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Merchants Insurance Group Summary
Merchants Insurance was founded in Buffalo, New York in 1918 as Merchants Mutual Liability by a group of merchants looking to protect their delivery vehicles. In 1957, the company added property and casualty insurance, changing the name to Merchants Mutual Insurance Company.
The company expanded over the years out of New York and now offers coverage in eight other states: Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The company’s headquarters remains in Buffalo.
Merchants Insurance policies are sold by independent agents across the nine states in which they sell their products. Their lineup includes the basics of personal insurance and a fairly comprehensive commercial insurance program.
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Merchants still offers commercial insurance, but has expanded into the personal lines market as well.
- Disappearing deductible
- Towing and Labor expenses
- Transportation expenses
- Emergency First aid expenses
All policies that include comprehensive and collision coverage also get free roadside assistance included, an add-on that usually comes at an extra expense elsewhere.
Merchants also offers a list of common discounts for their auto policies, including good student, paid in full, new car, and company vehicles discounts.
Merchants offers homeowner’s, condo owner’s and renter’s insurance with varying levels of coverage.
Homeowner’s insurance includes all of the basics, with a list of optional coverage including:
- Identity Recovery
- Equipment Breakdown Coverage
- Service Line Coverage
- Inland Marine Coverage
- Food Spoilage
Merchant’s writes personal umbrella policies to provide added liability coverage for home and auto policies that underlie the umbrella coverage.
Their original product, commercial insurance is available in a variety of forms.
Merchants Advantage Plus, or MAP, is the flagship commercial package policy, and includes comprehensive coverage for a variety of different types of businesses. This includes auto repair, office, retail, and building owner’s coverage.
Commercial Package insurance is also available for restaurants and golf clubs, as well as several other types of business.
Merchants Insurance Group Rates
Merchants does not offer online quoting, and policies are only available through agents. This makes it difficult to obtain a comparison quote.
As a regional insurer working through agents, Merchants is unlikely to be the least expensive option for most people. They are instead, the type of insurance company that relies on good products and strong customer service to earn and keep their customers.
Merchants has several different claims reporting lines depending on the state in which the policyholder lives. There is a single after-hours claims line for use outside of normal business hours.
Claims can be reported to any of these service centers, to the agent directly, or via the company’s online claims form. Claims can only be reported online by logging into a policyholder account. Personal auto insurance claims can be reported with the Merchants mobile app for Android and iPhone, an unusually advanced service for a regional insurer.
Merchants promises contact from a claims representative within 24 hours of the report. The adjuster will then investigate the incident, review coverage, and determine fault and benefits.
Claims can be tracked through the same online system that allows claims reporting, or by contacting the claims representative.
There is no indication that the company offers a preferred repair shop network, but it seems likely that a company of this size would have some sort of guaranteed repair network.
Consumer Research and Complaints
Merchants is not BBB accredited, but has an A+ rating. There were only five complaints filed against the company in the past three years, only one of which was closed in the past 12 months. That is a very low complaint volume for a company this large.
There are very few reviews of Merchants Insurance anywhere, and the few that exist are not of concern. Overall, there is little information good or bad from consumers, although a lack of good reviews is common for insurance companies. In this case, no news is generally good news.
Merchant’s Insurance offers a fairly solid personal lines program for auto and home, but do not offer a specific, ever-popular product – life insurance. They also lack any other specialty policies like recreational vehicles. This prevents them from being a one-stop shop for most personal insurance, which may impact some customers’ choice.
Their reputation is solid, with very few complaints to be found anywhere, which makes them a dependable option.
Most insurance customers are likely to find that they can get a better price elsewhere, but Merchants may be worth a look for anyone who prefers to work through an agent with a smaller, local insurance company
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.