SACRAMENTO (AP) — California’s insurance commissioner is ordering Mercury Insurance to pay a $27.6 million fine for charging wrongful fees to its auto customers.

In announcing the largest fine against a California auto insurance company, Commissioner Dave Jones said Monday that Mercury charged customers the same amount — $27.6 million — in broker fees that his agency did not approve.

Jones says a judge recommended the fine after finding that the fees were wrongfully charged in 180,000 auto insurance transactions.

Mercury president Gabriel Tirador says in a statement that the company believes the decision “is contrary to California’s rate laws, due process, and basic notions of fairness.”

He says Mercury will challenge it in court.

Proposition 103, approved by California voters in 1988, requires the state commissioner to approve auto insurance rates.

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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