UNIVERSAL FINED $1.26 MILLION BY STATE OF FLORIDA

In a recent press release from Florida’s Insurance Commissioner, Kevin McCarty, it was revealed that Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Company agreed to pay a $1.26 million fine for the insurance company’s claim handling procedures. The state Office of Insurance Regulation released a statement on Monday that said the “post-claim underwriting resulted in some policyholders having unpaid claims or having coverage cancelled without sufficient notice” and that the fine was tied to violations found in a recent review that discovered repeat infractions dating back to 2004.

Specifically, between March 2010 and May 2011, policyholders were not given the required 100 day notice of cancellation or non-renewal to find new coverage. Additionally, Universal was not able to produce a database of complaints received directly from consumers. Considering that Universal has more than 542,000 policyholders and collects $765 million dollars in premiums each year in Florida, these violations should cause Florida residents concern.

Florida has seen its fair share of insurance abuses and conflicts over the past several years. As an advocate for protecting the state’s policyholders and their rights it is refreshing to see that the Office of Insurance Regulation and the Insurance Commissioner hold the powerful insurance industry responsible for blatant and repeated abuses.

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