The Tampa Tribune is reporting that Mercury Insurance Group is stopping operations at two of its Florida offices, and laying off fifty-eight employees in the Sunshine State. This comes fairly closely on the heels of a huge push into Florida.
Los Angeles-based Mercury, which calls itself one of the fastest growing car insurers in the country, issued a brief statement last Thursday, explaining that it is restructuring it’s Florida operations, with changes specifically affecting the underwriting and claims department at it’s eastern regional headquarters, located in Clearwater. No reason was provided, but it is suggested that the company’s non-California business has decreased sharply.
About 75% of Mercury’s $3 billion annual net premiums written are in its home state of California, making it the Golden State’s third-largest automobile insurer. Outside of California, however, the company’s reports showed a decline of 16% in the fourth quarter of 2007, as compared to the same period in 2006, as well as a 14.8% decrease in non-California premiums over all of last year. Figures for the first quarter of 2008 have not yet been released.
According to a Mercury spokesperson, the call center and billing units in Florida will be closed, with the former merged into an existing facility in San Antonio, TX, and the latter split between California and Oklahoma.