Merchants Insurance Group Review

Delivery Man Driving Van. Getty Images/ Blend Images - Dave and Les Jacobs

Company Overview

Merchants Insurance Group is a regional mutual insurance company founded in 1918 by Urban F. Jehle as a way to offer insurance to a group of local merchants for their delivery vehicles. From there, the company expanded to offer other lines of personal and business insurance.  Subsidiary companies include Merchants Mutual Insurance Company and Merchants Preferred Insurance Company. The company is headquartered in Buffalo, NY with regional offices located in Buffalo, Hauppauge (Long Island), New York; Bedford, New Hampshire; and Mt.

Laurel, New Jersey.

More than 600 independent agents sell Merchant Insurance Group’s personal and business insurance products to resident of Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.  The company employs over 300 people through its five regional locations.

Giving back to the community is part of the corporate culture of Merchants Insurance Group.  Over a 12-year time period, the employees of the company donated almost $312,000 to charities and non-profit groups including: Roswell Park Cancer Institute; the Breast Cancer Network, St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, Almost Home Animal Sanctuary and many others.

Financial Stability Ratings, Customer Service Ratings and Company Awards

Both Merchants Insurance Group companies are rated “A-“ Excellent by A.M. Best insurance rating organization.  An important distinction given to the company was being ranked number one among Super Regional Commercial and Personal Carriers by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New York (IIABNY).

  The recognition was for superior customer service including quick response time and accuracy in handling claims.

Better Business Bureau Rating

Merchants Insurance Group has an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau. The BBB file was opened in 1940. Merchants Insurance Group is not a BBB accredited business and there are a total of five customer complaints.

All complaints were addressed by the company and are now closed.

Insurance Products

Personal Insurance

Personal insurance features and discounts worth noting include the “ACE” or additional coverage endorsement which adds important benefits to your homeowner’s coverage such as more coverage for valuable items lost, stolen or destroyed by a covered loss; coverage for food spoilage, credit cards, watercraft and more.  Ultra and Xtreme ACE plans are available which add even more coverage to your homeowner’s policy.

For the personal auto policy, the “POP” package of protection endorsement adds coverage for towing and labor, transportation expenses, emergency lodging, emergency first aid and rental care reimbursement.  For an additional charge, you can add a disappearing deductible, replacement cost coverage, original equipment manufacturers coverage, collision deductible waiver and accidental air bag deployment coverage. Roadside assistance coverage is free with the personal auto policy with physical damage coverage. Auto discounts include new car, good student, minor child, company vehicles, paid in full, account credit and safety features.

Business Insurance

  • Commercial Auto
  • Building Owners
  • Contractors
  • Food Service
  • Office
  • Retail
  • Service
  • Wholesale
  • Workers Compensation
  • Commercial Package
  • Golf
  • Restaurant
  • Commercial Umbrella

Merchants Insurance Group provides commercial insurance packages tailored to meet the needs of specific occupations with customizable options.  Some discounts available for commercial package options include the multiple policy discount, multiple location discount, association credit, protective device discount and sprinkler discount.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Merchants Insurance Group has strong financial strength ratings along with award-winning claims and customer service. The company is a good option for residents of the Northeast and North Central United States to consider when searching for the best value on an insurance policy.

  For small business owners, custom packages are available offering a wide range of policy options. Other pluses are the ability to file a claim online and the company’s mobile insurance application available for personal auto policyholders who own smartphones.

Cons

Some discounts or coverage options may not be available in all states where coverage is offered. Also, the company only offers coverage in eight states; Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. The company’s policy offerings are great on its commercial end and not as many policy types are available in its personal insurance product line. There is no ability to receive a quote online.

Contact Information

To find a local agent or learn more about the personal and commercial insurance products available, you can visit the Merchants Insurance Group website or call 1-800-462-1007. You can also email the company at support@merchantsgroup.com.