Bismarck, ND - Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman today announced a $148,874 compliance settlement that affects 25 North Dakota Universal Underwriters Insurance Company policy holders. Refunds range from around $2 to over $20,000.
The refunds stem from overcharges related to Universal's "Unicover" program, which is a loss control incentive plan that rewards policy holders for controlling losses and implementing loss control practices.
However, a recent routine investigation revealed that Universal was not uniformly rewarding policyholders for their loss control efforts. Poolman said, "We found that some policy holders were unfairly overcharged even though they were participating in the loss control program."
The refunds, which were determined by independent auditors, are for the period January 1, 2002 through September 30, 2005 and the refund checks will be sent on or after June 19, 2006. This compliance settlement affects around 7,000 policy holders and represents over $1.2 million in refunds.
Universal will take steps to eliminate this sort of rating discrepancy by implementing an automated rating calculator for new and renewal policies. "This sort of situation hammers home the importance of routinely investigating a company's business practices to make sure that they are doing business correctly and that consumers are being treated fairly," Poolman said.
Universal Underwriters Insurance Company is domiciled in Kansas and specializes in providing insurance for businesses that sell or service autos, trucks, motorcycles and equipment and to auto recyclers.
Any Universal policyholder who has questions about the refund should either contact their insurance agent or the Insurance Department at 1.800.247.0650.