In my last blog, we provided some great claims tips and promised that this time we would give you information on how a policy is set up and some of the things to look for.
A couple of incidents occurred that inspired me to share a bit more about the claims process and what resources are available when you have questions or a dispute with your own insurance company.
Being one of several insurance guru’s in my family, I get calls from family and friends whenever they have a question or issue. I either explain the situation or point them in the right direction. Sometimes I even get directly involved and help them solve the problem.
In one incident a perhaps over zealous or junior underwriter at an insurance company made a decision that was in contravention of the Insurance Act of Alberta. Knowing the channels to use, I was able to help solve the problem for one of my family members.
In the event you have an issue, the first place YOU want to go is your broker. He or she is the one who acted on your behalf to purchase the product for you. A good broker will understand the insurance contract and be able to either explain coverage, rationale for a denial and if necessary, intercede on your behalf.
If the matter is one where you cannot agree on the value of your property, repairs or replacement or amount of loss, your insurer must send you a copy of the Dispute Resolutions Process found in Section 519 of the Insurance Act.
More detailed information can be found at this website:
Outside of disputes to value, you can utilize the insurers complaints protocol process. Just google your insurer’s name and word “complaint” and it’ll usually take you directly to that process which involves management and ultimately your insurer’s ombudsman. Every insurer has to have one.
In addition to that, there are 4 organizations that you can reach out depending on the situation.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) Established in 1964 is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto, and business insurers. They have consumer information centres in each regional office staffed with seasoned insurance professionals who can address general insurance questions. You can phone or email and the contact information will be included in the blog on my website. www.ibc.ca
Phone: 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422)
“The General Insurance OmbudService is an independent organization, created in 2002, with the sole purpose of helping Canadian consumers resolve disputes or concerns with their home, auto or business insurers.” https://www.giocanada.org/ After receiving a Final Position Letter from your insurer, they may be able to assist you. You can access them online at https://www.giocanada.org/complaint-form/ or by phone at (1 877 225-0446)
The office of the Alberta Superintendent of Insurance (SOI) of Alberta Treasury Board and Finance regulates, in part, the insurance business in Alberta under the Insurance Act. If you feel that an insurer has breached a regulation in the Insurance Act contact them. Again the information will be in the blog.
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-643-2237Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-420-0752Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, the Alberta Insurance Council serves to fulfill the mission of protecting Albertans through the licensing and regulation of insurance agents, brokers, and independent adjusters. If you have a concern or complaint with a broker, agent or independent adjuster contact them.
Having said all of this the majority of claims are handled quickly, efficiently and fairly based on the insurance contract between you and your insurance company. We all know too well, no one ever says good things about how their claim went. You only hear when people are unhappy. Sad but true. It’s common in every industry.
Hopefully, this information may be helpful to you.
If you have any comments or request for more information on any matter insurance – get in touch – contact information is at heathercournoyer.ca