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Mercury 2019 Auto Insurance Review: Rates, Claims Satisfaction, and Coverage

BravoDollar Editor rating:

Summary:

This regional insurance provider’s low rates, but comprehensive coverage options makes it attractive to the price-conscious customer.

Pros:

  • Highly competitive pricing for the coverage options
  • Network of local insurance agents

Cons:

  • No frills website with limited functionality compared to savvy online players like GEICO
  • Below average claims satisfaction with a ranking of 2/5

As the fourth largest insurance provider in California with a wide network of local offices, Mercury is a good choice for a customer looking for a good price and does not need a website or app with bells and whistles provided by other national providers. Mercury also offers insurance in 11 other states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia.

The Value Equation ($)

When deciding on which insurance provider to go with, the first thought that comes to mind is cost. During the quote process, you will be asked personal questions that include your age, location, coverage choices, driving history, and type of vehicle among others. Savvy consumers should shop online and put in quote requests at a few different providers to see what their premiums would cost. Price comparisons like the one below are a quick snapshot, and could give you a guideline for which providers to get quotes from. However, each quote is personalized to you and your needs.

Take a look below at a comparison between Mercury and 2 other large national providers, State Farm and Progressive:

Mercury consistently offers a lower premium across a variety of driver profiles.

 MercuryState FarmProgressive
18 year old, no accident driver$3,420$7,680$8,250
30 year old, no accident driver$1,560$1,595$1,652
Drivers with DUI/DWI$1,900$3,844$2,202
Drivers with 1 at-fault accident$1,852$2,852$2,720

Discounts

Mercury like every other insurance provider provides discounts that fall under the following categories:

  • Vehicle Equipment Discounts – cars with anti-theft devices get discounts
  • Driving History/Education/Affiliation Discounts – discounts include good driver and occupational discounts
  • Customer Loyalty Discounts – they incentivize drivers who have multiple cars or have bundled renters/home insurance policies together with their auto insurance
  • Payment Discounts – if you auto-pay or pay a 6 month policy in full, you receive a discount
  • Driving Usage – Mercury has a program called Mercury RealDrive. Most insurance providers request an estimate of your annual mileage, but if you provide an actual tally of your mileage to Mercury, your rate will be based on how many miles you actually drive. Therefore, you will have the potential to save if you drive less. You also receive an ongoing 5% discount to participate and this discount is applied as long as you stay in this program.

During the quote process, Mercury asks questions related to your vehicle and its features, your driving history, payment option and whether or not you will be bundling policies. In your policy, you will see the discounts that apply to you, but there is no option to add discounts after you have coverage.

These discounts are not uncommon and do not play a major part in determining how much your insurance premium quote will be. Other factors including vehicle type, location, your driving history, the amount of coverage selected will be crucial in determining your rate.

Claims Satisfaction

The majority of the states in the U.S. have a legally mandated minimum auto insurance coverage with the exception of New Hampshire, Arizona and Virginia. Most drivers typically consider cost as the primary factor while selecting car insurance providers followed by the important question of whether or not the claims experience will be smooth. Here is a look at how Mercury compares.

How easy is it to file a claim with Mercury?

  • Call their 24 hour 7 day a week Claims Department: +1-800-503-3724

What is the average consumers’ experience and satisfaction with Mercury?

J.D. Powers conducts an annual survey of approximately 10,000 consumers who have recently filed a claim in the last 6 months. Based on this survey, they rank the insurance providers on a 1000 point scale. Mercury Insurance falls below the  national average with a score of 821/1000 with the industry average at a 861.

In comparison, the highest scorer for the 2018 survey was Erie Insurance with a score of 891. These two insurance providers are similar in that they are both regional operators, but the claims experience survey score is starkly different.

Some complaints about Mercury’s claims experience include customer’s frustration with the speed of processing, denied claims, and dropped coverage after a payout.

Coverage Options

As the 4th largest auto insurance provider in California, Mercury Insurance offers comparable coverage features with many of the larger insurance providers. The chart below compares Mercury to the top 2 largest insurance providers in the US. Note that many of the features are available in all 3 with very few unique features:

FeaturesState FarmMercuryGEICO
Liability
Physical Damage
Uninsured Motorist
Roadside Assistance
Rideshare
Rental Reimbursement
Gap InsuranceOnly for State Farm Bank financed vehiclesXX
Pet InjuryXXX

Website Experience

Mercury’s website is a no-frills site. When you login, you can download your ID card, pay your bills, and view your coverage, but you cannot make any changes to your coverage online. You are also able to view claims online, but claims submission is done via the phone or in person with an agent. There is also no mobile app unlike other insurance providers like GEICO and Progressive.

The Bottom Line:

  • Mercury’s competitively priced insurance premiums especially for younger drivers or drivers with poor credit make it hard to beat for the price-conscious driver
  • The trade off is that the claims satisfaction experience appears to be lower and the website is not equipped for coverage changes or for filing claims.
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