21st Century Insurance was my insurer when I had a complicated winter weather accident. I was living in Virginia. It had snowed over night, and when I left for work in the morning there was an inch of snow on the ground. I was driving a Ford F150, and didn’t realize that under the snow was a thin sheet of ice. I also lived on a hill. So, down the hill I went, slid on the ice and crashed into the curb on the opposite side of the street. There was a truck parked facing me a few feet away, but I hadn’t hit it, nor any other vehicles. Within seconds, a car slammed into me from behind, and pushed my truck into the parked truck! Now we both had smashed front ends. I was sure this one would count as my fault on my insurance. For my own safety I got out of the truck and walked away from the road. It was a curved, hilly road and I knew other traffic would be coming. Within the next fifteen minutes, FOUR other cars had come around the bend, slid on the ice and smashed into my poor truck. It was hit from behind, and it shifted and did a lot more damage to the truck I had already hit. After that it was hit on the side three times. What had started out as a fairly minor accident turned into a six car pileup. By this time I really wasn’t sure who would be at fault for the damage. The police officer who responded warned me that it might be considered my fault, because I could have assumed there would be ice under the snow. However, he didn’t write me a ticket.
The first thing I did was visit my 21st Century agent – she took the initial information and set up a claim number. After that I was able to do everything online. Actually, I could have started the claim online but after the mess I had been through, I just wanted to talk it over with a person! In my experience 21st Century is always friendly no matter how you need to contact them. (I hate it when you go into a business and they tell you to call a phone number or go online for help.)
Now I had to file a claim for a ten year old truck that had body damage all over it, and I had pages of police reports. Thankfully I wasn’t injured. I really like the way 21st Century’s Online Claims are set up – you fill out a Claim Form online, enter all of your information, and then follow your claim through the process. You can still call 21st Century if you have questions, of course.
My one big issue with this accident was having an older truck that was in absolutely top condition. I also loved the truck and was hoping to fix it. 21st Century referred me to a body shop right in my neighborhood. In fact, it was a shop we had used for our other car, and we had been happy with their work. It’s been my experience that 21st Century is affiliated with quality body shops, and not just those who are the cheapest.
I had several phone calls with our 21st Century Claims rep about whether or not to consider my truck a total loss. Despite its age, I really wanted to fix it. Except for the radiator, the damage consisted primarily of smashed and dented body panels. I liked the truck a lot – it had really low miles and was really reliable. I also was concerned that a settlement might not be enough to replace it. Sure enough, in the first call from 21st Century about its value, the representative told me they would pay only slightly more than half of what it was worth. This happens all the time, and it’s a common complaint people have about insurance claims. It certainly wasn’t enough to replace the truck with a similar one, and I told him so. I was really surprised when the representative didn’t argue with me, or tell me that was all they could do. Instead, he said that if I found a few sales records for a truck of the same age and condition, they would re-calculate the value. I started looking and found 3 similar trucks for sale, and I also called our local Ford dealer and asked him what it would cost for him to find me a used truck just like mine. I gave all of this information to the 21st Century Claims rep. The next day, he called back with great news. 21st Century’s original offer of $3200 had been recalculated to $5500 based on the sales listings and dealer quote. I can’t believe how easy that was, and how flexible 21st Century Insurance was on the value. I’d never heard of this from another insurance company. Truly amazing.
What a great customer service experience this turned out to be. Insurance is intended to restore you to the place you were before the loss. That should mean the same vehicle, or house. But not every company stands behind that principle. We had both our home and cars insured with 21st Century, and they were giving us a discount. But this incident made me realize just how much 21st Century appreciates our business.
A couple of weeks after we had settled everything and replaced the truck, I got an unexpected call from our 21st Century Claims Representative. He said they had reviewed the police reports for the accident and had some news. Even though my truck hitting another vehicle should have been my fault, they saw that the officer had not written any of us a ticket and had declared the accident an Act of God. 21st Century agreed that it wasn’t my fault. It would have been really easy for them to conclude that I played some part in this accident, and raise my rates. But they didn’t. I really feel after this experience, that 21st Century Insurance cares about its customers.
⇒What’s been your experience with 21st Century Auto Insurance? Leave your comments below⇓