FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UVE) ("Universal") announced today the beta launch of Universal Direct®, a Direct-to-Consumer online platform for Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company (UPCIC) products. The Company believes that Universal Direct® is the first and only direct-to-consumer offering for homeowners insurance products that will enable homeowners to directly purchase, pay for and bind policies online without the need to interface with any intermediaries. The site will launch this month and will be available to consumers in Pennsylvania, with additional states to be added in the coming months. Prospective customers can take a video tour of Universal Direct® by visiting www.universaldirect.com.
Designed to simplify the process of purchasing homeowners insurance, Universal Direct® will include an intuitive interface, real-time quotes, educational materials, support tools and a seamless purchasing process. Customers will have the ability to manage their policies, select payment plans and make payments online, while also having access to live customer support agents, by phone or online, for additional assistance as needed. Universal's independent agency force, which remains a key sales channel for the Company's products, will receive commissions from business bound online based on sales and territory structure.
"We are excited to announce this direct-to-consumer initiative, which will leverage our existing operating platform to significantly expand our value proposition and help accelerate our organic growth," said Sean P. Downes, Universal's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "With Universal Direct®, we are tapping the power of the internet to reach customers directly, a business model that has proven successful in other segments of the insurance industry, such as auto insurance. Our goal is to provide consumers with full control of their purchasing decision so that they can get the protection they deserve on their most important asset."
Mr. Downes continued, "Universal Direct will offer consumers an experience similar to other online purchasing decisions, on their own terms and at their convenience. We are pleased to offer Universal's independent agents, who are our valued partners and the backbone of our business, the opportunity to receive commissions from policies written by Universal Direct®. We are encouraged by the initial feedback we have received from independent agents, and look forward to making Universal Direct a success."
Universal Direct® will be compliant with all laws in states in which UPCIC currently operates.
About Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc.
Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc., with its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a vertically integrated insurance holding company performing all aspects of insurance underwriting, distribution and claims. Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company (UPCIC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, is one of the leading writers of homeowners insurance in Florida and is now fully licensed and has commenced its operations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Hawaii, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Michigan. American Platinum Property and Casualty Insurance Company, also a wholly-owned subsidiary, currently writes homeowners multi-peril insurance on Florida homes valued in excess of $1 million, which are limits and coverages currently not targeted through its affiliate UPCIC. For additional information on the Company, please visit our investor relations website at www.universalinsuranceholdings.com.
For additional information about Universal Direct®, please visit www.universaldirect.com
Forward-Looking Statements and Risk Factors
This press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date the statement was made. Such statements may include commentary on plans, products and lines of business, marketing arrangements, reinsurance programs and other business developments and assumptions relating to the foregoing. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified. Future results could differ materially from those described, and the Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements. For further information regarding risk factors that could affect the Company's operations and future results, refer to the Company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015.
Andy Brimmer / Mahmoud Siddig
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
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SOURCE Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc.