21st Century Insurance to Stop Selling Homeowner Policies

January 9, 2002

According to the Los Angeles Times, after a three-year experiment, California-based 21st Century Insurance has decided to stop selling homeowner insurance in the state. Instead, 21st Century will refer customers to DirectNet Insurance Agency Inc., a subsidiary of Calabasas-based Countrywide Credit Industries Inc., for coverage.

DirectNet Insurance Agency Inc., a provider of homeowner, rental and condo coverage, will receive 21st Century Insurance homeowner customers, which will cease renewing policies starting Feb. 21.

Under the new marketing relationship with DirectNet, 21st Century customers will have access to the full line of homeowners, condo owners and renters insurance coverages offered by the Countrywide subsidiary. “It allows each company to focus on its core products,” said Bruce Marlow, president and CEO of 21st Century Insurance in a press release.

21st Century, owned by American International Group Inc., returned to the homeowner insurance market in 1999 after being nearly bankrupted by the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Providing auto insurance to 6 percent of California drivers and drivers in other Western states, 21st Century had trouble building much of a market share in California, the only state where it made homeowner insurance available.

Last year, the company had direct earned premiums of $30 million, which accounts for 3 percent of the company’s total insurance premiums.

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