21st Century Auto Insurance Review 2022

Jan 6, 2022

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Our Take

3.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

This insurer sells bare-bones auto insurance policies in California, and it can file an SR-22 form if you need one.

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21st Century Auto Insurance - Direct
21st Century
NAIC complaints
More than expected
Ease of use
Above average
Discounts
Average set of discounts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Complimentary roadside assistance.
  • Can file SR-22 forms.

Cons

  • Available only in California.
  • Few perks, additional coverages offered.
  • Few discounts offered.

Full Review

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 auto insurance coverage

When you’re shopping for car insurance, it’s important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. Most states require car insurance in order to drive a vehicle. Although minimum coverage requirements vary from state to state, they generally include liability insurance and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

If you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Full coverage isn’t a specific policy type; it's a combination of coverage types, like liability, collision and comprehensive insurance.

Check out the most common types of car insurance coverage below to see how they work:

Coverage type

What it pays for

Required?

Bodily injury and property damage liability

Costs for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.

Typically required.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage

Medical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.

Often required.

Collision coverage

Repair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.

A car loan or lease may require it.

Comprehensive coverage

Repair costs from events outside of your control, including weather events, hitting an animal while driving, theft and vandalism.

A car loan or lease may require it.

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 SR-22 forms.

You might need to file an SR-22 form if you’ve been convicted of a DUI, DWI or serious moving violation, or if your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked. The document proves you have enough insurance to drive in your state.

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See what you could save on car insurance

Easily compare personalized rates to see how much switching car insurance could save you.

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Auto insurance discounts

You might be eligible to apply these discounts to your policy:

  • Anti-theft device discount.

  • Good student discount.

  • Multicar discount.

  • Mature driver discount for those 55 and older.

  • Good driver discount for drivers who are claim-free for three years.

  • Superior driver discount for drivers with no claims after four or more years.

Auto insurance buying guide

Before you compare car insurance companies, you’ll need to collect some basic information. This includes the driving history of everyone who will be on the policy, as well as facts about your car, such as safety features and annual mileage driven. You’ll also want to determine which types of coverage you need. For example, do you want only the bare minimum insurance that your state requires, or do you need more extensive coverage, such as gap insurance or rideshare coverage? Check that each company you’re considering has the options you want.

When comparing rates among insurers, make sure each is offering the same coverage limits and deductibles. You may not want to make your decision based on price alone. Look at how many consumer complaints each company has, as a high number of complaints could be a red flag about the quality of service you'll receive.

Depending on which company you choose, you may be able to buy insurance online, over the phone or through an agent. For more guidance, see how to get car insurance.

Complaints 

21st Century had more than the expected number of complaints to state regulators relative to its size for auto insurance, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

More about 21st Century auto insurance 

Website and mobile app: Though they don’t have the slick features you’ll find on some other insurers’ digital platforms, 21st Century’s app and website let you accomplish the basics. You can pay premiums, view your policy documents and insurance ID card and file claims via the website or the app. If you need help, you can live chat with an agent by going to the site’s Contact Us page.

You can also call for roadside assistance from the mobile app, which is compatible with both Android and Apple devices.

Other insurance from 21st Century

21st Century exclusively sells auto policies in California. But its parent company, Farmers, offers car insurance in most states as well as most other types of coverage.

Methodology

Auto insurance ratings

NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints and discounts. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Insurer complaints

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

Frequently asked questions