California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced a $1 million settlement with Mercury Insurance Co., Mercury Casualty Co. and California Automobile Insurance Co. over findings that Mercury violated California laws on rating and underwriting practices.
The settlement stems from a market conduct exam based on which the California Department of Insurance found that Mercury violated California law more than 350,000 times based on more than 50 illegal rating and underwriting practices.
In addition to the $1 million fine, Mercury agreed to business practice reforms.
“This routine market conduct exam of Mercury Insurance resulted in payment of a penalty and business practice reforms, and serves as an important reminder to all insurers to uphold commitments made to policyholders,” Jones said in a statement.
The CDI exam concluded, among other things, that Mercury failed to provide reasons for non-renewals and cancelations, used unapproved and unfiled rates, failed to consistently follow their own rating and underwriting rules, and failed to make certain required disclosures in Spanish.
CDI conducts market conduct examinations of insurance companies to ensure the companies are complying with the California insurance code and the code of regulations with respect to rating, underwriting and claim practices.
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