21st Century Car Insurance Company Review
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UPDATED: May 6, 2019
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21st Century Insurance Group is one of the few large insurance companies that markets directly to consumers.
This has given the company a pricing advantage for many years, in addition to other factors that make it a great insurance company for consumers.
The company has gone through a few rounds of changes in its history, and has emerged stronger and better each time. With the infrastructure of its’ parent company, 21st Century is poised to continue growing at a fast clip.
Founding the Company
Louis David Foster founded the 21st Century Insurance Company in 1958, after spending 20 years working as an independent insurance agent in Los Angeles.
Originally, the company’s name was 20th Century Insurance, and Mr. Foster structured the business as a cooperative type of entity, called an inter-insurance exchange, where policyholders worked together to put their money towards financing and insuring the losses of the other policyholders.
In 1966, less than 10 years later, the company moved to Century City, California to accommodate its growing customer base and staff. In the same year, the company reached a huge milestone by achieving $1million in customer premiums within a single year.
In 1968, the company restructured into a capital stock company due to the loss of tax advantages and surplus requirements for insurers, so policyholders became stockholders. The company continued to grow, and in 1969, sold $2 million worth of premiums.
By 1975, 21st Century hit $10 million in premiums. In 1993, 21st Century Insurance relocated its offices to the San Fernando Valley, and had now sold over $1 billion in premiums.
At this point, the company started expanding to other states and by 2006 operated in 11 states besides California.
AIG’s personal auto group acquired the company and subsequently, Farmers Insurance acquired AIG, including 21st Century, in 2009. 21st Century Insurance still does business as a separate subsidiary, and is now the nation’s third-largest direct writer of auto insurance.
As part of the Farmers Insurance Group of companies, 21st Century has more than 25,000 employees to serve 20 million policyholders across the nation.
21st Century uses the slogan “the same great coverage for less”, and the company has always had a business philosophy of providing inexpensive car and personal insurance policies for their customers by using direct mail, radio advertising and print methods for selling insurance, rather than using brokers.
Since the company eliminated the cost of commissions and agents, it was able to pass the savings on to its customers.
21st Century also limits its auto insurance coverage to applicants who are in the preferred-risk category, which means they represent the best drivers with the least amount of risk.
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21st Century offers great deals on auto insurance. The company also has access to many other products, to help its customers get everything they need in one place.
21st Century has partnered with many of the top insurance companies the nation to offer homeowners and renters insurance, motorcycle and classic auto insurance, mobile home and specialty homeowners insurance, personal umbrella and life insurance, boaters and personal watercraft insurance and flood insurance.
21st Century works hard to bring cost savings and special benefits to its customers, and the company has recently added a new feature called the Security Advantage Program. This benefit combines identity-theft restoration service, 24-hour roadside assistance and 24-hour emergency medical and travel assistance.
There is no additional cost to its customers for these services.
21st Century strives to make the entire insurance process as quick and painless as possible for its customers. Its website gives customers the opportunity to get new insurance quotes in seven minutes, as well as purchasing a new policy if they choose.
The website also lets existing customers manage their policy, use online claims service to check on their existing claim, as well making payments on their policy.
As part of 21st Century’s commitment to great customer service, the company offers its customers the VIP treatment when they file a claim.
21st Century understands the amount of stress and inconvenience that goes along with an accident, and is committed to getting its drivers back into their vehicles as fast as possible.
The company has set up a direct-repair program, with preferred body shops that give customers a fast, fair, no-hassle experience and a warranty for vehicle repairs for as long as the customer owns or leases the car.
How much is 21st Century Car Insurance?
On its website, 21st Century offers several ways to help customers save money on their auto insurance. The company offers discounts for completing a defensive driving course recognized by the DMV.
They also give good student discounts, and advise consumers, when shopping for new car, to look for specific safety features such as airbags and antilock brakes, since these reduce the possibility of the car getting into an accident and factor in to lower insurance rates.
The company recommends asking for a higher deductible to keep rates lower, and advises reading through a new policy to make sure a customer understands exactly what is included in it. It also recommends double-checking any possible discounts that customers may qualify for and making sure they take advantage of them.
For comparison purposes, in an effort to benchmark insurance costs, California’s Department of Insurance performed a study to estimate average insurance rates.
For a male driver aged 40, who drives 10,000 miles per year in a Honda Accord, and has a clean driving record, the estimated annual insurance cost of a 21st Century policy is $1,332 before applying discounts.
According to the 21st Century website, customers can save over $300 per year on average by taking out a policy with the company, and its website also has highly automated underwriting and rating systems, which calculate the best rates and coverages for each customer.