The Buzz: ‘Cougar’ Growls Over Auto Insurance Measure

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Opponents of Proposition 17 have leveled
yet another charge of discrimination against Mercury Insurance, the
auto insurer bankrolling the June 8 ballot measure to allow companies
to use coverage history in determining insurance rates.

The latest alleged victims? Cougars.

They don’t mean Mercury Cougars. They don’t even mean big cats.
They’re talking about women of a certain age married to younger men.

Cougar dating expert Lucia – apparently no last name needed –
headlined a Los Angeles news conference Thursday at Mercury Insurance
on Wilshire Boulevard, sponsored by the No on 17 campaign.

Also on hand: Consumer Watchdog’s executive director, Douglas
Heller, plus more cougars and their “cubs.”

During a Department of Insurance investigation in the late 1990s
into Mercury’s rate-setting practices, former insurance agents said
they were told not to approve policies for older women married to
younger men, as well as diabetics, military personnel and drivers
thought to be of Middle Eastern origin.

A Mercury spokesman dismissed the allegations Thursday as hearsay
from more than 12 years ago and said the company doesn’t discriminate
against anyone.

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Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
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