First Chicago vs. Mercury: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

How do First Chicago and Mercury compare when it comes to insurance rates and discounts? If you want to find out which company has the best premiums for your unique profile, check out our latest guide below.
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Quick Facts

  • In general, First Chicago offers significantly cheaper prices than Mercury
  • First Chicago offers more affordable rates for residents of urban areas
  • Mercury offers more discounts than First Chicago Insurance

First Chicago vs. Mercury: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're considering switching your auto insurance. You've probably seen commercials and billboards from companies offering large discounts, but exactly how much money can you save by switching?

You might be considering First Chicago or Mercury as your top options, but between the two, which company will save you the most?

First Chicago Mercury

As you can see, Mercury is quite a bit more expensive than First Chicago, with premiums averaging $295 per month compared to just $156 with First Chicago when looking at the national average rates for auto insurance.

But that doesn't mean First Chicago will necessarily be less expensive than Mercury for every driver. Car insurance companies vary their prices depending on things like how old you are, where you live, how clean your driving record is, how good your credit score is, and all sorts of other factors, so rates will vary quite a bit from person to person.

So, if you want to find out which of First Chicago or Mercury is really the best for you, keep reading to see average prices for each carrier broken down by several different rate factors.

First Chicago or Mercury: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State First Chicago Mercury

First Chicago and Mercury only compete against each other in Illinois, where Mercury offers the cheaper average premiums. For Illinois residents, Mercury offers auto insurance for $152 per month on average. First Chicago's average rates come out to be more expensive, at $156 a month.

That being said, there's a lot more that goes into your car insurance bill than just the state you live in. Continue reading to learn more about how other factors will affect your rates.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

First Chicago Mercury
18-year-old drivers$349$729
25-year-old drivers$141$230

Young drivers -- especially teens -- usually pay a lot for insurance compared to older drivers. That's typically because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to cause collisions and other accidents that will result in an insurance claim.

But still, even with seemingly sky-high prices, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have First Chicago for their auto insurance pay nearly $400 less than those who use Mercury.

That being said, both carriers will offer you dramatically lower premiums once you turn 25. For example, average rates for First Chicago policyholders drop more than $200 and Mercury's premiums reduce almost $500 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

First Chicago Mercury
65+-year-old drivers$114$219

When it comes to car insurance, patience and experience pay off, with drivers around retirement age paying some of the cheapest prices you'll ever see.

So, which company offers the best rates to retired drivers? First Chicago gets the edge, with prices for drivers 65 and older $105 more affordable than the national average for Mercury.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

First Chicago Mercury

You may not be aware, but insurance premiums tend to be more expensive for single drivers than they are for married drivers. This usually boils down to married policyholders having multiple cars on their policy -- something quite a few car insurance companies will reward with discounts.

When it comes to relationship status, First Chicago is the clear winner for single policyholders, with rates about $176 a month cheaper than Mercury, on average. For married couples, the advantage is clear again - First Chicago has the edge when it comes to average prices.

First Chicago vs. Mercury: Average Rates by Gender

First Chicago Mercury

Men are statistically more likely than women to get into accidents and file an insurance claim. That means when it comes to insurance men will normally end up paying a little more.

On average, women see premiums around $10 per month less expensive with First Chicago, and about $15 cheaper with Mercury when compared to their male counterparts.

When it comes to the most affordable prices for each gender, First Chicago comes out on top for both men and women, with average premiums $140 less for men and $138 cheaper for women.

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First Chicago or Mercury: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

First Chicago Mercury
State Minimum*$73$184
Full Coverage**$240$406

*State minimum value indicates liability-only policies at each state's minimum bodily injury and property damage (BI/PD) limits

**Full coverage indicates state minimum BI/PD limits with collision and comprehensive coverages added to policy.

For most people, auto insurance isn't the easiest topic to understand. There are lots of different coverages that account for many different things. Some protect you and your vehicle, while others only provide coverage for other people's property and health if you cause an accident.

However, the most common policies that many drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability only (that covers bodily injury and property damage for other drivers if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which includes comprehensive and collision coverages that protect your own vehicle, in addition to liability coverage).

If you're looking for state minimum liability insurance, First Chicago generally offers significantly more affordable rates of $73 compared to Mercury's $184. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, First Chicago again has the edge, with policies around $150 a month less expensive than Mercury, on average.

Is First Chicago or Mercury Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

You've probably seen plenty of commercials from car insurance carriers offering great premiums for good drivers, but that doesn't mean people with less-than-perfect driving records can't save money, too.

You'll probably end up paying more with tickets and collisions on your record, but which of these two companies offers the lowest rates to drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

First Chicago Mercury
Clean Record$109$237
1 Speeding Ticket$144$294

First Chicago policyholders can expect their prices to go up an average of $35 per month if they get a ticket, while Mercury normally raises premiums about $57 a month, on average.

Even so, First Chicago is usually the more affordable option for both drivers who have a recent speeding ticket and those with clean records -- their rates are around 54% cheaper for drivers with clean records and 51% more affordable for those with a ticket.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

First Chicago Mercury
Clean Record$109$237
1 At-Fault Accident$146$346

After an accident, drivers who have their auto insurance through First Chicago can expect to see around an $37 -- or about 25% -- increase in their insurance rates. Drivers who use Mercury for their car insurance will see a monthly bill around $109 (or 32%) more expensive after reporting an accident to their auto insurance carrier.

Overall, the cheaper prices come from First Chicago, with monthly rates averaging $146 compared to Mercury Insurance's $346.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

First Chicago Mercury
Clean Record$109$237
1 DUI$225$303

If you get a DUI charge on your record, it's probably going to cost you more than a simple ticket or even a collision. First Chicago drivers usually see a 52% increase in their insurance prices after a DUI charge, while Mercury will typically climb premiums by about 22%.

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How does Credit Score Impact First Chicago and Mercury Rates?

You may not realized it, but your credit score can come into play when carriers calculate your monthly bill. This isn't always the case (Hawaii, for example, has banned the use of credit score as a rating factor) but it does affect several drivers out there.

Car insurance companies argue that someone with bad credit is less likely to pay their bills on time, which makes them riskier to insure. Because of that, policyholders with bad credit will often be forced to pay more.

So, which company offers the cheapest rates for drivers with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

First Chicago Mercury
Excellent Credit Score$132$223
Good Credit Score$139$266

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

First Chicago Mercury
Fair Credit Score$155$302
Poor Credit Score$199$406

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Is First Chicago or Mercury Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

First Chicago Mercury
6,000 Annual Miles$156$295
12,000 Annual Miles$156$295

How much you drive can have a pretty big impact on your monthly auto insurance cost. That's because the fewer miles you drive, the less likely you are to get into an accident and cause an insurance claim.

In this case, neither First Chicago or Mercury report increasing premiums for drivers with higher annual mileage figures. Still, First Chicago comes out as the lowest for drivers at both intervals, whether they put 6,000 or 12,000 miles on their car annually, with average prices of $156 per month for both.

First Chicago vs. Mercury: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you call home can have a sizable impact on your monthly insurance payment. Generally, policyholders who live in heavily-populated urban areas will pay quite a bit more than rural drivers because of the number of vehicles that are on the roads in those areas.

First Chicago Mercury
Urban Areas$196$401
Suburban Areas$128$275
Rural Areas$145$209

When comparing these two carriers side-by-side, First Chicago normally comes out as the most affordable option for drivers in all types of areas, no matter if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

In urban areas, First Chicago Insurance's average rates are around 51% less than Mercury Insurance. Drivers in suburban ZIP codes pay about 53% less with First Chicago compared to Mercury. If you live in a rural area, you can expect to save around 31% with First Chicago compared to Mercury.

First Chicago vs. Mercury Discounts

You want to save as much money as possible, right? The best way to do that is by utilizing as many car insurance discounts as you can.

But where do you even start? With so many discounts out there, it may seem difficult to find all the of the ones you're eligible for.

In the table below, we've taken a look at all of the different discounts First Chicago and Mercury offer their customers so that you can see which carrier can save you the most money each month.

First Chicago Mercury
ABS Discount
Advance Quote Discount
Anti-Theft Discount
Continuous Insurance Discount 
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount 
DRL Discount 
E-Signature Discount 
Electric Vehicle Discount 
Employee Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Payer Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Minor Child Discount 
Mobile Home Policy Discount 

Mercury blows First Chicago away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 27 different discounts to First Chicago's nine.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like advance quote discounts, discounts for being a defensive driver, and discounts for being a good student. Mercury also offers continuous insurance discounts, COVID-19 relief discount, distant student discounts, and more that First Chicago does not.

On the flip side, First Chicago has a couple unique discounts of its own -- discounts for getting driver training and renewal discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is First Chicago or Mercury Best for You?

So, you've seen how different variables can affect your insurance premiums. We've broken down the different discounts each carrier offers, too. But, at the end of the day, which company is the right one for you and your specific driver profile?

First Chicago might be best for you if....

  • You want to save money on your auto insurance after a collision.
  • Your credit score is high.
  • You drive fewer than 12,000 miles each year.

Mercury might be best for you if...

  • You're thinking about moving to another state -- undefined only offers policies in.
  • You care about discounts (Mercury offers the most).

We hope this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between First Chicago and Mercury and that it aids in making a more informed decision about your car insurance.

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your insurance policy is to compare quotes from several companies, not just First Chicago and Mercury. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Simply enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of the top auto insurance carriers in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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First Chicago vs. Mercury FAQs

Is First Chicago or Mercury cheaper?

Looking just at the national average prices, First Chicago is the less expensive of the two companies, offering average rates of $156 a month compared to $295 for Mercury. However, First Chicago won't necessarily be the cheapest carrier for every policyholder, since there are a bunch of different factors (things like age, gender, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, First Chicago or Mercury?

Unfortunately, the answer truly is "it depends.". One company is not "better" for each driver -- it all boils down to your unique car insurance profile.

Why do First Chicago and Mercury offer me different rates?

Auto insurance carriers take a look at a lot of different variables when calculating the rates they charge policyholders. Factors such as age, where your home is, gender, your driving record, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be taken into consideration. Both First Chicago and Mercury calculate premiums using different variables, so each one will most likely offer different prices. The only real way to see which carrier is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from multiple different companies.

How do I know if First Chicago or Mercury is right for me?

The only way to find the insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from a handful of carriers and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your information once and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best car insurance companies in your area. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the most affordable rate. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be First Chicago or Mercury at all!


All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a driver that owns a 2016 Honda Accord. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

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