The Merchants Insurance Group
Merchants Insurance Group was established in 1918 by a band of businessmen who wished to join a group of business-owners together to mutually protect their delivery vehicles. The organization was originally called the Merchants Mutual Liability Company, but when the group expanded into property and casualty insurance in 1957, the current name become more appropriate. The Group is headquartered in Buffalo, New York and does business in the Northeast and North Central United States: Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Insurance products offered by Merchants include personal and commercial automobile policies, homeowners, workers compensation and personal umbrella (PUP) policies. For personal automobile insurance coverage, Merchants offers a “Package of Protection” (POP) policy which is a true full coverage policy: while many US insurance companies consider a full coverage policy to be collision, comprehensive (other than collision) and liability coverages, POP policies include towing and labor, emergency lodging and emergency first aid expenses, as well as transportation expenses and rental car reimbursement.
Customers may upgrade their POP to include features such as the popular disappearing deductible, replacement cost coverage, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) coverage, collision deductible waiver coverage and accident air bag deployment coverage. Small print on the company website indicates that not every policy coverage or discount is available in every state.
Merchants automobile insurance policy holders who have both collision and comprehensive (other than collision) coverage on their vehicle have free roadside assistance available to them. This includes free 24-hour toll-free assistance in the US and Canada.
For broken glass claims, either for replacement or repair, Merchants partners with Safelite Auto Glass. Like other insurance companies, Merchants will waive the policy holder’s deductible if the glass can be repaired rather than replaced.
Merchants offers many of the same policy discounts as other US insurers: the multi-vehicle and multi-policy discounts, as well as discounts for vehicle safety features (daytime running lights, airbags, anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices) and discounts for the completion of defensive driving classes.
Merchants Insurance Group is a civic-minded organization. It supports a number of charitable causes, including the American Cancer Society, Hospice, the National MS Society and the United Way. On a more intimate level, the company also sponsors the volunteer work of its employees through their Colleagues in Action (CIA) program. Another interesting fact about Merchants is that its company headquarters in Buffalo is powered by a roof-top solar energy system that was installed in 2009 as part of an effort by the company to make its operations “greener”.
As of September 2011, the Merchants Insurance Group is rated an A+ by the Better Business Bureau, the highest rating that the BBB awards. This rating is based on the Group’s responsiveness to any customer complaints. Merchants is also rated A- by A.M. Best, the insurance industry’s leading independent assessor which rates companies ability to meet their financial obligations, including the payment of claims.
Whether you are an investor, or shopping around for an automobile insurance policy, this seems to be a company to keep your eye on. If you live within Marchants Insurance Group's market area, make sure to get a policy quote before you make a final decision about which company to purchase a policy from. You might be pleasantly surprised.
If you have even worked for the Merchants Insurance Group or had a policy with them, our readers would love to hear from you. What did you think about the company? What did you like or dislike about it. How was the customer service. Please share your insights or personal story with the rest of our insurance community. Just fill out the web-form below to get started. Thank you.
This article is written for informational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel. The writer is not associated with the Merchants Insurance Group or its affiliates in any way.
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