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Liberty Mutual Settles with Three California Counties Over Accident Forgiveness Program

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Liberty Mutual Insurance Group Inc. will pay $925,000 in order to settle in the civil complaint filed in regards to their accident forgiveness program, which was not available in California. The civil complaint was just filed yesterday jointly by Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego counties who allege this advertisement created unfair competition by Liberty Mutual. The settlement was signed today by a Riverside County Superior Court Judge officials said.

Beginning in 2014, the Boston-based company launched the nationwide television ad campaign, which has been estimated to have reached up to 80 percent of the households in California. The commercials were focused on the “accident forgiveness” program, which protects drivers for having an insurance rate increase in the case they were involved in an at-fault collision. Although these commercials reached California homes, California consumer protection laws prohibit accident forgiveness programs from being offered in California.

Prosecutors accused the company of having only a three to four-second disclaimer, which used small type and that was “obscure” when California law requires all advertising is clearly disclosed. “California consumers rightfully expect clear and accurate advertising about what is and is not contained in the automobile insurance policies offered to them,” said District Attorney Lacey.

The terms of the judgment include that Liberty Mutual will be subject to an injunction requiring full compliance with the state law with its accident forgiveness advertising, including a clear disclosure that these programs are not available in California. The settlement will be split among the three counties.

 

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