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United Equitable Insurance Company was founded in 1959, making it the oldest of the three subsidiaries by about 30 years. The business is headquartered in Skokie, Illinois and offers high-risk/non-standard auto insurance to Illinois drivers.
The United Equitable Group’s websites are very generic and unpolished, providing little in the way of useful information to prospective customers. The United Equitable Insurance (UEI) webpage consists primarily of a single page of contact information, an agent sign-in, and some miscellaneous forms that can be downloaded.
The site is without information regarding the products offered by the company and does not offer resources for obtaining a quote online. The overall impression is that the site was put together quickly and serves little purpose to the company’s marketing, which must be happening within the community through agencies instead of direct sales.
High-Risk Auto Insurance
UEI sells non-standard or high-risk auto insurance. Basically, this is insurance that covers the barest essentials required to meet the state’s legal minimums or coverage limits set by your lien holder. For cars that are owned outright, this pretty much means that you will be buying liability insurance with the state’s minimum limits. In the case of Illinois, that means $25,000/$50,000 Bodily Injury Limits and $20,000 Property Damage Limits.
If you are leasing your car or still making payments on it, the lien holder may require that you carry first-party damage coverage for your vehicle. This is often the only time that collision and comprehensive coverage is available to high-risk drivers.
For insurance purposes, a non-standard or high-risk driver is one who is viewed as more likely to be in a future accident due to previous driving habits:
- Speeding tickets and other traffic violations
- DUI convictions
- Multiple previous accidents
Age can also play a factor, with some young teenagers and drivers over 75 being classified as high-risk. Drivers with particularly low credit scores may also have difficulty finding insurance, although not every insurer will look at credit when deciding whether to cover a driver.
UEI does not offer information on its site about what may make its products different from any other high-risk insurance company. Since high-risk drivers often have difficulty obtaining insurance, some may not be in a position to shop around, therefore choosing the first company that offers coverage may be their only option.
However, non-standard auto insurance is an increasingly popular segment of the industry, and it is becoming easier than ever to find coverage even if you do not qualify for standard insurance. It’s quite likely that those who qualify for coverage from UEI would also qualify for a policy from a larger, better-known national non-standard insurance company.
UEI does not offer policy or pricing information on its website. This is surprising for a non-standard insurer, as direct sales are usually very common in this niche.
Moreover, while there’s an agent log-in on the company’s site, there is no information about how to find an agent. The company’s toll-free number is 800-831-8330, and the website claims that it is available from 8:30am to 4:45pm Monday through Friday. When I called for more information, I received a busy signal and was unable to get through.
Again, the UEI website offers little in terms of claim support or information. There is not a separate claims phone number listed on the site, so calls should be directed to the main toll-free line — which, as stated above, gave me a busy signal when I tried to call it.
Somewhat surprisingly, there are no claims forms on the “Documents” section of the company’s website.
United Equitable Insurance seems to have an abundance of negative reviews from customers. This is not entirely surprising. Most non-standard companies have more complaints than regular insurance due to their low limits. But I this case, it’s hard to find any positive remarks to balance it out.
Although the site is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, the site rates the company with an “F”. There are 41 complaints listed, 18 of which were closed in the last 12 months. There were 20 complaints that UEI did not respond to, likely the reason for the poor rating. Interestingly, the few complaints on the site that do have a company response seem to be handled very poorly, with bad customer service, combative phrasing and even grammatical errors in the responses. It definitely does not present the company in a good light.
Complaints on other sites such as Yelp repeat the same general issues of claim denials and poor customer service.
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Some insurance companies have poor BBB ratings simply because there aren’t many reviews, usually due to a company’s age or geographic reach. This is not the case with UEI. There are enough negative ratings spread out over a number of consumer sites that you should take the BBB’s “F” rating seriously.
The consumer complaints, the extremely low financial ratings, the company’s poorly designed website and most of all, the company’s unprofessional public demeanor when handling complaints send up red flags. I would not recommend this insurance company. Finding coverage as a high-risk driver isn’t always easy, but there is most likely a better option available for those looking for non-standard insurance.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.