UPDATED: Jan 2, 2015
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Like most of its competitors, 21st Century Insurance has begun to cater toward mobile device users. Since more and more people are using their smartphones and tablets rather than computers to access the web, mobile apps are an important way for insurance companies to stay relevant with their customers.
As far as these mobile apps go, 21st Century has designed a program with fairly robust features.
Most apps are designed with existing customers in mind, and the 21st Century app is no different. The features available are consistent with what most people will use on a regular basis, including easy access to your policy ID card and the ability to pay your bill on the go. Some additional features, like informational articles and videos, help to round it out and add a little extra perk for users.
It’s worth mentioning that there is an app development company that also goes by the name 21st Century, so if you search for reviews or information about the 21st Century app, be sure that you’re looking at the insurance company and not the unrelated developer.
The 21st Century app is available for Android, Amazon and iPhone. This means that Blackberry users are out of luck.
For Apple, you’ll need an iOS 6.0 or higher on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Ideally, you’ll want an iPhone 5; anything else may be a bit buggy as the app is not optimized for other models.
For Android, you’ll need an OS of 2.3.3 or higher.
There are a few standard features that customers have grown to expect from their insurance apps, and 21st Century offers all of them:
- Payment: Users can view and pay their bills from the app without needing to access a computer. Payments can be made from a linked bank account or with a debit or credit card.
- Policy ID: Mobile apps are increasingly serving as electronic insurance ID cards. Through the app, you can pull up your proof of insurance and also view your general policy information, including what coverages are available.
- Claims: You can file a claim from your phone, record vital information at the scene of an accident, and check for updates. Note that this will require some additional downloads beyond the basic app.
- Roadside Assistance: If you have 21st Roadside Assistance on your policy, you can access it through your smartphone or tablet. This allows you to request services like a tow truck and view nearby service providers. One handy perk is that the app also helps you find other useful local businesses, like gas stations and hotels.
- Tips: The 21st Century app includes a collection of videos and articles that provide some helpful information about insurance.
In order to access all of these features, you’ll need to be a 21st Century member with a web account. Until you set up an account through the company’s website, the app will be useless.
However, prospective customers are able to obtain quotes with the company through its mobile-friendly site. There is a mobile version of the online claims form that can be reached through your phone’s browser when you go to 21st.com. There are no downloads necessary to obtain the quote, and you can get one through a Blackberry phone as well as iPhone and Android.
Google Play / iTunes / Amazon Reviews
The 21st Century app has 146 ratings on iTunes and 532 on Google Play, suggesting that it may be more popular among Android users — possibly because the iOS 6.0 is a steep barrier to entry for some older Apple device users.
On both sites, there are ample negative reviews, although it’s rated more positively on Google Play — 3.6 vs 2.5 stars.
Complaints are primarily about app bugs. Multiple people have complained about the app simply failing to open at all. Another noted bug is that people with 8-digit account numbers have trouble accessing their policies in order to pay their bills.
Despite these negative reviews, the app has received some praise. In general, when the app works, it seems to do its job well.
Pros and Cons
- Easy access to policy ID card
- Ability to pay bill with either card or bank account info
- Access to roadside assistance
- Multiple bug reports
- You have to make an additional download to file a claim
- Not useable on older Apple devices or Blackberries
If you’re looking for a mobile app that will allow you to easily reference your policy and pay your bill, this will do the job. The added features are clever, but most users probably won’t get much out of them and they may take up too much extra space on your device. Keep an eye out for patches to see whether the bugs have been fixed if you have trouble downloading or accessing this app.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.