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IMPORTANT UPDATE: Settlement distributions to claimants were mailed on September 4, 2009.

Overview

If you have been a policyholder of Unitrin Direct Insurance Company and made a claim for damage to your car, and if you were paid less than the estimated amount it cost to repair your car, then you could get payment from a Class Action Settlement. The Settlement will provide approximately $168,000 as a whole to reimburse Unitrin auto policy holders for prior adjustments to their claims for auto damage. The Court in charge of this case is the Superior Court of the State of California, in and for Alameda County, and the case is known as Latora v. Unitrin Direct Insurance Company, Case No. VG 06275384. The person who sued is called the Plaintiff and the company he sued, Unitrin, is called the Defendant.

The Plaintiff claims that Unitrin’s application of betterment adjustments constitutes: (1) a breach of contract; (2) a breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and (3) a violation of California’s Business and Professions Code § 17200, et. seq.

The Plaintiff asked the Court to order Unitrin to pay back to each Class Member the total amount of betterment adjustment Unitrin applied, plus interest and punitive damages. Unitrin denies the Plaintiff’s allegations; denies that it has engaged in any wrongdoing; and maintains that it consistently has acted in accordance with its insurance policies and all governing laws.

The Settlement Class includes:

All California policyholders of Unitrin who filed a claim between June 20, 2002 and December 31, 2007, where the claim was paid by Unitrin subject to a betterment adjustment.

Benefits to the Class

Class Members will receive a payment from Unitrin in the amount of ninety-five percent (95%) of all betterment adjustments Unitrin applied, for the period from June 20, 2002 through December 31, 2007. Class Members will not receive interest or punitive damages. The total monetary value of this benefit to the Class as a whole is presently approximately $168,000.

Participating in the Settlement

You do not need to do anything in order to receive payment. You will receive a check from the Settlement Administrator.

The deadline to exclude yourself from the settlement or object to or comment in support of the settlement was February 3, 2009.

Fairness Hearing

The Court held a Fairness Hearing at 3:00 p.m. on May 20, 2009, and (1) finally approved the Settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate; (2) approved the payment of attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses to Class Counsel in the amount of $155,000; and (3) approved the payment of an incentive award to Plaintiff Alessandra N. Latora in the amount of $7,500.

Please note the following important dates:
Date Case-Related Event
February 3, 2009
[Expired]
Request for Exclusion Deadline (postmarked)
February 3, 2009
[Expired]
Objection Filing Deadline (postmarked)
May 20, 2009
at 3:00 p.m.
[Approved]
Fairness Hearing