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How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim While Social Distancing

Millions of Americans file homeowners insurance claims each year, which often requires a claims representative to visit the home in person to determine the extent of the damage and generate an estimate for the cost of needed repairs. However, right now most of the country is sheltering in place and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

So what do you do if you need to file a claim?

“Mercury is dedicated to providing excellent service to our policyholders through accurate and efficient resolution of their homeowners claims. We are determined to provide that level of service despite the challenges posed by COVID-19,” said Christopher O’Rourke, Mercury Insurance vice president of property claims. “Of course, we want to ensure the safety of our insureds and our staff, so when possible, we use technology that allows our policyholders to take our claims handlers on a virtual tour of their homes in real-time to assess the damage and create an estimate. Should this approach be insufficient, we limit the number of people visiting the home through the use of virtual inspection technology by our network of general contractors.

Mercury partners with contractors who have been vetted, whose work is guaranteed, and who are compliant with CDC recommendations for those who come in contact with the public.

If you need to file a homeowners insurance claim, call Mercury’s Claims Hotline, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (800) 503-3724. Your claim will be assigned to a claims handler, who will contact you to get more details about the loss. He or she will provide instructions for how to download and launch the claims processing app on your phone.

The app enables the policyholder to share high fidelity video while talking to the claims handler, who can then accurately see what needs to be repaired.

A Mercury policyholder in Highland, Calif. recently went through the claims process after discovering wet carpeting in her master bedroom and closet. Since the cause of the leak was obscured by a wall, her claims handler Nick Sandoval partnered with a Mercury-approved contractor, who visited the home to find the root of the issue.

The contractor looped Sandoval in on the virtual inspection, where it was determined that the shower pan in the standup shower had failed, so water wasn’t being properly directed to the drain. The virtual inspection allowed Sandoval to remotely work with the contractor to establish the scope of repairs, which included drywall and baseboard repair in two rooms, as well as the replacement of the carpet pad and carpeting.

“Once our insured agreed to the estimate and to move forward with the contractor I offered, I was able to issue a check for the repairs within three days,” said Sandoval. “She was very pleased with the timeliness of the claim’s progression throughout the whole process.”

“The system we’ve implemented to process claims benefits everyone,” said O’Rourke. “Policyholders appreciate fewer folks coming into their home and having a guaranteed contractor to work with, and our claims handlers appreciate that they have an alternative to home visits that might put them at risk.”