Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert

UPDATED: Sep 28, 2020

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If you have seen the new 21st Century Car Insurance commercials, you probably haven’t forgotten the sad-faced comedian who gets into all sorts of scrapes and is rescued by the valiant insurance company. 21st Century Car Insurance is a company which has been branching into targeted advertising as an attempt to gain some of the younger insurance market, who expect funny and eye-catching television and internet advertising as part of the draw of the company.

21st Century History

While you may not have realized it, 21st Century has been around for over 50 years. Founded in 1958, 21st Century was one of the first companies to capitalize on the direct-to-customer marketing strategies which have been so successfully used in recent years by companies such as Geico and Progressive. Of course, direct marketing is nothing new; as long ago as the Depression, insurance companies were marketing directly to customers through mail. However, with the upsurge of automobile insurance business through the internet, telephone, and television advertising, more attention is being paid to the benefits of direct marketing, and more and more companies are abandoning the “hometown agent” system to take advantage of the large customer base available through these modalities.

In its early years, 21st Century Insurance was a relatively small company, and as such went through several sales to larger firms which “took over” the running of the company. Following a series of takeovers and sales, 21st Century was fully purchased by the AIG group in 2007. However, various problems in AIG related to the economic crash of its other divisions led to the sale of 21st Century to the Farmers group in 2009, when AIG got out of the car insurance business altogether.

Today, 21st Century is a branch of the Farmers Insurance Group, a huge company currently owned by Zurich Financial Services, and diversified into almost every form of insurance known to man. 21st Century is Farmer’s attempt to move into the low-cost insurance market, and the acquisition of 21st Century allows Farmers to offer reasonable insurance premiums to auto customers while backing claims with the financial strength of the third-largest insurance company in the nation. Interestingly enough, Farmers also offers automobile insurance policies, but the prices do not compare with those of 21st Century Insurance, which is a dedicated company specializing in lower car insurance premiums. The final takeover of 21st Century by Farmers allowed the company to expand successfully and still maintain the strength and stability it needed to pay claims.

This is not to say that 21st Century is a “knock off” company. Instead, it is a branch of a larger entity which has one specific purpose: offering good automobile insurance coverage at a reasonable price. In this regard, 21st Century has been growing by leaps and bounds as more and more people become aware of its low prices and great policy offerings.

21st Century Insurance uses a very streamlined business model, with a no-nonsense website which encourages customers to manage their accounts online. The reason for this is simple: the less personal attention needed to manage an account on the part of the company, the less overhead costs they have and the more savings the company can pass on to you, the customer. 21st Century offers online payments, quotes, and account management, and support by phone from a central office.

21st Century Car Insurance

21st Century offers a variety of auto insurance products, including liability and no-fault coverage, collision and comprehensive policies, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, and medical payment or PIP coverage. 21st Century is also in the business of insuring homes, renters, boats, and antique autos. The company offers umbrella policies and life insurance policies, as well as specialty policies for businesses and homeowners with unique needs. They even offer flood insurance.

However, car insurance is still 21st Century’s primary reason for existence, and the company’s competitive rates prove that they are serious about moving into the direct-marketing automobile insurance market. In spite of its already low premiums, 21st Century also offers a variety of discounts for automobile insurance policies. Defensive driver training, good student discounts, anti-theft and safety device additions are all discounts offered by 21st Century. The company’s website also advises customers on other ways to save money on automobile insurance policies, such as managing deductible and coverage amounts. The website’s “Auto Insurance 101” page is a primer for buying and choosing your policies and coverage amounts, although the information is a bit general. However, support is offered twenty-four hours a day both online and by phone.

21st Century Customer Service

The biggest drawback for some customers with 21st Century’s approach is the lack of “personal” service. Although by no means limited to older customers, the desire to have a “hometown” agent to whom they can go and ask questions, pay bills, or discuss policy changes inhibits some people from using what is basically an online insurance agency.

However, younger car insurance customers, more concerned about saving money than getting personal service, have made this field a growing one for many car insurance companies. Younger people, used to dealing with internet-related business, do not mind using the internet for their car insurance needs, and 21st Century fits well into this mindset.

Of course, there may be problems with this approach if you find yourself needing support from your company for a tricky claim or an odd situation. However, 21st Century does pledge the entire gambit of Farmers resources to its customers, so it is usually only a matter of finding the right person to talk to at the company to solve your problem. If you are willing to do a bit of extra dialing, you can probably deal as successfully with 21st Century Insurance as any other company.

You can get a quote for 21st Century products on the website and compare them to those of other companies; often, you can save significantly on your premiums by switching to 21st Century products.