Universal North America home insurance review

Universal North America home insurance offers a variety of coverage options at an affordable rate, making it a great option in the 16 states it’s available.

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Pat HowardManaging Editor & Licensed Home Insurance ExpertPat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

Reviewed by

Jennifer GimbelJennifer GimbelSenior Managing Editor & Home Insurance ExpertJennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

Updated|1 min read

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Universal North America

Universal North America logo

Policygenius rating

Our proprietary ratings methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the “Ratings methodology” section for more details.
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4.4

AM Best rating

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A-

Cost

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

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The bottom line

Universal North America offers exceptional coverage at rates nearly $500 cheaper than the national average to homeowners in 16 states. Policyholders can choose from a variety of additional coverage options, including extended dwelling coverage, flood or earthquake endorsements, equipment breakdown coverage, and water backup protection. However, those with older homes or nonstandard roofing materials may want to look elsewhere for coverage given Universal’s limited risk appetite. 

Pros

  • Rates are cheaper than the national average

  • Optional flood and earthquake coverage options, from cheaper and more limited protection to standalone policies

  • Offers coverage for seasonal or second homes

Cons

  • Only available in 16 states

  • May not cover homes older than 50 years old and has several roof restrictions

  • Higher than average number of customer complaints

Basic coverages offered

Universal North America home insurance policies include these six basic coverages to protect your home, belongings, and liability:

  • Dwelling: Pays to rebuild or repair the structure of your home, such as the roof, floors, walls, built-in appliances, and any structures attached to the home.

  • Other structures: Pays to rebuild or repair additional structures on your property that aren’t attached to your home, like a detached garage or gardening shed.

  • Personal property: Covers the costs of repairing or replacing your personal belongings, such as furniture, clothes, electronics, and other possessions you own.

  • Loss of use: Helps cover the cost of hotel stays, restaurant meals, pet boarding costs, and other temporary living expenses while your house is being rebuilt or repaired after a covered loss.

  • Personal liability: Covers medical and legal expenses in the event you’re legally responsible for an accidental injury or property damage.

  • Medical payments: Pays for guests’ medical expenses if they’re injured in your home, regardless of who is at fault.

Additional coverages offered

You also have the option to add numerous additional coverages to your Universal North America homeowners insurance policy for an additional cost. 

  • Extended replacement cost: In the event your house is badly damaged or destroyed by a covered loss, this increases your dwelling limit by 25% if the cost to rebuild is higher than your home’s insured amount.

  • Personal property replacement cost: Covers the cost to repair or replace your personal belongings without deducting depreciation from your claim reimbursement.  

  • Equipment breakdown: Similar to a home warranty, this  covers the cost of replacement or repairs if an appliance, home system, or smart home device is damaged due to a mechanical, electrical, or pressure systems breakdown.

  • Water backup: Covers the cost of repairs if your house is damaged due to water backing up and overflowing from your drain or a sewer line.

  • Scheduled personal property: Higher coverage limits for jewelry, watches, and other expensive items.

  • Service line: Pays for excavation and repair or replacement costs in the event of damage to your water pipes, electrical wiring, gas lines, or any other underground service lines.

  • Rental to others: If you rent out your property through a short-term rental service like Airbnb and a guest destroys or steals your property, Universal North America’s short-term rental coverage will cover the cost of replacing or repairing your property. 

  • Identity fraud: If your identity is stolen, this covers the cost of legal fees, lost wages, and other costs you incur during the recovery process. 

  • Earthquake coverage: Provides limited and comprehensive earthquake insurance for at-risk homes. 

  • Flood insurance: Universal North America offers separate flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the main provider of flood insurance in the U.S.

  • Personal injury: Provides liability protection if you’re held liable for libel, slander, or any other type of personal injury.

Ratings methodology

Price

4.0/5

Universal North America home insurance policies are among the most affordable in the 16 states where it’s available, giving it a relatively high price rating.

Customer experience

4.4/5

Despite receiving nearly twice the number of complaints from 2020 to 2022 compared to other companies of its size, Universal North America received an above-average rating for customer experience.

Coverage options

4.3/5

Universal North America stands out for its comprehensive coverage options, which include optional add-ons like service line, equipment breakdown, extended replacement cost, and water backup coverage.

Financial strength

3.4/5

Universal North America has a B++ AM Best rating, which is lower than what homeowners should want from their home insurance provider, but still indicates that Universal has a “good” ability to honor its financial obligations to policyholders.

How much does Universal North America home insurance cost?

The national average cost of home insurance with Universal North America is $1,214 per year for a policy with $300,000 in dwelling coverage. This makes Universal North America about 30% cheaper than the national average. 

Dwelling coverage level

Average annual cost

$100,000

$564

$200,000

$804

$300,000

$1,214

$400,000

$1,532

$500,000

$1,859

However, your own rates will depend on your home’s location and how much coverage you need. Here’s the average yearly cost of Universal North America for five different levels of dwelling coverage:

What discounts does Universal North America offer?

Universal North America home insurance comes with a slew of potential discounts to lower your rates even more:

  • Preferred builder: If your home is constructed by one of Universal North America’s contractor partners.

  • Alarm systems and safety devices: If you have burglar alarms, fire alarms, fire sprinklers, or other safety or security devices installed in your home. 

  • Advanced quote: If you get an Universal North America home insurance quote at least a week before your current policy expires.

  • Superior construction: If your home is constructed with fortified or impact-resistant construction materials.

  • Fire sprinklers: If you have fire sprinklers installed throughout every room in your home.

  • Hip roof: If your home has a hip (pyramid-shaped) roof.

Universal North America home insurance state availability

Universal North America homeowners insurance is available in the following 16 states:

Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

What to expect with Universal North America home insurance

  • How to get a quote: To get an Universal North America home insurance quote, you can call 866-778-4462 or use Universal’s online agent search tool to find an independent agent in your area.

  • Customer service options: Universal North America’s website has a helpful contact page that can assist you with everything from general policy inquiries to finding a local agent to filing a claim.  

  • How to file a claim: To file a home insurance claim with Universal North America, you can do so via its online claims portal or by calling 866-999-0898.

  • How to cancel your policy: To cancel your Universal North America policy, call your local agent, whose number should be listed on your policy declarations page.

Universal North America vs. other home insurance companies

Compare Universal North America to similar homeowners insurance companies using the table below.

Company

Policygenius rating

AM Best rating

Cost

Universal North America

4.4/5

A-

$$

Kin

5.0/5

NA

NA

Kin

5.0/5

NA

NA

First Insurance Company of Hawaii

4.9/5

A+

$

Pacific Specialty

4.7/5

A-

$$

Homeowners of America

4.6/5

A

NA

Grange Insurance

4.5/5

A

$$$

State Auto

4.5/5

A-

$

Acuity

4.4/5

A+

$$$

Kemper

4.4/5

A-

$

American National

4.3/5

A

$$$

Shelter Insurance

4.3/5

A

$$$$

Farm Bureau

3.9/5

A

$$$$$

QBE Insurance

3.9/5

A

NA

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Author

Pat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

Expert reviewer

Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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