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CA Department of Insurance

Court denies Mercury Casualty Company's petition to stay Insurance Commissioner Jones' rate reduction order

News: 2013 Press Release

For Release: May 8, 2013
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Court denies Mercury Casualty Company's petition to stay Insurance Commissioner Jones' rate reduction order

SACRAMENTO - The Sacramento Superior Court has denied Mercury Casualty Company's petition for a stay to delay implementation of Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones' order directing Mercury Casualty to reduce its excessive homeowner insurance rates.

"This is a significant legal victory in our fight to ensure insurance rates are not excessive," said Commissioner Jones. "The 8.18 percent rate reduction in my original order provides much-needed financial relief for homeowners and helps consumers keep more of their hard-earned dollars in today's tight economy."

This most recent court order is the latest event in an ongoing legal effort by Mercury Casualty to challenge the insurance commissioner's authority to regulate rates. Mercury Casualty originally requested a rate increase of 3.91 percent in its rate application, but amended that to a 7.35 percent increase during the administrative law judge's hearing on Mercury's homeowner rate application.

Commissioner Jones ordered Mercury to reduce its maximum homeowners' rates, approving a decision recommended to him by an administrative law judge following an extensive public hearing on Mercury's original request for a rate increase. The reduced rates will benefit approximately 270,000 homeowners in California and save Mercury's California customers more than $16.5 million.

"We vigorously opposed Mercury's effort to deny consumers the benefit of a rate reduction while Mercury continues its meritless effort to challenge the insurance commissioner's established authority to reject excessive rate hikes," said Commissioner Jones. "The Court made the right decision in rejecting Mercury's petition to stay the rate reduction. We will continue to fight against Mercury and the insurance industry associations' efforts to challenge the long settled consumer protections in Proposition 103."

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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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