Auto Claims FAQ 

The President's Guarantee™

The President's Guarantee ensures that all repairs completed through one of our network shops meet industry standards. If not, we will do what it takes to remedy the situation, with no additional deductible and coverage for reasonable rental car expenses. Damage caused by normal wear and tear, improper maintenance or unreasonable use is not covered. Our guarantee also does not cover any other expense for loss of vehicle use, or any liability to you or others for bodily injury or property damage. If a windshield replacement fails, this guarantee applies but is subject to the deductible stated in your policy. This applies as long as you own the vehicle.

What is a deductible?

A deductible is the dollar amount you’ve agreed to pay out of your own pocket before your insurance policy kicks in and starts paying the bills.

If the total cost to repair the damage to your vehicle is $1,000 and you have a $500 deductible, you pay $500 of the $1,000.

What if the damage to my car is less than my deductible?

It’s a good idea to report a claim even if you think the cost of your damages is lower than your deductible. Here's why:

  • Even if the damage appears to be minor, the repair costs may be more than you expect.
  • If you have coverage for damage to your car, we can estimate how much repairs will cost. This estimate can be helpful when working with your repair shop.

If it’s only a fender bender, should I still file a claim?

If another driver or another person was involved in the accident, reporting the accident allows us to investigate what happened while the event is still fresh in your mind. A timely investigation can help us protect your interests if the other people involved claim that you're responsible for their damages or injuries.

What if additional damage is found?

It’s fairly common for repair shops to discover additional damage once they start work. If this happens at a network shop, we’ll work directly with the shop to ensure repairs continue without interruption. Shops outside of our network will need to submit an updated estimate for approval.

Who receives payment for damage repair?

With your authorization, Safeco is happy to pay network shops directly. For other shops, Safeco can provide a check to you, to the shop or to you and your lender if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle.

What if I need a rental car?

Safeco policyholders:
If your policy includes rental coverage, we can arrange to provide a temporary vehicle for a reasonable amount of time while repairs are being completed. Rental cars are typically included as part of your auto insurance policy, however some restrictions may apply depending on your specific terms. In most states, you are responsible for the cost of fuel, loss-damage waivers and fees for underage drivers. Contact your claims representative for details about your rental coverage, or to make arrangements for a rental.

Customers not insured by Safeco:
We may provide transportation if we accept liability on behalf of our insured. If you are unsure of the liability decision, contact your Safeco claims representative directly to discuss your claim.

What if stuff is stolen from my car?

Auto policies usually have limited coverage for personal belongings. However, many homeowners and renters insurance policies cover personal items you have with you or in your car. Ask your claims representative if your policy covers this type of loss.

What is a total loss?

A total loss is declared when the cost of repairs is greater than the total value of the vehicle. We work with an independent company to make this determination. Model, year, mileage, condition, options and your local market area are all factors in deciding if your car is a total loss.

My car was declared a total loss. Now what?

  • The claims representative who inspects the damage will go over and verify the details with you.
  • We will then request permission to move your car to a free storage location. Please remove any personal belongings and leave the keys in the car for us.
  • A claims representative from our total loss unit will contact you in approximately three business days after the inspection to settle the claim. Have your loan information and/or title ready for this discussion; it will expedite the handling of your claim.
  • At the time of settlement, we will request loan information or a copy of the title. If you have an outstanding loan, continue making your monthly payments until your lender advises otherwise.

Who receives payment for a total loss?

If you have an outstanding loan, we issue the initial payment directly to your lender. The balance owed, if any, will be paid after we receive the title and any other state-required paperwork.

If there is no outstanding loan, we pay any balance due to the person who holds the title. We require proof of ownership on total loss vehicles before we issue payment. Coverage is dependent on your policy details.

What happens if I owe more on my loan than my car is worth?

In some situations, a total loss payment may be less than the total amount left on your loan or lease. Who is responsible for the difference is dependent upon the terms of the agreement between you and your lender. In most cases, you are responsible. Please consult with your lender regarding the remaining balance.

Loan and Lease Coverage is an add-on policy option available in some states. It is designed to protect you by covering this potential discrepancy between a total loss value and the amount left on your loan or lease. It will cover the difference between the unpaid amount due on your loan or lease and the actual cash value of your totaled car.

What should I do if my vehicle has glass and/or windshield damage?

Submit a glass claim online through Safelite Solutions, Safeco's preferred glass service provider. It's easy and takes only a few minutes. A service representative will call you back within 30 minutes or at your preferred contact time to review your policy coverage and assist you in scheduling an appointment.

If your windshield damage can be repaired instead of replaced, you will not pay a deductible, making the repair free to you.

What should I do if my vehicle had to be towed?

If your vehicle had to be towed because of an accident, cost of the tow is generally covered if you purchased coverage for damage to your auto.  

If your vehicle had to be towed because of a mechanical breakdown, the cost of the tow is generally covered if you purchased Roadside Assistance coverage. For North Carolina policyholders, the cost of the tow is generally covered if you purchased towing and labor coverage.

Personal Injury Protection claims in New Jersey

Effective November 7, 2011, New Jersey Personal Injury Protection Medical Expense Benefit Claims will be processed pursuant to a Decision Point Review/Pre-Certification Plan. This Plan will be administered on behalf of Safeco Insurance by Auto Injury Solutions, Inc. (AIS). Review the FAQs for more details.

In addition, all providers treating PIP patients must use the Uniform Attending Provider Plan Form to submit Decision Point and Precertification Requests to insurers. Health care providers should submit the completed form, along with a copy of their most recent/appropriate clinical notes and the results of any tests relative to the requested services to AIS via fax at 1-855-450-2676. The form is required to be completed in its entirety, including all legible/complete medical notes.

Important Notice About Personal Injury Protection Coverage in WA

In Washington, Safeco Insurance will pay for medical and hospital benefits under personal injury protection coverage (subject to applicable policy limits) based on the lowest of (a) the 85th percentile charge indicated by the FairHealth database for similar services in the same geographic area, (b) the amount authorized by a state mandated fee schedule or by another applicable law or regulation, or (c) the amount authorized by a written preferred-provider network or organization agreement to which the Medical Provider is a party. 

No coverage is provided by this summary. If there is any conflict between the policy and this summary, the provisions of the policy, including any endorsements, shall prevail.

Important Notice About Personal Injury Protection and Medical Payments Coverage in Other States

In most states, including those listed below, Safeco will pay or reimburse a Medical Provider’s charge for medical treatment, medical service, medication or prosthesis covered by the Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection coverage provided by your auto policy by paying (subject to applicable policy limits) the lowest of (a) the billed charge, (b) the 80th percentile charge indicated by the FAIRHealth medical-charge database for similar services in the same geographic area, (c) the amount authorized by a state mandated fee schedule or by another applicable law or regulation, or (d) the amount authorized by a written preferred-provider network or organization agreement to which the Medical Provider is a party. Safeco pays claims in this manner to comply with state regulations and policy language and to conserve insureds’ limited PIP and MedPay benefits.

This disclosure applies to personal auto policies issued in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

“Safeco” means Safeco Insurance Company of America, Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, Safeco Insurance Company of Indiana, Safeco Insurance Company of Oregon, Safeco National Insurance Company, Safeco Surplus Lines Insurance Company, General Insurance Company of America, First National Insurance Company of America, American States Insurance Company, American States Preferred Insurance Company, and American Economy Insurance Company.

“Medical Provider” means any hospital, clinic, pharmacy, physician, physician’s assistant, chiropractor, nurse, nurse practitioner, emergency medical technician, and/or any other person or entity who claims or claimed a right to payment for providing medical treatment, medical services, medication, or prosthesis for an injury covered by the Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection coverage provided by your auto policy.

© 2017 Liberty Mutual Insurance, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116

Insurance is offered by Safeco Insurance Company of America and/or its affiliates, with their principal place of business at 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. This website provides a simplified description of coverage. Nothing stated herein creates a contract. All statements made are subject to the provisions, exclusions, conditions and limitations of the applicable insurance policy. Please refer to actual policy forms for complete details regarding the coverage discussed. If the information in these materials conflicts with the policy language that it describes, the policy language prevails. Coverages and features not available in all states. Eligibility is subject to meeting applicable underwriting criteria.