Universal Property and Casualty home insurance review
Get coverage for risky coastal properties — but only in 18 states.
- Get a quote if you like the freedom of an online application and claims.
- Pick something else if you live outside the 18 available states.
- Homeowners living in risky coastal states can get coverage.
AL, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, MD, MA, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, NC, PA, SC, VA
- Buy your policy online without an agent
- Reinsurance program guarantees coverage even after a disaster
- Covers high-risk and coastal homes
- Only available in 18 states
- Limited payment methods
- Mixed customer reviews
|New home discount discount||No|
|New homeowner discount||No|
|Home safety features discount||Yes|
|New policy discount||No|
|No claims discount||Yes|
|Personal property coverage||Yes|
|Valuable personal property||No|
|Identity theft coverage||No|
Heather Petty is a writer at Finder specializing in banking, investments and insurance. She's a self-proclaimed word nerd who worked as a technical writer and editor for the casino systems industry and is an internationally published young adult mystery author. Heather earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Universal offers a standard set of homeowners products in coastal markets where many other companies refuse to insure. And while having the option to apply for policies and make claims online may appeal to you, Universal’s limited availability and payment methods may be a deal breaker. If you’re not sold on its features, compare other home insurance companies available in your area to find a better fit.
What home insurance coverage does Universal offer?
Universal offers the following home insurance coverage to protect against damage or loss due to fire, lightning, vandalism, windstorm and third-party liability:
- Dwelling. Covers the structure of your home, such as the ceilings, floors, roof and walls. It also covers items that are permanently attached to your home, like windows and doors.
- Loss of use. If your home becomes unlivable because of damage, this coverage provides compensation for any food and lodging costs that are over and above your typical living expenses.
- Medical payments. Covers any medical costs for anyone who is injured on your property, regardless of who is at fault.
- Other structures. Protects other structures on your property, like sheds, fences and mailboxes.
- Personal liability. If your negligence causes an injury to a guest or damages their property, this covers compensation for them.
- Personal property. Provides compensation for damaged or lost personal property anywhere in the world, if it belongs to your home. High-value belongings aren’t covered and should be scheduled separately as part of a rider on your policy.
What home insurance discounts can I get?
Not all of the discounts listed below are available in every state, but if you think you qualify, ask your agent.
- Antitheft. If you’ve installed an antitheft system to your home, you could save with this discount.
- Bundling. Bundle your home and auto policies to get a discount.
- Claims free. If you haven’t made an insurance claim in the last few years, you qualify for this discount.
- Loyalty. When you celebrate your first anniversary as a Universal customer, request this discount.
- New roof. If your roof is new or only a few years old, you can qualify for this discount.
- Prior insurance. If you’ve maintained prior coverage on the property, you’re eligible for a discount.
- Safe home. Get this discount if you have extra protective systems, like fire alarms, in your home.
- Senior resident. If one or more members of your household is over age 65, you qualify for a discount.
- Sprinkler system. Get an additional discount if your fire system also has sprinklers.
- Windstorm protective devices. If you’ve installed wind-mitigation features in your home, you’re eligible for this discount.
Pros and cons of Universal home insurance
- Buy your policy online. Contact a local agent or customer service representative to walk you through the process, or use the Get a quote button to purchase a policy online.
- Reinsurance program. Universal has over 50 partners in place to assist with funding for excessive losses in the case of a catastrophic incident, such as a hurricane.
- Insures where others won’t. Homes in Florida and other coastal areas where many companies refuse to insure properties can still get protection.
- Limited availability. Universal policies are only available in 18 states.
- Limited payment methods. You can’t use a debit or credit card to pay your monthly premiums. Universal only accepts ACH transfer or a mailed in check or money order.
- Mixed reviews. Universal’s customer ratings tend to be lower than other companies. Its J.D. Power rating for 2019 comes in at just two out of five stars. But the Better Business Bureau gives it an A+ rating for customer interaction. Customer praise also outweighs complaints for this company on many review sites.
How to apply for Universal home insurance
You can choose to apply for insurance through an agent or using the online quote tool. Follow these steps to apply online:
- Go to the Universal website.
- From the home page, click Get a quote.
- Enter your ZIP code and click Find an agent, then when the dialogue pops up, click Sure let’s go.
- Enter your address and select the type of insurance you want. Click Next.
- Answer the background questions and select Next.
- Enter information about your home and click Next.
- Enter information about the coverage you’re looking for and select Next.
- After a property check is completed, review the details and click Submit to apply.
- Sign the policy and set up payment.
What info do I need to apply for home insurance with Universal?
Be sure to have the following information ready when you apply:
- Date of home purchase
- Proof of current insurance
- Square footage of the home
- Year home was built
- Number of stories
- Type of construction
- If there is a basement
- Type of foundation
- Type of plumbing
- Roofing materials
- Year the roof was last replaced
- Style of roof
- How the roof is attached