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21st Century auto insurance review 2021

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

    Article Highlights

    21st Century auto insurance is a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance and has been doing business since 1958. The 21st Century insurance company is only available in California and is best for residents of the state who are comfortable with an online-only insurer for low-cost car insurance.

    21st Century Quickpoints

    • Region offered: California
    • Market share: Subsidiary of Farmers Insurance, which represents a 2.9% market share.
    • AM Best rating/financial strength profile: A (Excellent)
    • Specialty coverages: Collision, comprehensive and SR22s
    • Online-only provider

    Although 21st Century car insurance is an online-only carrier, it’s currently only available in California.

    21st Century customer satisfaction and complaints

    21st Century insurance reviews are limited, since the carrier only operates at this time in California. J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction study is a good place to start research about an insurance carrier. Unfortunately, 21st Century insurance ratings are not available from J.D. Power because the carrier does not rank in California. However, it’s parent company receives a score of 801 out of 1,000 in the California portion of the 2020 J.D. Power study.  

    21st Century reviews and customer complaints are not available through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) database either, which may be a reflection of either the absence of complaints or the relative size of the provider overall. With general online feedback, the typical 21st Century auto insurance review reflects appreciation for the low cost of coverage but identifies some difficulties with the claim process.

    21st Century auto insurance discounts

    21st Century provides basic, low-cost car insurance. To save further, the carrier offers car insurance discounts including:

    Safe driver discounts

    Although 21st Century is one of the few carriers willing to work with higher-risk drivers, the insurer does provide discounts for policyholders with a clean driving record. The safe driver discounts can save you up to 20% and include:

    • Driver education: Completing a safety or defensive driving course can help reduce your car insurance costs.
    • Clean driving record: Avoid accidents and tickets for three years for lower premiums.

    Vehicle-related discounts

    Your car may help you qualify for up to 15% off for having safety features, such as airbags and anti-lock brakes. If your car is equipped with a security system or alarm, you can also potentially save on auto insurance.

    Multi-vehicle discount

    A multi-vehicle discount applies to households or policyholders who have more than one auto to insure. Insure more than one car with 21st Century and you’ll get savings for all the vehicles on the policy. 

    21st Century auto insurance premium length

    21st Century offers semi-annual premiums that renew every six months instead of every year. Semi-annual policies may seem like a great idea so you’re not locked into one insurer for long, but they can have more drawbacks than benefits.

    Your car insurance premiums may go up at every renewal and you could also lose any discounts you qualified for. It’s often a preferred choice to stick with an annual renewal so you don’t have to worry about such frequent changes. 

    Regardless of how long your term is for, canceling your auto insurance with 21st Century takes time. You’d need to provide written notice in advance before your policy auto-renews or if you’re switching or moving out of state. The company does not specify how far in advance you must notify them, but it’s typically recommended to send your claim by fax, email or mail as soon as possible.

    21st Century vs. other insurance companies

    When comparing 21st Century auto insurance to other regional carriers in the state of California consider the type of driver looking for coverage. 21st Century is best for drivers needing low-cost coverage and an SR-22 and don’t mind working with a carrier via phone calls or online-only. Rates are cheapest for drivers with minimal accidents or tickets, although insurance coverage tends to be basic. 

    Mercury Insurance is cheapest for a bigger range of drivers, including those with a low credit score. The General, another specialty California insurer, doesn’t have as many car insurance discounts but does offer other types of insurance, such as home, recreational vehicle and renters insurance.

    21st Century mobile app and digital experience

    21st Century provides all its services online. You won’t have access to a local office or an in-person insurance agent. The digital experience could be better. You can contact customer support and pay your bills from the mobile app, but that’s about it. To file a claim, you’d need to log in to the online portal or call customer support.

    In the spotlight

    • Low-cost, online-only car insurance
    • Additional discounts for safe drivers
    • Only available for California drivers
    • Liability, comprehensive, collision, roadside service and SR-22 certification available

    The carrier is a five-time honoree of the ACE Awards for Customer Excellence. Its parent company, Farmers Insurance is actively involved in fundraising for communities and volunteering efforts nationwide. 

    21st Century car insurance is an alternative insurance carrier for drivers who have trouble finding affordable car insurance elsewhere. It’s backed by highly reputable Farmers Insurance and designed to provide coverage for a niche of California residents who don’t mind handling their car insurance needs digitally instead of through a local office.

    Although 21st Century started as a cheap car insurance company with no frills, policyholders have remarked that coverage isn’t as cheap as it used to be. Part of the reason premiums are no longer affordable for some is because 21st Century regularly raises premiums at renewal. 

    For this reason, before you sign up for coverage, get a few 21st Century car insurance quotes for different limits and deductibles to compare with what other car insurance companies have to offer. Make note of when your policy will be up for renewal and get quotes in advance to determine whether you’d like to renew — or switch car insurance companies.

    Cynthia Paez Bowman


    Cynthia splits her time between Los Angeles, CA and San Sebastian, Spain. She travels to Africa and the Middle East regularly to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development.

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