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21st Century car insurance review

Affordable car insurance for California drivers, even if you need an SR-22

finder.com's rating: 3.5 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get a quote if you want cheap rates for a no-frills auto insurance policy.
  • Pick something else if you want more features or top-rated service.
  • Drivers in California with a history of accidents or claims can get a policy.

Included free

Roadside assistance

New car protection

Accident forgiveness

Details

States served California
Roadside assistance Included free
Accident forgiveness Yes
New car protection No
Pay schedule 12 months, monthly
Claims methods online
Rideshare coverage No
SR-22 support Yes

Pros

  • Multiple discounts available
  • Digital convenience
  • SR-22 available
  • Backed by Farmers Insurance

Cons

  • Limited availability
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Six-month policies only
Anti-theft device discount Yes
Bundling discount Yes
Defensive driving discount Yes
Good student discount Yes
Loyalty discount Yes
Homeowner discount No
Military discount No
Safety device discount Yes
Special employment discount No
Usage-based discount No
Other discounts California based discount, get special discount if you live in Californa
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Review by


Roslyn McKenna is an insurance expert who's driven to help people get a great deal on insurance to protect their families and finances. Roslyn earned a BA in writing and communications from Maryville College and has written professionally for more than a decade, showing up on Bankrate, MSN and Reader's Digest.

Expert review

Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, 21st Century is an insurance company that has offered auto insurance coverage in California since 1958. It’s part of a larger network through its parent company, Farmers Insurance, which lends it a stronger financial backing.

21st Century prides itself on a quick claims process that you can manage through its mobile app, among other app-based services. However, the company receives low customer satisfaction ratings overall and customer reviews are less than stellar siting billing issues and slow claims payouts.

As an insurer that accepts high-risk drivers, its no-frills policies don’t cover much outside the basics like comprehensive, collision and roadside assistance. So unless you need SR-22 insurance in California, you may want to compare other options that have better customer service ratings or extra perks.

How to get a free quote with 21st Century car insurance

You can apply for auto insurance coverage with 21st Century by phone at 888-535-9410. Otherwise, you can get a quote online with these steps:

  1. Visit the 21st Century home page.
  2. Fill in your ZIP code and click Start your quote.
  3. Fill out your personal information, vehicle details and driver details.
  4. If you’re satisfied with your quote, fill in your information to purchase your policy.

What do I need to apply?

You’ll need some basic information at the ready when you’re applying for a policy.

  • Personal information including first and last name, date of birth and gender
  • Address including ZIP code
  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Financial information

What car insurance discounts can I get with 21st Century?

21st Century offers a number of discounts on its car insurance policies, but you’ll find a much longer list from most insurers. Here are a few of the many programs it offers.

  • Antitheft. Receive an average discount of 15% for having an approved antitheft system installed.
  • Driver training. You can get up to 10% off your premium if you’re under 21 and complete a state-approved driver training course.
  • Good driver. Save 20% or more by keeping a clean driving record for three years. The discount can grow the longer you go without racking up points.
  • Good student. Students under the age of 25 can receive an average of 15% off for maintaining a B average or better.
  • Mature driver. If you’re 55 or older and complete an approved defensive driving course, you could qualify for a discount of around 2%.
  • Multicar. Snag this discount by insuring multiple vehicles or drivers under the same policy.

    What perks does 21st Century offer?

    While 21st Century’s auto insurance may be no-frills, the provider does offer a number of special programs to cater to the needs of its customers.

    • Easy claims. Claims go through a network of 12,500 claims professionals for straightforward service.
    • Direct appraisal. Visit your preferred repair shop, or 21st Century can recommend a shop in your area — and all repair work is guaranteed for life.
    • Mobile app. The 21st Century mobile app lets you pay bills, use roadside services and get access to helpful videos and articles on auto insurance.
    • Online signature. Sign forms and documents online using an electronic signature without the need to mail in or fax documents.
    • Roadside assistance. This provider offers free roadside help with a hotline customers can use to receive immediate assistance.

    21st Century car insurance reviews and complaints

    Customer ratings are average or slightly below average for 21st Century. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives 21st Century an A+ rating for its handling of customer complaints. However, it scored only 1 out of 5 stars for its BBB customer reviews, and the company has seen a little over 30 complaints filed in the past three years.

    Most complaints center on billing issues and customers not understanding 21st Century’s cancellation fee, but other customers mention problems getting the documents they need or getting responses during the claims process. Other customers report having their policy dropped without sufficient notice for late policy payments.

    To put these in perspective, 21st Century receives a 2.22 from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners complaint index for private passengers. Since the industry standard is 1.00, the insurer’s score shows that it sees many more customer complaints than normal.

    Must read: A note about customer reviews

    Consumer ratings and reviews can give valuable insight into what it’s like to deal with a company as a customer, but they rarely tell the whole story. Remember that customers don’t usually rate something unless they want to rant, which is why organizations like the BBB provide independent assessments alongside reviews from the public.

    Our star ratings for 21st Century, explained

    Finder’s car insurance experts rate 21st Century above average because of its solid BBB score and strong AM Best financial rating. However, the company’s basic list of coverage and discounts available brought down its overall score.

    Compare alternatives to 21st Century

    Look at other companies’ coverage, benefits and cost to see how they compare to 21st Century. Then, tap Get quotes to see your customized rate.

    Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
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    Pretected
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    The AARP Auto Insurance Program from the Hartford
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    Clearcover
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    Root
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    What car insurance coverage can I get with 21st Century?

    21st Century offers full-coverage auto insurance to residents of California.

    • Collision and comprehensive damage. Pays for damages to your car caused by other cars or objects, fire, flooding, hail, theft or vandalism.
    • Liability protection. Pays for property and bodily damages that result from an accident you’ve caused.
    • Personal injury protection. Covers the cost of doctors, hospitalization and even funerals if you or a passenger is injured or killed in a car accident, no matter who’s at fault.
    • Rental car reimbursement. Get coverage for a rental car while yours is in the shop for more than a day.
    • SR-22 insurance. An SR-22 certificate of insurance is often required after major driving infractions, and 21st Century can help you file for one.
    • Towing and labor coverage. You’re covered if your car needs a tow.
    • Uninsured motorists coverage. Pays for damages or injuries to you and your passengers resulting from a hit-and-run accident or an uninsured driver, including medical expenses and lost wages.
    • Underinsured motorists coverage. Bridges the gap between someone else’s policy limits and the actual cost of your medical expenses after an accident.

    Frequently asked questions about 21st Century

    Car insurance ratings

    ★★★★★ — Excellent

    ★★★★★ — Good

    ★★★★★ — Average

    ★★★★★ — Subpar

    ★★★★★ — Poor

    Our insurance team analyzes car insurance providers to help you choose the best car insurance for you.

    We rank insurers from one to five stars based on key factors including customer satisfaction, policy options, price, billing, claims, and support. We create these rankings to help you narrow down an insurance provider that best suits your budget and coverage needs.

    Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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