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Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company Fined $1.26M

Through the property insurance system, consumers pay large amounts of money each year so that if their property is damaged through no fault of their own, they can be properly compensated. Unfortunately, the system does not always work the way it should. In fact, the reality is that there are many insurance companies out there that are actually engaging in deceptive and even outright illegal practices so that they can avoid paying claimants the money they truly deserve. One example of a property insurance company that was accused of such actions was Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company (UPCIC), which was fined $1.26 million earlier this year for questionable insurance business practices, according to an article in Property Casualty 360°.

In May, the insurance underwriter news website reported that the insurance company—Florida's second-largest provider of insurance property—was fined by Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty after a market conduct examination was conducted. The fine was issued because it was discovered that UPCIC had been improperly handling policies and consumers' claims. According to the article, the insurer was accused of:

  • Failing to log consumer complaints correctly
  • Engaging in questionable claims practices
  • Using consumers' credit histories as a basis for denying their claims
  • Canceling more than 260 policies without providing the legally required 100-day notices

According to Property Casualty 360°, the examination occurred between the years of 2009 and 2011. As a result of the information that was discovered, UPCIC was ordered to pay restitution, submit reports and take steps to correct its unacceptable practices. The article noted that UPCIC provides insurance for more than 542,000 policyholders and has more than $765 million in written annual premiums.

Sadly, these types of actions by insurance companies happen more often than consumers realize. If you learn that your insurance company has been treating you or your claim unfairly, you may be able to recovery financial compensation through an insurance bad faith lawsuit. There are state and federal laws that prohibit insurance companies from acting in "bad faith," or using deceptive and unfair insurance and business practices. At High Stack Gordon Kirby, we have Brevard County personal injury lawyers who can aggressively litigate on your behalf. Contact us today!

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