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Review of Mercury Auto Insurance & a Policy Comparison by Price

Mercury’s auto insurance prices cannot be beat, but this is definitely a case of “you get what you pay for.”

Many customers are known to be left frustrated with Mercury’s poor customer service, appraisals, and settlements.

So, while you might be saving money month-to-month, if you ever need to actually use their services there is a decent chance you will regret your choice.

Comparing premiums by Mercury Group's price with State Farm, Farmers, and Safeco for 25 y/o female driver.Note: Illustrated above are annual premiums for a 25 y/o female driver. In this instance, the cheapest quotes are offered by Progressive at $1,209 per year. Mercury offers quotes at $1,531 per year and only lower in cost than Safeco.

As with everything, there are a few highlights to the company that may make them a good choice for some drivers.

So, let’s begin our deep dive and see who would benefit best from purchasing Mercury auto insurance.

History & Availability of Mercury Group

Headquartered in California, Mercury General Corporation was founded in 1961 and sells various types of insurance, though they specialize in home and auto.

As of 2018, they provide auto insurance in only 13 states.

Premium quotes for 30 y/o female driver with driving violation. Note: As mentioned Mercury does really well for drivers with a violation. They offer quotes as competitive as State Farm and Progressive. And cheaper than both Farmers and Safeco. If you are in the unfortunate situation where you are looking for a cheaper premium with a driving violation put them on your list to get quotes.

States Available & Comparison

Below is a list of the states where Mercury Group offers coverage.

From my research, the states where they are the most competitive is California and Texas.

In each of those states they offer coverage well below the median rate for similar profile drivers.

Other states where they offer coverage, but not nearly as competitive by price, are New York and Virginia.

If you are a driver in either Texas or California you are probably going to see them as an extremely competitive option.

StatePercentage Rate Hike 2017*State Average QuoteMercury QuoteDifferenceRideshare CoverageSatisfaction Out of 5
Arizona4%$1,400$1,311-$89Y3
California
5%$2,255$2,009-$246Y4
Florida4%$1,843$1,816-$27N4
Georgia3%$1,955$1,822-$133N4
Illinois 5%$1,452$1,376-$76Y4
Michigan
7%$2,367$2,402+$35Y4
Nevada4%$1,587$1,518-$69Y4
New Jersey5%$1,987$2,033+$46N4
New York6%$2,332$2,411+$79Y4
Oklahoma
6%$1,400$1,302-$98Y4
Pennsylvania5%$1,943$2,004+$61N3
Texas 6%$1,990$1,876-$114Y4
Virginia

7%$1,722$1,800+$78N4

The company claims to have won “A+ ratings from A.M. Best and Fitch.

As well as recognition from Forbes as one of ‘Americas Most Trustworthy Companies,’ according to their 2016 fact page, but customer reviews on average tell a different story.

More on that later…

Average quotes by price for a 40 y/o male driver with Mercury as the 3rd cheapest carrier.Note: A 40 year old male driver can find Mercury Group very competitive with quotes at $1,032 per year. They are cheaper than Farmers and Safeco. And nearly as competitive with State Farm and Progressive.

Mercury’s Strength: Cost

Their greatest strength is their low cost.

Their premiums are consistently cheaper than other auto companies.

For a 2016 Honda Civic in downtown Dallas, Texas (ZIP code 75201), for a single male driver, the coverage starts at $106.05 per month.

This is seven dollars per month cheaper than the average cost I found in Dallas.

Comparing quotes from State Farm, Farmers, Safeco, and Texas Farm Bureau for 30 y/o male driver.Note: Illustrated above I put into a graph the quotes I queried for for a 30 year old male driver in Texas. The only company offering quotes cheaper was Texas Farm Bureau. State Farm, Farmers, and Safeco are all more costly than Mercury Group. I compared against the companies in Texas which have the largest number of written premiums.

Their prices were consistently lower than competitors across packages and states.

As you notice by the quote comparison, they are able to offer competitive quotes for male drivers.

For female drivers it appears they are not as competitive.

For drivers with a violation, when stacked up against national carriers, they can offer competitive rates. 

Driver ProfileMercuryProgressiveAllstateFarmersSafecoState Farm
25 y/o female$1,531$1,209$1,365$1,421$1,590$1,341
25 y/o male$1,839$1,890$2,020$2,004$2,143$1,903
30 y/o female$1,322$1,286$1,387$1,190$1,462$1,440
30 y/o male$1,490$1,398$1,438$1,505$1,611$1,399
25 y/o male (1 driving violation)$2,311$2,289$2,219$2,611$2,744$2,121
30 y/o female (1 driving violation)$1,610$1,512$1,573$1,638$2,052$1,532
40 y/o male$1,032$980$1,045$1,090$1,089$966
45 y/o female$766$754$801$824$976$742
55 y/o male$689$632$711$690$832$633
55 y/o female$590$511$529$580$652$592

So what do you get for that low cost?

Policy Options & Benefits

The basic coverage quoted above includes $30,000 of bodily damage per person up to $60,000 per occurrence, $25,000 for property damage and no extras.

This is the minimum you can get, however, they also offers personal injury, medical coverage, uninsured motorists, rental car coverage, and other options as well.

Mercury also offers discounts for good drivers, students, E-signatures, autopay, multi-car/multi-policy, etc.

Though, while they have an ‘okay’ list of discounts, it is by no means as comprehensive as some competitors (GEICO’s list of discounts, for example, is way too long to even list here).

Comparing prices of each carrier for a 45 y/o female driver. Note: A 45 year old female driver can find competitive quotes being offered at $766 per year for full coverage. Which is only a few dollars more expensive than State Farm and Progressive. Both Farmers and Safeco are substantially higher with quotes at $824 and $976 respectfully.

Mercury’s Extras: Ride Share Coverage

Mercury also provides a few unique extra products that help them stand out such as coverage for Uber and Lyft driving.

However, the ride share package only covers you while the app is open and you are waiting for a customer, still leaving you vulnerable anytime you are carrying a customer or are en-route to pick one up.

Ride share packages are not necessarily a feature unique to them.

In Texas alone, there are at least eight other companies I found that offer better coverage for ride share drivers, though Mercury is still likely to be the cheaper option.

Quotes compared for lowest price with State Farm, Safeco, and Farmers for 55 y/o driver.Note: A 55 year old male driver can find a quote at $689 per year for full coverage. Which is cheaper than Farmer or Safeco. They are nearly 10% more expensive than Progressive and State Farm. For senior drivers they would be a good choice if you get a multi-policy option. For auto coverage only? Probably not.

Mercury’s Mechanical Protection

One final special product worth mentioning is the Mechanical Protection coverage option.

Think of it as an extended warranty on your car.

Mercury Mechanical Protection will cover breakdowns up to seven years or 100,000 miles, which ever comes first, on new or pre-owned vehicles.

The Mechanical Protection comes in different package levels to suit different needs from basic protection to premium.

This can be a cheaper alternative than buying an extended warranty straight from a car dealership or manufacturer, depending on your vehicle.

Additionally, purchase of one of their mechanical plans comes with a list of extra benefits free of charge such as roadside assistance and trip interruption coverage to name a few.

So, on the surface, it appears that Mercury offers coverage that is on par with competitors at a steal of a price.

However, customer claims tell a much different story.

Comparing state average quotes in Arizona, California, Florida, and Georgia.Note: In each state illustrated above they offer lower quotes each time for drivers with a decent driving history. They are competitive in all four states by price. While they offer ride-share coverage in Arizona and California, but not yet in Florida and Georgia.

Mercury’s Weakness: Service & Value

According to five popular customer review sites, drivers have had significant issues with customer service, appraisal decisions, and settlements.

J.D. Power conducted a review of the company in 2015.

They ranked Mercury as average across most categories but very poor when it comes to both appraisals and repairs.

This means they are likely to undervalue your car and low-ball the estimated cost of repairs when deciding how much money to pay out after you get in a wreck.

This should make potential buyers wary.

Part of the value in insurance is the good feeling you get knowing that, if an accident happens, your insurance company has your back.

Having coverage should bring you peace of mind.

Knowing Mercury’s track record of leaving their customers out to dry…if I had them for my coverage, it would certainly make me uneasy.

I do not want to drive around town with the knowledge that, if I get in an accident, I may end up having to pay way more out of pocket than I expected.

To me, that risk is not worth the potential month to month savings.

State median premium price for Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Texas compared. Note: Two states where they are not competitive are New Jersey and New York. The quotes are sightly higher than the state average premium. In Nevada and Texas they consistently offer quotes substantially lower than the median premium.

Verdict: Who should use Mercury, if any?

There is no denying you cannot beat Mercury’s prices.

If that is the primary factor in your decision making, then they may be good for you.

However, keep in mind that, if you ever get in an automobile accident, you will likely be paying back those savings when it comes time for repairs or vehicle replacement.

Mercury is the cheapest option in keeping you legal by providing you with required auto insurance, but fingers crossed that you never actually have to use it.

Sources

https://www.mercuryinsurance.com/MIG

https://www.jdpower.com/California/3510

NerdWallet.com/blog/insurance/mercury-insurance-review/

https://www.mercuryinsurance.com/auto

Shaun Fyffe

Shaun Fyffe

Hi, I am Shaun Fyffe and writing is my passion. In my spare time I enjoy the outdoors, spending time with my family, sometimes I might go hiking or riding a bike, plus doing the regular hanging out - New York Style!

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