Mercury Insurance ends fight with California for record $41M

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Mercury Insurance Co. is ending its two-decade battle with California regulators over extra fees charged to customers by paying the state a record $41 million.

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said Wednesday it’s the largest property and casualty penalty and interest payment in Insurance Department history.

It comes after the state Supreme Court last month declined to hear the company’s appeal from a lower court decision.

The state appeals court in May reinstated a $27.6 million fine from the Department of Insurance in 2015 for charging customers illegal fees.

The department said Mercury allowed its auto insurance agents to charge up to $150 in unapproved fees on top of state-approved premiums.

The settlement includes an additional $14 million in interest plus an additional payment to settle a false advertising allegation.

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