Mercury Insurance : Everything you need to know

Mercury Insurance: Everything you need to know

  • Headquarters: 4484 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90010
  • Net premiums written: $3.6 billion (2020)
  • Total assets: $6.3 billion (2020)
  • Size (employees): 4,400+ employees, 9,200+ independent agents in 11 states
  • Underwriting expertise: Auto, home, and business insurance
  • Key people: George Joseph – Chairman of the Board; Gabriel Tirador – President and CEO; Theodore R. Stalick – Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer; Christopher Graves – Vice-President and Chief Investment Officer; Abby Hosseini – Vice-President and Chief Information Officer; Jeff Schroeder – Vice-President and Chief Product Officer

Pros

  • Offers competitively priced auto and home insurance policies
  • Has a relatively high financial strength rating, indicating ability to pay out claims
  • Offers a range of discounts for its auto insurance policies

Cons

  • Below average score in auto insurance claims satisfaction in J.D. Power’s rating
  • NAIC records nearly three times the average number of complaints against the company as it does about other insurance providers
  • Policies are available in only 11 states

 

Common coverage types

Auto insurance
Standard coverage type What it pays for
Liability protection Damages caused to others if the driver is at fault in a covered loss, including the services of an attorney if sued
Collision protection Damages to the vehicle incurred from a covered loss, regardless of who was at fault
Comprehensive coverage Damages caused by vandalism, theft, falling objects, animals, civil disturbance, fire, flood, or other covered peril
Medical payments coverage Medical expenses arising from a covered accident
Personal injury protection (PIP Medical costs and other expenses after a car collision, regardless of who was at fault
Uninsured/underinsured motorists protection Bodily injury to the policyholder and the passengers and drivers of the insured vehicle for accidents caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver
Rental car The cost of a car rental while the regular ride is out of commission due to a covered loss
Additional coverage
Roadside assistance 24/7 access to roadside service professional to help get the policyholder back on the road
Ride-hailing insurance Covers the period in which the ride-hailing app is on, but the driver has not yet accepted a customer

 

Mercury Insurance’s auto insurance discounts

Policy discounts:

  • Advance quote discount: Applies to policies written as new business if the original quote date is five to 90 days before the policy effective date
  • Annual two-pay discount: For policyholders who choose the two-pay bill plan when buying an annual policy
  • Auto pay discount: For policyholders who pay using an electronic funds transfer from a checking or savings account
  • Continuous insurance discount: Provided based on the length of time the policyholder was continuously insured with the prior carrier, often longer than five months
  • E-signature discount: For policyholders who sign all applicable documents electronically
  • Good payer discount: For policyholders who have no late payments or non-sufficient funds charges in the past 35 months
  • Multi-policy discount: For policyholders who also have a homeowners, renters, or condo insurance policy with Mercury Insurance
  • Multi-car discount: For policyholders who have more than one vehicle insured in the policy
  • Pay in full discount: For policyholders who choose to pay their bill plan in full
  • Prior carrier discount: For policyholders whose prior carrier is considered a “select carrier”
  • Prior 250/500 discount: Applies if the policyholder has prior insurance, with no lapse in coverage and the prior policy contained bodily injury coverage limits of $250,000/$500,000 or greater or $500,000 combined single limit liability or greater
  • Tier adjustment factor discount: Applies if the policyholder has prior insurance, with no lapse in coverage and the prior policy contained bodily injury coverage limits of $250,000/$500,000 or greater or $500,000 combined single limit liability or greater

Vehicle discounts:

  • Airbag discount: For vehicles with airbag safety systems
  • Anti-lock brakes discount: For vehicles with anti-lock brakes
  • Anti-theft discount: For vehicles with anti-theft mechanisms, including GPS tracking systems or car alarms
  • Daytime running lamps discount: For vehicles with factory installed daytime running lamps
  • Electric vehicle discount: Applies to EVs on a policy
  • Homing device discount: For vehicles with an electronic homing device using a radio frequency network if used in conjunction with a participating police agency
  • Passive restraint discount: For vehicles with passive seat belts, and single and double airbags
  • VIN etching discount: For vehicles with their unique VIN etched into the vehicle’s window

Usage-based discounts:

  • MercuryGO driving discounts: For customers who earn good driving scores based on trackable skills like braking and maintaining safe speeds through the MercuryGO app
  • MercuryGO participation discounts: For customers who keep the app active on their phone to monitor driving
  • Mercury’s RealDrive program: 5% discount on auto insurance premium just for signing up

Driver safety discounts:

  • Defensive driver discount: For policyholders who complete a defensive driving course approved by the state
  • Defensive driving course discount: For policyholders at least 55-years old who have completed the National Safety Council’s defensive driving course
  • Good driver discount: For policyholders at least 25-years old who have not had any claims or traffic offenses in the past three years
  • Five-year accident-free discount: For policyholders who have not had any at-fault accidents within five years prior to the policy term
  • Five-year claim-free discount: For policyholders who have not had an at-fault accident in the past five years and have not had an occurrences of an unverifiable driving record
  • New business five-year accident-free discount: For new policyholders who have not had an at-fault or not at-fault accident during the five years before beginning a new policy with Mercury Insurance
  • Three-year accident/violation-free discount: For policyholders who have not had a violation or accident within three years prior to the policy term

Driver status discounts:

  • Association discount: For eligible policyholders and their spouses if they belong to a sponsored group such as professional groups for doctors or first responders
  • Distant student discount: For a single child under the age of 23 of the primary policyholder who attends school more than 100 miles from the garaging zip code and does not have regular access to a covered vehicle
  • Education discount: Discount based on the highest level of education achieved by the policyholder or their spouse
  • Good student discount: For single, full-time students under the age of 23 who have a B average or 3.0+ GPA or better
  • Mature driver discount: For those aged 55 and over who have completed a motor vehicle driver improvement course meeting the standards of the State Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Minor child discount: For single drivers who are under the age of 19 and a child of the primary policyholder who will be rated with the minor child discount if the policy has been in-force with Mercury Insurance for 24 months
  • Occupation discount: Discount based on the verifiable occupation of the policyholder or their spouse

 

2021 J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating (auto insurance)

829 out of 1,000 points (11th among midsize auto insurers in the US)

 

Cost of Mercury Insurance’s annual auto premium (2020)

Minimum coverage Full coverage
$553 $1,558

 

Car insurance rates by age 

2021 average rates, according to The Zebra:
Teens: $3,417
20s: $1,554
30s: $1,554
40s: $1,115
50s: $1,086
60s: $1,034

 

Car insurance rates by driving record 

2021 average rates, according to The Zebra:
$1,822 for clients with at-fault accidents with more than $1,000 in damages
$1,125 for drivers with at-fault accidents with less than $1,000 in damages
$1,882 for those with DUI/DWI infraction
$1,882 for those with reckless driving infraction
$1,457 for those with speeding ticket

 

Homeowners insurance
Coverage type What it pays for
Dwelling protection Damage to the home due to fire, lightning, smoke, storm, or other similar perils
Personal property coverage Household items in the event of a fire, theft, or other covered loss
Extended replacement cost Up to 150% of the dwelling’s policy limits to rebuild the home in the event of a covered loss
Additional living expense Living expenses if the home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss
Personal liability protection Bodily injury or property damage caused to others because of a covered incident
Guest medical protection Medical expenses for guests who are accidentally injured while in the property
Identity theft protection Expenses incurred because of criminal identity theft

 

Mercury Insurance’s homeowners’ insurance discounts

Policy discounts:

  • Loss free discount: For policyholders who have not had any loss claims for three or more consecutive years prior to the policy effective date
  • Multi-policy discount: For policyholders with one or more additional insurance policies

Home safety discounts:

  • Fire protective device discount: For homes with one or more of these protective devices installed: fire extinguisher, smoke alarm, fire alarm, sprinkler system
  • Theft protective device discount: For homes with dead bolts and/or burglar alarm installed and located within a gated community
  • Water leak detection discount: For homes with a qualifying automatic water shut-off system and/or a system that notifies a third party when a leak is detected
  • New home discount: For policyholders whose dwelling was built fewer than 10 years prior to the effective policy date
  • Homeowners’ association discount: For dwellings or condos belonging to a homeowners’ association

Wildfire mitigation discounts:

  • Wildfire mitigation property level discount: For policyholders whose home meets a combination of defensible space and home-hardening requirements
  • Wildfire mitigation community level discount: For homes located in a community that meets one of the following criteria for mitigating wildfire risk:

✓ Recognized by the Firewise USA Recognition Program

✓ Designated as a shelter-in-place community

✓ Has community-wide active annual fuel mitigation efforts in place

Types of Mercury Insurance’s business owners’ policies (BOP)

Habitational insurance – This type of insurance covers residential rental properties, including:

  • Apartments
  • Duplexes
  • Single-family dwelling
  • Multi-family dwelling
  • Apartments with mixed use

 

Coverage type What it pays for
Blanket coverage or 125% extended replacement cost Combines all building estimated replacement costs into one limit or increases a single building to 125% of the estimated replacement cost
Building coverage Damage to buildings and structures at the described premises, including personal property owned by the insured used to maintain the building/s
Business income coverage Loss of business income up to 12 months, with an option to extend to 18 or 24 months
Ordinance or law coverage 1 Loss to the undamaged portion of the building up to the building limit
Ordinance or law coverage 2 and 3 Demolition cost and increased cost of construction; included at $100,000 combined limit with option to increase
Water back-up and sump overflow coverage Damage caused by water that backs up into the property through pipes, drains, sewer, and water-service and sump pumps
Kissing bug liability coverage Losses resulting from bodily injury, property damage, personal and advertising injury, and medical expenses arising from any person being exposed to or bitten by bed bugs or kissing bugs
Employment practices liability coverage Legal expenses incurred from a claim against the policyholder or their business for wrongful employment and third-party claims made by customers, vendors, clients, and tenants alleging discrimination or sexual harassment
Cyber and data breach coverage Damage to data and data systems resulting from a computer attack and cyber-related litigation
Equipment breakdown tech advantage New technology risks that businesses face
Habitational broadening endorsement coverage Optional coverage providing numerous additional property and liability coverages specifically designed for apartment business owners

 

Mercury Insurance’s habitational insurance discounts

  • Fire alarm discount: For buildings equipped with an active fire alarm system
  • Sprinklered building discount: For 100% sprinklered buildings with regularly maintained fire suppression sprinkler system
  • Multiple location discount: Applies to policies with multiple locations
  • On-site management discounts: For properties with on-site property management
  • Business/ownership experience discount – For properties that are owned for at least two or more years
  • Paid-in-full discount: For policy premiums paid in full or mortgagee bill
  • Smart building discount: For properties equipped with smart technology
  • Smoke-free locations discount: For properties where lease agreements require smoke-free premises

 

Lessors risk insurance – This type of coverage is specifically designed to address exposures faced by owners of commercial properties, including shopping centers, warehouses, and offices.

 

Coverage type What it pays for
Blanket coverage or 125% extended replacement cost Combines all building estimated replacement costs into one limit or increases a single building to 125% of the estimated replacement cost
Building coverage Damage to buildings and structures at the described premises, including personal property owned by the insured used to maintain the building/s
Business income coverage Loss of business income up to 12 months, with an option to extend to 18 or 24 months
Ordinance or law coverage 1 Loss to the undamaged portion of the building up to the building limit
Ordinance or law coverage 2 and 3 Demolition cost and increased cost of construction; included at $100,000 combined limit with option to increase
Water back-up and sump overflow coverage Damage caused by water that backs up into the property through pipes, drains, sewer, and water-service and sump pumps
Employment practices liability coverage Legal expenses incurred from a claim against the policyholder or their business for wrongful employment and third-party claims made by customers, vendors, clients, and tenants alleging discrimination or sexual harassment
Cyber and data breach coverage Damage to data and data systems resulting from a computer attack and cyber-related litigation
Equipment breakdown tech advantage New technology risks that businesses face
Lessor’s risk broadening endorsement coverage Optional coverage providing numerous additional property and liability coverages specifically designed for commercial building owners

 

Mercury Insurance’s lessors’ risk insurance discounts

  • Fire alarm discount: For buildings equipped with an active fire alarm system
  • Good payer discount: For policyholders with consistent on-time payments
  • Loss-free discount: For properties without losses or a loss with less than $500 incurred within the last three years
  • Multiple location discount: For policies with multiple locations
  • Paid-in-full discount: For policy premiums paid in full or mortgagee bill
  • Sprinklered building discount: For 100% sprinklered building with regularly maintained fire suppression sprinkler system
  • Tenants’ insurance discount: If the lease agreement requires the named insured to be an additional insured on the tenants’ liability insurance
  • Years of ownership discount: For properties owned by the named insured for two or more years

 

Small business insurance – This type of coverage is specifically designed to address the exposures faced by small business owners, including healthcare services, professional services, restaurants, retail stores and service businesses.

 

Coverage type What it pays for
Business income coverage Loss of business income up to 12 months, with an option to extend to 18 or 24 months
Business personal property (BPP) coverage Contents, including furniture, machinery, supplies, and tools, owned by the named insured, and used in the business operation or property in the named insured’s care, custody, or control
Employee dishonesty coverage Direct loss or damage to money, securities, or covered property resulting from dishonest acts committed by employees
Ordinance or law coverage 1, 2 and 3 Loss to the undamaged portion of the building up to the building limit, and demolition cost and increased cost of construction; included at $100,000 combined limit with option to increase
Water back-up and sump overflow coverage Damage caused by water that backs up into the property through pipes, drains, sewer, and water-service and sump pumps
Business liability coverage Bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury
Medical expenses Medical costs regardless of legal liability to tenants if injured outside their units
Optional coverages
Blanket coverage or 125% extended replacement cost Combines all building estimated replacement costs into one limit or increases a single building to 125% of the estimated replacement cost
Bailees customers goods coverage Direct physical loss or damage to a covered property in the named insured’s care, custody, or control, or while in transit between the named insured’s location and the customer’s location
Building coverage Buildings and structures at the premises owned by the named insured or where the lease agreement requires the named insured to provide building insurance
Cyber and data breach coverage Damage to data and data systems resulting from a computer attack and cyber-related litigation
Equipment breakdown tech advantage New technology risks that businesses face
Outdoor signs coverage Outdoor signs at a $25,000 limit with option to increase
Spoilage Loss of perishable stock stored at the premises as the result of power outage, breakdown, or contamination
Barbershop and beauty salon professional liability coverage Bodily injury, property damage, or personal and advertising injury arising from the rendering of or failure to render professional services
Employment practices liability coverage Legal expenses incurred from a claim against the policyholder or their business for wrongful employment and third-party claims made by customers, vendors, clients, and tenants alleging discrimination or sexual harassment
Hired auto and non-owned auto liability coverage Bodily injury or property damage caused by an insured or their employees while driving hired vehicles used in the business’ operations
Liquor liability coverage Bodily injury and property damage resulting from the selling or serving of alcoholic beverages
Liability aggregate per location Applies the aggregate liability limit to each location
Small business broadening endorsement coverage Additional property and liability coverages specifically designed for small business owners
Restaurant broadening endorsement coverage Additional property and liability coverages specifically designed for restaurant owners

 

 

Mercury Insurance’s small business owners’ policy discounts

  • Central station burglar alarm discount: If the area occupied by the named insured has an active central station burglar alarm
  • Restaurant franchise discount: For restaurants where the named insured (franchisee) has a contractual agreement with the restaurant’s corporate owner (franchisor)
  • Loss-free discount: For locations without losses or losses with less than $500 incurred within the last three years
  • Multiple location discount: For policies with multiple locations
  • Insured-occupied discount: For properties with building coverage and the owner-occupied square footage is greater than 50%
  • Fire alarm discount: If the entire building has an active fire alarm system
  • Paid-in-full discount: For policy premiums paid in full or mortgagee bill
  • Good payer discount: For policyholders with consistent on-time payments
  • Sprinkler discount: If the area occupied by the named insured is 100% sprinklered with regularly maintained fire suppression sprinkler system
  • Years in business discount: For locations owned and operated by the named insured for two or more years

 

About

General Background

Mercury General Corporation, also known as Mercury Insurance, operates as a broker and agency writer of automobile, home, and commercial insurance. It is ranked as the sixth largest private passenger auto insurer in California, with total assets valued at more than $6.3 billion, according to its latest financial report.

Mercury Insurance also writes auto and home insurance in Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia, and auto insurance in Florida.

 

What other product lines does Mercury Insurance cover?

In addition to automobile and home insurance, Mercury writes other lines of policies, including umbrella, business, business auto, commercial multi-peril, landlord, and mechanical protection insurance. Availability varies depending on the state.

 

Mercury Insurance at a glance – 2021

  • Mercury Insurance ranks number one in terms of overall satisfaction in the shopping segment of J.D. Power’s 2021 digital experience study, marking the first time the insurer has received a J.D. Power award
  • The company is also included in Forbes’ recently released list of America’s best insurance companies in 2022
  • The firm enjoys an A rating from AM Best, indicating strong financial health

 

History

Harvard-educated air force veteran George Joseph founded Mercury General Corporation on the belief that he could offer consumers quality insurance products at affordable rates while providing them with top-notch customer service. He established what was then an auto insurance company in 1961 after raising $2 million in capital funding from around the Los Angeles community. The firm began with six employees and 90 agents in Joseph’s house outside of Hancock Park. It later moved to 5455 Wilshere Boulevard and sold its first policy on April 1, 1962.

“We called our company Mercury because I wanted us to be fast and nimble, just like the Roman God of business and merchants.”George Joseph, founder and chairman of the board, Mercury Insurance

Mercury Insurance reached $1 million in written premiums in a single month for the first time in 1970. Two years later, the company expanded its portfolio to include homeowners’ insurance. Before the decade ended, the firm established insurance industry’s first special investigations unit (SIU) to combat insurance fraud.

In the mid-80s, Mercury Insurance became the largest independent agency writer of private passenger auto insurance in California. The company went public with an initial offering $19 per share in 1985 and opened operations in Georgia and Illinois in 1989. Since then, the firm has expanded to eight more states, acquiring Auto Insurance Specialists (AIS) and Workmen’s Auto Insurance Company along the way.

Today, the New York Stock Exchange-listed company boasts a workforce of more than 4,400 staff and 9,200 independent agents. It has also branched out from offering auto and homeowners’ insurance to include renters and business policies. Mercury Insurance’s total assets according to its 2020 financial results is more than $6.3 billion.

 

Distribution channels

Mercury Insurance sells insurance products through a network of local, independent agents in the state it covers, namely Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. Here are the products the company offers by state.

 

State Products offered
Arizona
  • Private passenger auto insurance 

  • Homeowners insurance 

  • Condo insurance 

  • Renters insurance 

  • Business auto insurance 

  • Mechanical protection

California
  • Private passenger auto insurance 

  • Homeowners insurance 

  • Condo insurance 

  • Renters insurance 

  • Personal umbrella insurance 

  • Business auto insurance 

  • Business insurance 

  • Mechanical protection 

Florida
  • Private passenger auto insurance 

  • Business auto insurance 

  • Mechanical protection 

Georgia
  • Private passenger auto insurance 

  • Homeowners insurance 

  • Condo insurance 

  • Renters insurance 

  • Personal umbrella insurance 

  • Mechanical protection 

  • Business auto insurance 

Illinois
  • Private passenger auto insurance 

  • Homeowners insurance 

  • Condo insurance 

  • Renters insurance 

  • Personal umbrella insurance 

  • Mechanical protection 

  • Business auto insurance 

Nevada 
  • Private passenger auto insurance 

  • Homeowners insurance 

  • Condo insurance 

  • Renters insurance 

  • Mechanical protection 

  • Business auto insurance

New Jersey 
  • Private passenger auto insurance 

  • Homeowners insurance 

  • Condo insurance 

  • Renters insurance 

  • Mechanical protection 

New York 
  • Private passenger auto insurance 

  • Homeowners insurance 

  • Condo insurance 

  • Renters insurance 

  • Mechanical protection 

Oklahoma 
  • Private passenger auto insurance 

  • Homeowners insurance 

  • Condo insurance 

  • Renters insurance 

  • Personal umbrella insurance 

  • Mechanical protection 

  • Business auto insurance 

Texas 
  • Private passenger auto insurance 

  • Homeowners insurance 

  • Condo insurance 

  • Renters insurance 

  • Personal umbrella insurance 

  • Mechanical protection 

  • Business auto insurance

Virginia 
  • Private passenger auto insurance 

  • Homeowners insurance 

  • Condo insurance 

  • Renters insurance 

  • Mechanical protection 

  • Business auto insurance 

 

What customers are saying 

Mercury Insurance ranked the highest in shopping satisfaction among the 22 insurers reviewed by J.D. Power in its latest digital experience rankings. The company scored 821 out of 1,000 points, which was well above the industry average of 788. This reflects its ability to take advantage of digital channels to attract and retain clients. 

However, the company registered a below average score in claims satisfaction in J.D. Power’s rating of midsize auto insurance providers in the US. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) also recorded nearly three times the average number of complaints against the firm as it does about other insurance providers. 

Mercury Insurance : In the news