Merchants Insurance Group

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Merchants Insurance Group
Mutual Insurance Company
Founded1918, Buffalo, NY
Headquarters250 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14202
Number of locations
675 agents
3 regional offices
Area served
Northeast and N. Central U.S.
Key people
Robert M. Zak, President & CEO
ProductsPersonal and Commercial Insurance
Number of employees
Merchants headquarters in Buffalo, NY

Merchants Insurance Group is a regional property and casualty insurance company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. The company provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance throughout the Northeast and North Central United States. The company has regional offices in Hauppauge, New York; Manchester, New Hampshire; Moorestown, New Jersey.

Merchants Insurance Group comprises three companies: Merchants Mutual Insurance Company, Merchants Preferred Insurance Company, and Merchants National Insurance Company. Merchants Preferred commenced business in 2007 to rebuild and expand its preferred-risk business after the sale of a like subsidiary,[1] and Merchants National commenced business in 2009.[2] Each of the Merchants companies are rated "A-" (Excellent) by the A.M. Best Company.

Merchants employs over 300 insurance professionals throughout its operating territories, and works with more than 1,000 independent insurance agents. The company offers insurance in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.


Merchants Insurance Group was founded on March 5, 1918, the day Merchants Mutual Liability Company opened for business with Urban F. Jehle as President. Mr. Jehle, owner and operator of a grocery store in Buffalo, returned from a grocers’ convention with the idea of bringing merchants together for the mutual protection of their delivery vehicles. J.R. Young, a local insurance man, Owen B. Augspurger, a Buffalo lawyer, and C.W. Brown, a civil engineer, joined with him.[3]

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the company name was Merchants Mutual Casualty Company.[4] In February 1957, Merchants began to offer both casualty insurance and property insurance and changed its name to Merchants Mutual Insurance Company to reflect this development. In the 1960s the company moved into its current headquarters, a five-story office building located on Main Street in Buffalo.


Merchants Insurance Group supports a variety of charitable causes for organizations in the communities in which it does business, most notably the United Way and the American Cancer Society. In addition to Merchants' direct financial support to many charitable organizations, Merchants also sponsors an employee-based committee known as Colleagues in Action (CIA). Colleagues in Action allows Merchants employees to participate in a variety of activities, raffles, auctions, and casual days, the proceeds from which are donated to these groups. Combined, the company and employees contributed almost $312,000 from 2003 through 2014 to charities, with a total of $31,994.50 raised in 2014.[5]


  1. ^ Hartley, Thomas, Business First of Buffalo, "Merchants Group sold for $70.8M", November 1, 2006, (
  2. ^ Staff reporters,Insurance Journal, "Merchants Insurance Group's New E&S Subsidiary OK'd in 10 States", February 13, 2009 (
  3. ^ Merchants Insurance Group Celebrates 90 Years in Buffalo, Continues Growth, March 4, 2008 (
  4. ^ Buffalo, New York, City Directory, 1938 & 1941
  5. ^ "Merchants Insurance Group 12-Year Employee Charitable Giving Reaches Nearly $312,000" (PDF).

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