Mercury Car Insurance Review

Basic car insurance for cost-conscious consumers

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Mercury Insurance

Mercury is an insurance company that offers car insurance, homeowners insurance, and business insurance policies. Since its formation in 1961, Mercury has focused on providing basic insurance options at an affordable cost. It is the sixth largest private passenger automobile insurer in California, with total assets of more than $5.9 billion. However, Mercury only insures vehicles in 11 states.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Mechanical protection insurance available

  • Rideshare insurance available as an endorsement

  • Multiple discounts available

Cons
  • Only operates in 11 states

  • Limited online account management

  • Lower-than-average customer satisfaction rankings

Key Takeaways
  • Mercury was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Los Angeles.
  • It is the sixth largest private passenger automobile insurer in California, with total assets of more than $5.9 billion.
  • Mercury has more than 4,400 employees and 9,400 independent agents located in 11 different states.
  • The company offers mechanical protection insurance and rideshare coverage.
  • Online quotes are available.
Company Overview
  • Year Founded 1961
  • Official Website www.mercuryinsurance.com
  • Insurance Offered Auto, home, condo, renters, business, business auto, landlord, umbrella
  • Customer Service Phone: 866-924-7537

Pros Explained

  • Mechanical protection insurance available You can purchase mechanical protection insurance to get coverage for repairs to your vehicle after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
  • Rideshare insurance available as an endorsement In some states you can add a rideshare endorsement to your policy if you drive for services such as Uber or Lyft. By adding this rider to your policy, you’ll get coverage for the gap in which you’re not protected by the rideshare company’s policy.
  • Multiple discounts available Mercury has multiple discount programs that can lower your insurance premiums, including autopay, good driver, and multiple policy discounts.

Cons Explained

  • Only operates in 11 states Mercury is not available to residents of all 50 states. It only writes car insurance policies in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia.
  • Limited online account management While you can create an online account with Mercury to make payments and download ID cards, there is little else you can do. While other car insurance companies allow you file claims online or add coverage, Mercury doesn’t offer those options. To make any changes or file a claim, you must call and speak to an agent.
  • Lower-than-average customer satisfaction ranking When it comes to its customer satisfaction, communication, and pricing, Mercury received poor marks in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. Mercury was ranked 22nd out of 23 car insurance companies, with a rating well below the industry average.

California is the main source of Mercury’s business, making up 86% of the company’s premium revenues.

Mercury Car Insurance Coverage Options

While other companies offer robust coverage options such spare parts insurance, customized equipment protection, and gap coverage, Mercury offers basic auto insurance with some optional enhancements you can add to customize your policy. It allows you to get a quote online if you live in one of the 11 states in which it operates, or you can contact an agent for a personalized quote.

Mercury has the following coverages:

Collision

While collision coverage isn’t required by most states, it may be a good idea to add it to your policy. Collision protection pays for repairs to your vehicle after it’s been in an accident, or it may pay for a replacement if the car is declared a total loss.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive coverage is optional insurance that pays for damage to your vehicle due to circumstances other than accidents. For example, it would cover repairs to your car after a hail storm, a flood, or an act of vandalism.

Liability

Liability coverage protects you if you are in an accident and found legally responsible for damages caused to a person or property. There are two categories of liability protection:

  • Bodily Injury Liability – Bodily injury liability pays for damages that the other driver or passengers experience after an accident, including medical expenses and lost wages.
  • Property Damage Liability Property damage liability pays for repairs to the other party’s vehicle or property.

Medical Payments

You can add medical payments coverage to your policy to pay for medical expenses that arise after a covered accident. It applies to you and your passengers, regardless of who was at fault during the accident.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Depending on where you live, you may need PIP. Some states, including Florida, New Jersey, and New York, require all drivers to have this coverage, which is also known as “no-fault insurance.” It pays for your medical costs and other expenses after an accident, even if you weren’t at fault.

Rental Car

If you’re in an accident and your car needs repairs, rental car protection can help you get to and from work or school. Rental car coverage is optional, and Mercury will provide you with a rental vehicle while your car is being repaired. Coverage limits range from $30 to $100 per day for up to 30 days.

Rideshare

Mercury’s ride-hailing insurance, more commonly known as “rideshare insurance,” is an optional rider you can add to your personal auto policy if you drive for services such as Uber or Lyft. You can get protection for when you aren’t covered by the rideshare companies’ insurance for as little as $0.90 per day.

Rideshare insurance is not available in all 11 states in which Mercury operates. Drivers in New Jersey and New York are not eligible.

Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance is an optional benefit you can add to your policy to get help with your vehicle if it won’t start. Mercury’s roadside assistance covers towing (up to set limits), locksmith services, battery jump starts, flat tire changes, and emergency fuel and fluid delivery.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

If you are in an accident with a driver who is uninsured or who has insufficient coverage, uninsured motorist insurance and underinsured motorist insurance pay for your medical expenses and repairs to your vehicle after an accident.

Mercury Car Insurance Discounts

Mercury has multiple discounts that can lower your insurance premiums, including:

  • Anti-Theft Discount Drivers who installed anti-theft devices on their vehicles can qualify for this discount.
  • Autopay Discount If you sign up for automatic payments, you can get an additional discount.
  • E-Signature Discount – If you’re willing to sign your policy documents electronically, you can get a reduction on your premiums.
  • Good Driver Discount If you go a specified time without an accident, you can qualify for a rate reduction.
  • Good Student Discount Students who do well in school may be eligible for a discount. Speak to a Mercury agent to see who qualifies as a good student in your area.
  • Multiple Car Discount If you insure two or more vehicles, you can get a premium discount.
  • Multiple Policy Discount Bundle your policy with homeowners, condo, or renter’s insurance to save on your car insurance.
  • Pay-in-Full Discount If you can afford to pay your annual premiums up front rather than in monthly or quarterly installments, you’ll get a discount.
  • RealDrive Discount With Mercury’s RealDrive initiative, you can qualify for a 5% discount just by enrolling in the program. Your rate is based on how many miles you drive; the fewer you rack up, the less you’ll pay.

Discounts can vary by state, so contact a Mercury insurance agent to see what discounts you’re eligible for and get a detailed quote.

Mercury Car Insurance Availability

Mercury only insures cars in 11 states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. If you live in another state, you’ll have to get insurance from a different company.

Mercury Customer Service

For any issues related to your policy or coverage, you should contact your agent directly. For general questions not related to your policy or coverage, you can call 800-503-3724 to reach Mercury’s customer service department.

Mercury was ranked 22nd out of 23 car insurance companies in the J.D. Power 2019 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. The study ranked companies based on their product offerings, pricing, communications, and customer interactions, and Mercury’s rating was well below the industry average.

AM Best is a credit rating agency dedicated to the insurance industry. Its Financial Strength Ratings are the agency’s opinion on how financially stable a company is and how likely it is to honors its contracts and policies. In 2020 AM Best affirmed that it gave a Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) to Mercury.

Complaint Index

Before selecting a car insurance company, it’s smart to research how many complaints are submitted about the company each year. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) collects all complaints that consumers submit about different insurance companies. The NAIC uses that information to release companies’ complaint ratios, a number that reflects the number of complaints the companies receive relative to their market share.

A complaint ratio above 1.0 means the company received more complaints than is typical for its size, while a ratio below 1.0 means the reverse. In 2019 Mercury’s complaint ratio for private passenger auto insurance was 1.29, slightly above the national complaint index.

Mercury’s complaint ratios have been at or slightly above the national complaint index for the last three years.

Other Insurance Provided by Mercury

Mercury offers several other insurance products, including:

How to Make a Car Insurance Claim With Mercury

While other companies allow you to start the claims process online, Mercury requires you to file a claim over the phone. You can reach the claims center at 800-503-3724. When you file your claim, the Mercury representative will initiate the claims process and explain the next steps.

Mercury Car Insurance Cancellation Policy

To cancel your car insurance policy, contact your Mercury insurance agent. You’ll typically have to submit a written cancellation request specifying when you want your policy to end and your reason for canceling.

Get a Mercury Car Insurance Quote

With Mercury, you can get a quote for auto insurance online. However, you’ll have to speak with an agent to purchase a policy. You can typically meet with an agent in person or talk over the phone during normal business hours.

When getting a quote, you’ll be asked for the following information about your car and yourself:

  • Year, Make, and Model
  • Financing Information
  • Estimated Annual Mileage
  • Birthday
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Social Security Number
  • Driving Record
  • Gender 
  • Marital Status
  • Zip Code

Compare Other Car Insurance Reviews

If you live in one of the states where Mercury is licensed to issue auto insurance policies, the company can be an affordable option for car insurance. However, Mercury lacks the extra protections that other companies offer. If you’re looking for additional coverages and more-responsive customer service, you can likely find better options with another insurance company.

Verdict

Mercury’s car insurance policies cover the basics, such as collision, liability, and comprehensive coverage. You can also get rideshare protection and have access to multiple discounts that lower your insurance premiums.

However, Mercury has a poor reputation for customer service and is only available in a handful of states. Those who want more-responsive service and robust online account management tools will find Mercury to be very limited in its offerings.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to furnishing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of car insurance providers. We reviewed each insurance provider's coverage options, available discounts, customer services, and satisfaction ratings to ensure that our content helps users make the right insurance decision for their needs.

Article Sources

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  1. Mercury Insurance. "Mercury Insurance Company Fact Sheet." Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

  2. J.D. Power. "Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Reaches Record High as Carriers Refine Time-Consuming Processes, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

  3. Businesswire. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Mercury Casualty Group’s Members and Mercury General Corporation." Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

  4. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Mercury Insurance Company National Complaint Index Report." Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.