Mercury Car Insurance Comparison

Mercury Insurance

Mercury Insurance is sold under the Mercury Insurance Group which is a publicly traded company registered at the New York Stock Exchange. This company, founded by George Joseph, has been around since 1961 and sells different kinds of insurance including home, business, and auto insurance. In 2012, it was one of Forbes choices of America’s Most Trustworthy Companies. This was a short-lived achievement as Mercury Insurance Group was unable to sustain the momentum in the succeeding years.

Mercury Car Insurance is based in California and majority of its policies are underwritten in this state. Originally, Joseph was targeting low cost insurance to counter the rates of the top heavy hitters in the insurance business. George worked in the insurance industry for several years and knew what was lacking in the market. His strategy was to be stringent on the underwriting and claims processes to keep costs low.

He also began offering insurance to high risk drivers and made use of independent brokers and agencies.

This plan worked and in 1990, Mercury Insurance began to expand to:

They are also in Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, and Virginia.

Mercury Overview

The Mercury Insurance Group has a marketing angle that promotes financial strength, great customer service, value, and reliability. In California, it is one of the top insurance providers and concentrates most of its marketing efforts in maintaining and expanding its market share. Being a publicly listed company, they pay out dividends and try to be as transparent as possible to their shareholders.

Mercury Car Insurance has a network of about 5,500 agents who are trained to provide a personalized experience to each customer. Unfortunately, this system has led to some lagging in terms of processing policies and claims because of the indirect approach. For immediate quotes they have their online website.

Their website which can be difficult to upload at times offers online payments of premiums and policy holders are allowed to print out their ID cards. The 9 over-the-counter payments are only available in Texas, Florida, and California. Other payment methods allowed are through mail or via a phone in authorization.

Mercury Full Coverage Insurance

Mercury Insurance relies heavily on its agents to book new customers and only steps in for the processing stage wherein they approve discounts and rates.

For full coverage, Mercury Insurance has the following available options which you can add to the basic package:

Mercury Insurance is also known for offering fleet insurance with an extensive opt-in coverage choices such as Gap insurance, bail bond, insurance for employees, and waiver of subrogation, among others.

Mercury Car Insurance Discounts

Mercury Car Insurance offers the following discounts: good credit (up to 73%), multi vehicle in one policy (up to 26%), clean record (up to 18%), long distance student, bundling with home insurance and good student (up to 10%), and anti-theft and safety features (up to 5%).

Discounts on low mileage, professional or group, retired policy owner, new car, other safety features like anti-lock brakes, and VIN etching are also available but will depend on your personal circumstances and other factors. This means the discount rate can vary from one person to another.

According to Mercury Car Insurance executive, Robert Houlihan, the company does not give out discount coupons but suggests that asking about them is one way to find out what you are eligible for. The company, he says believes in being affordable especially in the tight economy.

While this may be true for Mercury Car Insurance, special insurance for classic cars or specific injuries are not offered. When compared with online quotes from other insurance companies, Mercury gives the following:

  • For a single female driver aged 23, Mercury offers a rate of $1,070 while Allstate quotes $1,546 and 21st century gives a lower quote of  $894.
  • The range is similar for a single male driver, aged 30. However, when a quote is requested for an average married couple between the ages of 30 t0 49, Mercury Insurance quotes are much higher than Allstate by more than $500 while those aged 65 and older are charged almost $500 more than Allstate.

Mercury Insurance also charges extra for road assistance while rental reimbursement will cost you an additional $12 on your premium.

The Mercury Car Insurance Comparative Performance

The positive reviews on Mercury Car Insurance all pinpoint to a good list of available discounts and how well loyal customers are served. The company is also financially solid in spite of a low 1.21 market share across the country. The S&P financial strength rating for Mercury Insurance Group is an A-.

Policy cancellation will be processed with a 10% cancellation fee on the total premium due just like Allstate.

Last March, Mercury agreed to partner with Google Compare auto insurance for the state of California alongside 13 other carriers. This appears to be a good move on the trails of an earlier announcement made in January about news that state prosecutors fined Mercury for charging unapproved fees.

This case involved transaction done from 1999 to 2004. The fine of $27.5 million is the largest fine ever imposed on an auto insurer. Mercury has challenged the ruling saying independent brokers are allowed to charge their individual broker’s fees.

There have been other controversies hounding Mercury Car Insurance like overdue payouts, drawn-out resolutions, and charges made after policies were cancelled. These are not unusual issues to Mercury Insurance and it happens across the board with almost all insurance companies.

In fact, for 2014, when compared to 24 other California insurance carriers, Mercury has the best complaints record and was recognized as the 4th largest auto insurance company in the state of California.

Compared to other insurance providers, Mercury offers 24 hour guarantees, pre-approved list of repair shops, a competitively priced skilled car software, umbrella coverage, mechanical breakdown protection for new cars that includes towing, tire security, trip interruption, and rental costs

The company does have a reputation for unannounced rate increases and a less-than-VIP treatment for new policy holders.

Finally, in terms of pricing, Mercury is not higher nor lower than most companies. In the 2014 JD Power, a global market research firm, Mercury ranks 2/5 overall purchase experience quite similar to the 3/5 star rating for rates from Insure.com.