Earthquake Insurance Claims

Solid Ground After an Earthquake

If you have Safeco earthquake insurance coverage, your policy typically covers the cost to repair common earthquake damage, including damage to your roof and walls, and most of your belongings. Damage to fences, patios, yard landscaping, and broken glassware or art objects may not be covered. You may have a higher deductible for earthquake damage than you have on your primary property policy. Call your local Safeco agent to add earthquake coverage or to review your policy details.

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What to Do After an Earthquake

During an earthquake, buildings may become unstable, collapse or slide off their foundations. Aftershocks may cause additional damage to weakened buildings, power lines and bridges. It’s dangerous out there. If you’ve just been through an earthquake, please be careful. Take the appropriate precautions by following these tips:

1. Be Safe

Make Personal Safety Your First Priority

  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • Watch out for broken glass, sharp objects and exposed electrical wires.
  • Listen to the local radio for up-to-date information.
  • Stay out of your home if it is severely damaged.
  • Don't go back inside your home until local authorities say it’s safe for you to do so.

Check for Damage

  • Check gas, electric and sewage systems, and your chimney.
  • If gas is leaking, turn it off at the main shut-off valve, leave the building immediately and call a professional for service.

Drive with Extreme Caution

  • Watch out for downed power lines and debris.
  • Be aware that bridges and roads may be weakened and damaged.

2. Call Us


When it’s safe to do so, call us as soon as you can.

Be ready to provide the following information:

  • Where is the damaged property?
  • How extensive is the damage?
  • Are temporary repairs needed?
  • If the authorities were contacted, which department responded and what is the report number?
  • Your current contact information and the best time to reach you?

Be prepared to provide as much detail as possible about damage caused by the earthquake. If possible, take photographs and videos of your damaged property and belongings. They can help expedite the claims process. Serial numbers, owner’s manuals and credit card statements can also be used to help document personal belongings that may have been damaged, lost or stolen.

We will do our best to contact you within 72 hours after you file your claim to discuss what happens next. If you experienced serious earthquake damage, we will make every effort to get to you as soon as possible.

3. Prevent Further Damage

Protect Your Home

It’s important to take some steps to protect yourself and your home from further damage after an earthquake.

  • Clean up broken glass and remove debris.
  • Board up broken windows and doors.
  • Cover any roof damage with tarps or plywood.
  • If possible, put damaged items in a safe, secure area where they can be inspected later.
  • Save all receipts from any temporary repairs.

4. Repair Your Home

Please wait until a claims adjustor assesses the earthquake damage to your home before starting permanent repairs. However, contractors can be difficult to schedule after an earthquake, so we encourage you to schedule permanent repairs as soon as possible. Find a local, licensed, bonded and insured contractor through our free Safeco Contractor Referral service.

Temporary Housing
While Your Home is Being Repaired or Rebuilt

If you are unable to live in your home while the damage is assessed and your home is being repaired or rebuilt, Safeco will help pay for additional living expenses, typically for up to 24 months. If repairs take longer than the period of time covered in your policy, you may be eligible for additional assistance from federal emergency programs.

Home Improvements
To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade

Safeco will replace damaged items and materials with the same type and quality of materials you had before the earthquake. For example, if you had a fiberglass roof, we will pay to repair or replace the damaged area with fiberglass, but we won’t pay to replace it with more expensive slate tile. If you decide to upgrade your house with better or more expensive materials, you’re welcome to do so, but you’ll need to pay the additional expense out of your own pocket.

Any time you make improvements to your property, be sure to talk to your local Safeco agent to find out if your coverage is still enough, and if you’re eligible for any discounts.

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© 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.