Merchants Insurance Group is a deep-rooted home and auto insurance group based out of New York, who provides residential, personal and commercial insurance in the North-Eastern United States. Merchants Insurance Group holds regional offices in 3 states: New York, New Jersey, and New Hampshire. Merchants mostly service the Upstate New York area, however, their policies are the same across each state they service. Merchants Insurance is one of the oldest insurance companies in the United States, and they started out as a merchant insurance group providing commercial insurance to businessmen in New York in the 19th century – soon they expanded their services to regular citizens and they offer a plethora of personal insurance options.
Merchants Insurance Group is a parent company of 3 insurance companies: Merchants Mutual Insurance Company, Merchants Preferred Insurance Company and Merchants National Insurance Company. Merchants Preferred, their largest, was a recent invention and they went in business in 2007 as part of a large revamp operation by the main parent company. Merchants Group revamped their structures as a means to secure more stable finances during the financial crisis. Merchants National went in business shortly after the 2008 financial crisis, in 2009 – it received very stable financial ratings since then.
Merchants Insurance Group has a large network of agents that sell its policies – there are currently 1,000 independent agents selling their policies throughout the North-Eastern U.S. The company employs over 300 customer support staff under their wing, and new offices were recently opened in the states of Michigan, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Merchants Insurance retains a presence in the American North-East since 1918 – Merchants was first started as a Buffalo-based insurance company.
The company is over 100 years old and it first started as ‘Merchants Mutual Liability’ – an insurance company for merchants, by merchants. It initially insured delivery vehicles for damages and theft, but quickly expanded to personal vehicles and home insurance policies. Merchants still provide insurance to merchants and offer many commercial insurance policies.
Merchants Insurance Group home insurance policies are available for the following:
- Condominium unit owners
- Commercial property owners (condominium buildings, hotels, warehouses, retail shops, etc)
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Merchants receive positive ratings by the top financial institutions in the United States – it’s listed on the Better Business Bureau which currently grants it an A+ rating for financial stability. The BBA equally rates companies based on the # of complaints – which is unusually low for one of the major insurance companies, a testament to a high level of customer service provided by Merchants.
HO-3 Home Insurance Plan
Merchants provide a standard HO-3 insurance plan for homeowners who reside in their homes. This plan is Merchant Group’s premier home insurance plan, and it’s available to residents in the following states: New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Merchants provide coverage against common perils, with many optional add-ons. The HO-3 is for homeowners only, while separate condominium and rental policies are available too. Unfortunately, Merchants does not directly list policy prices (or calculators for premiums) and clients have to reach out to agents independently. Clients can only directly contact Merchants about claims and customer service, but all policies are sold via a network of over 1,000+ independent agents.
Merchants HO-3 insurance protects homes against the following:
- Fire damage (internal fire accidents, or house caught in the line of fire)
- Storm damage (hurricanes, winds, floods)
- Theft/vandalism (any home invasions)
- Personal belongings (belongings that were damaged in the house during an accident)
- Loss of use (if the clients are forced to move out while home repairs are carried out, Merchants covers their living expenses)
- Personal liability/medical expenses (If clients or guests are injured during an accident, Merchants bears all medical costs)
Those perils/benefits fall under each HO-3 homeowners policy provided by Merchants.
Home Insurance Add-Ons
- Identity recovery. If your identity is stolen and used for malicious purposes, Merchants can hire an agent to clear out your credit history and misused identity records. Identity protection can be added to all plans such as standard HO-3 and condo/rental plans.
- Underground infrastructure. This includes protection for all invisible lines that go into the house which might require repairs: water pipes, electric wires, sewer pipes, and more.
- High-value items. The standard HO-3 policy includes personal belongings of average value, however, if a client has valuable items such as gold, artwork, antiques – those must be insured separately.
- Equipment add-ons. If the home has equipment like AC units, pool pumps, and similar hardware – it can be insured separately and added to the main policy.
Insurance Increase Coverage
Clients can optionally increase their coverage on small-risk items:
Merchants Insurance Group receives overwhelmingly positive reviews – this is a testament to the company’s reliability. Clients state they are helpful not only when they collect premiums but when they make claims as well. Merchants Insurance Group receives praise for its fast customer response/reliable agents, and many customers say Merchants were willing to help them upon making claims. There were very few complaints against Merchants and most were resolved swiftly.
Merchants Insurance Group is a highly esteemed company, according to their clients, for providing fair rates, responding to claims on time and providing payouts in a respectful manner.