How Many Insurance Executives Does It Take to Own $12 Million Worth of Homes?

If, out of some prurient curiosity, you ever wondered how an insurance executive lives, check out the house Mercury Insurance CEO Gabe Tirador bought soon after taking over the reins in 2007 (and about a year before laying off 363 employees).  Of course, CEO's houses are bubkis compared with the Chairmen.  That's where the real square footage is.  Mercury's founding Chairman lives in a Los Angeles palace, also pictured at our new website, which pulls back the veil on these executives and their effort to add a new surcharge to California car insurance premiums for anyone who didn't have auto insurance at some point in the past five years.  Even if they didn't have a car!

 The site will keep updated tabs on Mercury's attempt to raise car insurance rates as well as the goings-on of these executives who are, not surprisingly, completely out of touch with what it means to be dealing with the economic realities of most Californians.  There is info on how this initiative is scrooging soliders as well as info on the front groups Mercury is deploying to pitch their scam.

And you can be sure there is more to come, since we're dealing with an insurance company described by state regulators this way:

Mercury's lengthy history of serious misconduct, and its attitude – contempt towards and/or abuse of its customers, the Commissioner, its competition, and the Superior Court – are all relevant to determining the penalty needed to best ensure the protection of the public from future violations and wrongdoing…

Among Department [of Insurance] staff, consumer attorneys, and consumer victims of its bad faith, Mercury has a deserved reputation for abusing its customers and intentionally violating the law with arrogance and indifference.*

*The statement came in a brief submitted by the Department of Insurance in February 2009 in response to a motion by Mercury to exclude evidence of the company's past conduct. See key pages from that brief here. See, particularly, page 4.