Beachcombing

By: 
Jay Beeler

The California Department of Insurance made this statement before an Administrative Law Judge in an agency enforcement action against Mercury Insurance Company:

“Mercury has a deserved reputation for abusing its customers and intentionally violating the law with arrogance and indifference.”

Inasmuch as my firm, Beeler & Associates, had a business relationship with Mills Insurance Services in Los Alamitos, our cars and home were covered by Mercury as one of Mills’ principal carriers for several decades.

But that is about to change.

Six months ago the water heater on the north side of our home sprung a leak that seeped under our parquet flooring in the hallway and front bedroom, destroying half the flooring. Over the past several months Mercury chooses to ignore the fact that quality, three-quarter inch, six finger solid oak parquet costs about $35 per square foot to replace; Mercury is offering $15 per square foot (falsely calling our floor “Pergo”) despite their obligation under the law to compensate us for the loss incurred.

Upon the advice of homeowner friends who had similar problems with insurance company claims, we hired an independent firm – Excalibur Public Adjusters of Huntington Beach – to review our loss. They came back with an estimate of $44,212 versus Mercury’s estimate of $22,546.

And because Mercury has dragged our claim out for six months, we had to put in temporary carpet at a cost of $9,189 to make our home presentable for guests at an upcoming family wedding in September. Now our claim against Mercury has risen to $53,402 while we are in receipt of Mercury checks totaling only $19,556.

A claim has been filed with the California Department of Insurance against Mercury Insurance. Time will tell if we are appropriately compensated by a company known for “abusing its customers and intentionally violating the law with arrogance and indifference.”

Then there’s a plethora of insurance fraud attorneys who would be willing to take our case for a percentage of whatever gets awarded in court. This is the good part where you can add two or three zeros to the actual damages. It’s called “punitive damages.” I think that Mercury’s founder, George Joseph, would benefit from this aspect to guide his company away from their current unethical and fraudulent practices.

A few years ago I caught Mercury “adjusting” the miles being driven on our auto policies by 1,000 miles annually without our knowledge and consent. How many people do you know that changes their driving habits upward 1,000 miles per year? They claim that the Department of Insurance lets them do this; I claim it is another example of their corruption.

In a related matter I’d like to thank Jay and Melissa Glatman of Family Floors for making our home presentable again. On Aug. 24 they re-carpeted our entire home and it looks fantastic. Their installers were quick and professional, completing an entire job of more than 1,500 square feet in about six hours.

Please refer to the Family Floors banner ad at the top of page one for their contact information.

Thank you to everyone who sent in ballots as part of our 16th annual Best of Long Beach contest. During the month of August we’ll be tabulating the results and announcing the winners in our Sept. 15 edition.

We’ll also be drawing ballots to reward those residents who participated in the voting. Each year we hand out about $10,000 in gift certificates and gift cards for this purpose. A big “thank you” to those businesses that participate.

And on a personal note thanks to everyone who expressed “get well soon” wishes to my wife, Anita, who fell at JFK Airport in New York four weeks ago, had surgery to repair a hip fracture at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and is now recuperating at home.

Assisting someone who has had this surgery makes you appreciate the hard work performed by doctors, nurses and medical technicians on a daily basis.

I’ve learned to give injections of blood thinner (to avoid clotting), organize multiple medications, provide many trips to medical facilities, provide grooming services and tend to extensive amounts of paperwork.

It’s times like this that I’m reminded of the wedding vows from 49 years ago: “in sickness and in health ... for better or worse.”

So far, so good. I wouldn’t change a thing.

publisher@beachcomber.newsThe California Department of Insurance made this statement before an Administrative Law Judge in an agency enforcement action against Mercury Insurance Company:

“Mercury has a deserved reputation for abusing its customers and intentionally violating the law with arrogance and indifference.”

Inasmuch as my firm, Beeler & Associates, had a business relationship with Mills Insurance Services in Los Alamitos, our cars and home were covered by Mercury as one of Mills’ principal carriers for several decades.

But that is about to change.

Six months ago the water heater on the north side of our home sprung a leak that seeped under our parquet flooring in the hallway and front bedroom, destroying half the flooring. Over the past several months Mercury chooses to ignore the fact that quality, three-quarter inch, six finger solid oak parquet costs about $35 per square foot to replace; Mercury is offering $15 per square foot (falsely calling our floor “Pergo”) despite their obligation under the law to compensate us for the loss incurred.

Upon the advice of homeowner friends who had similar problems with insurance company claims, we hired an independent firm – Excalibur Public Adjusters of Huntington Beach – to review our loss. They came back with an estimate of $44,212 versus Mercury’s estimate of $22,546.

And because Mercury has dragged our claim out for six months, we had to put in temporary carpet at a cost of $9,189 to make our home presentable for guests at an upcoming family wedding in September. Now our claim against Mercury has risen to $53,402 while we are in receipt of Mercury checks totaling only $19,556.

A claim has been filed with the California Department of Insurance against Mercury Insurance. Time will tell if we are appropriately compensated by a company known for “abusing its customers and intentionally violating the law with arrogance and indifference.”

Then there’s a plethora of insurance fraud attorneys who would be willing to take our case for a percentage of whatever gets awarded in court. This is the good part where you can add two or three zeros to the actual damages. It’s called “punitive damages.” I think that Mercury’s founder, George Joseph, would benefit from this aspect to guide his company away from their current unethical and fraudulent practices.

A few years ago I caught Mercury “adjusting” the miles being driven on our auto policies by 1,000 miles annually without our knowledge and consent. How many people do you know that changes their driving habits upward 1,000 miles per year? They claim that the Department of Insurance lets them do this; I claim it is another example of their corruption.

In a related matter I’d like to thank Jay and Melissa Glatman of Family Floors for making our home presentable again. On Aug. 24 they re-carpeted our entire home and it looks fantastic. Their installers were quick and professional, completing an entire job of more than 1,500 square feet in about six hours.

Please refer to the Family Floors banner ad at the top of page one for their contact information.

Thank you to everyone who sent in ballots as part of our 16th annual Best of Long Beach contest. During the month of August we’ll be tabulating the results and announcing the winners in our Sept. 15 edition.

We’ll also be drawing ballots to reward those residents who participated in the voting. Each year we hand out about $10,000 in gift certificates and gift cards for this purpose. A big “thank you” to those businesses that participate.

And on a personal note thanks to everyone who expressed “get well soon” wishes to my wife, Anita, who fell at JFK Airport in New York four weeks ago, had surgery to repair a hip fracture at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and is now recuperating at home.

Assisting someone who has had this surgery makes you appreciate the hard work performed by doctors, nurses and medical technicians on a daily basis.

I’ve learned to give injections of blood thinner (to avoid clotting), organize multiple medications, provide many trips to medical facilities, provide grooming services and tend to extensive amounts of paperwork.

It’s times like this that I’m reminded of the wedding vows from 49 years ago: “in sickness and in health ... for better or worse.”

So far, so good. I wouldn’t change a thing.

publisher@beachcomber.news

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Beachcomber

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