Mercury Insurance Must Pay $27.6M Fine Over Illegal Fees

Law360 (May 8, 2019, 9:23 PM EDT) -- A California appeals court on Tuesday ruled that Mercury Insurance Co. must pay a $27.6 million fine over its brokers' practice of tacking on illegal fees to auto policyholders' premiums, reinstating the largest-ever penalty imposed on a property and casualty insurer in the Golden State.

In a unanimous opinion, a three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeal's Fourth Appellate District said a trial court erroneously cast aside the findings of then-California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, who ordered Mercury to pay the whopping fine in 2015 following a lengthy hearing before an administrative law judge.

Jones concluded that Mercury's main brokers...

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