Carolina Casualty Insurance Review

Carolina Casualty Insurance
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Carolina Casualty offers property and casualty insurance to truckers and certain other commercial auto enterprises. As a specialty insurer, its product offerings are narrow and tightly focused. The company does not sell personal insurance to individuals, and it covers only certain types of businesses. The coverages it offers to those select businesses, however, are fairly diverse and designed to help with the specific needs of that specialty segment.

Although the name might suggest otherwise, Carolina Casualty Insurance is actually headquartered out of Jacksonville, Florida. This company gets its name for its old headquarters in North Carolina, where it was originally founded in 1943. The move to Jacksonville was prompted by a merger with the Insurance Company of the South in 1958. Today, the company is owned by W. R. Berkley Corporation and acts as a main arm of that company’s special insurance segment.

Carolina Casualty Insurance sells policies in all 50 states. To do so, it utilizes a network of independent agents, with new brokers being added all the time to widen the company’s influence.

Insurance Products

Commercial Insurance

Carolina Casualty sells coverage for commercial automobiles, particularly truckers and public use vehicles. Since businesses face high risks, commercial insurance companies generally offer extensive liability coverage options. Carolina Casualty is no different in this regard.

Depending on a company’s needs, any and all of the following can be obtained through Carolina Casualty:

  • Auto liability– This coverage is similar to what you might find on a passenger vehicle with a standard auto insurance policy, but the available limits are much higher. This coverage also encompasses injury protection and non-owned auto coverage to offset risks faced by fleets and their drivers.
  • General liability– This is a business-oriented coverage that provides some excess liability protection as well as protection from liability situations that may not be directly related to an accident. Limits are available up to $2 million.
  • Professional liability– This is a type of business insurance that protects a company from lawsuits due to errors in operation. This coverage is actually managed through an affiliate, Monitor Liability Managers, which are owned by the same parent company as Carolina. Monitor primarily provides professional liability coverage to lawyers, accountants and other similar professions with a high level of professional risk, but it does extend similar coverages through various Berkley subsidiaries.

In addition to liability insurance, Carolina Casualty sells coverage to protect the vehicles in a fleet as well as their contents:

  • Physical damage coverage pays for damages to the vehicle itself.
  • Cargo coverage pays for damage to whatever the vehicle is hauling when that cargo is damaged during a covered loss. Various different endorsements can be purchased to expand this coverage to make it more suitable for a business’s particular needs.

Additional Products

Aside from insurance, Carolina Casualty offers a few services for businesses. The largest of these is loss prevention, a safety education program that allows specialists from the insurance company to train businesses and their employees in various best practices to reduce the likelihood of injuries and accidents.

Carolina Casualty Rates

Because commercial insurance policies are usually highly tailored to the needs of a particular business, prices can vary significantly from one policy to the next. For this reason, you’ll need to speak with a local agent to obtain a quote that fits the particular needs of your business.

The website lists agencies by state. Choose your state from the drop-down menu to find the nearest provider. Note that there are only a handful of agents operating in many states, so you may not find one in your town. You can, however, call the agency and obtain quote information or purchase a policy over the phone.

Calling the general information line for Carolina Casualty can also connect you with an agent in your state. Call 1-800-874-8053 and follow the prompts.

Claims

Finding claims information on the Carolina Casualty website is actually rather unintuitive: It’s hidden under the “Products and Services” tab.

Interestingly, the claims page makes a point of explaining that the company investigates claims aggressively and denies those that are “determined to be without merit.” It further explains investigations are designed to keep rates low by protecting against dubious or fraudulent claims, but it is an interesting disclaimer and makes me wonder whether they’ve had issues with fraud in the past or perhaps have a history of overly-enthusiastic claim denials.

In terms of claim handling itself, all claims are processed by their centralized claims staff with local adjusters assigned to inspect damage, sometimes even on-scene.

To file a claim, call 1-800-874-8053. This number is available 24/7.

Consumer Research and Complaints

It’s hard to track down consumer reports or ratings for Carolina Casualty. The company has a listing on the Better Business Bureau website but there is no information present, including a rating. Similarly, other major review sites don’t have listings for the company.

Carolina Casualty does not maintain a strong social media presence. It has no Facebook page, but it does have a LinkedIn account with 609 followers. This makes sense: As a B2B Company, it’s more important to connect with fellow businesses and professionals.

While researching, I did come across a market conduct examination from the Florida Department of Insurance against the company. This investigation was precipitated by consumer complaints, and it looked at the company for evidence of shady practices. This was filed back in 2000 for complaints from the late 90s, though, so it’s quite possible that Carolina Casualty has cleaned up its act since then. (Click here to download PDF)

Financial Strength

Rating Company Grade Financial Outlook
AM Best A+ Stable
Fitch A+ N/A
S&P A+ Stable

Bottom Line

B2B companies must be judged differently than direct-to-consumer companies as their goals, motives and ways of doing business are different.

The information about claim denials on its site is particularly off-putting, and coupled with the previous investigation into its claims practices. At the surface, it seems like a company that may drop your coverage at the slightest sign of trouble. On the flip side, they are one of only a few companies to actually get a grade from all three financial rating firms.

It’s worth doing more research and talking with an agent if you have a trucking business that needs insuring. Either way, they are worth checking out.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

Summary
Review Date
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Carolina Casualty
Author Rating
3

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