Penny is an expert on insurance procedures, rates, policies and claims. She has extensive knowledge of all major insurance lines -- auto, homeowners, life and health insurance. She has been answering consumers’ questions as an analyst for more than 15 years and has been featured in numerous major media outlets, including the Washington Post and Kiplinger’s.
Michelle, the former editorial director, insurance, at QuinStreet, is a writer, editor and expert on car insurance and personal finance. Prior to joining QuinStreet, she reported and edited articles on technology, lifestyle, education and government for magazines, websites and major newspapers, including the New York Daily News.
Why you can trust Insure.com
In the 1950s, everyone paid the same rate for auto insurance regardless of age or driving record. George Joseph thought there was a better way to provide insurance and raised $2 million to start his own company. Mercury General sold its first automobile policy in April 1962.
Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, the company expanded, opening offices throughout California. By the mid-1980s, Mercury had become the largest independent agency writer of private passenger auto insurance in California.
In 1989, it began selling outside of California — in Georgia and Illinois. Today, it sells auto and home insurance through a network of independent agents and brokers in 11 states — Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. Mercury is the 14th-largest private passenger auto insurance provider in the nation.
The company’s commercials state, “Working hard to keep rates low.” Not only does that mean rewarding the best driving habits and records, but it also means that Mercury works to keep its overhead low. The company’s site is straight-forward without a lot of resources or diversions, and claims are submitted over the phone, but that doesn’t mean they are stuck in the past. Like many insurers, they are available 24/7 and offer a smartphone app in order to access your policy information on the go. Mercury may not be as fancy as some insurers, but the idea is that those savings will be reflected in your rate.
Among the company’s savings programs is RealDrive, a discount offering that’s based on how far a customer drives – the fewer miles driven, the higher the savings – and MercuryGO, a usage-based telematics app that offers a virtual driving coach and, depending on your state and driving record, up to a 40% discounts on your insurance. MercuryGO is available in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia.