Mercury Insurance continues to campaign on television and in print that they offer good coverage and high standards of customer service for their insureds. Of course, as a personal injury attorney who handles hundreds of claims yearly, I know first hand that they do little to resolve cases fairly with other insurance companies, and claimants, and treat their own insured poorly as well. Here is the latest “victory” for Mercury.
A person insured by Mercury as an “additional driver” was struck by an uninsured motorist. Making claim under his policy, he thought for sure he would be covered. After all that is what uninsured motrist coverage is about right? And that is why you pay for uninsured motorist coverage right! Wrong. Mercury wrote an exclusion that you would not see easily, even if you bothered to read your policy every time you renew. In lawyer speak the policy said he was not covered unless occupying a covered automobile. Policies by other insurers in the State would cover a pedestrian struck by an uninsured motorist, but not Mercury. So they refused to pay him and won on appeal. See Mercury Ins. Co. v. Pearson, 169 Cal. App. 4th 1064.
You, the unsuspecting public buy insurance and pay for uninsured motorist coverage to protect you. Do you have time to read through all the little exclusions that Mercury has recently cooked up to save a buck or do you rely upon the broad assumption that unless you are told otherwise, you think you are buying the same insurance everyone else is getting? You apparently do not get all you bargained for with Mercury. Maybe Mercury should feel the pain by your change to a more reputable carrier.