File a claim

Service interruptions are life interruptions for our customers

Even with hard work and resources, we can't always prevent service interruptions. We are committed to providing a continuous and sufficient supply of electricity to our customers but will take responsibility for losses that occur due to our negligence.

In the event of a service interruption, we aim to respond to claims promptly and fairly and to make the process easy for you. In our evaluation of your claim, we may review records, interview witnesses or employees and perform a technical evaluation. You can help the process move quickly by providing thorough and accurate information and documentation.

We evaluate each claim individually and determine:

  • how the incident happened
  • the extent of damages
  • what the law considers fair compensation

Our goal is to reach a final decision within 30-45 days, but complex claims may require more time. Once our review is complete, we will contact you with our decision.

Power outages, voltage fluctuations, food loss and property damage are not typically caused by our negligence but by forces outside of our control:

  • weather-related conditions such as wind, lightning, heat, snow, ice or flooding
  • bird, squirrel or other animal contacts with equipment
  • equipment failure
  • external causes, such as automobile accidents, falling trees or tree limbs and construction activities

While we try to avoid any service interruptions, we will take responsibility for losses that occur due to our negligence. For information on shortage of supply or interruption, see Rule and Regulation 14.

You can help us process your claim more quickly by completing your claim form thoroughly and by providing supporting documentation. Documents may include:

Property damage

  • detailed receipts, repair estimates and/or invoices

Personal injury

  • medical records and receipts for services rendered
  • if you are asking for lost wages due to an injury, we will also need:
    • number of days/weeks you were off work
    • verification of lost time from your employer
    • pay stubs verifying your rate of compensation 

NOTE:  You cannot receive compensation for the time spent pursuing your claim.


Food loss and spoilage

  • itemized list of the food lost or spoiled with its cost
  • receipts or other documentation verifying purchase

We evaluate food loss claims based on the recommended guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

  • a fully stocked freezer will usually keep food frozen for two days after losing power
  • a half-full freezer will usually keep food frozen for about one day
  • food will usually keep up to four hours in the refrigerator if the door remains closed

Business interruption

  • name and type of business
  • taxpayer ID
  • revenue and expenses statements
  • sales receipts prior to and after the incident
  • payroll records
  • bank statements and/or tax records for the business

We are committed to evaluating all claims in a responsive and fair manner to help promptly resolve your claim. If we are responsible, we will pay for the reasonable cost to repair the items we damaged. If you have replaced items, we will pay you the actual cash value of the original item, which is determined by today’s replacement cost minus depreciation. 


As another option, you may choose to file a claim with your insurance company to reimburse you for your loss, less your deductible. Your insurer may then choose to present a claim to us to recover compensation paid to you. Your insurer may be able to reimburse you for your losses without investigation and may, in some cases, pay replacement value (RCV) for damaged items, less your deductible.

The first thing to do when filling out a claim form is to gather all of your supporting documentation. Be sure to retain the originals of any paperwork you submit.  For your convenience, you can submit your claim to us by mail, fax or in person.

Download a claim form

For government entities:
Please see Resolution 12-06-05 about application of Government Claims Act to government entities.

Mail to
Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Attn:  Claims MS A255
PO Box 15830
Sacramento, CA 95852-0830

Fax to:
Attention:  Claims Department

In person:

You may also pick up a claim form by visiting SMUD:

6301 S. Street
Sacramento, CA  95817

If you prefer to have a claim form mailed to you, please call us and request one:

Claims department:  1-916-732-5018

Customer service department: 
     residential customers (English):  1-888-742-7683
     residential customers (Espanol):  1-866-651-4420
     TTY for the hearing impaired:  1-916-732-6630