21st Century Insurance Group, one of the pioneers of selling insurance direct to consumers, today began offering private passenger automobile insurance to drivers in New Jersey.
The company becomes the seventh auto writer to enter the market since the state enacted reforms in 2003.
New Jersey Banking and Insurance Commissioner Steven M. Goldman called 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.”
The entry into New Jersey is the latest phase of 21st Century’s geographic expansion strategy. It 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 says it has increased the portion of the U.S. personal auto market in which it operates from 34 percent to 53 percent.
“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 said that 21st is the only major carrier to automatically include 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.
21st Century sells direct to consumers through an 800 phone number or through its web site.
With $1.4 billion of revenue in 2005, the company insures 1.5 million vehicles in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington..
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