This blog entry is the first in my series of reviews of the leading insurance companies offering home & auto insurance in the United States, reviewing the customer service & complaint record of 21st Century auto insurance. Update 5/13/2013: I have posted the latest 21st Century auto insurance complaint statistics for 2011, 2010, & 2009 (2012 will be available Aug 2013) which you can see here.
My Web site has customer satisfaction ratings & national complaint ratios for the leading home & car insurance companies across the USA, but this blog series will review these insurance companies more closely, so you have the information you need to decide on the best auto insurance company for you. The sources for most of the information in this blog post can be found at my Web site, through the hyper link found in this paragraph.
About 21st Century Insurance: 21st Century Insurance sells auto insurance in 48 states & Washington DC, directly to the public through its call center & its company Web site. 21st Century Insurance does not sell home insurance, but offers home insurance coverage through its new parent company, Farmers Insurance Group (purchased from AIG in April 2009). 21st Century Auto insurance consists of 16 subsidiary insurance companies (you can see complaint ratios for all of them on my Web site, by clicking the link below this paragraph) in the USA. Each subsidiary company has its own rates & complaint ratio. Complaint ratios for 21st Century auto insurance subsidiary companies range from .19, for 21st Century Pinnacle Insurance Company, to 4.17, for 21st Century Indemnity Insurance Company. So, remember to get the exact name of your 21st Century auto insurance subsidiary company, when you are a customer, or getting a quote, so you can check the correct complaint ratio.*
What if you have no insurance or a bad driving record?: Even if you have had a lapse in auto insurance coverage, tickets, accidents, or just licensed, 21st Century Auto insurance can usually help you, depending on how bad your driving record may be.
21st Century Insurance Claims & Customer Service: JD Power rates 21st Century Insurance at 2 power circles (the rest) for overall customer satisfaction in its 2011 National Auto Insurance Survey. In addition to the Overall Satisfaction being rated below average, the individual categories making up the Overall Satisfaction, such as Policy Offerings, Billing & Payment, & Contacting The Insurer, were also rated at 2 power circles (the rest), with Pricing being the only individual category at 3 power circles (about average). The industry average for this study was 790 out of 1,000 points. 21st Century Auto Insurance scored 741 out of 1,000 points for this study.
I checked the Internet for customer reviews of 21st Century Insurance, and found the typical complaints about rates, claims, and dissatisfaction you find with all insurance companies. One common complaint was with billing, & with a $3.25 fee for making online payments. Also, there were some complaints about a mysterious $1.01 charge showing up on customer’s credit card statements, associated with online payments to 21st Century. 21st Century may have a $50 cancellation fee, for requesting to cancel your policy, in some states.
JD Power’s 2010 Auto Insurance Claims Study rates 21st Century Insurance Overall Satisfaction as 2 power circles (the rest). 21st Century is also below average, with 2 power circles, for the following individual categories, such as First Notice of Loss, Service Interaction, Appraisal, Repair Process, & Settlement. One bright note is the category of Rental Experience, which received 5 power circles! (among the best). The industry average for this study was 837 out of 1,000 points. 21st Century Auto Insurance scored 781 out of 1,000 points, which was the lowest score of all the auto insurance companies rated in this study.
JD Power has a new survey for 2011 measuring the auto insurance purchasing experience. 21st Century Insurance has an Overall Satisfaction rated as 3 power circles (about average), with 3 power circles for Policy Offerings, Web site, & Call Center Representative. The category of Pricing did better than the other categories, receiving 4 power circles (better than most), indicating the price for 21st Century auto insurance is one of the very few strengths of this insurance company.
My assessment: 21st Century auto insurance may be a good choice for you if they have the lowest price, after you have shopped with all the leading auto insurance companies.
If you have tickets, accidents, claims, or any other issues resulting in some insurance companies being unwilling to insure you, contact 21st Century insurance for an auto insurance quote — they may have the best price for you.
But if you have a clean driving record, there are many auto insurance companies with better customer service, as rated by JD Power, and indicated by their low complaint ratios.
With 21st Century, you do not have a personal agent to fix any problems which may arise with your auto insurance. If you are okay with dealing directly with the insurance company, and 21st Century has a really good price for the auto insurance coverage you need, they may be a good choice for you.
If you are like me, the best insurance company has the lowest price for you. Click the ads at the top or bottom of this blog post, and start shopping today.
*How to read complaint ratios: Lower than “1″ is better than average. The lower the complaint ratio, the fewer confirmed complaints against the company. The higher the complaint ratio, the more confirmed complaints against the company. For example, .18 is very good, but 3.5 is not so good.
Subsidiary auto insurance companies insuring high risk drivers (Nonstandard or Specialty Auto Insurance), such as drivers with tickets, accidents, DUIs, etc., tend to have high complaint ratios, so be sure to compare the complaint ratios of any of 21st century’s nonstandard auto insurance subsidiaries with the complaint ratios of other nonstandard auto insurance subsidiary companies, and not their preferred or standard auto insurance subsidiaries.
Many people pay too much for their auto insurance because they never shop for better rates, or if they do shop, they don’t check the rates of enough companies. For a lot of people, the best auto insurance company is the one with the lowest rates. The ad below will take you to links to get online quotes from leading Home, Auto, Health, & Life insurance companies in your area. Choose the type of insurance, put in your zip, and start shopping now!
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