Mercury offers tips to help auto and homeowners protect their families and property before severe weather arrives
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In anticipation of Hurricane Idalia, hurricane and tropical storm warnings have gone into effect for areas of South Georgia. Mercury Insurance (NYSE: MCY) is urging residents to take precautions and prepare themselves, their families and property in advance of Idalia’s arrival.
Mercury customers can report their loss or damage online anytime through Mercury’s automated digital experience by submitting a claim at https://www.mercuryinsurance.com/claims/ or by calling the claims hotline at (800) 503-3724.
“Hurricane Idalia is forecasted to bring severe wind and rain to South Georgia over the next 48 hours,” says Bonnie Lee, Vice President of Property Claims at Mercury Insurance. “Now is the time to take action, before the storm hits. Create a plan with your family so everyone knows where to go, what to pack and how to get your home ready. This way, you won’t be caught off-guard if the hurricane is heading your way and you’re instructed to evacuate.”
Lee advises homeowners to take the following steps to prepare their homes for a hurricane:
- Pack a go-bag. There are several essential items to have at the ready in case of an emergency, especially if you need to leave your home quickly. A primary go-bag – or emergency kit – should be stored in an easily accessible place within your house or garage. Smaller kits can be kept in your car or at work. Take stock of your go-bag yearly to make sure your items are up-to-date, including:
- A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person), non-perishable food items and pet food, if applicable;
- A battery-powered or hand-crank radio (and extra batteries);
- A phone charger;
- A flashlight;
- A first aid kit;
- A whistle to signal for help;
- A can opener;
- Gloves, face masks, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes;
- Pliers or a wrench to turn off utilities;
- At least $200 in cash in small bills, as power may be out, making ATMs, debit and credit cards unusable; and
- Prescriptions for you, your family and your pets.
- Create an emergency plan. Know where family members will meet if instructed to evacuate, as well as several options if routes are blocked. Establish a meeting point ahead of time. Staying with friends or family who live outside of the local area is a good option, but you should also research hotels and shelters.
- Reinforce your home. Close shutters or use plywood to board up windows and doors. Secure outdoor furniture, potted plants and other items that could become projectiles during the storm.
- Store important documents in a safe place. This includes copies of insurance policies, birth certificates, medical records and prescriptions, social security cards, important financial documents, passports and other identification, which should be stored in a waterproof container. Upload scanned copies of these documents to a cloud-based digital storage site so they’re easily accessible from your smartphone or computer if needed.
- Drive with caution. Water surges and strong winds may knock down power lines and block roads. Drivers should be extra careful when traveling through areas that may be impacted by severe flooding.
- Be aware of flood zones in your area. Hurricanes can cause high winds, flying debris and flash flooding. Get out of town and go to higher ground. If your home is located in a flood zone and you can’t leave before the storm, remain indoors and get to the highest level possible.
“Homeowners insurance doesn’t usually cover weather-related flooding, but flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program. If you live in a high-risk area, consider purchasing a policy,” adds Lee. “Vehicle damage may be covered by your auto insurance policy if you carry comprehensive coverage, but it’s best to make sure. Your local Mercury Insurance agent is able to help verify what is and is not covered in the event you’re affected by a hurricane.”
Auto and Homeowner policyholders affected by the storm can file a claim through Mercury’s web-based app or by telephone. Drivers filing a claim digitally will be directed through a series of easily understood prompts. Customers will also be able to indicate where their vehicle was damaged as well as their location, along with any photos submitted from their smartphones, allowing them to file their claim quickly and accurately.
Mercury advises all policyholders to follow a few simple procedures to help speed up the claims process if your home or vehicle is affected by a hurricane.
When filing a claim
- Contact Mercury immediately to report your loss.
- Be prepared to provide your policy number.
- Do not remove debris or damaged property that may be related to your claim.
Steps after filing a claim
- Prepare a detailed inventory of destroyed or damaged property.
- Offer photos or videos of your home and possessions to your claims representative.
- Keep copies of communications between you and your claims representative.
- Keep records and receipts for additional living expenses that were incurred if you were forced to leave your home, and provide copies to your claims representative.
Visit Mercury’s Catastrophe Center to learn more about how to protect yourself, your family and your property before a natural disaster happens.
About Mercury Insurance
Mercury Insurance (NYSE: MCY) is a multiple-line insurance carrier predominantly offering personal auto, homeowners and renters insurance through a network of independent agents in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia, as well as auto insurance in Florida. Mercury writes other lines of insurance in various states, including commercial, business owners and business auto, landlord, home-sharing, ride-hailing and mechanical protection insurance.
Since 1962, Mercury has provided customers with tremendous value for their insurance dollar by pairing ultracompetitive rates with excellent customer service. Mercury has earned “A” ratings from A.M. Best and Fitch, as well as “Best Auto Insurance Company” designations from Forbes and Insure.com. For more information visit https://www.mercuryinsurance.com/ or follow the company on Twitter or Facebook.
SOURCE Mercury Insurance