Mercury Insurance

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Mercury Insurance Group is Los-Angeles-based insurance company, and the third largest insurer in California. [1]

Involvement with promoting a ballot initiative

In December, 2009 the Campaign for Consumer Rights reported that Mercury Insurance submitted signatures to place an initiative, titled Proposition 103, on the California ballot in 2010. The measure would level a surcharge on drivers, including soldiers and seniors, who had a lapse in auto insurance coverage for virtually any reason during the previous five years. Under the proposal, people who stopped driving and thus didn't need insurance for a time would be required to pay hundreds of dollars more for insurance when they sought to restart coverage. According to the Campaign for Consumer Rights, the measure would override a provision of a 1988 insurance reform measure which prohibits companies from raising rates on people because they did not have auto insurance in the past.[2]Mercury submitted the signatures through a front group called Californians for Fair Auto Insurance Rates.[3] The insurer seeks to portray the ballot measure as a discount for people who maintain continuous insurance. [4]

Court rulings

In 2003, the California Court of Appeals invalidated a virtually identical law which was also sponsored by Mercury Insurance. In its ruling, the Court cited the Department of Insurance's senior actuary, who ruled that Mercury's proposal "would result in a surcharge equal to a 40 percent increase in premium for ... policyholders who do not qualify for the 'continuous insurance' discount."[5]

Related Sourcewatch resources

External resources

Contact

Mercury General Corporation
4484 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010

References

  1. Campaign for Consumer Rights Mercury Insurance Submits Initiative Signatures to Trick Voters Into Paying Higher Auto Insurance Premiums, PR Newswire, December 16, 2009
  2. Campaign for Consumer Rights, Santa Monica, California Mercury Insurance Submits Initiative Signatures to Trick Voters Into Paying Higher Auto Insurance Premiums Press release. December 16, 2009, accessed December 30, 2009
  3. Doug Heller When an Insurance Giant Funds a Ballot Measure, Watch Out For Your Wallet, California Progress Report, December 4, 2009
  4. Californians for Fair Auto Insurance Californians for Fair Auto Insurance Rates Files an Initiative to Expand Auto Insurance Discount for California Drivers, Press release/Web page, June 15, 2009, accessed December 30, 2009
  5. Campaign for Consumer Rights, Santa Monica, California Mercury Insurance Submits Initiative Signatures to Trick Voters Into Paying Higher Auto Insurance Premiums Press release. December 16, 2009, accessed December 30, 2009