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ByTaylor Moore Finance & Insurance Writer

Taylor Moore is a finance writer for Reviews.com. Her work has been published in Chicago magazine, the Chicago Reader, and elsewhere.

Mercury Auto Insurance Review

Mercury delivers on the most necessary parts of auto insurance, protecting you if your car is stolen or you have a collision that involves an uninsured or underinsured driver. It’s also great for ride-share drivers and those who like having roadside assistance at the ready. However, supplemental coverage options are limited, and you aren’t able to customize your policy to the extent that you can with other insurance providers.

For those who live in Mercury’s 11-state coverage area, we recommend shopping to see if any other insurers offer you a good price on coverage, as Mercury also has a pretty poor track record with customer satisfaction — it came in last place out of 22 providers in J.D. Power's 2018 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. It has relatively few average customer complaints for the category according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), but its track record with J.D. Power is a definite red flag.

Mercury auto insurance is available in:

Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia

The Claim

Mercury’s website claims: “Shopping for car insurance is simple because we make it easy to understand. We offer coverages to meet everyone’s needs at affordable rates that are paired with great service. And our customers agree, rating us as one of the top vehicle insurers in the U.S. for customer service, claims handling and pricing.”

Is it true?

Sort of. With its explanatory website, offering details on how each part of the policy protects you against the most common claims, we like that Mercury helps you through the more complicated concepts in insurance. Mercury offers collision, comprehensive, liability, and uninsured and underinsured driver protections — standard coverage options that many or most states require if you own a vehicle.

However, its supplemental coverage and discounts are lacking compared to competitors. Mercury offers medical payment protections, rental car reimbursement, roadside assistance, and ride-share coverage, but not much else. You can get savings on your policy for being a good student, for having multiple cars on your policy, or for bundling home and auto insurance, but those are pretty standard. Other providers are more creative with their discounts, cutting you a deal for being a newlywed, being a homeowner, driving a hybrid car, and more.

Additionally, despite the insurer’s claim that it’s one of the top providers for claims handling, it ranked last in claims satisfaction from J.D. Power, though it does have relatively few complaints registered with the NAIC — fewer average complaints than top providers like Allstate and Liberty Mutual. As you gather quotes from multiple companies, we recommend weighing your priorities; the cheapest quote from an unreliable provider may not be worth it if you value customer service.

Product Overview

  • In business since: 1962
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A
  • Moody's financial strength rating: A2
  • S&P Global financial strength rating: N/A
  • J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study score: 2/5
  • States served: 11 (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia)
  • Pros: Basic coverage options, including ride-share coverage
  • Cons: Only available in 11 states, no unique supplemental coverage options

Features

Coverage types
Collision Protection
Comprehensive Coverage
Liability Protection
Medical Payments Coverage
Personal Injury Protection
Ride-Share Coverage
Rental Car Coverage
Roadside Assistance
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Protection
Advertised discounts
Anti-Theft Feature
Autopay
E-Signature
Good Driver
Good Student
Multi-Car
Multi-Policy
Occupational
Pay in Full

Solid discounts

Mercury's advertised discounts aren’t as unique or comprehensive as those from other insurers, like Travelers and Allstate, but they include some of the most common ones. For example, you can get a break on your monthly premiums for being a good student or a good diver, for insuring multiple cars on a policy or bundling with other types of insurance, and for paying in full. Mercury also offers an “occupational” discount — while it doesn't specify on the website what occupations qualify for the discount, a representative clarified that educators, engineers, and scientists may be eligible. Eligibility varies by profession and state, so it’s best to speak to an agent for further information if you're interested.

Roadside assistance

If you get stuck on the road because of a flat tire or locked out of your car, Mercury has your back. The provider offers 24/7 roadside assistance as optional coverage in your auto insurance policy. The service also includes towing (up to certain limits), delivery of fuel or other necessary vehicular fluids, and battery jump starts — up to five uses per policy period. If you pay for roadside assistance and receive services from a provider that’s not Mercury, the company will reimburse you for your out-of-pocket expenses.

Ride-share coverage

Most personal auto insurance policies won’t cover you when you’re driving for services like Uber and Lyft. However, Mercury offers ride-share coverage that extends most of the same protections from your personal policy to the times when you have your app turned on and are ferrying passengers. This add-on is currently only available to drivers in seven states (Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Texas).

Possible drawbacks

Only available in 11 states

As of September 2019, Mercury only operates in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. A representative told Reviews.com that they do not currently have plans to expand to other states.

No unique supplemental coverage options

Beyond what’s required in most states (i.e., collision, comprehensive, liability), auto insurance companies will usually sweeten the deal by providing a menu of add-on options, like pet protection and gap insurance, which pays the difference between your loan or lease and the value of the car in the event that it’s totaled or stolen. These additional coverage options allow you to customize your policy to your lifestyle and needs.

However, Mercury’s supplemental coverage offerings are limited. We appreciate that you can get roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and ride-share coverage through Mercury, but through the online quote system, at least, you can’t add more than that. The quote page notes that you can contact a Mercury agent to find out if there are more coverage options for your area, but we would prefer more transparency in this process.

Poorly reviewed mobile app

The Mercury Portal app lets you view your insurance ID info, pay your bills, review claims, and contact your agent. Unfortunately, the app's reviews are not promising. On Google Play Store, it is rated 1.8 out of five from almost 200 reviews, as of September 2019. Users cite issues with the login process and long load times. Additionally, there's no Mercury app available on Apple App Store, so if you're an iPhone user, you're out of luck.

Mixed claim satisfaction scores

Mercury has a less-than-stellar track record when it comes to customer and claim satisfaction. It scored last in J.D. Power's 2018 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, which compared 22 auto insurance providers. J.D Power is one of the best indicators of how an insurer will treat you should you ever need to file a claim — so Mercury's dismal score is a huge red flag.

Mercury does have fewer average complaints registered with the NAIC, putting Mercury above nationally known providers like Allstate and Liberty Mutual but below customer-service all-stars like Amica. However, with its low J.D. Power score and unexceptional coverage options, it may be worth starting your search with other providers.

The Competition

  Mercury State Farm Allstate Amica
Our review Our review Our review
A.M. Best financial strength rating
A A++ A+ A++
J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study score
2/5 3/5 3/5 5/5
Customer complaints*
Fewer complaints than average More complaints than average More complaints than average Fewer complaints than average
24/7 claims support
Number of states served
11 50 50 50
Get a quote Get a quote Get a quote Get a quote

*Customer complaints are registered by the NAIC and measured relative to the company's market share.

Mercury vs. State Farm

State Farm and Mercury offer fairly basic policies, although both feature ride-share coverage that protects drivers while their apps are turned on, a fairly unique coverage option in the auto insurance space. However, that's where their similarities end. State Farm has a much higher claims satisfaction score — ranking above the industry average — and it's available in all 50 states. It may be worth getting a quote from Mercury if you live inside of its 11-state coverage area, but otherwise, we recommend starting with quotes from State Farm and a few of our other top picks for auto insurance.

Mercury vs. Allstate

Mercury and Allstate both have average-to-low customer satisfaction scores from the NAIC and J.D. Power. However, Allstate has a lot more supplemental coverage options than Mercury does. Beyond essential policy options like liability and coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists, Allstate offers niche add-ons like coverage for vintage vehicles and coverage for U.S. and Canadian drivers traveling to Mexico. We recommend gathering quotes from both to figure out which option is best for your needs.

Mercury vs. Amica

Awarded “Best for Customer Service” in our review of the best auto insurance companies, Amica is an all-star when it comes to customer satisfaction. Amica earned a perfect score of five out of five from J.D. Power, while Mercury was awarded two out of five (the very bottom of the list). The providers are similar in terms of core coverage, with a few key differences. Mercury offers ride-share coverage, while Amica offers additional benefits with your policy, like free repairs, lost wage reimbursement if you have to appear in court, and $1,000 for bail bonds. If you drive with services like Uber and Lyft, we recommend going with Mercury, but if you value smooth customer experience, Amica is your best bet.

Mercury Auto Insurance FAQ

Does Mercury offer roadside assistance?

Mercury has roadside assistance as a supplemental coverage option. For an additional monthly premium, you can receive help for flat tires, dead batteries, and empty fuel tanks up to five times per annual policy period. Roadside assistance also includes towing to a repair facility for up to 200 miles (subject to fees) and locksmith service.

How does Mercury’s ride-share insurance work?

Your personal auto policy covers you any time that your ride-share app (e.g., Uber or Lyft) is turned off. But when it’s turned on, you don’t receive the same protections — and you can even be dropped by your provider if you don't disclose that you drive for those services. Ride-share insurance is meant to cover the gaps that your personal auto policy and the ride-share company insurance leave, like when the app is turned on but you’re waiting for a ride-share request. That’s when it’s most important to have coverage, as Uber and Lyft provide only limited coverage for those situations.

The Bottom Line

Mercury is solid in terms of basic auto insurance needs, like collision and comprehensive protections, medical payments, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. We recommend it if you’re a ride-share driver, as it will cover you during the times you’re working. However, in addition to only operating in 11 states, the provider is limited in its supplemental coverage options and discounts, and it has a mixed reputation when it comes to claims satisfaction. While we always recommend comparing quotes from multiple providers before settling on one, it's likely that a bigger-name provider will meet your needs more thoroughly than Mercury will.

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