21st Century Insurance

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21st Century Insurance is a leader in the world of direct to consumers personal auto insurance, and is a publicly traded company with listings on the New York Stock Exchange. With offices in California, the western, southwestern, eastern, and mid-western states, they have over 1.5 million insurance policies on vehicles. 21st Century Insurance offers a variety of insurance plans including automobile, motorcycles, and personal umbrella insurance, which makes them the seventh largest insurer of personal autos in the state of California. The company makes the most of their 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year plan of customer support, which gives customers the option of buying a plan or changing their policy whenever they need. The company believes that this has helped them to offer more competitive pricing, and to help their company continue to grow. By the end of 2004 the company had amassed $1.3 billion in written net premiums and $1.4 billion in assets, for a total net worth of nearly $2 billion.


21st Century Insurance Story

In 1958, Louis W. Foster founded 21st Century Insurance, taking the things he learned and his two decades of experience as an independent agent. The company draws on the ideas of a cooperative to create something known as an inter-insurance exchange. In this system, policyholders pay money to cover the losses of others in the group. By 1968 though, the company had changed to the point where they decided to convert their exchange into stock. The California Department of Insurance raised the initial capital and set the requirements for stock, while the federal government lowered the taxes on this program. This created a completely unique way of doing business in the state, and changed the way some companies operated. The new company was entitled to the initial profits that arose, and the equity that was gained went to funding the company, with some money leftover for the policyholders. In 1969 the company wrote $2 million, which grew to $5 million in 1972 and by 1975 they were up to $10 million.

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Through the years the company continued to grow and expand, which necessitated a move to Century City to handle the new employees and large amount of policies. The company moved their headquarters to Woodland Hills in 1980, where they are still located today. As 21st Century Insurance continued to grow and expand, they were able to move into other states such as Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Washington. Currently they employ over 2,500 workers in an 11-story building located in their Woodland Hills headquarters. They have 5 vehicle inspection centers, 9 claim centers where customers can drive in their vehicles, and 14 service centers.

21st Century Insurance in the Community

In just over five years the company has been able to raise $1.8 million for the United Way, which shows their dedication to community development. In 2003 they were able to raise $3 million for a donation to the Union Rescue Mission, which was donated by the company and its founder. Three years later the company came forward to sponsor the Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet School Program, and they later helped increase awareness of the California Missions Foundation. This poster campaign saw over 400 students submit artwork based on the title "A Day in the Life of a Mission."

Though they have helped dozens of organizations over the years, they have also been known to provide financial support to other charitable causes when needed. They partnered with the California Highway Patrol to encourage the safety of children. To meet this end they held a number of events in local communities scattered around the state of California. This also coincided with the 45th anniversary of the company. 21st Century Insurance is devoted to maintaining the same traditions that Louis W. Foster believed in when he started the company back in 1958.