The Insurance Provider
While the role of the insurance provider is fairly standard, coverage varies based on the policy. The typical auto insurance policy covers third-party liability coverage, direct compensation (which pertains to compensation when the claimant is not at fault), and statutory accident benefits coverage.
Many Ontario motorists opt for and pay extra to their provider in exchange for additional benefits like income replacement, caregiver benefits as well as death and funeral benefits. If you’re shopping around for insurance coverage, ask each agent about their company practice regarding at-fault claims and what circumstances would cause them to not renew a policy. Some insurance providers offer accidental forgiveness clauses, however it’s up to the consumer to ask.
The Claims Process
Accidents can be traumatic, and the insurance claims process can be frustrating. If you’ve been in an accident that causes damage exceeding the policies deductible, or if someone’s been injured in the accident, a claim should be filed. Insurance providers recommend that you file a claim within 24 hours. If that’s not possible for some reason, then try to report within seven days of the accident even if the damage is minimal.
If the accident involved someone else, you don’t know if the other party will be reporting the accident, so it’s best to play it safe. With respect to the claim process, please note:
- Make sure you have all documentation and the other party’s information
- Report the claim to your provider, not the other party’s provider
- You can file without a police report
- Report vehicle damage to the collision center if the estimated cost for repairs is $2000
Accidents can raise premiums. Review the terms and conditions of your policy or consult with a personal injury lawyer for advice on how to approach a claim. You don’t want any confusion about your coverage or risk making any mistakes with the claims procedure. Your insurance provider will require the following information:
- Time, date and location of accident
- Names and license plate numbers of all parties involved in the accident
- An account of the damage to the vehicle
- A detailed and honest account of the accident
- Police report (if applicable)
- Collision centre report
Once you have filed your claim with your insurance provider, a claims adjuster will contact you to discuss your situation and corroborate the information. This is the perfect time to ask questions about your policy, the claim and next steps. How the insurance provider proceeds and investigates depends on the circumstances of the claim. The nature of the accident, the policy and the injuries and damage sustained are all factors that could impact a claim. They will determine who is at full or partial fault. This is different from determining legal liability but helps dictate if the claimant’s rate will increase. Rest assured that while the claim is being processed, medical and auto repair expenses can still be paid out in most cases.
Lawyers and Insurance Providers
A personal injury lawyer can help you prepare your claim and advise or represent you if you suffer personal injuries as a result of the accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you seek damages for aspects not covered by your policy, including pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of income and home healthcare expenses.
Work with an Experienced Team
Your insurance policy should cover your vehicle’s basic repairs and your medical needs. If you feel like you deserve more or are overwhelmed by the claims process, than speak with the personal injury lawyers at Mackesy Smye. We can help you prepare an airtight claim, strengthening your position to receive payable benefits. Contact us today to confidentially discuss your case.