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California auto insurer fined for unfair claims-settlement practices

Auto insurer Harleysville Mutual Insurance has been fined $200,000 by the California Department of Insurance (DOI) for unfair claims-settlement practices.

According to the DOI, Harleysville must establish a detailed auditing system to monitor claims handling. If Harleysville does not comply with the auditing measures established by the DOI, it will be issued an additional $50,000 penalty.

Numerous consumer complaints about Harleysville's handling of auto insurance claims led to an investigation by the DOI that found 158 violations in the 60 claim files reviewed.

Harleysville's violations included a lack of timeliness in claims handling, failure to respond to DOI communications, and failure to properly identify itself as the insurer.

Harleysville says it is working to correct the problems.

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