The Indiana Department of Insurance (DOI) recently announced that it ordered Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based auto insurer Universal Casualty Company (UCC) to stop writing new policies in the state until the company can demonstrate “improved business practices.” The DOI has fined the company $200,000 and is the second state to ban UCC from writing policies (click HERE to read about Missouri banning the insurer).
The DOI said it received more than 200 complaints from UCC policyholders regarding the company’s reluctance to pay claims properly and on time, making the insurer number one on the DOI’s auto consumer complaint index for 2008. Typical complaints against UCC included insureds not being paid enough for repairs or never receiving a response to repeated phone calls.
“This company has less than 1 percent of the auto insurance market share here in Indiana and yet they lead the consumer complaint index,” said Jim Atterholt, Indiana insurance commissioner. “This is both outrageous and unacceptable. This is the type of company that gives the entire insurance industry a bad name.”
In 2004, the company was investigated by the Indiana DOI after similar consumer complaints and was fined $35,500 in 2005. According to the department, the company didn’t improve its business practices, prompting another investigation and the latest fine.
Per the DOI’s penalty, UCC must do the following before it can resume doing business in Indiana:
Submit and implement a “stringent” compliance plan to the DOI failure to do so will result in another $100,000 fine.
Revisit all consumer complaints received since 2005, with the final determination of each complaint subject to the DOI’s approval.
The company will undergo an additional examination to ensure full compliance as well, the department said.