Mercury Auto Insurance

by Nikola Djurkovic
Mercury Insurance Review Cover Photo
Carsurance Verdict: Mercury is among the most affordable insurers in the market. However, its customer service is subpar, and the company offers only a small number of discounts and optional coverages. With this in mind, it’s too flawed to recommend.

The Mercury insurance group was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. The company sells homeowners, auto, renters, commercial, and many other types of insurance. The company markets itself as a budget-friendly solution, which is reflected in the series of “cheapskate” commercials. Each commercial starts with a family of cheapskates trying out hilarious ways to save money and finishes with the punchline, “Mercury Insurance—a smarter way to save.”

As some Mercury insurance reviews note, these commercials certainly make a customer expect the finest rates available. To determine if this is true and if there are other factors making Mercury a great choice for auto insurance, we compared experts’ ratings, customers’ comments, and our own data. Check out the rest of this review to see if Mercury might be the right choice for your car insurance.

Product Overview

Features

Mercury auto insurance operates in 11 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. The company has the biggest presence in the state of California.

They employ a total of 4,500 workers and more than 8,000 independent agents, who are not obligated to sell insurance of any specific type or related to any particular carrier. While you can apply for a quote online, the policy will be finalized through an insurance agent via phone. The company also has a solid mobile app, that lets you pay bills, view policy information, download documents, contact your agent, track your claim status and much more.

Our research confirms that their rates are less expensive than average, making Mercury a solid choice for those on a tight budget. On the other hand, Mercury insurance customer service is not among the best in the market, while the coverage options and discounts offered are generally quite basic. However, the company does offer some unique and useful coverage options, like Mechanical Protection.

Signature Feature – Mechanical Protection

Mercury Mechanical Protection functions as an extended warranty for pre-owned and newer vehicles. It covers the cost of repairs and parts in case your vehicle breaks down. There are several plans to choose from, with the Platinum Plan being the most expensive and covering almost all the possible vehicle components.

Mercury car insurance reviews highlight that their mechanical protection is usually cheaper than the extended warranty sold by car dealers and that it includes some additions that should not be taken for granted. These include 24-hour roadside assistance, trip interruption coverage, rental car assistance, road hazard tire protection, and Mercury’s Nationwide Protection, which enables you to complete the repairs in any licensed repair facility in the US. We certainly like Mercury Mechanical Protection, and we wish more insurance companies would offer similar options.

Financial Strength

Reasonable prices and interesting optional coverages are not sufficient enough to make a specific insurance brand a good choice. The company needs to be financially stable and capable of paying their claims. There should be no worry here since Mercury insurance company has a rating from A. M. Best of A+ or Superior, which is the second-best rating possible.

Additionally, the company is ranked 677th in the Fortune 500 list, which is a great success given that Mercury is a smaller company compared to its rivals like Travelers or Geico. Overall, an average customer can rest assured that Mercury has sufficiently stable financial operations to cover their claims.

Types of Insurance Offered

We agree with the other Mercury auto insurance reviews that the company presents only a small number of optional coverages and doesn’t offer many of the other coverage extras that competitors offer—like gap coverage. Basic options commonly found in the industry such as collision, comprehensive, property damage liability, bodily injury liability, medical expenses, personal injury protection, and underinsured/uninsured motorist protection are all present. Besides these, only three options are available, in addition to the mechanical coverage that we described in the “signature feature” section.

Rental Car Reimbursement

While you are waiting for your damaged vehicle to be repaired, Mercury car insurance will pay for the car you are renting to get around. If you are renting a car on the regular basis, it’s worth checking rental car insurance.

Roadside Assistance

This is a charged add-on that covers the expenses of 24/7 roadside assistance in case you get stuck on the side of the road. The benefits include towing, flat tire changes, battery jump starts, emergency fuel and fluid delivery, and locksmith services. Keep in mind that this option covers the services only and does not cover the parts replaced or the fuel delivered.

Ride-Sharing Insurance

This option is available only in selected states, so call the Mercury insurance number (800-956-3728) to speak with a local Mercury authorized agent to see if this coverage is available in yours. Ride-Sharing coverage expands the protection offered by companies such as Uber and Lyft by providing coverage when you are connected to the app and waiting to be matched with a passenger. The price of this coverage can be as low as $0.20 per day if you opt for Mercury.

Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, many Mercury insurance reviews and industry experts agree that the company does not offer the finest experience available. In J.D. Power’s regional study for the California region, where Mercury writes most of its policies, the company is ranked as second from the bottom, scoring two out of five stars.

Ameriprise and Wawanesa are better choices in this region if you are looking for excellent customer service. The company also scores two stars out of five in the Florida region, ranking in the bottom half. Additionally, in J.D. Power’s national study, Mercury insurance falls dead last in both claims processing satisfaction and insurance shopping, scoring two out of five stars—ouch.

Mercury’s NAIC Ratio, which indicates how many complaints the company receives relative to its size, is 0.84. This is slightly better than the average; however, many of the insurance companies we tested have an even lower ratio. On the Better Business Bureau, a website which rates how ethically a company conducts its business, Mercury is not accredited yet, but it has a rating of A+, with the average score of 1.5 stars based on 27 customer reviews.


Mercury Auto Insurance Rating in various customer service categories


Additionally, on websites like Yelp, there is a significant number of negative reviews, with customers complaining about the way their Mercury insurance claims were handled and how their rates increased for no reason. However, this is common for the industry, and even highly rated companies like Erie have a lot of negative reviews on these websites. This is simply because a customer is always more likely to leave a review if they have a negative experience.

Still, it’s hard not to get the impression that Mercury doesn’t have great customer service when there are so many indicators that show they don’t.

Discounts

Similar to its optional coverage, Mercury insurance company does not offer as many discounts as the competition. However, there are still some useful options that can bring their premiums down. One thing we didn’t appreciate is that Mercury doesn’t provide information on their website explaining how much the discounts reduce the premium in terms of percentage.

Information like that is important for us reviewers because we like to direct a customer to a company where the discounts they’re eligible for are the highest. In Mercury’s case, we can only advise you to dial the Mercury customer service number and verify the discounts firsthand. Keep in mind that not all discounts are available in all states. The options offered by Mercury are the following:

Anti-Theft Feature Discount

If your vehicle is equipped with theft prevention devices, you can get a discount.

Good Driver Discount

If you are a driver with a good record, a discount is available.

Autopay Discount

If you set things up to make an automatic Mercury insurance payment, a discount is available.

E-Signature Discount

If you decide to handle your insurance documents online, your wallet and the planet will both thank you.

Good Student Discount

If you have a student on your insurance policy with a GPA of B or higher, a discount is available.

Multi-Car Discount

If you are insuring multiple vehicles with Mercury auto insurance, you can get a discount.

Occupational Discount

If you are working as an educator, engineer, or scientist or if you are a member of the California Medical Association, you can get a discount. The best course of action is to verify with your local insurance agent if your profession qualifies for a discount.

Multi-Policy Discount

If you are also purchasing homeowners, condo, or renters insurance from Mercury, you can get a bundle discount. Keep in mind that some reviews on Mercury insurance note that the company has higher prices for homeowners insurance.

Pay in Full Discount

If you pay the entire policy premium at the start of the term, a discount is available.

RealDrive ® Discount

This discount is basically a low usage discount under a different name. Just by signing up for this program, you will get a 5% discount. Then, based on how many miles you cover, you can get a higher discount.

About Insurance Rates

Our Mercury auto insurance rate comparison shows that the prices offered by Mercury are indeed below average, but they still aren’t the lowest available. In our analysis, both Geico and Amica Mutual had better rates, and those companies also scored significantly higher in customer service.

It should be noted that the initial rates are only half the story when it comes your final premium price, with discounts being the other half. We got a Mercury insurance quote for three different age categories, and we found that for all three categories Mercury was below the total average of all the insurance companies we tested. However, since Mercury does not offer as many discounts as the competition, it could be possible that the company that initially offered you a higher premium in the end turns out to be a more wallet-friendly option.

ValuePenguin tested Mercury along with State Farm, Farmers, and Safeco and found that it was the cheapest in all the categories except for the 42-year-old couple, where it was beaten by Safeco. Other Mercury reviews also confirm that the company offers lower rates compared to other companies.

Mercury Car Insurance Compared with Its Top Competitors

Mercury vs. Allstate

In our analysis, Mercury comes in as a slightly cheaper option than Allstate for everyone except middle-aged drivers. When it comes to customer service, both companies scored 2 out of 5 stars in the J.D. Power insurance shopping study, while Allstate did better than Mercury in the claims satisfaction study, scoring 3 stars out of 5, compared to Mercury’s rating of 2 stars out of 5.

Allstate also offers more options for safe drivers, as well as guaranteed claims satisfaction, something that the best auto insurance reviews praise highly. Guaranteed claims satisfaction means that you will get a refund if you are not pleased with the way your claim was handled. Allstate also has a higher number of additional coverage options, meaning that we would favor Allstate unless we were on a strict budget or we found Mercury’s Mechanical Coverage to be extremely appealing.

Mercury vs. State Farm

State Farm comes in as a more expensive option in other Mercury auto insurance reviews, as well as in our analysis. We found that for a 21-year-old driver, State Farm costs $150 more per month than Mercury, which is a significant difference. When it comes to customer service, State Farm scores 3 out of 5 stars compared to Mercury’s 2 out of 5 in the J.D. Power national rating in claims satisfaction and shopping study.

When it comes to discounts and optional coverage, none of these companies really excel. This means that the decision comes down to the better prices offered by Mercury or the better customer service offered by State Farm. State Farm also scores significantly better in the California region, where Mercury insurance has the largest presence.

Mercury vs. Travelers Insurance

Mercury and Travelers score very similarly when it comes to their prices, with Travelers being significantly cheaper for younger drivers, and Mercury being less expensive for older drivers. Travelers scores significantly better when it comes to customer service, scoring 3 stars in both the claims satisfaction study and the shopping study, and ranking about in the middle overall. Mercury lands at the bottom in both categories.

Travelers also offers more discounts and optional coverages than Mercury. We would advise you to lean towards Travelers unless you are specifically interested in the Mechanical Protection or if you’re an older driver.

Best Alternatives

There are many excellent alternatives to Mercury car insurance. Those looking for the best customer service should check Erie, Amica Mutual, or Auto-Owners insurance, while those shopping specifically in the California region should also check Ameriprise and Wawanesa insurance.

Those working on a tight budget should check out Progressive and Geico, who offer very competitive prices and dependable customer service. Keep in mind that the rates, as well as any additional coverage, may vary from state to state and that insurance reviews can only help you to narrow down your choice to a few companies, but it is still the best course of action to compare quotes from a few different companies before making a decision.

Mercury’s Expert Thoughts

Mercury insurance reviews do not rate the company highly. Mercury was ranked 22nd out of 23 insurance providers in NerdWallet’s ranking of the best car insurance companies, earning 3.5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. Value Penguin also gave them a mixed review, awarding the company 3 out of 5 stars. The advantages of Mercury per this review were its low costs for younger drivers and its Mechanical Protection coverage, while the disadvantages were the slow claims payments and higher prices for homeowners insurance.

Even more striking is J.D. Power’s low Mercury insurance company rating, where the company came in dead last in both claims satisfaction and insurance shopping studies for the year 2018. The overall impression is that the insurance experts don’t hold this company in high regards.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Mercury good auto insurance?

The answer depends on your priorities when choosing car insurance If you are looking for the best customer service available, you should probably stay away from Mercury. On the other hand, the company does offer competitive rates, and Mercury car insurance reviews praise the unique Mechanical Protection coverage, which serves as an extended warranty.

If you are working on a tight budget, Mercury can be a good choice if you are ready to tolerate subpar customer service. However, we cannot give this company a universal recommendation; it’s just not good enough in the competitive car insurance market to merit that.

2. Does Mercury offer gap coverage?

Mercury insurance does not offer gap coverage. We were unable to find any confirmation on the company’s website that this option is available.

3. Does Mercury insurance offer roadside assistance?

Yes, roadside assistance is available as a charged add-on to any policy. It includes towing, flat tire changes, battery jump starts, emergency fuel and fluid delivery, and locksmith services. To find out more about their roadside assistance coverage, just call the Mercury insurance phone number, which is (800) 503-3724.

4. What states is Mercury available in?

Mercury is not available in all the US states. Instead, this auto insurance can only be purchased in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia.

5. How do I file a claim with Mercury?

To get things started, you will need to call the Mercury insurance claims phone number at (800) 503-3724. The line operates 24/7. Make sure that you have all of the relevant information you need prepared before you contact the claims department.

6. What is Mercury’s A. M. Best rating?

Mercury holds an A+ or Superior rating from A. M. Best, which is the second best rating possible. The company has strong financial operations, and they are capable of paying claims, which the Mercury insurance reviews confirm.

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