Florida Insurer Agrees to Settlement Relating to Underwriting, Claims Practices

October 9, 2013

Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company, the second largest property insurer in Florida, has agreed to implement corrective action, including changes to its claims and underwriting practices, and pay an administrative fine to the Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) totaling $1.26 million, according to an announcement by Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.

One of the issues involved in the case was the allegation that the company, in some instances, wrote policies without full underwriting, and then only did complete underwriting after a claim was filed. The “post-claim underwriting” resulted in some policyholders having unpaid claims or having coverage cancelled without sufficient notice.

The company agreed to perform full underwriting within the first 90 days after the effective date of a new policy. It has also agreed to review the 262 claims it previously denied based on allegations of misrepresentation. Florida law allows insurance companies to rescind a policy for fraud or misrepresentation, but the law contains specific requirements which the company has now agreed to apply.

UPCIC is the second largest property insurer in Florida and one of the most active writers with more than $765 million in annual written premium and over 542,000 policyholders. The company represents an estimated 8.9 percent of the total Florida property insurance market and has been licensed to transact insurance business in the state of Florida since 1997.

Source: Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

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