Universal International Insurance

Universal International Insurance

A court hearing in a lawsuit against Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron’s insurance agency is scheduled for Aug. 5 in Carthage, according to court records, even as official documents show two other complaints against the business.

Wilson County Criminal Court Judge Brody Kane is a special judge assigned to the lawsuit brought August 2018 by Susan and Charles Daniel Calvin of Shelbyville, according to Rutherford County Circuit Court documents. The case is in the Rutherford County Circuit Court system but has been assigned to Kane, according to his office. The motion hearing is set for 9 a.m. on Aug. 5 in Carthage, according to Kane’s office, which did not say what the motion relates to.

A number of subpoenas have been issued for records from Sprint, Comcast and AT&T, court records show.

The Calvins’ lawyer, Heather Parker, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

The Calvins claim that Ketron’s daughter, Kelsey Ketron Randolph, accepted payment to open a homeowners’ insurance policy on their behalf but never followed through, committing a breach of contract, according to the lawsuit. They say their house was badly damaged from frozen pipes around January 2018.

Randolph is vice president of her father’s company, Universal International Insurance Agency, according to her LinkedIn profile.

One lawsuit settled

Another lawsuit against Universal was settled for an undisclosed amount in June by Smyrna business Martin Construction and Restoration Co. LLC, according to Rutherford County Circuit Court documents. The company claims breach of contract.

A message requesting comment was left for Broderick L. Young, Universal’s attorney in the Martin case.

According to that lawsuit, the construction company, owned by Erica Martin, on or about June 23, 2016 submitted a renewal application for general liability and pollution insurance to Universal. Around July 6, 2016, Martin sent a check to Universal for $11,973.15 for payment to renew the policy with Berkley Insurance. Universal failed to renew the policy, the lawsuit said.

Around Oct. 24, 2016, Berkley told Martin the policy had not been paid and so the account would soon be cancelled, the lawsuit said. After reaching out to Universal with multiple emails, on Nov. 8, 2016, Randolph said “everything had been taken care of,” according to the lawsuit.

Randolph is identified by her maiden name of Ketron in the lawsuit.

Berkley told Martin on Dec. 4, 2016 it had not been paid and cancelled the policy, the lawsuit said. on Jan. 27, 2017, Randolph emailed the plaintiff with “a copy of a check purported to be the check that Universal paid to renew the Insurance Policy,” the lawsuit said. “However, the check was dated July 29, 2017, more than a year after Plaintiff paid the premium to Defendant Universal.”

Randolph on Feb. 7, 2017 again said the situation had been handled, the lawsuit said. The plaintiff asked for the certificates of insurance around Feb. 13, 2017, but was not given the documents. On Feb. 15, 2017, plaintiff asked for a refund but was not given it. Around the same day, Berkley Insurance turned the plaintiff’s account over to collections for non-payment, the lawsuit said.

The plaintiff had to obtain a new insurance policy to continue conducting business, the lawsuit said. The company had to reject about $46,800 worth of business because of Universal’s failure to renew the policy, the lawsuit said. Martin asked for a copy of its insurance records called a “loss run” to provide its new insurer but Universal refused, the lawsuit said.

When Martin filed the lawsuit, it asked for $150,000 plus costs as well as a jury trial.

A message asking for comment was left at Martin’s office.

Police report filed

A third situation involves a police complaint that was filed by Wade T. Hellemn of Lebanon. Hellemn filed a complaint with the Murfreesboro Police Department on March 11 claiming insurance company fraud against Randolph (using her maiden name of Ketron).

The MPD incident report lists these offenses: theft of property, impersonation of licensed professional and criminal simulation (forgery/counterfeiting).

According to the report, Hellemn says about $4,000 in insurance premiums were allegedly stolen. The report says there was water damage to his home. According to the report, Hellemn was a customer of Universal since 2013 and when he filed a claim in 2018, “he found that no policy had been taken out for him.”

The Calvins also filed a fraud complaint in June 2018 with the Murfreesboro Police Department, the department’s records show.

“This is an ongoing investigation and we can’t comment at this time,” Murfreesboro Detective Chris Pitts said last week. “While we understand the victims’ frustration being a year has passed since they filed the report, the case is actively being investigated by multiple agencies and criminal charges will follow.”

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