On 9/22/2012 I was notified by the tenant that rents my condo that after a severe lightning storm, the air conditioner was not working. I called an air conditoner repair service and was advised that the compressor was damaged by lighning and I could either replace the compressor or the entire unit.
I filed a claim immediately with Universal Property & Casualty. They sent our an adjuster on 9/27/2012.
In the meantime I was told by Universal to tell the tenant that if she found it unbearable to stay at the condo, she could pay for a hotel out of pocket, just keep the receipts so I can deduct the pay from her rent.
The adjuster that came out called me and told me that the air condtioner was damaged however, in the State of Florida there is a statute that states in Florida, Condo Associations Insurance are responsible for the damages, upkeep and repair of external air conditioners. I contacted the condo association and was told that our governing documents do not support that and everyone is responsible for their air conditoner.
I was told by Universal adjuster, Elvis Toledo that there was a way around this. If I could prove that I purchased the air conditoner, then Universal would look at my claim.
I could not believe this. I did not have a receipt of purchase for the air condtioner.
I contacted the Florida Insurance Commissioner and filed a complaint with their office. They agreed with me that the majority of insurance companies request an estimate of how much it would cost to repair the damaged unit, not a proof of purchase. The insurance commissioner representative took all my information on 10/5/2012 and filed a complaint against Universal Property.
On 10/12/2012, I received a phone call from the field adjuster that came out initially and he told me that he needed to take a taped statement from me. He asked me a series of questions concerning the claim, when the air conditioner was purchased, and verified information. He also asked me to fax the hotel receipts, all the items I purchased in reference to the claim (window unit and box fans).
On Friday, 10/19/2012, I received a letter from Universal dated 10/16/2012, stating they need original proof of purchased/work order for the damaged A/C unit, and a completed affidavit that has to be signed, and notarized by a license contractor within 10 days of the letter or my claim will be considered closed.
I have even contacted my local insurance agent Citadel and they have yet to return my calls. In the meantime, my tenant is without central heat and air, and Universal is stringing me along with a long unnecessary process.
I now see all the negative reviews on this company and feel that they are wanting me to just go away and pay out of pocket.
This has caused me a lot of stress and most of all hurt and pain because why pay for insurance if you have to go through this. My sister told me that she had her air conditioner to be struck by lightning and all she had to do was get three estimates and submit them to the insurance company. The insurance company sent her a check (after her deductible) for the cost of the repair.
I feel this company is a huge ripoff. Several condo owners say they have Universal for their insurance and after seeing what they took me through said they will be changing to another insurance company as soon as possible.