union.
The Financial Ombudsman Service received 239 car insurance complaints about General Accident owner Aviva in the first half of 2020. That gave Aviva less than 5% of complaints but the insurer has nearly 13% market share so it received a much smaller proportion of complaints than might be expected for its size. To put complaints in context, 67 firms had 10 or more complaints each and those totalled 4,550 complaints. Nearly 200 firms had fewer than 10 each, sharing just 479 complaints between them.