Tornado Claims

We’ll Be There When You Need Us

High wind and hail from a tornado can damage your roof, siding and personal belongings. Your property insurance policy typically covers the cost to repair damage caused by a tornado. However, you may have a higher deductible for wind and hail damage on your primary property policy than you do for other types of claims. Check your policy to see what’s covered and the deductible you’ve chosen. Your local Safeco agent can go over your policy details with you.

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What to Do After a Tornado

Severe thunderstorms, lightning and hail can accompany a tornado. High winds can down electric lines, telephone poles and trees. Buildings damaged by a tornado may be unstable and can potentially collapse. If a tornado touched down in your neighborhood and caused damage to your home or your car, follow these tips:

1. Be Safe

Make Personal Safety Your First Priority

  • 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.
  • If you were evacuated, don’t return until local authorities say it’s safe for you to do so.

Check for Damage

  • Stay out of your home if it is severely damaged.
  • 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:

  • 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 the damage. If possible take photographs and videos of damage caused by the tornado. They can help expedite the claims process. Owner’s manuals, serial numbers and credit card statements are useful to document personal belongings that may have been damaged or lost.

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 tornado damage, we will make every effort to get to you first.

3. Prevent Further Damage

Safeguard Your Home and Your Car

Heavy rain is often a part of tornadoes and windstorms. The longer your home is exposed to water, the more damage you’ll see to your roof, ceiling, walls and floors, as well as any personal belongings you have inside. It’s important to take some steps to protect yourself and your property from any further damage after a tornado.

Tornado Damage to Your House

  • Board up broken windows and doors.
  • Cover roof damage with tarps or plywood and remove debris.
  • Move any wet items to a dry area.
  • If possible, place any damaged items in a safe, secure area where they can be inspected later.
  • Save receipts for any temporary repair expenses.

Tornado Damage to Your Car

  • Cover broken car windows with tarps or plastic sheeting.
  • If possible, place any damaged items in a safe, secure area where they can be inspected later.

4. Repair Your Home and Car

Get Your House Repaired

Please wait until a claims adjustor assesses the tornado damage to your home before starting permanent repairs. We encourage you, however, to schedule permanent repairs as soon as possible. Find a local, licensed, bonded and insured contractor through our free Safeco Contractor Referral service.

Get Your Car Fixed

If your car has been damaged by a tornado, see Car Repairs and Damage Estimates for more information on how to get it fixed.

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 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 tornado. 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.