SURETY COMPANY DATA:

Universal Fire & Casualty Insurance Corporation

Political Contributions

According to records with the California Secretary of State, Universal Fire & Casualty Insurance Company made five contributions in the state from 2017 to 2019, totaling $19,786.22.

Public records of campaign contributions maintained by the Federal Election Commission database contained no references to any contributions from Universal Fire & Casualty Insurance Company or Universal Holding Corporation from 1979 to 2019. According to the Federal Elections Commission database, Tom Parker, President, CEO, and Chairman of Universal Fire & Casualty Insurance Company, contributed $500 to Trump Make America Great Again Committee in 2019.

Lobbying

Records in the lobbying database maintained by the National Institute on Money in Politics did not include any reference to lobbying activity by Universal Fire & Casualty Insurance Company at the state level.

Universal Holding Corporation, Universal Fire & Casualty Insurance Company’s parent company, has lobbied The State of Michigan since 2007, with Tom Parker being listed as the signatory. During this time, UHC spent $10 on food and beverages (from summer 2012) and $3,600 every year on all other lobbying expenses. Total year-to-date expenditure by UHC in Michigan was $38,510.

Ownership

According to the 2015 Financial Examination of Universal Fire and Casualty Insurance Company by the Indiana Department of Insurance, effective June 26, 2002, North Pointe Holding Corporation acquired Universal Fire & Casualty. North Pointe Holdings Corp maintained “a 40% ownership share, while its wholly-owned subsidiary, North Pointe Insurance Company, maintained the remaining 60% ownership share.” Effective July 1, 2003, Universal Fire and Casualty was purchased by “Universal Holding Corporation (UHC).” The purchase agreement was a “clean shell purchase” of 100 percent of the stock. “The shell consisted of seven (7) state licenses and $5,000,000 in unencumbered capital and surplus.” The following chart shows the current ownership structure of Universal Fire and Casualty, as reported with the Indiana Department of Insurance for year-end 2015.

Universal Holding Corporation (UHC) is the direct parent company of Universal Fire & Casualty Insurance Company and the two entities share several executives and directors based on the holding system as described in the 2015 Financial Examination conducted by the Indiana Department of Insurance

Tom Parker General Agency, Inc. is the ultimate parent company within the holding system. 

The following table contains affiliated companies. Companies in gray indicate that all companies below are organized as subsidiaries, repeated as necessary.

Leadership

Director

Title

Thomas M. Parker

President, CEO, Chairman, Director

Richard J. Klimaszewski

COO, Director

Joseph A. Fink

Director

Richard L. Roehling

Director

Lloyd A Schwartz

Treasurer, Director

Brian Lietzke

Secretary, Agent

Dirty Laundry


Employment of Fraudulent Bondsmen

According to the Ohio Court of Appeals for the Sixth District, on February 18, 2014, a Lucas County Grand Jury indicted Damon Hogan, “the owner of Damon Hogan Bail Bonds (‘DHBB’), on one count of complicity to commit forgery.” Ericka Burns, Hogan’s former employee, was also indicted on one count of forgery. The indictments were related to “alleged irregularities in the posting by Burns of a $50,000 bond in the Lucas County Jail on behalf of Cordell Scott.” A bench trial found both guilty. Burns did not appeal, but Hogan filed a timely appeal, arguing “that his conviction was not supported by sufficient evidence and the trial court abused its discretion by barring him from earning a living as a bail-bonds agent or owner of a bail-bonds agency.”

Evidence presented at trial showed that Hogan was a “licensed bail-bond agent and a managing agent for Universal Fire and Casualty (‘Universal’), [and] delivered Universal's power of attorney (‘POA’) to Burns so that she could post Scott's bond and that, at the time, Burns was an agent of DBHH. However, in a text message presented as evidence, appellant told Burns to name herself as the executing agent for the bond and Free Me Now Bail Bonds (‘FMN’) as the agency she represented. Toledo Police investigators further testified that, after picking up the POA at her office, Burns filled in ‘Free Me Now’ as the bail bonds agency on the POA. Burns then filed paperwork, which included the POA and a copy of FMN's certificate from the Secretary of State showing it was registered as an Ohio business, with the court before posting Scott's bond later at the jail. Testimony was also presented by Karen Vourvopoulos of the Ohio Department of Insurance [that] both individuals and business entities ‘in the surety bail bonds business’ must be licensed by the ODI before posting a bond. It is undisputed that the ODI did not issue a license to FMN until January 16, 2014.” In addition, before being found guilty, Hogan failed to present evidence that FMN was licensed by ODI “at the time the bond was posted, or that it was ever authorized to post bonds on behalf of Universal.” The trial court also found that Burns followed Hogan’s instructions and “added FMN to the POA after appellant gave it to her and before she attempted to post Scott’s bond.”


Failure to Supervise Bondsmen

In November 2015, Richard Klimaszewski, as officer of Universal Fire & Casualty Company, signed a consent order issued by the Minnesota Department of Commerce in regards to “alleged violations of Minnesota law by the company that may have occurred on or before the date of this Order.” According to background on the order, the department had “received numerous complaints concerning the failure of certain bail bond producers to follow all Minnesota laws related to the solicitation, negotiation, sales and posting of bail bonds, among other things.” After reviewing the complaints, the department “initiated Market Conduct Examinations of most, if not all, of the bail bond surety companies,” along with “their contracted bail bond agencies…and appointed bail bond producers.” As a result of these examinations, “the Commissioner alleges that surety companies…have failed to adequately supervise their producers’ conduct and various producers have engaged in conduct that is allegedly in violation of Minnesota law.”