by Naomi Seligman
Mercury Insurance, the sponsor of the deceptive Prop 17, is pushing regulators to allow a $32 million rate increase for California drivers insured by the company and its affiliates. The company is quietly seeking the rate hike even as it is spending $10 million on a deceptive ad campaign trying to fool voters into believing that Prop 17 would lower car insurance costs.
Consumer Watchdog has challenged the proposed rate hike, saying the company has played fast and loose with data in an attempt to improperly raise rates and should actually be lowering prices by 11% for policyholders.
So, let me get this straight, Mercury Insurance is spending millions to try and convince voters that Prop 17 would lower premiums, while it’s working behind the scenes to jack up car insurance rates before the election. Wow.
If Mercury raises rates by $32 million, it would recoup every dime spent on its deceptive campaign for Prop 17, with policyholders picking up the tab. Nothing like taxing your customers to pay for increased profit margin.
Consumer advocates have slammed Mercury’s rate hike proposal as excessive and improper.
If approved as Mercury has proposed, the rate hike would force its insured drivers to pay an average of about $145 more than they should, based on Consumer Watchdog’s calculations. The Department of Insurance has not made a decision on the proposal.