UPC home insurance review
Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, UPC Insurance is a super-regional carrier that has been providing home insurance and related policies to residents of the Sunshine State and 11 other coastal states since 1999. Because of its targeted markets, United Property & Casualty Insurance Company (UPC) specializes in writing policies to financially protect homeowners from perils that impact coastal areas, such as hurricane wind damage. Included in this are offerings for private flood insurance and related enhancements.
Since its founding, UPC has grown to nearly $1,5 million in direct premiums written annually, and over 630,000 policies in force. UPC ranks among Bankrate’s best homeowners insurance providers and holds strong financial and consumer ratings.
UPC home insurance
Homeowners can purchase either a basic home insurance policy or one with enhancements through UPC. The company’s user-friendly website even has an area to choose your location, where you can find state-specific coverage information and tailored enhancement packages. Typical UPC policies include:
- Dwelling: This offers coverage up to your policy’s limit for any repair or replacement costs necessary for your home following a covered loss, such as fires, lightening strikes, windstorms and hail.
- Detached structures: This helps pay for damage to or loss of unattached structures on your property such as detached garages, fences, pool houses and utility sheds.
- Personal property: This covers personal property in your home such as clothing, electronic equipment, furniture and some guns and jewelry and some types of firearms.
- Loss of use/additional living expenses (ALE): This pays the cost of living away from home — above and beyond — if your residence is uninhabitable due to a covered loss. According to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), ALE expenses could include lodging, moving costs, grocery or restaurant bills, laundry and transportation.
- Personal liability: The personal liability coverage within your homeowners policy provides coverage to pay for claims of bodily injury and property damage sustained by others for which you or other members of your household are legally responsible. It also covers legal expenses resulting from lawsuits that seek to recover damages that are potentially covered by your policy.
- Medical payments to others: This helps pay medical expenses when someone outside your household sustains an injury on your property. For instance, if a guest slips and breaks an arm on your patio, what is listed on your policy’s declarations page as “Coverage F” can help pay the person’s medical bills. Coverage F applies to medical payments even when you are not at fault for an accident.
- Other personal property: This can help pay for the damage or loss of personal items such as a cellphone or laptop computer.
- Home systems protection: This covers major home components, including your air conditioner and heating systems, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave and oven, washer and dryer and electrical garage door.
- Service line coverage: This helps cover the cost of repairing service lines connected to your home, such as gas lines, power cables and sewer and water pipes.
- Ordinance or law coverage: This can help pay for additional repair costs associated with bringing your house up to current building codes following a covered calamity. For example, if a storm damages an older home which has ungrounded electrical outlets, Ordinance or law coverage can help pay the additional cost of installing grounded outlets during reconstruction.
Cost of UPC home insurance
UPC insureds pay an average of $1,796 per year for home insurance policies, though your actual premium will depend on numerous rating factors such as the market value and age of your home, ZIP code, proximity to a fire station and fire hydrants and your chosen coverage and deductibles.
For the most accurate discount information, check with an independent insurance agent that represents UPC. As an example of the types of discounts UPC offers its customers, this is what is available to Texas policyholders:
- Hip roof: If your home’s roof is hipped, or has slopes on all four sides, you could receive up to a 15% discount on your premium.
- Wind and natural disaster certifications: UPC may provide up to a 15% discount for having WIP-8 (windstorm inspection program) credits and Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (wind and fire fortification) credits. This helps ensure that your home was built up to code and has features like reinforced roofing for wind or fire, impact-resistant doors and other safety protocols.
- Pay premium in full: UPC offers varying discount amounts ranging from 9%-14% for paying your premium in full based on your method of payment. Your agent can provide details on how much you may qualify for.
- Extra window and door protection: If you equip your home’s windows and doors with protective coverings, you could receive a 15% discount.
- Flood policy: Discounts may be available for homeowners policyholders who also purchase UPC flood insurance.
UPC ratings, reviews, customer satisfaction and complaints
While the company is not rated by AM Best or other global rating bureaus, UPC carries an “A” (Exceptional) financial stability rating from Demotech.
In the 2021 J.D Power U.S. Home Insurance Study, UPC does not receive a ranking score. J.D. Power ranks companies based on customer interaction, policy offerings, price, billing process, policy information and claims.
Benefits of UPC Homeowners Insurance
UPC specializes in providing coverage for homes in coastal areas. While many insurance companies do not insure homes in flood and hurricane zones, UPC does. The company offers flood insurance coverage underwritten through the federally backed National Flood Insurance Program, and also provides flood insurance options underwritten through a private flood insurer.
UPC’s private flood coverage enhancements offer three levels of protection and much higher levels of coverage than NFIP policies:
- Standard (Flood Zone A): Up to $750,000 coverage for buildings and $200,000 for contents.
- Preferred (Flood Zones B, C and X): Up to $300,000 coverage for buildings and $100,000 for contents.
- Excess flood: Up to $5 million coverage for buildings and contents combined. This enhancement is available for structures that do not exceed $15 million in replacement costs.
Many insurance companies operate from centralized locations, with no field agents. UPC serves its customers through its network of local independent agents through 12 states. UPC makes claims filing easy, allowing you to submit a claim by calling your agent, contacting its national claims center or filing online via the UPC website.
Additional Policies Offered by UPC
In addition to homeowners coverage, UPC also sells:
- Commercial residential property insurance
- Condominium owners insurance
- Identity theft insurance
- Landlord/seasonal property insurance
- Renters insurance
- Golf cart coverage
Frequently asked questions
What information is needed to get a quote from UPC?
You can request a quote from UPC via its website or through an independent agent that represents the carrier. The online form asks for basic information such as the state where you seek coverage, as well as your name, property address, email address, phone number and type of policy you are seeking.
How do I file a claim with UPC?
UPC gives you three ways to file a claim. You can call the UPC claims center, file a claim at the UPC website, where you can submit photos and videos of the property damage, or call your UPC independent agent.
In what states does UPC offer homeowners insurance?
UPC homeowners insurance coverage is available in 12 states: Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Texas.
Does a UPC homeowners policy cover hurricane damage?
UPC provides windstorm coverage for hurricanes and tropical storms throughout its 12 states. The coverage is subject to a separate deductible from your standard homeowners policy deductible when a tropical cyclone is named by the National Weather Service. The windstorm deductible is typically 1% to 5% of your dwelling limit.
Does UPC Insurance offer discounts for home security systems?
UPC discounts vary by state. In some states, including Georgia, you can earn a discount for installing protective devices such as home security systems and fire alarms. Check with your local UPC independent agent to find out more about the discounts available in your state.
Does UPC Insurance sell flood insurance?
UPC offers flood coverage underwritten through a private insurer, as well as coverage through the federally backed National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). UPC offers three levels of private flood insurance enhancements, with coverage limits up to $5 million. Its excess flood policy is not available in Alaska, Kentucky or Washington, D.C.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 40-year-old male and female homeowners with a clean claim history, good credit and the following coverage limits:
- Coverage A, Dwelling: $250,000
- Coverage B, Other Structures: $25,000
- Coverage C, Personal Property: $125,000
- Coverage D, Loss of Use: $50,000
- Coverage E, Liability: $300,000
- Coverage F, Medical Payments: $1,000
The homeowners also have a $1,000 deductible and a separate wind and hail deductible (if required).
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes will differ.