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Universal Property & Casualty Home Insurance Review 2021

Universal Property & Casualty offers decent home insurance coverage with ordinance coverage included, but the company has no online quote tool and very few discounts.

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Homeowners can potentially save themselves thousands out of pocket by purchasing a home insurance policy. You don’t want to be unprepared when the unexpected occurs; from lighting strikes and wind storms to theft and vandalism, homeowners insurance can protect your investment and give you peace of mind.

However, not all home insurance companies are the same. They can differ in terms of coverage options, availability, cost, and much more. The This Old House Reviews Team has created this in-depth Universal Property & Casualty home insurance review to help you determine if the company is the best fit for your home’s needs.

Table of Contents

  • Our Take
  • Pros & Cons
  • Coverage
  • Availability
  • How Much Does Universal Home Insurance Cost?
  • Reviews of Universal Home Insurance
  • Universal vs. The Competition
  • Our Conclusion
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Our Take

Universal offers decent home insurance, with a basic coverage policy that even includes ordinance coverage—a feature most homeowners insurance companies only offer as an optional endorsement.

However, the company is only available in 17 states, has no 24/7 customer service by phone, and has no online quote tool. That means you have to discuss your property over the phone with a local third-party agent and wait for them to send you your quote via email. Overall, we give Universal home insurance a score of 64.50

On some of its Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile pages, complaints cite delayed payments. Reviews range from praising speedy and efficient claims service to complaints of delayed claims and difficulty contacting customer service.

Pros & Cons

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of Universal home insurance.

Universal Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
Ordinance coverage included in basic policy Many customer reviews cite delays in resolving claims
No online quote tool
Few endorsements and discounts

Coverage

Universal offers all industry-standard coverage in its basic policy, plus ordinance coverage, which most home insurance companies only offer as an add-on endorsement.

Universal Coverage

Type Description
Type Description
Dwelling + other structures Covers your home’s interior and exterior structure, plus detached structures like sheds and garages
Personal property Covers your personal property, including furniture, clothing, appliances, and electronics, in the case of covered loss
Loss of use/Additional living expenses Covers the cost of temporarily living outside of your home due to covered damage or destruction
Personal liability Covers legal fees in the event you are sued for personal property damage or injury to a guest
Medical payments to others Covers medical expenses of a guest who gets injured at your home
Ordinance or law coverage Covers up to an additional 25% of the home’s value in the event it needs to be rebuilt

In terms of endorsements, Universal offers replacement cost coverage—which covers the cost of your damaged personal property as it originally cost, without factoring in depreciation—and water backup or sump pump failure.

Availability

Universal home insurance is available in 17 states:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia

How Much Does Universal Home Insurance Cost?

The exact cost of Universal home insurance depends on a variety of factors, including your property value, square footage, location, the coverage limits you select, and more.

A representative gave us a sample quote for a roughly 2,200-square-foot, single-family home in California. The monthly cost of $306.16 is much higher than what many other home insurance companies offer.

Cost

Type of Coverage Amount of Coverage
Type of Coverage Amount of Coverage
Dwelling $293,810
Other structures $29,381
Personal property $73,453
Loss of use/Additional living expenses $58,762
Personal liability $300,000
Medical payments to others $2,000
Monthly Cost $306.16

Discounts

Universal offers a few discounts to help you lower the cost of your premium.

Universal Discounts

Type Description
Type Description
Protective devices Discount for a centrally monitored fire or burglar alarm
Gated community Discount for gated community, either manned or with a passkey
Wind mitigation

Reviews of Universal Home Insurance

Universal has multiple pages with the Better Business Bureau, each devoted to different locations. Some pages are accredited with an A+ rating, while others are not accredited and not rated. Here is what some customers had to say about their experience with Universal.

Thomas A. said:

“I think this insurance company far exceeds expectations of any other insurance company. They have great customer service and they will take care of any problem given to them with lighting speed. I don’t know where these other people had insurance before but I have an idea they just like to complain. Keep up the good work.”

Randall P. said:

“This company does not deserve any stars. Me and my mother have been trying to resolve a claim for almost a year with them. All we have gotten is pushed off to the next person with no results. This just seems like a total scam. When you pay your insurance company you expect them to hold up their part when it comes to repairs. I never leave any reviews but I had to with this company. I would not recommend them to anyone.”

In addition to these reviews, one This Old House reader reached out with a complaint about delays in Universal paying out claims.

Universal vs. The Competition

See how Universal stacks up against some of its top competitors on key metrics.

Comparison

Provider Universal Lemonade Amica®
Provider Universal Lemonade Amica®
Score 64.50 83.50 96.60
State Availability 17 27* 48 (not available in AK and HI)
BBB Rating A+/NR** B+ A+
Years in Business 23 5 113
24/7 Claims Service by Phone X
Protective Devices/Safety Features Discount
Bundling Discount X
Mobile App X

*Lemonade home insurance is available in AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, GA, IL, IN, IA, MD, MA, MI, MO, NV, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI

**Different pages reflect different ratings on different pages

Our Conclusion

While Universal offers ordinance coverage in its basic policy, the company offers very few endorsements and discounts, is only available in 17 states, has no online quote tool, and does not have 24/7 customer service by phone. We give Universal home insurance a score of 64.50 out of 100.

When evaluating home insurance companies, it’s important to find the best option for you and your home. We recommend getting quotes from multiple companies in your area:

Company Information

  • Company name: Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company
  • Company type: Private
  • CEO: Sean Downes
  • Year founded: 1997
  • Headquarters: 1110 W Commercial Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
  • State availability: 17
  • BBB rating: A+/NR

Our Methodology

The This Old House Reviews Team values accuracy, transparency, and trust. With that in mind, we created a comprehensive rating system to score each home insurance company based on the following six factors:

  • Coverage (30)
  • State availability (7.5)
  • Customer service (15)
  • Technology (12.5)
  • Reputation (20)
  • Additional benefits (15)

Our Reviews Team has a full-time researcher who collects and regularly updates datapoints from every provider to help us compare them on key factors such as coverage, service, and dependability. Read more on our methodology here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Universal Property & Casualty Insurance a good company?

Our evaluation rates Universal significantly below average among the home insurance companies we have reviewed. Its low score of 64.50 is due to its limited availability of 17 states, inconsistent Better Business Bureau rating, lack of an online quote tool, and few endorsements and discounts.

How long has Universal Property & Casualty been in business?

Universal Property & Casualty was founded in Florida in 1997.

Does Universal Property & Casualty offer home insurance?

Universal does offer home insurance, with all industry-standard protections in its basic policy—dwelling, other structures, personal property, loss of use/additional living expenses, personal liability, and medical payments to others—plus ordinance coverage.

Does Universal Property & Casualty offer a bundling discount?

No, because Universal does not offer auto insurance, the company does not offer a multi-policy discount. But there are discounts for protective devices, wind mitigation, and gated communities.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.