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Universal Underwriters Group



  • Existence: 1922


Universal Underwriters began in 1922 as a small business that provided 85 Ford dealers with fire insurance. The customer base has expanded and in 1990, it includes all franchised automobile dealers, parts wholesalers-retailers, independent garages, implement dealers, motorcycle dealers, and various other automotive related businesses. From its original fire insurance policy, the company now offers a wide range of products: property and casualty insurance policies tailored to each business, business life insurance, credit insurance, vehicle service contracts, and workers compensation. The company also insures motorcycle risks through an agency system.

Universal Underwriters Group has achieved some notable firsts in the field of specialized insurance. For instance, it was first to provide the automobile dealers with a simplified monthly reporting form for fire and theft protection of automobiles they owned or held for sale. Universal Underwriters’ competitive action in this area forced the adoption of similar policies by other companies. The valued business suspension insurance policy was another noteworthy first, and excessive insurance expense related to use of automobiles by customers was curtailed by the introduction of its improved garage liability policies…

Universal Underwriters Group has never tried to develop a particular corporate image, but the image that is projected throughout the history of the company is strong. The most striking qualities are of being fair, honest and the best. James J. Lynn, the founder, operated his businesses with these qualifies [sic] in mind, and when his nephew took over the company’s operation, he continued those traditions. In 1982 Eugene M. Lynn sold his interests in Universal Underwriters and its subsidiary companies to Zurich Holding Company of America, Inc.

Source: Preface to Tapestry: A History of Universal Underwriters Group (1990)

In 1922, a group of Universal Motor Car Company (Ford) dealers was searching for a way to insure their rapidly growing businesses. Fire insurance was expensive and qualified professional insurance carriers were hard to find for the young industry.

So, the group formed a reciprocal insurance company and called it Universal Underwriters. Through the years, Universal Underwriters expanded its offerings, to serve not only vehicle dealers, but the entire automotive aftermarket. In 2007, Universal Underwriters takes on the Zurich name. We're changing our brand, but we're not changing our legacy.

Our company entities include: UUIC - Universal Underwriters Insurance Corporation UUAC - Universal Underwriters Acceptance Corporation UUSC - Universal Underwriters Service Corporation UUISI - Universal Underwriters Insurance Services, Inc. UUT - Universal Underwriters of Texas Insurance Corporation UULIC - Universal Underwriters Life Insurance Company

Source: Zurich in North America website:

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Universal Underwriters Group Collection

Identifier: MS-0185
Scope and Contents The Universal Underwriters Group Collection was the gift of Pat Fischer at Zurich in North America (formerly Universal Underwriters Group). Contained in the collection are a wide variety of documents that represent both the history of the company as well as more day-to-day business matters. A great many magazine advertisements and brochures are here as well, along with some awards (certificates, plaques). The collection boasts a large collection of various newsletters and publications, as...
Dates: 1930 - 2008