21st Century Review: Auto Insurance
|Request a quote from 21st Century|
|The low premiums are great for those on a budget; only offers coverage to good drivers; slightly lower customer satisfaction ratings|
21st Century Insurance focuses primarily on selling auto insurance. The company reduces premium costs by selling directly to consumers, rather than through brokers. In order to achieve its lower rates, 21st Century limits sales of its policies to "good drivers." 21st Century was purchased in April 2009 by Farmers Insurance Group, a company rated as having "excellent" financial strength by a third party assessor.
In our quest to compare pricing across all the companies we reviewed, we created three different driver profiles: a 29-year-old, a 37-year-old, and a 65-year-old. All drivers owned and drove a 2005 Audi Quattro and had a clean driving record. We then got quotes for two different cities: San Francisco, CA and Springfield, IL. 21st Century provided the lowest pricing of all the companies we looked at. However, you need to remember that they will only provide policies to "good drivers", so if you have some blemishes on your driving record you may not qualify.
We stepped through their online quote tool to have the full user experience. You're required to enter standard information such as your name, address, type of car and driving history. No surprises there! The items that might result in a discount on your policy are clearly labeled "discount opportunity," something we appreciated as it took the guesswork out of what could save us money. There are also clearly labeled help links to the right of each question that provide additional information. If you have questions that aren't answered, you can quickly reach a 21st Century agent by calling them, having them call you or using the chat functionality. One thing we did notice is that they don't offer a Spanish version of the site, which may be an issue for non-native speakers.
The downside of the quote process was that 21st Century required far more information about a variety of topics than the other companies we reviewed. They want to know whether you currently have auto insurance and the reasons why or why not, how much you pay and a number of other questions. We found this to be annoying and extraneous to the quoting process. They also wanted information on how you heard about them, and if we'd indicated a friend referred us, they'd require all of your friend's information. Even though they claim they are just going to reward your friend for this referral, the question and requirements seemed very intrusive.
Once you receive the final quote it can be easily adjusted for more or less coverage. The discounts you qualified for are indicated at the bottom of the screen, although the amount you saved isn't shown. 21st Century includes Security Advantage in your quote, a roadside assistance and medical/travel program that came free of charge—a nice touch. Customers can easily pay for the quote online with a variety of methods including credit card and eCheck. Or if you prefer, you can call them and pay over the phone.
Customers who would like more guidance about which insurance coverage levels to select can use the special 21st Century Coverage Advisor feature. This pop-up screen allows you to enter some basic information and then suggests what type and level of coverage you may need. 21st Century was the only company of those we reviewed that offered this particular benefit.
Our reviewers found 21st Century's quote process to be a little longer than other companies we reviewed, mostly due to the extra questions we mentioned above. Additionally, the final quote didn't offer as many bells and whistles and the separate 21st Century website wasn't as full featured as others we reviewed. We had a hard time searching for answers to questions, and outside of the unique and appreciated "Coverage Advisor" functionality, the online 21st Century experience didn't have much to recommend it. Customers agreed with us, giving 21st Century lower ratings than other auto insurers in website usability, claims satisfaction and overall satisfaction with their policy.
It's important to note that 21st Century offered some of the lowest premiums of all the insurance providers we reviewed, a major plus for buyers on a budget. However, these prices seem to come at the cost of slightly lower customer satisfaction. Also, 21st Century only offers coverage to good drivers, so if you have a spotty driving record you may be denied coverage.
21st Century offers insurance in the following states:
All states except Massachusetts
**Based on JD Power and Associates 2009/2010 Ratings
NextAdvisor Blog Headlines
Can I Protect My Family with Identity Guard?
May 17, 2013 - Q: I'm a single parent and interested in signing up for Identity Guard, but I also want to make sure my children have identity theft protection. Does Identity Guard offer any program that protects one parent and two children? A:
Does Internet Fax Have Busy Signals?
May 17, 2013 - Q: My employees are required to fax in their timeslips on Fridays. Sometimes they have to try 4-5 times before the fax will come through and get busy signals. Can Internet fax services accomodate this incoming volume without busy signals? A:
Customizable Diet Programs
May 16, 2013 - Dieting can be tough when you're a picky eater. That's why some diet programs allow you to add some personal preference to their meal plans. Out of the meal delivery services we've reviewed, we found Jenny Craig to be the
Does Cardstore's 'Add My Signature' Tool Actually Look Good?
May 16, 2013 - Cardstore recently added a new feature to its card customization called "Add my signature." This feature allows you to upload your real-life signature to the card. Naturally we thought this was an interesting feature, so we decided to test it out.
Top 5 Red Flags Of Online Dating
May 16, 2013 - Online Dating can be a fun and effective way to meet singles and develop long lasting meaningful relationships. But much like regular dating, you must be aware of certain signs that may tip you off to a bad personality or situation.
21st Century Forum Posts
- 21st Century Insurance Review
Here is NextAdvisor's review of 21st Century Insurance: http://www.nextadvisor.com/auto_insurance/21stcentury_review.php