UPC Insurance

Editor's Rating

UPC Insurance, also called United Property and Casualty, provides insurance coverage to homeowners in 12 states, primarily on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. UPC specializes in insuring properties located in "catastrophe-exposed areas" that are especially likely to experience large-scale damage from hurricanes and other severe weather events.

Good for
  • People who live on the eastern seaboard
  • Retirees
  • Owners of new homes
Bad for
  • Floridians who value strong customer service
  • Anyone who lives far from the ocean

UPC homeowners insurance: specialized for coastal homes

UPC also sells flood insurance through both the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and a private flood insurer. We were generally impressed with the wide array of extra coverages and discounts that UPC offers, which make it competitive with national insurance companies like State Farm and USAA.

UPC offers relatively affordable rates in coastal areas and has many features that should appeal to people whose homes are more susceptible to natural disasters.

UPC has been in operation since 1999. It's not as long standing as more familiar names in insurance, but it has steadily grown since its inception and stayed solvent during large-scale disasters like Hurricane Charley in 2004 and Hurricane Michael in 2018.

Insurer Details

  • Year founded: 1999
  • Demotech Financial Stability Rating: A (Exceptional)
  • NAIC Complaint Index: 6.40
  • Unique value: Storm-specific coverages and private flood insurance

However, United Property and Casualty may not be well suited for homeowners who live in areas not susceptible to large-scale disasters. We found that the company had less competitive rates in inland cities like Austin, Texas. Meanwhile, the extra coverages it offers — like flood insurance — may not be as relevant to homeowners who aren't near the coast.

Like most smaller homeowners insurance companies, you have to contact a UPC agent in order to get a quote from the company; pricing isn't available online. However, most other aspects of the customer service experience can be done online or by phone 24 hours a day, including online payment and making a claim.

The biggest concern we had with UPC is poor customer service ratings. The company has a high number of complaints relative to its size, especially in Florida, where most of its customers reside.

UPC homeowners insurance bottom line: UPC's affordable rates and disaster-specific coverage make it worth considering for people who live in areas prone to natural catastrophe. But people who live in less disaster-prone climates will likely find a better coverage match elsewhere.

UPC homeowners insurance rates

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UPC has mixed homeowners insurance rates depending on where you live. People who live in areas likely to be hit by a natural disaster may find that UPC has more competitive rates in those regions, which matches with UPC's goal of serving "catastrophe-exposed areas."

We collected sample quote data for UPC and three competitors for homes in Houston and Austin, Texas, and the company's rates were far more competitive in the former city, which lies on the Gulf Coast.

In Houston, we found that UPC's rates were very competitive with other insurers. The company’s average rate of $2,435 was 23% cheaper than the overall average we found ($3,144). Moreover, the company offered the best rates for newly built homes, with a price of just $1,779 per year.

Graph comparing homeowners insurance rates between UPC and competitors in Houston

However, UPC's coverage in Austin, Texas, was slightly more expensive than other insurers. The average quote we received from UPC was 3.6% higher than the average quote overall. UPC's rates were most competitive for a 15-year-old home in Austin, where the company's annual price for insurance, $1,576, was 1% less than the average among quotes we received ($1,249).

Graph comparing homeowners insurance rates between UPC and competitors in Austin

Homeowners should always get their own quotes before deciding whether a particular insurance company is right for them, as rates can differ significantly based on location, home value and age — even within a specific city.

Insurance discounts available from UPC

UPC offers a larger range of discounts to customers than a typical medium-size insurer. Insurance buyers could get a discount for bundling multiple policy types together, such as home and auto. One unusual discount for bundling we liked is a 5% reduction in home insurance premium if you buy flood coverage from UPC, including NFIP. NFIP flood rates are set by the federal government, so you typically can't save money by buying them from one insurer over another. But this bundling discount allows UPC customers to save by purchasing both policies through one company.

Home insurance discounts from UPC

  • Bundle home, umbrella, auto and/or flood insurance
  • Protective devices (home security system)
  • Accredited builder
  • New roof
  • Hip roof
  • Wind mitigation for windows or doors
  • Senior/retiree
  • Newer home
  • Pay in full

Not all discounts are available in every state. Additionally, as with all home insurance discounts, the most important thing isn't the number of discounts you qualify for, but the final price you'll pay. Always check with multiple insurance companies to see which offers the best overall price after factoring in discounts.

Homeowners insurance coverages available from UPC

United Property and Casualty has a wide range of optional homeowners insurance coverages, beyond typical options for your home's dwelling, personal property and liability protection. Many of the coverages available are especially relevant to homeowners in coastal or warmer climates, such as golf cart coverage.

Optional coverages available from UPC:

  • Home systems protection
  • Identity theft
  • Water backup
  • Water damage
  • Wind endorsement
  • Dwelling foundation
  • Service/utility line
  • Golf cart
  • Pet liability (some breeds)

Availability may vary by state, so check with a local UPC insurance agent to see what you qualify for.

Extended coverage packages

In most states where it writes insurance, UPC offers one or more extended coverage packages, typically called Premier and Premier Plus endorsements. These bundles increase both the types of coverage provided to home insurance buyers and the dollar coverage limits of some coverages provided by the base package.

For example, the Premier package in Florida includes replacement cost coverage for personal property. It also increases tree removal coverage from $1,000 to $2,000. Here's a comparison of the extra coverages provided through UPC's Premier and Premier Plus endorsements, as opposed to the base package.

Coverage
Base
Premier
Premier Plus
Additional coverage A (Dwelling)--25% beyond replacement cost
Additional coverage C (Personal Property)*-50% beyond replacement cost70% beyond replacement cost
Personal property replacement costNoYesYes
Personal injuryNoYesYes
Water backup-$5,000$5,000
Refrigerated contents-$500$500
Lock replacement-$250$500
Equipment breakdown--$50,000
Identity theft--$50,000
Special personal property coverageNoNoYes

Extended coverage A and coverage C go beyond replacement coverage in cases where cost of replacement exceeds the original value, such as during a disaster.

Keep in mind that the structure and availability of UPC's endorsement packages vary by state, so the options available to you may differ. Additionally, we did not list coverages for which the endorsement only increased the dollar amount above the base coverage, such as for jewelry and cash.

Flood insurance

UPC sells two kinds of flood insurance, though it does not write policies directly for either: federally backed policies through the NFIP and a private policy through a flood insurer.

Coverage purchased from the NFIP is protected by the U.S. government, and rates are the same no matter where you buy from. The cost of private insurance varies, so you may or may not get a better rate from the private insurer, but there's no downside to comparing. Additionally, buying home and flood insurance from the same company can streamline the claims process after a storm, especially if you are also planning on making a homeowners insurance claim for wind or other damage.

Other property coverages available from UPC

In addition to standard homeowners insurance (HO-3), UPC also offers other types of home insurance. While homeowners generally don't need to purchase both HO-3 coverage and another type of insurance for the same property, you'll likely need to buy multiple policies if you own another building besides the one you live in, or rent a vacation home.

  • Renters insurance: Covers personal property and liability in a rented apartment or house.
  • Condo insurance: Covers personal property, limited structural elements and personal liability in a condominium building or development.
  • Landlord/commercial residential property coverage: Protects the structure of a multi-unit apartment building you rent out, as well as liability coverage.


UPC's insurer and customer ratings

Metric

Value
DemotechA
NAIC Complaint Index6.4

UPC has poor reviews when it comes to its customer service. The company has a NAIC Complaint Index of 6.40, meaning it gets substantially more complaints than a typical company of the same size. The most common issues consumers cited involved claims handling, including delays, unsatisfactory settlement amounts and denials.

We found a striking disparity between the frequency of complaints in UPC's home state of Florida and in other states where it does business. While 37% of UPC's total premium dollars written are in Florida, a disproportionately high 91% of complaints filed with the NAIC were made there. This suggests that insurance buyers in Florida are more likely to run into customer service issues than customers who live in other states.

UPC does have strong financial standing, however. The company received an "A" rating from financial rating company Demotech (in lieu of getting a rating from A.M. Best). This means UPC has an "excellent" ability to pay out claims, even in case of a widespread disaster. But it's worth noting that an "A" is the third-best ranking Demotech provides, behind "A Prime" and "A Double-Prime".

Methodology

ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services.These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes may be different.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.