Safeco Defers Billing, Streamlines Claims Reporting Process for Katrina Victims

September 12, 2005

Seattle-based Safeco has streamlined the claims reporting process and is providing additional financial relief for customers affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Safeco has taken the following actions:

* Payment deferrals for customers in affected areas. On Aug. 25, Safeco began allowing customers directly hit by Hurricane Katrina in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi to defer insurance premium payments through Oct. 23, or longer if required by state regulators.

During this time, customers will not lose their insurance coverage if
they are unable to pay their premium on time, and no late fees will be
charged. Customers who would like to make a payment and cannot mail it in may submit payments to their insurance agent or online at They also may pay over the phone by calling the Safeco service center at 1-800-332-3226. Safeco accepts credit cards, debit cards and online checks.

* Mobile claims units in Mississippi. Safeco has deployed teams of
service professionals to make it easier for customers to submit claims
where area land-line and cellular phones remain out of service. Mobile
claims units are located in:

Gulfport, Miss.: 15101 Creosote Rd. (at the east side of the Sam’s Club parking lot)

Bay St. Louis, Miss.: 411 Highway 90 (next to the Hancock County
Chamber of Commerce).

* Satellite equipment to expedite customer claims. Where communication systems are down and basic living supplies are scarce, Safeco has deployed disaster-recovery teams to provide our insurance distribution partners with satellite-enabled phones and laptops, generators, fuel, water and other supplies.

* Funding for hard-hit communities: Safeco has made a corporate donation to the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund and is matching all employee donations to that organization on a 2-for-1 basis through Sept. 15. The company also donated $25,000 to the Big “I” Katrina Relief Fund to support impacted independent insurance agencies, many of which include family-owned, independent small-businesses that serve as the first resource for customers as they begin the recovery process.

“As this event unfolds, it is clear that life will never be the same for
many residents of the Gulf Coast region,” said Myron Hendry, Safeco senior vice president of Service. “One of the most important things we can do — beyond our on-the-ground claims efforts — is to make our customers’ experience as smooth as possible under these very difficult conditions.”

Customers who have phone service and find damage to their vehicle, boat, home or small-business property should call 1-800-332-3226 to file a claim.

Additional customer information is available online at

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