Choosing an insurance company is tough. Just watch half an hour of television and you'll see two or three different companies advertised, each claiming to be better than the others. Where does the truth lie? Which one would give you the coverage you really need? Most of the trouble stems from not fully understanding what type of coverage you need. This can result in policyholders lacking the proper coverage for a given situation; after all, someone afraid of flooding might not realize most homeowner's insurance policies do not cover flood damage. With insurance rates on the rise, policyholders need to do everything they can to balance coverage with affordable premiums. 21st Century offers a broad range of coverage types from a trusted company. Take a look at what the company brings to the table.
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21st Century Insurance and Its History
21st Century Insurance was founded in 1958 — the 20th century, which is ironic when you consider the company's original name was 20th Century Insurance. AIG purchased 21st Century Insurance in 2005 and then sold it to the Farmer's Group 2009. Now that 21st Century is part of the Farmer's Group of insurance companies, it is the go-to for providing auto insurance to all of Farmer's customers.
Products and Services
Although 21st Century started out offering only auto insurance, it has expanded to offer a variety of different options.
21st Century started out offering auto insurance and continues that tradition today. The company is one of the go-to auto insurance writers for the Farmer's Group of Insurance Companies, offering multiple coverage options to fit any need or situation. 21st Century also offers auto insurance directly; if you wanted, you could purchase directly from the company rather than having it written for you from a third party.
21st Century offers full replacement coverage on your home and personal property through third-party affiliated companies. There are multiple payment options to help fit a variety of budgets, and if you're a 21st Century auto insurance customer you'll receive 10% off the cost of homeowner insurance.
If you are the primary provider for your household, then you want to ensure your family is protected if something happens to you. Life insurance is essential for any end-of-life expenses and to help relieve the financial burden that might fall on your family when they lose a major source of income.
In addition to auto, home, and life insurance, 21st Century offers other optional coverage that includes flood insurance, mechanical breakdown insurance, boater's insurance, personal watercraft insurance, and motorcycle and ATV insurance.
Rates and Premiums
One thing you should note is that some information is hard to come by on the 21st Century website; it's designed to drive potential customers toward obtaining a quote rather than finding out more about their coverage options. However, a quick example of the premiums offered show that a single, 23-year-old male might pay as much as $2,904 annually for auto insurance, while a single female of the same age might pay $1,145 annually.
What is the best product or service offered by 21st Century Insurance?
21 Century's best product is, without a doubt, the auto insurance. The company provides a wealth of educational information to help you understand the ins-and-outs of coverage, as well a step-by-step guide to filing a claim. Their Auto Insurance Information Center is a wellspring of informative materials.
On top of that, 21st Century's experience in providing auto insurance makes theirs some of the most sought out in the nation. If you're a Farmer's auto insurance customer, chances are it comes from 21st Century.
21st Century Auto Insurance
21st Century makes it difficult to find information about their available coverage, but here is what you need to know.
Liability, Collision, and Comprehensive Coverage
Liability is the minimum type of coverage required by law. It can be broken down into categories: bodily injury and personal property liability. Liability coverage provides both types.
Collision coverage provides protection from damage caused by collisions. Comprehensive coverage provides protection against all types of damage except those caused by collisions. Both of these coverage types together are considered full coverage and are usually necessary when leasing a vehicle.
Your rates usually increase after an accident, especially if you're at-fault. That said, accident forgiveness prevents your rates from increasing after your first at-fault accident if you've been accident-free for a specific length of time prior to obtaining the policy.
Tow Coverage and Gap Coverage
When you have an existing auto insurance coverage, 21st Roadside Assistance is included at no additional cost. This will cover up to $75 in towing costs and labor services, but you can also get additional coverage through specific Towing and Labor Coverage.
Gap coverage is a specific type of insurance that closes the gap between the remaining balance on your loan or lease and the actual value of the vehicle. If the vehicle is a total loss, you would be responsible for the difference in value. Gap coverage covers you against this loss. 21st Century provides gap coverage in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Nebraska, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
While you can file a claim over the phone, it's often easier to do it online. 21st Century Insurance makes this easy. Once you file a claim, someone will be in contact with you within one business day, and then an appraiser can be sent out within 48 to 72 hours if necessary.
The rates for these services will vary based on your driving history, age, and location. However, estimated quotes tend to skew toward the higher side. By going to 21st's website you can get an estimated quote.
Here are what other customers have to say about 21st Century Auto Insurance.
"I had a towing bill claim and it was a bit difficult to get them to understand that they owed payment of the bill both under the complimentary free $70 towing coverage and the additional $70 coverage for which I paid a premium. They no longer offer the complimentary free coverage. But this is very reasonable coverage for someone with an excellent driving record."
- Jim (Consumer Affairs)
"I had my first accident in my lifetime of driving that put me at fault because of CA laws even though I didn't actually cause it. My car cost less than 1000 to fix, of which I paid 500 for my deductible. My renewal went up more than double for 6 months. What good is having insurance if you get such high increases for a minor damage fender bender? I definitely will be shopping elsewhere in the future. I was very happy with them for many years, but no more. I would expect some increase, but over 100% increase is outrageous, especially with no prior accidents. Won't recommend them to anyone again."
- K. (Consumer Affairs)
21st Century Home Insurance
Your home is one of the largest investments you'll ever make. It's important that it's protected against all eventualities.
21st Century Home insurance is underwritten through Farmer's Insurance Group and Foremost Insurance Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The company offers full replacement cost coverage for your home, as well as multiple payment options to fit your needs.
This means your home is protected against the most common threats like fire, theft, vandalism, and other dangers. However, depending on your location, earthquake coverage may or may not be included. Flood coverage is often not included in homeowner's policies and must be purchased separately as an additional policy or policy option.
Providing an estimated rate for homeowners insurance is difficult, as rates will vary widely based on location, the size of your home, previous claims, and a bevy of other factors. However, 21st Century makes it easy to get an estimate via their website. All you have to do is type in your ZIP code, and you will be redirected to the Farmer's website where more information will be provided.
Here's what customers have to say about 21st Century's home insurance.
"Great company. I have home insurance with them and they are honest and very customer oriented. They have always been friendly, and I have had a friend have a claim that went through without any problems. Hopefully, I do not have any issues, but they have been helpful when getting the policy and answering questions afterward. Makes me feel a lot better I know they have been used with a fire issue and paid accordingly."
- Joseph (WalletHub)
"On 4/11/2015 my roof was damaged by high winds. I called 21st Century for assistance and to file a claim. I was told that they cannot provide an emergency roofer, I was on my own and if it rained (as forecast) I would not be covered if I did not perform emergency repairs. I have a $500 deductible but was told that the latest policy has a $2,600 deductible for wind and hail damage. This was more than my claim. I dealt with them since they were AIG Homeowners Insurance and this is my first claim. The agent was very unhelpful and condescending. DO NOT GET A POLICY FROM THIS COMPANY!"
- Joseph (Consumer Affairs)
21st Century Life Insurance
Ensuring your loved ones are protected in the event that something happens to you is essential. Here is a breakdown of the life insurance coverage provided by 21st Century.
All life insurance provided by 21st Century is written through Farmers. There are three main types of policies: accident-only, term life, and whole life. These are broken down into value term, simple term, graded whole, simple whole, and premier whole. The primary difference between these types of policies is the maximum value provided and the application requirements.
As with all types of insurance, life insurance policies vary wildly in cost. The accidental death coverage starts as low as $8 per month, but other policy types can't be estimated as easily. Based on your desired coverage, your existing health, and a variety of other factors, your cost may be much less or much more expensive than someone else's.
Here's what other customers have to say about 21st Century's life insurance.
"After researching many companies, I found that this was my best one for me. They agreed to let me pay every 6 months with no problem. When I was filling out the paperwork and did not understand, & asked for help, the representative was very understanding, & he made me very comfortable & willing to explain it without any hesitation. I would recommend anyone of my friends to use them without any hesitation!"
- Robbie (Consumer Affairs)
"Cost too much. Customer service is making in every way. Takes a long time to get through to a person, then half the time they're rude, indifferent, unconcerned."
- Gary (Consumer Affairs)
Aside from the primary types of insurance that 21st Century offers, there are a few optional types of coverage available to customers. These include flood insurance, auto mechanical breakdown insurance, antique auto insurance, motorcycle and ATV insurance, boaters insurance, and personal watercraft insurance. Because these types of insurance are far more niche, obtaining general estimates is all but impossible.
" With all these winter storms almost behind us I have the misfortune of being one of the few temporarily without a home due to flood. I have always been apprehensive about the rainfall in my area so I made sure that my homeowner's insurance with 21st Century included flood insurance. The walls and foundation soaked up the water like a sponge and the whole house is currently sagging into the ground. After the initial flooding, a claim adjuster was timely in getting to the property to assess the damage. It hurts to see a place you grew up in and a place where you wanted to raise your family reduced to shambles. Thankfully 21st Century has processed my claim and if I'm lucky I will be buying a new house soon. Nothing will ever replace my first home sentimentally, but thank god we don't have to live on the streets."
- JJameson (WalletHub)
21st Century Discounts
If you receive a quote that's a bit too high, don't worry. There are a number of different discounts available that you can utilize to reduce your premium payments each month.
Safe Driver Discount
If you have no points on your driving record for the last three years, you may be eligible for a discount on your premiums.
If you insure more than one vehicle under the same policy, you may qualify for general discounts on your premiums.
Driver's Education Discount
New drivers that take a driver education course might be able to knock off a percentage of their premium payments each month.
In an attempt to encourage good grades, 21st Century offers discounts on auto insurance for teen drivers that routinely score higher academic grades.
Defensive Driving Course
Even if you aren't a new driver, there's always more you can learn. Take a defensive driving course and reduce your monthly premiums.
Automobile Safety Features
If your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock breaks, air bags, and other safety features, you may qualify for additional discounts.
Not all discounts are available in all states, and some states might have additional discounts that aren't available elsewhere.
21st Century Strengths
There are a few areas where 21st Century excels above other companies.
- The interactive mobile app makes it easy to manage your account.
- 21st Century offers multiple auto insurance discounts.
- The company has excellent financial strength ratings.
- 21st Century offers competitive auto insurance rates.
21st Century Weaknesses
Of course, no matter how good a company may be, there are always areas where it can improve.
- 21st Century may not cover all of your insurance needs and may use other companies to fill the gaps.
- Premiums may increase at renewal through no fault of your own.
A Look at 21st Century's Umbrella Policy
A basic auto, home, or other policy might not be enough to cover your assets. If you are in possession of assets of substantial value, you might want to invest in a personal umbrella policy. This policy helps to extend coverage beyond the basics and gives additional liability protection. The policy offered by 21st Century Insurance lacks many details online, but if you call 800-450-1138, you can get a free consultation from a representative to help you determine how much additional coverage you need for your unique needs.
How to File a Claim
21st Century's claims department is open 7 days per week, 24 hours per day. You can file a claim either online or over the phone by calling 1-888-244-6163. Once your claim has been submitted, someone will reach out to you within one business day and then help you determine the next steps. If necessary, an appraiser can be dispatched within a maximum of 72 hours.
You can take your vehicle to a shop of your choice for repairs. For claims on other types of insurance, the adjuster and your insurance agent will help you through the next steps.
If you need to make a premium payment, you can do so online by going to the account website or by enrolling yourself in autopay. Autopay takes the hassle out of paying your bill each month and ensures you won't forget when a payment is due.
Reporting an Accident or Damage
If you need to report an accident or damage to your home, call the same number you would to make a claim. If you don't have that number on you at the time, you can reach out to the customer service department and they will redirect you to the proper department.
Here is what customers have to say about 21st Century overall:
"They've been easy to work with and had the lowest estimate of all insurers when I was searching for insurance coverage. Have only once had trouble with them during a premium increase which they later reduced."
- Susan (Consumer Affairs)
"For one thing, when calling it takes hours to reach anyone. They always seem to be in a meeting. I was told originally that I would be paying a higher rate because I had an accident on my record and it would drop off and my rate would go down in August. Then when my policy renewed, there was no change. I canceled, went back to American Family with more coverage and less money through them. 21st Century now says I owe them even though I canceled before the next payment came due. They are part of the Farmer's Insurance Company and are giving Farmers a bad name as well."
- James (Consumer Affairs)
Most Common Complaints
The most common complaints by 21st Century customers is the lack of communication. Once you reach a customer service agent, they are usually helpful — but multiple customers report the need to constantly pursue their agents to get their claim processed. Another common complaint is about premiums; when the time for renewal comes, customers often find their rates have increased through no fault of their own.
How to Cancel
Unlike many insurance companies, 21st Century makes it easy to cancel your policy. You can go here to find a more thorough explanation of how to cancel. Be warned, however, that the company will try to keep you as a customer and will offer various incentives to prevent you from canceling your policy.
You can cancel at any time, but each form of cancellation requires a specific process. Whether you cancel shortly after starting a new policy, during the midterm, or at renewal, you will need to submit a request through email, fax, or regular mail.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding 21st Century Insurance.
Do products/services offered by 21st Century differ from state to state?
Yes. Insurance regulations vary from state to state, meaning that some of the products will be different depending on your location.
How much does 21st Century insurance go up after an accident and/or speeding ticket?
The average increase for an auto insurance policy after a ticket is 10%. If you combine that with the potential loss of discounts like the Safe Driving Discount, then insurance rates can increase significantly.
What does comprehensive insurance cover with 21st Century?
Comprehensive coverage provides protection against all sorts of damage not caused by collisions.
Does my 21st Century insurance cover a rental car?
21st Century covers rental cars as long as one of the vehicles on your existing auto insurance policy has physical damage coverage.
What does my rental insurance with 21st Century cover?
Renters insurance protects your personal possessions against theft and fire.
Does my 21st Century car insurance cover me in Canada or anywhere outside the USA?
Your 21st Century insurance will provide coverage while in Canada as long as you have special identification cards. However, your policy does not provide coverage in Mexico.
Does 21st Century insurance use credit scores?
While your credit score does not directly affect your rates, the majority of insurance companies throughout the country use credit-score based insurance scores. What this means is that your premiums will be based on a variety of factors, only one of which is your credit score.
What are 21st Century' financial strengths?
21st Century carries an "excellent" financial strength rating from A.M. Best, which means the company is able to pay out any claims made against it.
How long does it take for 21st Century insurance to pay for a claim?
While different states have different regulations on the length of times take to be paid out, the average length of time is around 15 days.
Does 21st Century insurance have gap coverage?
21st Century offers gap coverage in the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Nebraska, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Does 21st Century insurance have roadside assistance?
Yes, 21st Century offers roadside assistance as part of its auto insurance policies.
What are the deductibles on 21st Century insurance?
The deductible on your insurance policy will vary based on your individual policy. Higher premiums mean lower deductibles and vice-versa.
Will adding a teenager to my policy will increase the cost?
Adding another driver to your policy will increase the cost, particularly if they are a high-risk driver.
Will my rate go down if I make my payments on time?
While your rate won't decrease, making on-time payments reduces the risk of cancellation and ensures you have no lapses in coverage.
Should I opt for automatic payments and renewal or shop around after my policy is done?
Automatic payments are useful in ensuring you never miss a payment due date. However, 21st Century often increases rates at the time of renewal. It is always a good idea to evaluate your current policy and its standing before committing to another contract.
Does 21st Century cover third party liability?
Yes. Liability insurance protects you financially against claims made against you by a third party.
Can I add up my family member's car to my insurance plan?
You can add a family member's car to your plan as long as they live in your household.
Can I get my car repaired by my own mechanic or are there specific repair shops I should get my car fixed from?
21st Century allows you to have your car repaired at your shop of choice.
What happens when I pay throughout the year without filing any claims?
Depending on the company, there may be discounts available for people who don't make claims for a specific length of time.
What are the dividend policies offered by 21st Century?
21st Century offers dividend life insurance policies through Farmer's whole life insurance policies.
Does 21st century insurance cover motorcycles?
21st Century offers optional motorcycle and ATV coverage.
Thinking of Going with 21st Century—Our Verdict
21st Century has a solid history of providing reliable insurance policies and strong financial strength. That said, the policies offered directly by 21st Century are limited. Their home, life, and other policies are written by Farmer's Insurance and other affiliated companies. That said, Farmer's also has a great reputation and history that makes them a good option in lieu of anything else.
While 21st Century might not always be the most affordable (and their habit of increasing rates at renewal time raises a few eyebrows), the company is certainly not the worst option. If you need insurance written by a company with a proven track record, 21st Century is definitely an option. Take the time to evaluate your needs and balance them against what 21st Century has to offer before making your decision.