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Mercury General Corporation Message Board

  • matadors69 matadors69 Aug 18, 2001 2:42 AM Flag

    reality myths and hyperbole

    1. m curtiss is still actively involved in the company. He roundtables ideas with employees in several departments weekly.
    2. insurance u/w and claims are tough fields to work in. Having attended seminars throughout the state with my peers with other carriers I can assure you the grass is not greener. If a person is not happy with Mercury and they feel they are competent in their profession they should go elsewhere. No one is forcing them to work for Mercury. Perhaps even a career change. Mercury is just a microcosom of society. Mercury may have a high turnover rate but so do half the marriages in our great country.
    3. changes in the status of many employees from exempt to non exempt will have a profound affect on salaries and workload. The losers here are supervisors but hopefully there will be adjustments to their salaries in the future.
    Mercury's loss ratio appears to have turned the corner and with pending rate increases the loss ratio may really improve, which means the days of big bonuses could be returning in a year or two which will help supervisors and managers.
    4.As for r/d I am not a geek so I can't comment on that department but I have heard a few imcompetent employees left this year on their own so hopefully things will get better.

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    • insguy,

      well said .... that was my point earlier. Mercury hasnt lost its focus like the other carriers I see competing in their space.

      HFD, CNA, Travelers, Progressive etc and the list is long and un-distinguished ... all toying with direct sales aka "alternative distribution channels".

      Mercury is one of the only carriers Im aware of - that is a player - that is totally focused on their objectives and see thru the diversions that is direct sales.

    • Passinthru:

      A few years ago I was involved with an effort with Temple Inland (with their mortgage company). I was helping them develop a method to convince insurance agents to originate mortgages.

      Temple Inland wanted to involve insurance agents so they would have a strong nexus to the client. Temple Inland retains mortgages for as long as possible in most instances and suffers during refinancing cycles from loss of clients.

      It's interesting that Temple Inland saw the value of the agent client relationship while PGR does not.

      As a proponent of the value of independent agents I contend the jury is still out on PGR's noble experiment. PGR has appatrently cannibalized its agents' volume to create direct sales. Some agents in Ohio have complained through their PIA about PGR violating their agency contract in that PGR used information the agents developed to solicit the agents' clients for direct sales.

      If PGR can reduce the expense ratio for direct sales by achieving a high retention ratio, they will do well. My guess is they will learn a very painful lesson about the value of the agent. My guess is the loss ratio for direct sales will eventually be equal to or greater than the direct loss ratio. While the expense ratio for direct sales will remain slightly above 20%. PGR will find there is no magic in the direct sales arena and will have damaged themselves severely in the agents' arena. Agents have obviously found alternatives to PGR. As the rates for N-S auto have increased dramatically and competition has become less fierce PGR should be growing by 15-20% in agents' sales in addition to what is being siphoned into direct.

      BTW: I was wrong about the value to agents of adding a mortgage origination arrow to their agency quiver, and I could easily be wrong about this.

    • Here's a more updated financial summary of the company after 7 months in 2001.

      It shows both the agency and direct results.

      Some shrinkage in agency revenues, sure. On the other hand, they're growing and the COR's are more impressive than those which MCY has brought forward this year.

    • "Mercury may have a high turn over rate but so do half the marraiges in our great country."
      It is very sad indeed to see an admission that a major problem does indeed exist in this company and then see it brushed off with such a false analogy. High turn over rates cost all companies financially and in efficiency.
      "If a person is not happy with Mercury and are competentin their profession, perhaps they should go elsewhere."
      Almost everyone who has left Mercury indicates they do not care about people. The above statement evidences that in clear fashion.

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