Unitrin Direct Auto Insurance Expands Business Into Florida

VISTA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 30, 2001–Unitrin Direct Auto Insurance, headquartered in Vista, in suburban San Diego County, has expanded its sales to the state of Florida. Unitrin Direct has started a series of TV and direct mail advertisements throughout that state and sells auto insurance direct to Florida consumers through its Vista call center and Internet web site (www.unitrindirect.com). Unitrin Direct began sales in Pennsylvania, its first state, on January 1st of this year.

“We considered expanding our business into various states, but we chose Florida because we think our company has the right combination of ingredients to be very successful in that state. Our focus group testing told us that Florida drivers were very concerned with insurance company stability, service and rates. Our stability is demonstrated by the fact that our parent organization, through its member companies, has insured consumers since 1926. Our approach to service provides the best of both worlds–the personal attention consumers expect from traditional insurance channels, with the convenience of dealing with a team of service members,” said Larry Sundram, President of Unitrin Direct. “Additionally, with Unitrin Direct, consumers could save up to 20% on their auto insurance.”

Sundram went on to explain that although Unitrin Direct is headquartered in California, it will initially concentrate its marketing efforts in the eastern part of the country, with plans to add other large states there by the end of the year.

The company began direct marketing operations in early 2000 and has assembled a staff of over 100 licensed insurance sales professionals, information technology experts and other support personnel. Unitrin Direct is one of the larger employers in the Vista area.

According to Sundram, “We have been very pleased with our Vista location. North San Diego County has a large pool of qualified, highly skilled applicants, and the vast majority of our employees find working in Vista to be a real plus.”

Unitrin Direct offers a new concept in auto insurance sales, that of team service for consumers. Consumers who purchase a Unitrin Direct policy will be assigned to a team of customer service representatives. “Not surprisingly, we call this Team Unitrin,” explained Sundram. “By focusing on their assigned customers, team members will be able to provide a higher level of personalized service. Our customers will be given a special toll-free number that rings directly to their particular team. Every member of that team will have the information necessary to provide a superior customer service experience. The Team Unitrin concept combines the best aspects of traditional, customized service, with greater availability of service personnel.”

Unitrin Direct is a business segment of Unitrin, Inc. (www.unitrin.com), headquartered in Chicago (stock symbol: UNIT). Unitrin’s insurance companies have served the basic financial needs of individuals, families and small businesses since 1926. Through its insurance subsidiaries, Unitrin provides property and casualty insurance and life and health insurance. The Unitrin family of insurance companies currently has over $5 billion in assets and 6 million insurance policies in force. Unitrin’s insurance companies employ more than 6,500 associates.

Unitrin Direct Auto Insurance policies may be ordered over the phone at (877) 495-6222 or on the Internet at www.unitrindirect.com. In Florida, Unitrin Direct policies are underwritten by Alpha Property & Casualty Insurance Company.

CONTACT: Unitrin Direct

Bob Chambers, 760/597-4629

[email protected]