WOODLAND HILLS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 12, 2006–21st Century Insurance (NYSE:TW), one of the pioneers of selling insurance direct to consumers, announced today it has begun offering private passenger automobile insurance to drivers in New Jersey.
21st’s entry into New Jersey gives consumers a new low-cost auto insurance option that includes superior policy features, 24/7 customer service and A+ financial strength.
“We’re pleased to enter New Jersey and offer consumers a dramatic new choice for their auto insurance,” said 21st Chief Executive Officer Bruce W. Marlow. “As a result of the market reforms of 2003, prices and coverages now vary widely among New Jersey auto insurance companies, making this a great time to get on the Internet and check out what the new companies can do for you.”
Marlow noted that 21st is the only major carrier to automatically include all of the following policy features at no extra cost to every policyholder:
— 24-hour towing and roadside assistance;
— full replacement cost of a new car if it’s totaled during the
first year of ownership or lease; and
— temporary coverage for policyholders’ college-aged children
when they’re home on school holidays and breaks.
New Jersey Banking and Insurance Commissioner Steven M. Goldman added that 21st’s entry into New Jersey is a significant milestone for consumers.
“We are certainly pleased that a growth-oriented company like 21st Century Insurance has observed that New Jersey is a good place to do business,” said Goldman. “The entry of 21st Century Insurance into the New Jersey market certainly is good news for the industry, and good news for consumers. It’s a clear indication that consumers continue to benefit from increased competition, and demonstrates that we continue to make progress toward our goal of a stable, sustainable automobile insurance market.”
21st Part of Auto Insurance Industry’s Fastest Growing Segment
21st’s direct-to-consumer model is becoming a more popular option for consumers across the country, particularly in New Jersey, as customers feel more empowered to make insurance decisions without an agent. According to insurance data provider Highline Data, companies that rely on captive insurance agents lost almost 3 percentage points of national market share between 1999 and 2005. Direct-to-consumer companies like 21st and X…., as well as the direct segment of Progressive, gained almost 5 percentage points. This trend is even more pronounced in New Jersey, where captive-agent companies lost more than 4 percentage points of market share between 1999 and 2005, while the direct-to-consumer segment gained almost 12 percentage points.
Ed Speich, New Jersey Product Manager for 21st Century Insurance, noted that 7 out of 10 drivers can save money with 21st by calling 1-800-211-SAVE (7283) or visiting the company’s award-winning Web site, www.21st.com. The Customer Service Center has English and Spanish-speaking licensed professionals available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Likewise, www.21st.com offers a full Spanish version.
“By selling direct to the consumer, 21st converts the high commissions normally paid to agents into a combination of savings and greater policy features and services for consumers. A local agent can’t quote our rates or sell you a 21st policy and they’re often not available at night or on the weekend if you have an accident,” added Speich.
21st.com offers two great tools to assist New Jersey consumers as they shop around for insurance:
— The Coverage Advisor: Most consumers don’t know what insurance
coverage they have or what they truly need. Having the wrong
liability coverage limit can spell financial disaster after a
bad auto accident. The Coverage Advisor is a quick and easy
interactive tool for exploring what coverages and amounts
customers should consider.
— The Interactive Rate Comparison Tool: This tool provides
customers estimates for 21st and four other leading companies
in seconds. It allows customers to quickly switch between
different cars, driving records, family composition and other
variables so they can easily see how rates vary.
The entry into New Jersey is the latest phase of the company’s geographic expansion strategy. 21st entered the Midwest in 2004, Texas in 2005, and three Eastern states – Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania – during the second quarter of 2006. During the first 10 months of 2006, the company has increased the portion of the U.S. personal auto market in which it operates from 34 percent to 53 percent.
Founded in 1958, 21st Century Insurance is a direct-to-consumer provider of personal auto insurance. With $1.4 billion of revenue in 2005, the Company insures over 1.5 million vehicles in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. 21st provides superior policy features and 24/7 customer service at a competitive price. Customers can purchase insurance, service their policy or report a claim at 21st.com or on the phone with our licensed insurance professionals at 1-800-211-SAVE, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Service is offered in English and Spanish, both on the phone and on the web. 21st Century Insurance Company, 21st Century Casualty Company, and 21st Century Insurance Company of the Southwest are rated A+ by A. M. Best, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s. The Company’s A+ rating was affirmed by A.M. Best on June 13, 2006.
21st Century Insurance is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “TW” and is headquartered at 21st Century Plaza, 6301 Owensmouth Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA 91367.
21st Century Insurance (NYSE: TW) will hold a teleconference for media members on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 1 p.m. EDT. The public can find information about the call in the Investor Relations section of www.21st.com. The call, as well as its accompanying slides, will be broadcast over the Internet via webcast.
Dial in number – 1- 866-800-8652
International dial in number – 1- 617-614-2705
Passcode – 164-739-10
(C) 2006 by 21st Century Insurance. All rights reserved
CONTACT: 21st Century Insurance
Kent Barrett, 818-728-3350 EXT. 359
Larry Krutchik, 818-728-3350 EXT. 355
SOURCE: 21st Century Insurance