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Review of 21st Century Auto Insurance & Premium Price Comparison for Drivers

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Updated November 1st, 2020

21st century auto insurance uses independent agents and multiple underwriting companies to provide coverage to all 50 states.

However, their mixed reviews, along with average cost and coverage, prevent them from standing out against the rest of the pack.

The services they offer, which has excellent reviews, are their roadside assistance and rental reimbursement coverage.

I will go into more detail below. 

ProsCons
Roadside assistance is well reviewed by consumers. Initial quotes are much higher than average.
Independent agents can give a personal feel for drivers. Some agents are known to increase premiums at renewal.
Rental car coverage and reimbursement is rated well by consumers. The claims process has been reported as fairly slow from many consumers.

Background on 21st Century Car Insurance

21st Century Insurance was founded in 1958.

They were bought by AIG in 2005, then by Farmers Insurance Group in 2009.

They benefit pretty well from being owned by Farmers.

They’re the 5th largest insurer in the United States, allowing 21st Century to provide insurance and various products across all 50 states.

Being owned by Farmers also gives them the stability of a major national company.

Below I have provided a snapshot of ratings. 

CompanyRating
Better Business Bureau RatingA+
AM Best Rating A
JD Power Rating2 / 5
NAIC Complaint Index.98 (Above average)

The JD Power & Associates is an experience rating, which is 2 out of 5.

I have to agree with the low rating.

The experience of getting an online quote is not great.

In fact, their website states you can only get online quotes in some states.

Which ones?

It doesn’t say.

That is a real disappointment since today’s culture, such as millennials, uses online portals. 

In my opinion, their website seems to have agents in mind.

Comparing quotes to Progressive, Liberty Mutual, Esurance, and State Farm for 25 year old driver.Note: Illustrated above are quotes for a 25-year-old driver. In this instance, they are more expensive than all except Esurance. They are more than 10% expensive than Progressive and State Farm. When I queried for quotes, they seem to be expensive for young drivers. For older drivers, more than 40 years of age, they are fairly competitive with national companies. There is more information in the rate table below.

Offers Coverage in all 50 States through Several Underwriters

21st Century underwrites its own auto insurance in California and Hawaii.

For auto insurance in every other state, they have several subsidiary companies that all use the “21st Century” brand.

Most subsidiaries fall under Farmer’s massive umbrella so that you can think of them and their sub-companies as the budget insurance arm of Farmers.

Their full list of subsidiary companies in each state can be found on their website.

Below I have chosen 10 states where they have a large number of written premiums.

In all instances, they were more expensive than the state average quote for a 30-year-old driver.

I pulled the average for customer satisfaction for each state.

The states where they are 10 to 15% higher are California, North Dakota, and Texas.

There are states where they are highly competitive, such as Delaware.

I didn’t include all states on the list. Only those where they have a high amount of written premiums. 

StatePercentage Rate Hike 21st Century QuoteState AverageDifferenceSatisfaction Out of 5
Arizona4%$1,522$1,400+$1223
California5%$1,823$1,678+$1453.5
Hawaii5%$1,099$1,095+$43.5
Iowa2.5%$1,123$1,058+$654.0
Kansas2.9%$1,453$1,358+$954.0
Kentucky2.8%$1,621$1,503+$1183.5
Nebraska3.5%$1,388$1,317+$713.6
North Dakota4.0%$1,925$1,710+$2153.0
Ohio3.4%$1,330$1,160+$1703.8
Texas4.5%$1,488$1,231+$2573.4

The fleet of Independent Agents

As a company itself, they are a direct-buy insurer; it sells Farmers’ insurance products through a network of 50,000+ agents.

This gives you the benefit of a personalized touch, but it also means dealing with an agent who is likely paid on commission and who might try to oversell you on insurance products.

21st compared to State Farm, Progressive, and Esurance for 30 y/o driver by price. Note: 21st Century offered quotes at $1,411 for a 30-year-old driver. Which is more expensive than all carriers except Esurance at $1,489. They are competitive with Liberty Mutual at $1,398. However, State Farm and Progressive offer substantially lower quotes at $1,275 and $1,319, respectfully.

The website has Limited Information

If you would rather learn more about their products through their website instead of contacting an agent, you’re out of luck.

Their website overall contains very little information about its products and coverage.

Instead, most of the site consists of general insurance shopping tips.

They state that you can file claims and service your policy through their site or even access some info through their mobile app, which appears to work smoothly.

The best way to get more information on what products they offer in your state would be to give one of their agents a call.

21st century compared to 4 carriers by price for 40 y/o drivers. Note: Illustrated above, 21st is more expensive ($943) than carriers except Esurance ($965). They are fairly competitive with Liberty Mutual at $922. On the other hand, Progressive and State Farm offer substantially lower quotes at $897 and $902, respectfully. Depending on the state you reside in, if you are looking for cheaper coverage, I will get quotes from them to see how they compare.

Comparing Quotes to Competitors

21st Century advertises that you can save $300 by switching insurance companies.

Looking at their rates in multiple states actually shows that their rates are pretty average.

Across the 50 states, their average cost of insurance is $132 per month.

That’s $14 above the national average of $118.

Across multiple driver profiles and states, I felt they fell in the middle of the road as far as price.

Below I have compared them to top companies for a variety of profile drivers.

Pretty much in all instances, they are more expensive than Progressive, Liberty Mutual, Travelers, and State Farm.

Only Esurance is more expensive.

If you compare them with all companies, they will fall into the top 10 most likely.

As mentioned earlier, there are a few states where they do exceptionally well.

Alaska, Delaware, and Nevada, to name a few. 

Driver Profile21st CenturyProgressiveLiberty MutualEsuranceTravelersState Farm
25 y/o $1,843$1,622$1,803$1,909$1,744$1,655
30 y/o $1,411$1,319$1,398$1,489$1,376$1,275
30 y/o (1 driving violation)$1,766$1,634$1,800$1,889$1,721$1,611
40 y/o$943$897$922$965$945$902
45 y/o$798$712$743$820$803$709
55 y/o $687$643$702$742$659$639

Offers Standard Discounts

21st Century does not offer a complete list of discounts on its website, which claims it varies by state.

So, contact them for details specific to where you live.

In general, I found that they offer a few standard discounts such as:

  • Good student
  • Anti-theft device 
  • Good driver
  • Defensive driver 
  • Multi-vehicle
  • Multiple Policy

21st Century compared to Liberty Mutual, Progressive, and State Farm by quote for 45 y/o driver.Note: Illustrated above, 21st is offering quotes at $798 for a 45-year-old driver. Which is cheaper than Esurance at $820. However, they are more expensive than State Farm, Progressive, and Liberty Mutual. They are competitive with top carriers for older drivers.

Unique Perks Offered

Because they provide so little information on their website, there aren’t many unique features that help them stand out from other companies.

After some research, their coverage options appear to be fairly limited. The unique perks we could find are their complimentary roadside assistance and network of lifetime warranty repair shops.

Complimentary Roadside Assistance

Their roadside assistance stood out to us because it’s complimentary with every policy.

They provide coverage up to $75 per incident.

While this isn’t an amazing amount of coverage ($75 generally only covers short distance towing), this can still cover some basic roadside needs, and it’s nice that 21st offers this for free.

With other insurers, roadside assistance is typically an optional feature that costs extra.

Comparing quotes from top companies for 55 y/o driver by price. Note: Illustrated above, 21st is offering quotes at $687 for a 55-year-old driver. Which is cheaper than Liberty Mutual and Esurance at $702 and $742, respectfully. They are more expensive than State Farm and Progressive at $639 and $643, respectfully. As mention, 21st can offer competitive quotes for older drivers. In my opinion, they are tailored more for older drivers rather than the younger generation.

Circle of Dependability

As a part of Farmers, 21st Century benefits from Farmers’ “Circle of Dependability.”

This is a network of repair companies approved by Farmers that offer a lifetime warranty on repairs.

The policyholder can choose any shop within the network, and that shop works directly with the claims adjuster to get the work done for you.

Official Reviews by Agencies

21st Century has received mixed reviews from various companies and sites.

Despite an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, they are not accredited and have only a 1-star customer review rating.

There are 87 customer complaints filed with the BBB in the past 3 years the company has answered.

The majority of the complaints were categorized under “product and service issues” along with “billing and collections.”

In JD Power’s 2020 national auto insurance survey, 21st Century ranked number 6 out of 16 in California with 4 out of 5 power circles.

Farmers Insurance Group also made JD Power’s list in a few other regions.

Farmers weren’t ranked as well, though, with 2-3 power circles depending on the region.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews vary widely, as well.

On average, customer feedback sites give them 3.3 out of 5 stars.

Consumer Affairs had the highest number of customer reviews with 181.

However, the average rating there was only 1.5 stars.

Customer reviews focused mainly on poor service, and unexplained rate increases.

So, as with several other auto insurers, don’t be surprised to see your rates jump significantly after just one violation or wreck.

21st Century doesn’t appear to offer any accident forgiveness here.

On the plus side, there are fewer customer complaints about the claims process.

This could be because the claims are made through a Farmers-based system while 21st Century runs customer service in-house.

Bottom Line & Overall Review

Backed by one of the largest insurance companies in the US, 21st Century has stability, but their run of the mill coverage and rates fail to make them stand out from the rest of the pack.

They are less like a robust, independent insurance company and more like the Farmers’ budget insurance arm.

Which is a good thing, in my opinion, in some instances.

Why?

You’ll know they can pay out a claim with the financial backing from a large company such as Farmers. 

If you don’t have unique insurance needs and are fine with basic coverage with nothing special added, it would probably be worth giving them a call and seeing if their rates are competitive to what you are paying now.

References

https://www.bbb.org/

https://www.nerdwallet.com/

https://insurance.mo.gov/21ST

Greg Fowler

Greg Fowler

Managing Member of AutoInsureSavings LLC, Greg has been in the insurance industry for 12 years and enjoys rebuilding vehicles. His goal is to help drivers save on anything related to automobiles. Travel and enjoying the outdoors are some of his hobbies. The best way to reach him is at his Twitter or Facebook Profile.

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