File a claim
Although we work year-round to prevent power outages, we can't always prevent service interruptions or accidental damages. We're committed to providing a continuous and quality supply of service and electricity to our customers and will take responsibility for losses that happen due to our negligence.
We aim to respond to all claims promptly and fairly and to make the process easy for you. We may review records, interview witnesses or employees and perform a technical evaluation while we review your claim. You can help the process move quickly by providing thorough and accurate information and documentation.
We evaluate each claim individually to 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 business days. Complex claims may require more time. We'll contact you with our decision when our review is complete. To check the status of your claim, call us at 1-916-732-5018.
For government entities:
Please see Resolution 12-06-05 about application of Government Claims Act to government entities.
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
If damages are caused by our negligence, we will take responsibility for the related losses.
For information on shortage of supply or interruption, see Rule and Regulation 14.
You can help us process your claim more quickly by completing the claim form thoroughly and by providing all supporting documentation with your claim. Documents may include:
- detailed receipts, repair estimates and/or invoices
- medical records and receipts for services rendered
- if you're asking for lost wages due to an injury, we'll 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
- 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 resolve your claim as quickly as possible. If we are responsible, we'll pay for the reasonable cost to repair the items we damaged. If you have replaced items, we'll pay you the actual cash value of the original item, determined by today’s replacement cost minus depreciation.
As another option, you can file a claim with your insurance company to reimburse you for your loss, less your deductible. Your insurer may then choose to present the 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.
Please gather all of your supporting documentation before submitting a claim. Always save the originals of any paperwork you submit.
You can submit your claim to us by mail, email, fax or in person.
Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Attn: Claims MS A255
PO Box 15830
Sacramento, CA 95852-0830
Attention: Claims Department
Drop off in person:
SMUD Customer Service Center
6301 S. Street
Sacramento, CA 95817
To have a claim form mailed to you:
Call the claims department: 1-916-732-5018