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Mercury Insurance Group Review & Complaints: Auto & Home Insurance

Mercury Insurance Group is a smaller group aiming to offer more affordable plans in the Los Angeles area. While they are mainly known as an auto insurance company, they also write home insurance and business insurance.

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best...

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UPDATED: Sep 21, 2020

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California-based Mercury Insurance was founded with the goal of being a smaller, more affordable car insurance option for Los Angeles area drivers. While the company has strived to keep to the low-price goal, they have long since left behind status as a small, local insurance company. They currently have more than $4.5 billion in assets, serve 11 states, and employs more than 4,500 people – that means they are a very big company. While they are mainly known as an auto insurance company, they also write home insurance and business insurance.

About Mercury Insurance Group

Mercury General Corp. was founded in Los Angeles, CA, and wrote its first policy in 1962. Founder George Joseph intended to provide an alternative for California drivers to the high-cost car insurance being offered by the big names. Growth came fast; the company opened a second office in Orange County in 1964 and a third in the San Fernando Valley in 1966. A year later the company expanded into San Diego as well.

In 1968 Mercury established a holding company and also made the move into Northern California, opening an office in San Francisco. Mercury moved beyond auto insurance four years later, writing its first homeowner’s insurance policy. The holding company created Mercury Insurance Company in 1977 as a subsidiary, which would go on to be the largest and most profitable of the group of companies.

By the mid-80s Mercury was the largest independent agency writer of car insurance in the state, and the company went public. By the end of the decade expansion beyond California started; Mercury began selling insurance in Georgia and Illinois. Over the following decades, the company continued to expand into other states, some through acquisitions of other insurance companies.

Today Mercury Insurance Group is the fourth largest auto insurance company in California, and they ranked at number 15 in the country overall for 2018; the company has held both of these positions since our last review. They operate as a group of 19 companies.

Mercury sells its products through independent agents across the eleven states they serve: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia.

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Mercury Products

Mercury is mainly focused on personal lines, offering auto insurance with plenty of options and also a range of home products. On the commercial side, they write business insurance policies as well as commercial auto. The website does not offer a while lot on the details of the policies, which is often designed to push visitors into contacting agent for more information, allowing the agent to sell the policy.

Personal Auto

Auto insurance is Mercury’s main product and the one for which they are best known. Their auto insurance program is straightforward and lacks the trendy and gimmicky add-ons and options that have been popular in recent years among large insurance companies. This is in keeping with Mercury’s goal of being a low-cost insurance company; solid, basic coverage with little nickel-and-diming due to add-ons.

Mercury’s auto policy offers the usual basics: liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, comprehensive coverage, and collision coverage. Rental car coverage and roadside assistance are also offered as options.

Mercury does not have options like accident forgiveness or disappearing deductibles, two common trends in the auto insurance industry. They have, however, made one option available as a nod to the increasing popularity of ride-sharing services like Uber. An endorsement is available to provide coverage to those that drive for this sort of service.

Mercury Insurance RealDrive is the company’s usage-based program, but like just about everything else in the auto program, it is a simplified version compared to some other companies. RealDrive is simply a mileage reporting system that helps rate insurance policies based on actual miles driver rather than estimates. The system is so simple that it is self-reported; no need for an app or a plug-in device to monitor your driving.

Drivers will get a 5% discount just for signing up for RealDrive, which they keep for as long as they continue to report mileage in accordance with the program agreement.

Other discounts for the auto program include good student, multi-car, auto/home bundling, anti-theft device, e-pay discount, and alumni association discounts.

Home Insurance

Mercury writes several home insurance policies, including standard homeowner’s, condo, and renter’s insurance.

Homeowner’s insurance from Mercury is much like the auto program in that it is straightforward and includes all of the usual coverages, some common endorsement options, and little in the way of gimmicks.

Mercury offers extended replacement cost of up to 150% on their homeowner’s policy. Other endorsements include identity theft, home systems protection, and service line protection.

There are fewer discounts available for home insurance, with auto/home being the biggest. The others are new home, protective devices, fire-resistant construction materials, and gated community. The site lists higher deductibles as a discount, but this is generally not truly considered to be a discount. Rather, it is a method of lowering your premium in return for taking on a higher out-of-pocket cost in the event of a claim.

Condo insurance is a similar policy to homeowner’s but does not include structure coverage. Similar discounts are available for this policy, including the auto/home discount.

Renter’s insurance is the third form of home insurance from Mercury. This policy is designed to cover personal property for renters as well as providing liability protection. Again, similar discounts are offered including auto/home.

Other Personal Products

Aside from the main two, Mercury offers a couple of other options for personal insurance.

The first is Mechanical Breakdown, which is essentially an extended warranty that can be purchased for a vehicle. It provides coverage for up to seven years or 100,000 miles for a variety of mechanical issues.

The second is Personal Umbrella. This policy offers extended liability protection that kicks in when the underlying policies run out; umbrella can cover home and auto as underlying policies in one. The website does not give any information on available policy limits.

Business Insurance

Mercury writes Commercial Property and Liability as well as Business Owner’s Package policies.

They cover a range of business categories including retail, service, restaurants, offices, warehouses, and apartment owners. From a base package policy, there are a number of options that can be added to customize the policy in order to meet the needs of each industry,

Business auto is available as a stand-alone policy or as an add-on to a package policy. They cover a variety of different vehicle types from private passenger to box vans.

Rates

Mercury has built a reputation on low rates and has consistently come in about 25% below average in our sample rate quotes in the past.

Mercury’s online quoting system requires personal contact information, and our sample information did not work for the system to offer us a quote. We were, however, able to use the California Department of Insurance website, which has a rate comparison tool that allows us to see rates for a number of companies for the same sample driver.

We ran a sample for what the state considers standard coverage; what this includes can be seen on their website. We selected a male driver with a Honda Accord and no violations. The results showed rates for Mercury that again fall below average, and they beat out some of the biggest names in the industry by a good margin.

Mercury continues to rate among the most affordable auto insurance companies in California, a state known for high rates.

Claims

Mercury offers a 24/7 toll-free claims hotline that can be used to file a claim for any of the products they write. It is very surprising to see that a company as large as Mercury does not offer any way of filing claims online. The phone line appears to be the only option the company provides. It is possible that some claim filing options are found when a customer is logged into their account, but the website does not specify whether or not that is the case.

The website offers a basic overview of how each type of claim should be handled, but not much in the way of details. Instructions are given for what to do in the event of an accident or a loss, and basic explanation of the steps. In general, the claims section is lacking when it comes to details.

Mercury has a preferred vendor network called Customer Authorized Repair Service (CARS). Like most such programs, the in-network repair shops handle billing directly with the insurance company, and work on the car is guaranteed for as long as the customer owns the vehicle. Policyholders are also able to select any repair shop of their choosing, in or out of network.

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Ratings and Consumer Reviews

Mercury has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). They are not accredited and have 133 complaints on file in the past three years, 36 of which were filed in the past 12 months. There are also 27 reviews resulting in a star rating of just above one star. There are a few positive reviews among the negative ones, most of which refer to claims issues.

Consumer Affairs has a total of 336 reviews for Mercury Insurance. Of the 112 star ratings that were left in the past year, the reviews trend towards the positive, with an overall three-star rating. 36 reviews are five-star, 21 are four-star, and 14 are three-star. Four of the reviews are two-star, and a total of 38 are one-star.

Although the number of complaints is not particularly high for such a big company, we compared them to the two insurance companies that are closest to Mercury in terms of market share nationwide.

National General, which ranks just above Mercury for market share, does not have a page on Consumer Affairs for auto insurance. Auto-Owners, which falls just below Mercury on the list, does have a page, with a total of 80 reviews and two stars overall. They, therefore, have fewer reviews overall, but also fewer positive reviews.

We also looked at the BBB pages for each of these companies. National General has 433 complaints in the past three years. The Auto-Owners BBB page was down for updates at the time of this review, so we referred to our last review where Auto-Owners had only 82 complaints with the BBB. Here Auto-Owners again performs better than Mercury, but the National General complaint volume is higher.

Mercury does not perform well in the most recent J.D. Power survey of California auto insurance satisfaction. They landed second from the bottom with an overall two out of five, ranking them below average. The one area where Mercury was ranked higher than average was, not surprisingly, price.

Overall, Mercury does not have a high volume of complaints, and there are enough positive reviews to balance the negative. They do rank poorly with J.D. Power, which is of concern, but we did not find any major red flags. Comparison to the other two companies similar in size shows that one company performs much better than Mercury while the other less so, putting Mercury about in the middle. It is worth noting that Auto-Owners is one of the best rated car insurance companies in the nation – and also that they do not write insurance in California where Mercury has the majority of its business.

The Bottom Line

Mercury is a homegrown California company that has built its reputation on low rates, a promise on which they deliver. The company has some mixed ratings in terms of reputation, but the complaint volume is not high for such a big company and there are no red flags. Mercury is likely to appeal to budget shoppers for whom price is the major factor in selecting an insurance company.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

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Mercury Insurance Group
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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

25 Comments

  1. I totally agree and share the same disappointment in this dealing with this POS company like most of the people who have posted reviews. It is apparent the senior management team and executives at Mercury Insurance don’t care about their customers or deliberately choose to turn a blind eye to the issues customers face. I was rear-ended on October 4th last year by a Mercury insured driver and filed a claim a day later with Mercury. My adjuster [Redacted] asked me to take my car to be assessed by their approved repair shop which I did the next day and the quote was sent to [Redacted]. Have been following up ever since then with [Redacted] who by the way never answers his phone and when he does return the call gives me lame excuses and run around on why the claim is not going to be paid. This company and its workers are an absolute nightmare. My advice is that everyone who is planning to deal with this company is to think twice before giving them even a penny of your hard-earned money. These crooks will screw you out!!!!!

    Reply
    • I have a similar complaint with Mercury fire insurance policy. Mine is with the policy. First, they approve and accepted my payment then sent me a letter of cancellation. Thus I quickly find another company to insure my property. When I didn’t receive a refund I called them about it. They said they charge 10% of my premium for cancellation. I told them that they are the one that canceled my policy, I only reacted to their letter and canceled a few days earlier. No, they still charged me $167.00 for 11 days of coverage. If you have a choice don’t insure with them. They are dishonest and unprofessional, in my opinon. I would give them 0 stars if I can post this properly.

      Reply
  2. Mercury home insurance is a POS company. Their customer service is the absolute worst and they are BEYOND cheap. 17 years of being a loyal insurance customer (both car and home) and I will no longer be dealing with them after having this terrible experience. My family recently had a water damage issue and the field adjuster, [Redacted] was a complete and total nightmare. She was rude and extremely hard to deal with. At every level, she tried to cut corners and “save” money leaving me to feel as if my house would not be restored to the level it was before the damage occurred. I would absolutely not recommend this nightmare of a company to anyone…ever. I have paid my premiums and been a loyal customer over the years, then when the time comes that I actually needed to file a claim they treat me this way. I will most definitely be taking by business elsewhere. Not to mention the fact that they ([Redacted]) tried, at every turn to bully me into using their restoration company when I (the customer has the right to choose who they wish to use) had already chosen the restoration company of my choice. During the process, she continued not only to try and FORCE me to use their company (or their company’s preferred restoration company), but to also bully my restoration company by making it very difficult for them to do the job and fully complete it well and without interference. In the end, I honestly don’t appreciate the way I as a customer was treated or the way they cut corners and treated my restoration company. I cannot believe I have given them so much money over the years and when I truly needed them they treated me like crap. I’m done and they will not get one more cent of my hard earned money. Also, somebody needs to teach [Redacted] how to treat customers and work with other restoration companies besides her own lying, greedy preferred company.

    Reply
  3. I had been insured by Mercury for almost 30 accident free years. Last year my car was stopped and was t-boned directly on the real axle of my driver side. The other party was insured and took full responsibility. I was assured that if I went to Mercury’s “Approved Body Shop” all work would be guaranteed to my satisfaction with minimal effort from me. As I am a full-time student in an accelerated I master’s program, and a single mom, my time is limited so I took the Mercury option. Their inspector saw visible suspension damage indicative of the damage caused by a t-bone impact to my stopped vehicle. Their “approved body shop” was instructed to put the car on the rack and inspect the damage and the source of the loud screeching noises from the front end. After the repairs were “completed”, I discovered that the suspension issues were ignored and the loud noises and obvious damage that occurred immediately after the accident. I asked the shop manager the shop manager, [Redacted] at [Redacted] and he said there was “no need to look” as it “wasn’t from the accident”!!?! Two days later the whole front end seized up, no brakes, steering and undriveable. I asked Mercury where I should have the car towed, and since Sears was only a couple of miles away, they agreed, spoke with the Sears manager, gave a work order number to begin the work and I was put in a rental car.

    My car was to be ready in four days, but when I went to pick it up, I learned the work had been stopped by MERCURY. (This went on back and forth for over a month. Mercury would stop the work—never notifying me—and then they would agree and start again…ridiculous.) In the end, I said had had enough, and demanded that Mercury STOP interfering with the repairs that I WAS PAYING FOR as I needed to have my car repaired to pre-accident safety. (The STILL sent out an Automotive Forensic Engineer to stop the work!) Once my car was safely repaired, I drove to the dealership, where the “impact/accident damage” was repaired. During this time I was in a rental car that the other insurance would pay for. However, due to Mercury’s mishandling of my claim, I was stuck with a rental bill for more than a month, and all repairs—$4,000!!! Had Mercury’s “approved body shop” taken care of the impact damage as suggested by THEIR own inspector, my car could have been properly fixed with a $75 part and a couple of hours of labor. (That’s what the dealership repairs were, however previously the damage had made my car unsafe to drive.)

    I was stuck with a $4,000 BILL, for an accident that the other party was responsible for and was obligated to pay. Looking for justice I took Mercury to Small Claims court and Mercury (who obviously is a regular visitor to court) unfairly submitted a 100 page legal file. Their rep was [Redacted], and his first comment to me was asking if I “knew” the Sears auto mechanic–ridiculous!! The whole situation was very unjust and shameful. Why would Mercury spend all of the money to send out Automotive Forensic Engineers to deny work for damages from a clear-cut impact—that THEY would not even be financially obligated for??? In the end, they blamed it on “normal wear and tear,” after their other “reasons” proved to be so laughable. I LOST in COURT and am unable to appeal. Great scam…Shame on you Mercury!

    Reply
  4. [Redacted], claims adjuster, gave me an extreme low ball on my well documented claim. A very careless Mercury client rear ended me. [Redacted] acted like a doctor even though he has only a high school education and no medical training trying to defeat my claim by telling outright lies about my medical condition. I will be reporting this jerk to the state insurance commissioner and the state medical board and I hope he gets personally fined. Your life will be absolute hell if some cell phone addict hits you and they have Mercury insurance. I encourage consumers to boycott Mercury!!! They low ball on their customer claims, too.

    Reply
  5. I have purchased Mercury Insurance full plan 6 months for my 2 cars on Jan 2017 for $1222.00. Suddenly on March 2017, they have changed the policy and increased the fee by $287.00 with none sense reason and due by the beginning of April. What is going on? I guess I will tell every friends of mine about this. Continue after 6 months? Not really!

    Reply
  6. Mercury insurance California is sooooo cheap, it takes them 14 days to send a cancellation check for $102 that never gets there, and sends another check same price, but takes them 5 days to get the check out…. A bunch of cheap scrapes….

    Reply
  7. Been a member with Mercury Insurance for years. Paid tens of thousands in premiums. As my son came on to the policy they made it much too expensive so we moved to another carrier. They had the audacity to charge us 10% of our policy as a CANCELLATION FEE. In other words, they charged me to NOT use their service. Of course they embed this fee deep within their pages of fine print so, they can say they informed the customer. This is ludicrous and unethical.
    I never had a problem with Mercury until now. How is this legal?

    Reply
  8. My Mercury experience has been a nightmare from day one Dec.10,2016. My daughters car was set on fire in our front yard and my car was 14 inches from hers (It was a total loss fully engulfed in flames)mine has $5,000 dollars worth of repairs to passenger side. Mercury just cut check for lein holder Jan.5. Chevrolet would not negotiate a new car deal until payoff to GM Financial is received and posted. have had rental which has only been extended to Sat.1/7. policy states 30 days rental, or 5 days since payoff received by leinholder or vehicle replaced. Non of these criteria have been met. I pay premiums they write policy. I should get extension of rental, to get a replacement car. Delays due to 2 holidays and day after holidays Mercury closed. My total claim person refuses to extend rental. And him being in Calif. me in Florida I can’t even try a call til 11:00am.

    Reply
  9. Do not let your insurance agent try sell you an auto policy with Mercury Insurance. I did, and it’s been the worst experience with insurance I have ever had. I’m a 54 year old male. I have had auto insurance since 1979. I have had no claims of any kind in over 5 years. I have a credit rating over 800. I filled out their application. It asked if I have had insurance for the past 4 years. I answered yes. I had insurance with another company for the past 2 years and prior to that for 2 years I was covered under my company’s insurance policy. Prior to that, I was covered by my company’s insurance and I had a policy that covered me and my family for personal cars.

    Mercury had 3 weeks to review my application. No mention of any issues. The charge was $590 for six months – I carry a lot of insurance for personal reasons. I paid in full. Five to six weeks after my policy went into effect I was sent another invoice for $510. My insurance agent then said that according to Mercury I did not have 4 years of consecutive prior insurance with the same company I lost that discount so my policy increased over 86%! I sent proof of insurance but nothing.

    After I cancelled my insurance with them I was sent a bill for $285, essentially bringing my total cost for a 3 month period to $875! Criminal. I have filed a claim with my states insurance commissioner. STAY AWAY FROM MERCURY INSURANCE!!!!

    Reply
  10. I have been with Mercury for 3 yrs. Thought I got good rates compared to previous who doubled my rate when I turned 63 yrs. old – No Previous Tickets or Accidents / Claims in all my years of driving. Now Mercury jacked my rate another $60.00 this year – still no accidents/ tickets……maybe cause I turned 66 ???? I only drive Max. 9,000 a year – but they say that is 1,000 over the min. It used to be 12,000 – now lowered to 8,000 miles. I will look further now ——-I really feel it is age discrimination.

    Reply
  11. I’ve never felt so betrayed by a company until now. The last few months we’ve had some issues and we thought Mercury was good for us. Well we learned the hard way they aren’t good for us. They charge us more then we’ve paid else were and its not fair. We have a lot of bills to pay and each time I get the bill for this I cry, it’s to much money to pay for a used car. I’ve started looking else were for insurance, I am done with a company that treats customers wrong. And doesn’t work with families going through hard times instead they send them to collections to get even more money out of them.

    Reply
    • Mercury Insurance is the absolute worst piece of [Redacted] insurance agency I have ever dealt with! My car was broken into, personal items were taken and they can’t help me! WHAT am I paying full coverage insurance for! My car should be covered inside out, PERIOD no questions asked! State Farm is by far the BEST when it comes to a lost. My so called agent ]Redacted] is the worst. Not only did she not give me a call until a day later after my horrible experience, she doesn’t even know how to deliver bad news properly. No empathy or sympathy at all in her tone. If you are with Mercury, I suggest you find a more reliable company that will care about you and your loss.

      Reply
    • You may be good through hard times but any other company would do the same thing, it’s a business. They don’t want excuses.

      Reply
  12. A man insured by Mercury rear ended me at 35 miles per hour and the police found him at fault. Mercury has offered me a settlement of $2,100 even though my medical bills are $10,000 to date and I will have more bills going forward. They have offered me nothing for my lost wages and lost marketing to my customers (I am self employed.) They have tried every trick in the book to avoid paying my claim- falsely claiming non-receipt of medical records, falsely claiming I signed no medical release (I signed five) and refusing to pay the claim at all because the first doctor I saw was a total incompetent. (Quite frankly, I think the employer of the incompetent doctor and Mercury are colluding against claimants.) I had great difficulty in finding an attorney to take the case because Mercury abuses the attorneys and blatantly low balls on claims. I would not recommend them to my worst enemy.

    Are these other positive posting Mercury employees posing as consumers?

    Reply
  13. The pipe behind the shower head had a totally unseen problem …..Mercury is denying coverage in this claim!!!!I have had this policy over 12 years….Mercury sucks!!!!!I don’t recommend it to nobody!!!

    Reply
  14. Roughly about 2-3yrs ago i was in an auto accident with a elderly woman.
    The lady had failed to turn her head and give me the right of way while merging into my lane.
    Her carrier was Mercury Ins.
    I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly Mercury handled the claim for me.
    It is true they prefer you do work with their preferred providers… but I was given options… not just one place. they also paid for the rental car while my car was in the shop.
    The auto body shop told me they also liked dealing with Mercury so they treated me well also.
    I was so impressed with this experience that i actually wanted to switch…if they could have offered a better rate.
    Well, I have been with my carrier for 10+ years and my provider did, in fact, offer me the best rate possible.
    I am not a Mercury policyholder… so it may be a different experience.
    I just wanted to share my positive experience.

    Reply
    • Just wanted to say I really like Mercury too I’ve had a lot of good luck with being able to have great Road service and they seem pretty good about dealing with my claims I hope that they’re just as good here coming up I just had a major issue with Meinicke and I’m hoping that Mercury takes care of it for me in the best way possible……

      Reply
  15. I’ve had auto insurance with Mercury for almost 15 years. Last year, when I totaled my van, they were more than fair with their settlement, which arrived immediately with no hassle. I see many negative comments, but in my experience, they’ve been an excellent company.

    Reply
  16. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW TO GO ABOUT FILEING A COMPLIANT AGAINST AN AGENT an MERCURY INS. GROUP ITSELF. THEY HAVE GIVEN ME THE RUN AEOUND THEY HAVE LIED TO ME AN NOW HOLDING ME HOSTAGE FROM THERE OBLIGATION.

    Reply
    • Hello Joseph,

      Your best bet would be to file a complaint directly with Mercury if the agent is acting outside of their authority. The other thing you can do is leave an honest review on websites like Yelp. This will alert others to your experience, and often gets the attention of the agent.

      You can also file a complaint directly with your state’s insurance commissioner.

      Best,
      Eric Stauffer

      Reply
    • Write a detailed letter to your State Insurance Commissioner and send a copy to Mercury. The Commissioners office has to power to stop an Insurance company from being able to sell insurance in your state. This usually gets quick action from the insurance company.

      Reply
    • To file a complaint about any insurance company,

      File a Request for Assistance with the CA Insurance Commissioner.

      Hope this will help you.

      Reply
  17. As soon as I am done with Mercury regarding a flood issue I have ongoing with them – i will for sure be switiching!

    Reply
  18. The first thing I do tomorrow is look for another company to insure I don’t have to deal with Mercury!

    Reply

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