California drivers looking for plenty of discount opportunities and free roadside assistance might find 21st Century to be an attractive car insurance provider. However, the company doesn’t sell its own home insurance policies; instead, it partners with Farmers.
Founded in 1958, 21st Century Insurance is a small subsidiary of Farmers Insurance and currently only offers auto insurance policies in California. It does most of its business online and over the phone, so 21st Century is best for people who are fine with not having a personal agent.
21st Century offers rates that are a hint better than average relative to national auto insurers, though it is more expensive for drivers with accidents. Also, complaints about the company included several issues with claims and quick cancellations of policies because of missed payments.
The company operates online and by phone, and its policies are available in California. It offers a helpful feature that allows customers to change coverages and alter payment plans online.
21st Century car insurance coverage
When you’re shopping for car insurance coverage, it’s important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. For instance, most states require a minimum amount of car insurance to drive a vehicle. Alternatively, if you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance.
21st Century offers few bells and whistles with its auto policies, something that may help keep rates down. Besides the typical types of coverage offered, 21st Century provides complimentary roadside assistance as well as up to $1,000 of equipment coverage if you buy comprehensive or collision insurance.
21st Century also offers new car replacement coverage if you have a newer vehicle for an extra fee. This coverage pays the value of a new car of the same make and model if your car is totaled in an accident.
Like other auto insurance companies, 21st Century Insurance offers standard coverage options such as:
- Liability coverage. Suppose you’re legally responsible for a collision that caused another person’s injuries or property damage. In that case, liability insurance will pay for expenses resulting from the incident, such as medical or car repair costs, and attorney fees if they bring a lawsuit against you. Liability insurance is required to drive legally in California and most other states.
- Collision coverage. Let’s say you’re in an accident with another vehicle and your car is damaged or totaled. In this case, collision coverage will help pay to repair or replace the vehicle, regardless of who caused the crash.
- Comprehensive coverage. If your vehicle is damaged by something other than a collision with another vehicle, comprehensive coverage can pay for repairs or a replacement. For example, damage resulting from vandalism, fire, hail, flooding or a natural disaster like a tornado is covered under comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive insurance also covers collisions with animals as well as vehicle theft.
Collision and comprehensive coverage are both optional and pay out up to the value of your car if it’s totaled or stolen, minus your deductible.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage pays for medical costs after an accident caused by a driver who is uninsured or has insufficient insurance coverage. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is optional in California.
Also available in California is “uninsured motorist property damage” coverage, or UMPD. It pays for repairs to your vehicle if you’re hit by an insured driver. The UMPD coverage limit in California is $3,500 and state law says the uninsured driver must be identified in order for you to make a UMPD claim—meaning hit and runs aren’t covered under UMPD in California. Another option in these cases is to use your collision coverage.
Additional car insurance options from 21st Century
- Roadside assistance. As a 21st Century policyholder, you receive roadside assistance benefits free of charge. The 21st Century Roadside Assistance program offers 24-hour services such as towing and lock-out assistance.
- Antique car insurance. In addition to personal auto coverage offerings, 21st Century sells antique or classic car insurance coverage. However, the vehicle must meet specific requirements to qualify for coverage. Some requirements include: The car must be over 19 years old, be in good condition and be kept in a fully enclosed, locked garage.
- Rental reimbursement. If your car is undrivable because of an accident covered by your policy, this coverage helps pay for a rental or other transportation costs. It can compensate you up to a certain dollar amount per day, and up to an overall maximum amount.
- SR-22. If you need to file an SR-22 insurance form, 21st Century can do it on your behalf. An SR-22 is a form an insurance company files with your state that proves you have the state’s minimum car liability insurance requirements.
Refer a Good Friend Program
The 21st Century Refer a Good Friend Program helps you earn gift cards for referring your friends and family. For example, if you’re a 21st Century customer and you refer a friend or family member to receive a free quote, you can be eligible to receive a $25 gift card for companies like Walmart, Starbucks or Lowe’s.
In addition, if your friend or family member buys a 21st Century auto insurance policy, you can receive a $50 American Express card once the policy has been active for 60 days.
21st Century car insurance discounts
The list of discounts 21st Century offers is not as exhaustive as some of the larger national insurers. However, the company provides most standard discounts.
Drivers who have avoided an accident or ticket for four or five years can benefit from the pairing of good and superior driver discounts that 21st Century offers. Those discounts give drivers breaks on their insurance premiums if they go a certain amount of time — three to five years — without an incident.
However, drivers with marks on their records, or those who could benefit from discounts connected to their profession or for taking a defensive driving course, could look to other companies, such as State Farm or Geico.
To help drivers cut insurance costs, 21st Century offers several discounts, including:
- Good driver discount: If you go without getting into any collisions or receiving traffic violations for three consecutive years, you may qualify for a discount.
- Superior driver discount: If you sustain your good driving record for more than three years, you may qualify for savings.
- Mature driver discount: Drivers over age 55 who take a state-approved driving course can qualify for this price break.
- Good student discount: High school or college students can qualify for a discount if they are under age 25 and receive a “B” average or better in school.
- Multi-car discount: If you insure more than one vehicle with 21st Century, you can be eligible for a discount.
- Anti-theft discount: Drivers who have cars equipped with anti-theft features can cut their auto insurance costs.
- Paperless & autopay discount: If you enroll in electronic document delivery and sign up for autopay, you could receive a discount.
Other 21st Century tools and benefits
21st Century Insurance offers the following perks that may be of interest to drivers looking for insurance in California:
- Mobile app: Although its reviews are not especially favorable, 21st Century Insurance does have a mobile app, which may be attractive to policyholders who prefer to handle their policy digitally.
- Free roadside assistance: Another feature not always offered by other insurers, 21st Century automatically signs up policyholders for roadside assistance, free of charge.
- Digital articles: The company’s website features how-to and informational articles to help readers navigate auto insurance and make informed decisions about coverage and policy limits.
- Renters insurance: You can also buy renters insurance through Toggle, a sister company of 21st Century, with rates starting at $5 per month.
21st Century car insurance complaint comparison
The level of auto insurance complaints against 21st Century is significantly higher than other auto insurers, according to complaints compiled by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
The industry average is 1.0, so a number lower than that means a company has fewer complaints than average. At 2.22, 21st Century checks in at nearly double the industry average. Most complaints concerned delays in paying claims and unsatisfactory claims settlements and offers.
For the past three years (which is the extent of data available), complaints about 21st Century auto insurance have been above the industry average. For this reason, you should consider other auto insurance companies.
Is 21st Century a good insurance company?
California drivers may want to add 21st Century to their list when requesting online car insurance quotes. The company’s rates are lower than the California average, and it offers a respectable list of discounts that could help you save even more.
According to customer reviews, the 21st Century app has some functionality issues, but having an app at all is somewhat rare for a small, regional company. To find out more about the company’s quality of service, it may be worth asking friends or family with 21st Century Insurance about their experience — especially since you can’t turn to J.D. Power ratings.
How much car insurance do you need?
Most states require a minimum amount of car insurance, but you’ll likely want to have more than minimum coverage. Some drivers opt to get full coverage to help protect themselves against any type of accident. Remember, full coverage isn’t a type of policy, but generally a combination of required and optional coverages.
However, full coverage doesn’t include everything. Extras like roadside assistance and gap coverage may have to be added separately.
Full coverage car insurance may include:
|Coverage type||What it pays for|
|Bodily injury liability||Medical costs due to injuries or deaths from an accident you caused.|
|Property damage liability||Repair costs for property you damaged in an accident.|
|Uninsured motorist bodily injury liability||Medical costs after an accident with an uninsured driver.|
|Uninsured motorist property damage coverage||Repair costs after an accident with an uninsured driver.|
|Collision coverage||Repair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who is at fault.|
|Comprehensive coverage||Repair costs from events outside your control — including weather events, hitting an animal while driving, theft and vandalism.|
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