You can report your claim one of two ways. Be ready to provide a general description of your damage.
If you have damage to your home, property or car as a result of the earthquake it is your responsibility to take action to prevent further damage.
Save all receipts from your temporary repairs.
If you’re not sure it’s safe, professionals can help, and you should hire a local contractor who specializes in this kind of work.
Make a complete list of items that the earthquake damaged. This will help expedite the claims process. Document the damage with photos and videos.
Don’t throw out damaged items, especially expensive items.
Most insurance companies require that you to wait until the damage to your property has been assessed by a claims representative before you begin making permanent repairs.
However, you should schedule a contractor to make permanent repairs as soon as possible because contractors can be difficult to schedule after a storm.
It's important to talk to your local Safeco agent about earthquake coverage because standard home insurance policies doesn't automatically provide it. In most states, however, homeowners may add the coverage as an endorsement. In some states, separate earthquake insurance policies must be purchased.
If you have purchased earthquake insurance, your policy typically covers the cost to repair common earthquake damage—including damage to roofing and walls, and most of your belongings. Some restrictions apply. For example, your policy typically does not cover damage to fences, patios, landscaping, broken glassware or art objects.
In addition, you may have a higher deductible for earthquake damage than you have on your primary property policy. Review what’s covered and the deductible you have, so you know what to expect when you file your claim.
If you can’t live in your home, your insurance company may pay additional living expenses, as noted in your policy, while the damage is assessed and your home is being repaired or rebuilt. If the repairs take longer than the period of time covered by your policy, you may be eligible for additional assistance from federal emergency programs.
If you don’t have earthquake insurance, you may qualify for grants from FEMA.
Your insurance company will replace damaged items and materials with the same type and quality of materials you had before the earthquake damage occurred. For example, if you had a fiberglass roof, they will pay to repair or replace damage with fiberglass materials, but they won’t pay to replace it with more expensive slate tile.
If damage is extensive, people sometimes decide to take the opportunity to upgrade their property with better or more expensive materials.
If you want to pay the additional expense to upgrade, you’re welcome to do so out of your personal budget.
Any time you make improvements to your property, let us know to make sure you have enough insurance coverage, and to find out if you are eligible for new discounts as a result of your home improvements.