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Mercury General Corporation Message Board

  • rureaddy2rmble2000 rureaddy2rmble2000 Jun 27, 2000 12:11 PM Flag

    RE: Mercury...Morale

    This is very simple, Mercury's problems are a
    result of bad decision making. Approximately 2 years ago
    Mercury dropped their auto rates then assuming that
    agents would make up the revenue loss by writing more
    new business. This trick didn't work. Mercury's
    combined ratio is now approaching 100%, this is a no-no in
    the insurance business.

    I'll tell you this,
    CHEAP RATES are not gonna help Mercury grow. Mercury
    must face reality and refocus its efforts towards
    retention.

    Mercury should also face the facts that their is a mass
    exodus of tallent leaving the company. How Mercury can
    allow a 5 year dedicated employee to leave because of
    its failure to pay is just stuppid. Don't they
    realize it will take 2 new people to replace that 5 year
    employee.

    Stock holders should make MC and all the others
    accountable.

    SortNewest  |  Oldest  |  Most Replied Expand all replies
    • ran across "Luddites" preparing to teach an
      economics class. None of my students had heard of them
      either.

      My lecture was on off the wall economist or
      groups.

      There once was an economist in Europe who thought the
      world's problems could be solved by harnessing the wild
      beast and turning the seas into lemonade. He probably
      was in charge of the medieval equivalent of the Fed.

    • filed rates and implementing those rates is huge.
      I get a big kick out of Progressive ads where they
      say they will tell you who is the most competitive.
      Most agents have a tough time coming up with the same
      premium twice for any given risk for most companies.
      There are so many credits and subjective rates. How
      Progressive can truthfully claim to know how to determine
      premiums for all the competitor insurance companies is
      beyond me.

      What happened to questionus?
      Shouldn't he be crowing?

      The insurance departmeht
      probably wouldn't let me use the word mockery in the name
      of the company. That's too blatant.

    • The stock did indeed fall on the resignation of
      Quakenbush.

      Essentially he was considered a very pro
      free market insurance person. His resignation makes it
      likely that a more consumer oriented person will be put
      in charge in CA going forward. That could make it
      more difficult to get rate hikes.

      At least one
      brokerage downgraded MCY (short term) (21st century also)
      because they do such a high percentage of their business
      in CA. More or less an uncertainty factor.


      Most of the releases I have seen remain very positive
      on the company long term. I agree.

    • The problem is we are losing all of our good
      people, period. And not necessarily to other Insurance
      companies, but to other professions. The high tech (I know
      Mercury and MC don't know the meaning of the words)
      industry is taking people from the company. Until our top
      people figure this out, we will continue to lose these
      people. I know it is hard to understand, but to keep
      people you actually need to pay them.

      • 1 Reply to holcombe25
      • might not be the people you want to keep. This is
        a risk-taking industry, but you don't necessarily
        want risk-takers for employees.

        MCY's future is
        based on the success of its past. The "high tech"
        industry's future is based, in a large part, on conjecture.


        Today, I traced an order I placed with Amazon 15 days
        ago. They told me it will be 3 - 5 more weeks before I
        receive the three books I've ordered. Within two blocks
        of my business there are three book stores. If
        Amazon can't deliver better service how many more books
        will I order from them?

        Amazon is relying on
        human beings to deliver service.

        Much of
        E-tailing is smoke and mirrors. It's the same old song no
        matter what key you sing it in.

        If the "high
        tech" industry is paying wages above those offered by
        MCY... it might be because they are seeking a rare skill
        or talent. It is also possible they are paying for
        the risk involved in being employed by a shaky
        industry.

        MCY has to meet the market to keep the people they
        want to keep... and I bet they are. That's why I'm
        long MCY.

        I guess I don't know the meaning of
        the words "high tech" either. I don't see the romance
        in creating a sales medium that attracts active
        buyers looking for the lowest price of the day.
        Insurance is not a commodity that can be sold at a
        reasonable profit without a meaningful two way
        discourse.

        You seem to want MCY to pay higher wages than are
        necessary and to spend money on technology that isn't
        needed. How will that help the shareholders?

        Did
        any of those that left go to work for INSweb???

    • A combined of 100 is not a no-no in the insurance
      business. The vast majority of MCY's competitors are
      significantly above 100. State Farm would kill for a combined
      of 100. PGR just announced another earnings warning.
      MCY has had excellent experience and expense ratios.
      It would appear they know a little about the
      management of an insurance company.

      Talent is
      secondary to attitude. If the talent that left was sullen
      or sour, good riddance.

      CHEAP rates can be a
      huge factor in determining retention ratios. Companies
      only have service, rate and coverage to offer. Beyond
      that, they must rely on marketing. You don't believe in
      low rate... where would you spend your finite dollars
      in order to increase retention?

      Employee
      dissatifaction is epidemic to the insurance industry... if you
      believe these boards. Why would a shareholder put any
      value in these posts given the universal amount of
      whining from disgruntled employees?

      BTW: Those who
      believe spelling must conform to a single standard didn't
      learn to play together nicely in "Kinder"garten.

      • 1 Reply to insguythen
      • You make excellent points in your post. I've been
        an agent for about 8 years, though I don't sell
        Mercury, I know a lot about them and the way they do
        business in California. The insurance industry in CA sucks
        right now. Mercury, AAA, 21st Century and Progressive
        have all droped their rates so low that they're all
        not profitable. Now they're all trying to get
        approval from the Department of Insurance to raise their
        rates.

        As far as many of Mercury's competitors having a
        combined ratio over 100, I really can't speak on that too
        much. I can say that many of the direct writers are
        suffering from adverse selection. I don't think it's a good
        thing to have a combined ratio over 100, maybe it's ok
        for a short time if you're a mutual company but not a
        corporation. Wall Street has punished Mercury because it's not
        making money.

        I also know that it is VERY dumb to
        let good adjusters go to Progressive, AAA, Allstate,
        etc... to save money. Mercury's got a reputation for
        letting its best and brightest go to save a few bucks.

    • if the 5 year employee can't spell "There" (in the proper context, of course) "Talent" or "Stupid" it may NOT take two new people to replace that 5 year employee.

 
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