Mercury vs. USAA: Which Is Best? (2024)

USAA’s low rates and discount options make it the better choice for active and retired military members.

Angela Brown
Written byAngela Brown
Angela Brown
Angela Brown
  • 17+ years in insurance and personal finance writing

  • In-depth knowledge of home and real estate topics

Angela is an insurance and personal finance expert who uses her experience to create content that helps readers understand important and complex topics.

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Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
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Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin Halachev
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Updated May 23, 2024

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Mercury and USAA are two insurance companies that offer quality coverage at competitive rates. Mercury is a regional insurance company that sells coverage to drivers in 11 states, while USAA offers auto and home insurance in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Choosing the right insurance policy is essential to maximizing protection for your vehicle without paying more than you need to. When shopping for an insurer, it’s a good idea to compare average rates, customer service ratings, discounts, add-ons, and policy options from multiple auto insurers.

Here’s what you need to know about coverage offerings from Mercury and USAA.

Quick Facts
  • USAA is the only major auto insurance company that sells coverage exclusively to active-duty military members, veterans, and their families.

  • Mercury and USAA both have telematics programs you can use to save money on coverage.

  • The average cost of liability insurance is $83 per month from Mercury and $45 from USAA.

Mercury vs. USAA: The verdict

Overall, USAA is a better match for active and retired military members and their families. Mercury doesn’t offer military discounts, has higher rates on average, and sells coverage in only 11 states. USAA has coverage offerings in all 50 states.

Civilian drivers who live in one of the 11 states where Mercury offers protection may benefit from Mercury’s relatively low car insurance rates and wide range of discount options. Though Mercury doesn’t sell coverage nationwide, it’s a large company recognized for excellence in customer satisfaction and employment.

FactorMercuryUSAA
IQ Score4.04.7
Customer satisfaction score3.54.2
Average quote: liability only$83$45
Number of discounts810
Number of states where it operates1150
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
  • Our editorial team spent 350 hours developing the Insurify Quality (IQ) Score and scoring insurance companies. The IQ Score objectively analyzes and calculates a score for insurers using more than 15 crucial criteria. Criteria are weighted by importance to the consumer — factors such as customer reviews and affordability influence the score more than availability and third-party ratings.

    We rate each company on a 1 to 5 scale based on five categories: financial ratings, customer satisfaction, affordability, customer support and transparency, and availability. We update ratings once a year or as more recent information becomes available.

    • Third-party financial ratings: We use data from AM Best, S&P, Moody's, and more to compare insurance companies’ credit and ability to pay out future claims.
    • Customer satisfaction: To calculate this score, Insurify analyzed more than 20,000 customer reviews across 155 car insurance companies. We also considered third-party ratings from J.D. Power, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and Trustpilot.
    • Affordability: Our data scientists analyzed more than 90 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partners across the United States, as well as available discounts, to calculate an affordability score.
    • Customer support and transparency: This measures coverage options, ease of claims filing, and the insurer's transparency surrounding discounts, coverages, and claims process.
    • Availability and reach: Insurify identified the number of states in which insurers offer coverage and company size by market share to score availability and reach.

Mercury

Mercury Insurance has 0.89% of the private passenger auto insurance market share, making it the 16th-largest U.S. auto insurer.[1] It has an AM Best Financial Strength rating of A (Excellent) and the Digital Experience Study Award from J.D. Power.

Compare personalized, real-time quotes
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
4.0
JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
827
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$83/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$156/mo

Mercury is a 62-year-old insurance company that sells auto, home, condo, renters, and business insurance. In addition to standard car insurance coverage types, Mercury also offers rental car reimbursement, roadside assistance, rideshare insurance, and more. Mercury customers can save with multiple discounts, and the opportunity to bundle their auto insurance with home or renters coverage. The compay has an A rating from A.M. Best for financial stability. Mercury has nearly twice as many complaints as expected in the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Consumer Complaints Index. However, J.D. Power ranked the company fourth incustomer satisfaction in California.

Pros
  • Numerous coverage options, discounts, and bundling opportunities

  • Competitive auto insurance prices

Cons
  • Only available in 11 states (including California)

  • Only available in 11 states (including California)

Read our Mercury review
Marilyn - May 21, 2024
Verified

Great Company

It's a great company. I've been with them for years.

Marilyn - May 21, 2024
Verified

Excellent

Great value.

Elizabeth - May 19, 2024
Verified

I had full coverage, but then there was a $400 hike per year. I switched to State Law which was $200 lower. I sent a check for $146.00 for renewal, but they claimed it arrived 2 days late. Was it due to snail mail? I think they're lying. The new policy is $600 more per year. Now, I have no insurance. I've had this poor service since I was 16. I might just go without insurance because I no longer care.

I had full coverage, but then there was a $400 hike per year. I switched to State Law which was $200 lower. I sent a check for $146.00 for renewal, but they claimed it arrived 2 days late. Was it due to snail mail? I think they're lying. The new policy is $600 more per year. Now, I have no insurance. I've had this poor service since I was 16. I might just go without insurance because I no longer care.

USAA

USAA is a member-owned company that’s been selling insurance for more than 100 years. USAA is the fifth-largest personal auto insurer, with 6.27% of the market share, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

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IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
4.7
JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
880
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$45/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$99/mo

In business for more than 100 years, USAA exclusively serves members of the military and their immediate families. The company offers multiple types of insurance products, as well as banking, investing, and retirement services. Auto insurance customers have access to a number of discounts, including for bundling, insuring multiple vehicles, living on a military base, and more. A.M. Best gives USAA an A++ rating for financial strength, and the company had the highest or second-highest rating of all insurers in every region in J.D. Power’s Overall Customer Satisfaction Index. Customer reviews are mixed for service and claims processing.

Pros
  • Low premiums

  • SafePilot program rewards good driving with up to 30% discount

Cons
  • Only available to active-duty military, veterans, military spouses, or children of service members or veterans

  • No 24/7 customer phone support

Read our USAA review
Billy - May 22, 2024
Verified

USAA

The price became too expensive.

Stephanie - May 22, 2024
Verified

Customer Service Review

The customer service is always professional and helpful. I am thankful for the great people they employ.

Richard - May 21, 2024
Verified

No

Good company.

MercuryGO vs. USAA SafePilot

Both USAA and Mercury offer safe driving programs that can help you save money.

You can earn an immediate 5% participation discount by signing up for MercuryGO. Teen drivers can earn up to 10% off upon enrollment. You can also qualify for up to 40% more off your premium, depending on your driving habits. MercuryGO uses a mobile app to monitor driving behaviors and habits. It also gives real-time feedback with tips for better driving habits.[2]

USAA SafePilot has an enrollment discount of 10%, but you can save up to 30% for safe driving habits. You’ll need to install the USAA SafePilot App and allow it to monitor your driving habits and behaviors. You don’t need to open the app; it runs in the background automatically. When your renewal date hits, USAA will show your discount and reset your driving score.[3]

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Mercury vs. USAA: Which is the cheapest?

Overall, USAA auto insurance has cheaper rates for all driver categories. Though USAA is clearly the cheaper car insurance company, you should consider numerous factors when looking for your best option, including whether the company sells coverage in your state. It’s a good idea to also consider discount availability, coverage options, and insurance requirements in your state.

USAA: Cheapest for drivers with a clean driving record

If your driving history doesn’t include a past car accident or speeding ticket, you’ll pay the lowest rates by driving record. USAA has slightly cheaper liability insurance rates for people with a clean driving record.

Driver TypeMercuryUSAA
Clean driving record$83$45
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

USAA: Cheapest for drivers with a speeding ticket

Having a past speeding ticket on your record indicates a higher level of risk to your insurance company. You’ll likely pay higher rates if you have one or more tickets on your record. Between the two companies, USAA has the cheaper rates for liability insurance for drivers with a past ticket.

Driver TypeMercuryUSAA
Drivers with a speeding ticket$112$52
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

USAA: Cheapest for teen drivers

Teenagers face high rates due to their lack of driving experience and a higher likelihood of having an accident. Young drivers can find lower rates for liability insurance with USAA.

Driver TypeMercuryUSAA
18-year-old$152$68
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

USAA: Cheapest for senior drivers

Senior drivers can find cheaper liability insurance policies from USAA than Mercury. Compare average quotes from both companies below.

Driver TypeMercuryUSAA
Senior drivers$57$34
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

USAA: Cheapest for drivers with bad credit

USAA offers lower rates than Mercury for drivers with bad credit. Generally, auto insurance companies charge higher rates for drivers with poor credit.

Driver TypeMercuryUSAA
Drivers with bad credit$97$55
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Compare coverages: Mercury vs. USAA

Mercury and USAA both offer all the standard coverage options, including property damage and bodily injury liability, personal injury protection, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage.

The primary difference between the companies’ coverage offerings is who qualifies for coverage with the company. While USAA offers insurance products in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., only members of the military community qualify for coverage. Mercury doesn’t limit its customer base to military personnel, but it only sells coverage in 11 states.

The companies have insurance add-ons that vary slightly. For example, Mercury has gap insurance, and USAA sells car replacement assistance coverage. Add-on availability may vary by state. Compare several offerings below.

CoverageMercuryUSAA
Gap insuranceYesNo
Rental car reimbursementYesYes
Medical paymentsYesYes
Rideshare insuranceYesYes
Roadside assistanceYesYes
New car replacement assistanceNoYes

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Compare discounts: Mercury vs. USAA

USAA and Mercury both offer a fair number of discount options, including a good student discount and savings for bundling multiple insurance policies, like auto with homeowners or renters insurance.

Military members are likely to save more on coverage with USAA, as Mercury offers no military discount. But Mercury does provide some unique discounts, including discounts for using e-documents and a discount for paying your premium in full twice per year instead of in monthly installments.

Here are several discount offerings from Mercury and USAA.

DiscountMercuryUSAA
Clean driving recordYesYes
Defensive driving courseNoYes
Multi-policyYesYes
Multi-carYesYes
Low mileageNoYes
Telematics (safe driving app)YesYes
Anti-theft deviceYesYes
New carNoYes
Military/affiliationNoYes
Good studentYesYes
LoyaltyNoYes
Auto payYesYes
Pay in fullYesNo
Student away at schoolNoNo
HomeownerYesNo
Alternative fuelNoNo

Mercury vs. USAA FAQs

To decide on the right insurer for your needs, you should consider your budget, the cost of coverage, your driving record, and more. Learn more about coverage from Mercury and USAA below.

  • Who is USAA’s biggest competitor?

    USAA competes with some of the biggest names in the insurance industry, including State Farm, Progressive, GEICO, and Allstate. USAA is the only major insurance company that exclusively serves military members and their families, so any meaningful competitor will need to offer a military discount.

  • Is USAA really the cheapest insurance?

    USAA offers affordable rates and may offer the lowest rates for customers who qualify for coverage, including active-duty military members, veterans, and their families. But comparing rates, coverage options, and discounts between multiple companies is important for finding the best policy for your needs.

  • Is Mercury Insurance good at paying claims?

    Yes. Mercury has an AM Best financial strength rating of A (Excellent). This indicates that the company has good credit and assets available to pay claims. But Mercury has received some negative customer reviews regarding claims on its Better Business Bureau profile.

  • What insurance is better than Mercury?

    The best insurance for you is the coverage that meets your needs and budget. The best way to find the right fit is to compare average premiums, auto insurance policy options, and discounts from different companies, including Mercury and USAA. This will help you identify which company best matches your needs.

Methodology

Insurify data scientists analyzed more than 90 million quotes served to car insurance applicants in Insurify’s proprietary database to calculate the premium averages displayed on this page. These premiums are real quotes that come directly from Insurify’s 50+ partner insurance companies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quote averages represent the median price for a quote across the given coverage level, driver subset, and geographic area.

Unless otherwise specified, quoted rates reflect the average cost for drivers between 20 and 70 years old with a clean driving record and average or better credit (a credit score of 600 or higher).

Liability-only premium averages correspond to policies with the following coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury limits between state-minimum rates and $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage limits between $10,000 and $50,000
  • No additional coverage
Full-coverage premium averages correspond to the same bodily injury and property damage limits in addition to:
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible

Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates.

Sources

  1. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "2023 Property and Casualty Market Share."
  2. Mercury. "How MercuryGO works."
  3. USAA. "USAA SafePilot."
Angela Brown
Angela Brown

Angela Brown is a freelance writer with 17 years of professional writing and editing experience.
She specializes in finance, real estate, and insurance content. Angela uses her experience to
create easy-to-understand content that helps consumers understand tough topics better. When
she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and planning vacations.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

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