2.9 / 5

Mercury Auto Insurance Review

Mercury has very high average premiums and very low customer ratings.

Haley Sprankle

By

Haley Sprankle

Haley Sprankle

Reviews Editor

Haley Sprankle is a former reviews editor at Policygenius who specializes in homeowners and auto insurance. Previously, she was a writer at Wirecutter and The New York Times.

Published|5 min read

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Mercury

OVERALL

2.9

2.9

THE GOOD

    check mark

    Good credit ratings

    check mark

    Solid discount opportunities

THE BAD

    X mark

    High premiums

    X mark

    Low third-party ratings

    X mark

    Not many other insurance products

THE BOTTOM LINE

Mercury was founded in 1962, and it’s since become the one of the biggest insurers in California. However, the company hasn’t expanded too much elsewhere over the last 60 years. While Mercury is an affordable option in some states, like California, where it does the majority of its business, average premiums are much higher in states like New York and Florida. The company also has limited coverage options and digital tools, plus it’s only available in 11 states. Still, the leading credit-rating agencies scored Mercury confidently, so it’s clear that the company’s financials are in good shape.

Price

Average annual premium cost for auto insurance coverage and number of discounts available.

3.5

Financial confidence

Financial ratings from credit rating agencies.

8.3

Third-party ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

2.5

Policy options

Both the quality and number of coverage options, like unique auto insurance product features and availability of certain perks and benefits.

8.3

Customer experience

Ease of use, convenience, availability, points of contact, payment options, and claims ratings.

6.3

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The details

The good

Good credit ratings. The top credit rating agencies have confidence in Mercury’s financials. That means the company is likely to last a while, and that it has the funds available to properly pay out claims.

Solid discount opportunities. Although the average premiums are very high, Mercury offers at least eight car insurance discounts. These range from typical anti-theft feature discounts to an e-signing discount. 

The bad

High premiums. Depending on where you live, you may see annual premiums up to 60% higher than the national average. If Mercury had more perks and coverages included in its standard offerings, it may not seem as steep. However, there aren’t any standout opportunities through Mercury that seem worth this high price for customers in some states likeNew York and Florida.

Low third-party ratings. From claims complaints to unexpected price increases, customers made it clear on third-party websites that they are dissatisfied with Mercury. And Mercury’s score on the NAIC complaint index is much worse than companies with much larger client bases.

Price

Average annual premium cost for auto insurance coverage and number of discounts available.

3.5

Mercury is much more expensive than most other insurance companies. Based on data we analyzed from Quadrant Information Services, Mercury has an average premium of $2,771. That’s over 60% more than the national average. We think this is exceptionally high, especially considering the lack of perks and extra coverages. However in California, where Mercury is one of the largest auto insurers, the average premium for a full-coverage policy with Mercury is just $1,534, which is lower than the state average

Discounts

If you’re looking to lower your premium, there are eight auto insurance discounts listed on the Mercury website. Those discounts are:

  • Anti-theft feature discount. If your car is equipped with anti-theft features, like a car alarm, you could be eligible for a discount. 

  • Auto pay discount. Setting up auto pay is an easy way to ensure your bill is paid on time and could earn you a reduced rate.

  • E-signature discount. Signing your documents online could save paper and save you some money while you’re at it. 

  • Good driver discount. If you’ve gone a while without getting a ticket or getting in an accident, you could earn a discount on your premium. Florida drivers can also sign up for MercuryGO, a usage-based tracking mobile application that tracks their driving habits and rewards them for driving well.

  • Good student discount. Students who are unmarried and maintain either a 3.0 GPA, a spot on the honor roll, or a spot on the dean’s list may be eligible for a discount on their premium.

  • Multi-car discount. Insuring more than one vehicle on the same policy could lower your rates. 

  • Multi-policy discount. Similarly, if you bundle two insurance policies (like homeowners and auto insurance), you could get a discount. 

  • Pay-in-full discount. If you pay your total premium at the start of your policy, you could earn a discounted rate.

Financial confidence

Financial ratings from credit rating agencies.

8.3

It’s important to know how well an insurance company does financially. This helps a customer understand how long they can expect a company to be around and how well the business’ overall assets hold up. Mercury has pretty good ratings among trusted credit rating agencies. Here’s how they shake out:

  • A.M. Best: A

  • Moody’s: A2

  • S&P: N/A

A.M. Best, a credit rating agency that focuses specifically on the insurance industry, gave Mercury a score of A (effective March 3, 2022). This is the third highest score a company can receive.

Moody’s rates a company’s ability to pay back debts and assesses its financial standings as a whole. Mercury earned a score of A2, which is actually pretty far from the top — the 6th highest score a company can get. It’s not bad, but it is pretty average.

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) also rates companies based on its ability to pay out claims and its overall financial performance. S&P has not scored Mercury yet.

Third-party ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

2.5

Direct consumer feedback is a useful tool in understanding the actual experience customers have with a company. When it comes to the court of public opinion, Mercury is severely lacking. With low scores at Consumer Affairs and high numbers of complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, it’s clear customers aren’t happy with their service. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Consumer Affairs: 2

  • Consumers Advocate: N/A

  • NAIC: 8.51

Consumer Affairs is a website that allows customers to directly rate companies. Consumers gave Mercury a score of 2 out of 5 which is very low. A lot of complaints are about unexpected hikes in rates and the claims experience.

Consumers Advocate is a third-party company that rates companies based on a set criteria. Consumers Advocate has not scored Mercury yet.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) rates companies based on the number of complaints they receive. A score of 1 represents the baseline average, with a zero meaning there weren’t enough customer complaints to count. Mercury has a very high score of 8.51. This means the NAIC received a significantly higher number of complaints than most companies, which is not a good sign. We plan to monitor this alongside other third-party reviews.

Policy options

Both the quality and number of coverage options, like unique auto insurance product features and availability of certain perks and benefits.

8.3

Coverage options

Mercury offers pretty standard options by way of available coverage. Here are your options:

  • Liability coverage. This covers the cost if you damage someone’s property or injure someone with your car. Liability insurance is required in most states.

  • Personal injury coverage. If you or your passengers are injured in an accident, this coverage pays for your medical expenses or lost wages. This coverage is required in no-fault states.

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This covers the cost if you’re in an accident caused by a driver without insurance, or whose insurance doesn’t cover the full extent of the damage.

  • Comprehensive coverage. Pays for damage to your car that isn’t caused by a collision, including damage from animals, extreme weather, floods, fire, falling objects, theft, and vandalism.

  • Collision coverage. This covers the costs of damage to your car after an accident, regardless of who was at fault.

  • Rental car coverage. If you have to rent a vehicle after a covered accident, this coverage would pay for your rental while your car is being repaired. 

The company doesn’t have many add-ons for your car insurance policy. However, Mercury does offer rideshare coverage for drivers who work for companies like Lyft or Uber, as well as some other coverage types. Here are your add-on options:

  • Medical payments. This coverage helps pay for additional medical expenses associated with a covered incident, separate from your personal injury coverage.

  • Roadside assistance. By adding this to your policy, you’ll have access to services like towing or flat tire changes.

  • Ride-hailing insurance. Commonly known as rideshare coverage, this coverage protects drivers when they are on the clock for companies like Uber and Lyft.

Roadside assistance

Mercury offers a roadside assistance program as an addition to your auto insurance policy. While Mercury provides its own services, you can also pay for an outside service and submit the charges for reimbursement. If you add this feature to your plan, you’ll have access to the following services:

  • Towing

  • Jump starts for dead battery

  • Flat tire changes

  • Lockout services

  • Delivering fuel/fluids

Other insurance products

Mercury offers several other insurance products, including: 

  • Homeowners insurance

  • Condo insurance

  • Renters insurance

  • Umbrella insurance

  • Landlord insurance

  • Business insurance

One unique opportunity through Mercury is the Mechanical Breakdown Protection. Similar to an extended warranty, this will help you in the event that your car breaks down anywhere in the U.S. You simply take it to any licensed repair shop, and Mercury will help you get back on the road. Services included in this additional protection include:

  • 24-hour roadside assistance

  • Rental vehicle assistance

  • Road hazard tire protection

  • Trip interruption coverage

  • Transferable coverage

Customer experience

Ease of use, convenience, availability, points of contact, payment options, and claims ratings.

6.3

Mercury offers a handful of useful digital tools, like a mobile app and online bill pay. However, Mercury is only available in 11 states, and the company received a higher-than-average number of customer complaints about the claims process.  

State availability

Mercury is only available in 11 states:

  • Arizona

  • California

  • Florida

  • Georgia

  • Illinois

  • New Jersey

  • Nevada

  • New York

  • Oklahoma

  • Texas

  • Virginia

Digital tools

Mercury offers a handful of useful digital tools like its bill pay options and its mobile app. However, you can’t file claims on the mobile app, so that process isn’t as easy as it is with other carriers. Here’s what you can expect from your digital experience:

  • Online and mobile bill pay

  • Online claims filing

  • Mobile app

  • Usage-based tracking program (MercuryGO is available for Florida residents only)

  • Clarity of policy offerings online

  • Electronic policy delivery

  • FAQ/Blog resources

Ease of claims

Mercury customers can only file claims online or over the phone. That makes filing more difficult because you can’t file claims immediately from the site of the accident. Some customers have complained about the claims process on consumer review sites like Consumer Affairs, noting that it was difficult to get paid out and that the process took long.

Payment options

  • Online

  • Phone

  • App

  • Mail

Author

Reviews Editor

Haley Sprankle

Reviews Editor

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Haley Sprankle is a former reviews editor at Policygenius who specializes in homeowners and auto insurance. Previously, she was a writer at Wirecutter and The New York Times.

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