So you had a car accident and now your insurance company isn’t going to fix your car. Don’t panic! The good news is there are established avenues in place to resolve conflicts between you and your car insurance company. It doesn’t matter if the dispute involves the settlement value of a total loss of the vehicle, the cost of getting a vehicle repaired, the extent of injuries, or who is at fault. There are ways to get your issues heard without having to go to court.
Before you contact anyone, make sure you’re clear about your concerns and what you expect. Have all your pertinent documentation and information available. Keep a record of everyone you speak to.
Here are five steps you can take to resolve your claim dispute.
Step 1: Phone your insurance broker, insurance agent, claims adjuster, or insurance company representative and request a detailed explanation of the company’s decision to deny your claim.
Step 2: If that doesn’t work for you, phone and ask for the supervisor or manager of the person you originally spoke with.
Step 3: If you still don’t get a resolution, contact the insurance company’s complaints liaison officer. All licensed automobile insurers legally have to have a complaint officer or Ombudsperson. After you tell them your complaint, give them time to investigate your concerns and decide their position. They might adjust the original decision, or agree with it.
Step 4: If you’re not happy with the Ombudsperson’s decision, you can request the insurance company’s final position letter.
Step 5: Contact the General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) with the letter. The GIO is an independent, regionally based dispute-resolution system for the insurance industry.
For general inquiries, you can contact the IBC Consumer Information Centre (CIC) before going through the steps. The staff at IBC is experienced with answering questions related to: technical insurance wording, how to proceed with a complaint, how to find information about a liaison officer or Ombudsperson.
If after following these five steps you’re still not satisfied with the results, you can take your issue to court. When disputes related to car insurance end up in court, it usually involves personal injury because a dollar amount can’t be agreed upon. If you take this step, make sure you consult a lawyer for legal advice.
Often car insurance claim disputes are the result of miscommunication. The best way to prepare yourself in case your car insurance claim is denied is to become knowledgeable about all aspects of your insurance contract.
At Sadler Insurance we can help you with your car insurance needs, and make sure you’re educated so you understand your insurance coverage.