Mercury Insurance Group
|Traded as||NYSE: MCY|
|Headquarters||4484 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California
|Key people||Gabe Tirador, CEO & President, George Joseph, Founder & Chairman|
|Revenue||$3.09 billion USD (2006) |
George Joseph founded Mercury Insurance in 1961 after working in the industry for a few years. Created to be a low cost alternative to larger insurance companies, Mercury Insurance found a profitable niche by offering private passenger automobile policies at a reduced premium for better than average risks. The key to this strategy was, and continues to be very tight underwriting and tight claims handling. The company operated solely in California until 1990, and since then has started expanding into a few other tough market states where nationwide carriers had ceased to operate.
On October 14, 2005, Fitch Ratings affirmed its 'A' long-term issuer rating on Mercury General Corporation and its 'A' rating on Mercury's senior unsecured notes due 2011. 
A March 2007 market conduct exam by the California Department of Insurance alleged that Mercury Insurance may have repeatedly engaged in practices that discriminated against active members of the U.S. military, the unemployed, those of certain occupations such as bartenders and painters, and unmarried adults living together. Additionally the company was alleged to have been inconsistent in its application of certain discounts, which resulted in some of its customers being overcharged.
Representatives of Mercury Insurance were quick to argue that the leak of the conduct exam was a politically motivated move meant to benefit California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, a Republican candidate for California governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election.
- MCY: Key Statistics for MERCURY GENERAL CP - Yahoo! Finance
- "Fitch Affirms Mercury General's Senior Debt & IFS Ratings".