Universal Property & Casualty to Pay $1.26 Million Fine for Post-Claim Underwriting By Tod Aronovitz | 09/16/13 | 0 Comment

“Post-claim underwriting,” which resulted in some homeowners having unpaid insurance claims or having their coverage cancelled without sufficient notice, is one of the alleged practices Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company has agreed to fix, according to a recent announcement by Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarthy.

As a result of the charges, the second largest property insurer in Florida dropped its challenge to a May Order from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and will pay an administrative fine of $1.26 million.

Universal Property & Casualty consented to adopt operational changes including full underwriting (rather than the post-claim underwriting) within the first 90 days after the effective date of a new policy, instead of what they were supposedly doing prior—partially underwriting policies and waiting until after claims were filed to complete the process.

In addition, the company will review 262 previously-denied claims based on allegations of misrepresentation. Although Florida law allows insurance companies to terminate policies due to fraud or deception, there are specific conditions which the company has now agreed to employ before dissolving a policy or turning down claims.

As one of the most active policy writers in the state, with more than $765 million in annual written premiums and 542,000 policyholders, the insurance company holds an estimated 8.9 percent of the total Florida property insurance market and has been licensed to transact insurance business in Florida since 1997.

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