Modest Money’s 21st Century Insurance Review 2015

Nobody likes shopping for auto insurance. You want to make sure you’re covered, and get back on the road as soon as possible. So I’ll make this short and sweet. 21st Century is a trusted auto insurer, in operation since 1958. They stack up competitively alongside other well known auto insurers. Their coverage is fairly exhaustive and standard, with the notable exception that they don’t offer accident forgiveness, mechanical breakdown coverage, or a driving habits discount. More on this later. They do, however, have a bunch of discounts, easy online organization of your account, and even gap insurance so you’re not stuck covering the loan on a car that has been totaled. 21st Century stacks up as a strong auto insurer with more than adequate standard coverage and features, but with a few omissions that will be important to some people.

First Impressions

One of the best features about 21st Century is how they find lots of ways to discount your monthly premiums. You can get a discount:

  • if you complete a defensive driving course
  • if you bring other family members onto your plan
  • if you have and maintain a good driving record
  • if you are a student with a strong GPA
  • if you don’t drive a lot of miles
  • if you remain with the company for a long time
  • if you are a member of the armed services
  • if you have other insurance policies open through 21st Century
  • if you insure multiple vehicles through 21st Century
  • if you prepay for a whole year of coverage
  • if you work for one of their preferred organizations

This is an impressive discount list, more than is typically offered by many other insurers. What’s more, 21st Century will review your account and driving history a few times a year, to see if there are any new discounts that you qualify for, often spotting savings you may have missed. This is a very transparent policy, but it’s really what you deserve if you are a good customer for an insurance company. Think about it; if you do all the things listed, you’ll be pretty unlikely to get in a wreck or need to file an expensive claim. Companies like this owe you the savings they are racking up by insuring a safe driver such as yourself. That 21st Century passes some of these savings on to you in a big plus.

A Deeper Look

21st Century also offers “Gap Coverage” and “New Car Replacement”, features you’ll really want to have on your policy, especially if you have a new car. Gap Coverage pays any leftover debt you have remaining on your car loan, in the event that this car is totaled. In some cases this can amount to $10,000 or more. This is an enormous headache relieved in the event that you wreck a car you’re still paying for. If you happen to total a car that is less than one year old, 21st Century will get you a brand new one (the latest model) for free.

However, there are downsides to 21st Century’s policies and coverage. They don’t offer mechanical coverage for any repairs that fall outside of normal maintenance. What does this mean exactly? Basically, if your transmission goes out, or you have some other catastrophic mechanical event, you could be stuck paying out of pocket. This isn’t totally unusual among auto insurers, but certain individuals will want to pay extra for this coverage. There is also no accident forgiveness, a biggie in my opinion. If you are in an accident, whether it’s your fault or not, your premiums will rise with 21st Century. This is actually pretty unusual for a major insurer. If there’s a deal-breaker with 21st Century, this is it. On a lesser note, 21st Century’s mobile app isn’t great but, then again, their online capabilities are very strong.

Final Thoughts

If you need auto insurance, 21st Century should be a company you consider doing business with. But you’ve got to think carefully about the combination of discounts and coverage lapses that are unique to their company. It’s easy to save with their wide array of discounts and with big-ticket policies like Gap Coverage. But you can be left holding the bag if you have a major mechanical failure or get in an accident. All things considered, 21st Century remains a strong auto insurance option for a lot of different drivers. Consider their policies carefully, get a quote, and see where they stack up for you against the competition.