How to cancel a personal injury claim

8 minute read Published on Apr 9, 2024 by BrokerLink Communications

Driver Holding His Neck After Suffering From Whiplash In Traffic Collision

Personal injury coverage is a type of car insurance that is legally required in all Canadian provinces and territories. Like with other types of auto insurance coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance provider if something goes wrong. In the case of personal injury coverage, if you get into an accident that injures another person and you are deemed at fault for that accident, you would file a personal liability claim. Learn more about how to file these types of claims and whether or not you can cancel a liability claim after filing it.

What is personal injury insurance?

Before diving into personal injury claims, let’s first go over what personal injury insurance is. Personal injury insurance, also known as personal liability insurance, bodily liability insurance, or bodily injury insurance, is one of two branches that make up third-party liability car insurance. As the names suggest, personal injury insurance is the part of liability insurance that covers bodily harm or injury that arises from a collision, whereas the other branch of liability insurance - property damage insurance, is the branch that covers physical damage that results from a collision.

Please note that since personal injury insurance is a form of liability car insurance, you will only be able to file a personal injury insurance claim with your insurance provider if you are determined to be at fault for the collision. For example, if you get into a common car accident and are found to be at fault because you were looking at your phone at the time of the collision, you would be on the hook for the cost of the collision. This is when you would file a liability insurance claim to help cover any applicable costs, such as medical expenses, repair bills, legal fees, and more.

Personal injury insurance coverage

Personal injury insurance coverage is designed to cover medical, rehabilitative, and funeral costs that arise due to bodily injury or death from a collision. Specifically, for the personal injury claim process to begin, the policyholder must have been found to be at fault for the accident that resulted in bodily injury or death.

The types of expenses that personal liability insurance may cover include medical bills like prescription medications or physical therapy, funeral fees, and lost income if the injured person is unable to earn wages due to their injury.

Meanwhile, understanding what isn’t covered by personal injury coverage is just as important as understanding what is covered by it. First and foremost, liability car insurance will not cover you for the cost of any incidents or accidents that are not found to be the policyholder’s fault. When the insurance company determines fault, you must be the at-fault party in order to file a personal injury claim. The following risks are also not covered by liability insurance. Instead, you will need to purchase other types of coverage, like comprehensive coverage or uninsured automobile coverage, in order to be protected against them. Personal liability coveragedoes not cover this; therefore, you will need extra insurance, such as the policy items listed below:

  • Vehicle theft
  • Hit-and-run accidents
  • Damage caused by weather-related incidents, such as fire, flooding, hail, a fallen tree, etc.

Is personal injury insurance mandatory in Canada?

Yes. As a form of liability insurance, personal injury insurance is a legal requirement in every Canadian province and territory. Most parts of Canada require drivers to carry a minimum of $200,000 in third-party liability coverage, though many drivers choose to purchase more than this. Contact a BrokerLink insurance advisor for advice on how much liability insurance to add to your policy.

How to file a personal injury car insurance claim

If you are ready to file an insurance claim, we first suggest reaching out to a BrokerLink insurance advisor. One of our advisors can provide you with more information on how the claims process works to help avoid your claim being denied. We can also explain whether a police report is required for the insurance claim.

Tips for a smooth insurance claims process

Before you get started, there are a few things you should know about the insurance claims process. Continue reading for a list of tips to ensure a smooth claims process:

Gather your evidence and information

First, gather all relevant information and evidence. When submitting a claim, you will be asked to provide as much detail as possible about the incident, so come prepared with photos, videos, statements, and general details about the incident's date, time, and conditions.

Review your auto insurance coverage

Review your car insurance policy, including the terms and conditions, to identify what type of coverage you should file your claim under. Reading through your policy will also show you how much you can expect the insurance company to pay for the damage or losses sustained. We also recommend looking for the conditions surrounding filing a claim, such as the time limit you have to file the claim, whether or not you can cancel a claim after it’s been filed, and any exclusions to your policy. It can also remind you of the deductibles and coverage limits you selected for each type of coverage. If you need help understanding the terms of your policy, don’t hesitate to reach out to an insurance broker at BrokerLink.

Remember that insurance claims can increase your rates

Another tip is to remember that insurance claims can impact your rates. For example, personal injury claims affect insurance. Generally speaking, the more claims you file, the higher your premium can be. Now, this isn’t a guarantee, but it is something to be mindful of. Thus, you don’t want to file claims willy-nilly. In addition, some car insurance companies offer discounts to claims-free drivers, so if you have yet to file an insurance claim and the accident you got into was minor, the money you receive via the claim may not be more than the discount you receive.

A step-by-step guide to filing a personal injury claim

If you are ready to file a personal injury claim, follow the steps below:

1. Contact your insurance broker as soon as possible

The first course of action to take is to contact your insurance broker immediately after the accident. Once you are safe and sound, get in touch with your broker to inform them of the accident. They will help you prepare to file your claim and can give you all kinds of invaluable advice. A broker can also review your policy's terms to ensure that you file your claim within the time limit.

2. Collect the evidence

Step number two is to collect the evidence for your claim. In most cases, this will include a police or accident report, medical records, and photos or video footage of the accident. However, if someone died in the accident, then you should also be prepared to provide a death certificate.

3. Submit the claim

Once your evidence is in place, you can formally submit the claim to your insurance company. After filing it, an insurance adjuster may investigate your case and contact you with additional questions.

4. Wait to hear from your insurance company

Last but not least, your insurance company will contact you to update you on the status of your claim. They will inform you whether your claim has been approved or denied. If it has been approved, you will be given information on how much your payout will be, as well as when and how you will receive it.

Can you cancel a car accident claim with your auto insurance company?

There may come a time when you file a car insurance claim and later decide that you wish to cancel that car insurance claim. Thus, as a policyholder, it’s important to understand when and if you can cancel a claim after submitting it.

The basic answer to this question is yes. Many car insurance companies allow policyholders to cancel a claim after it has been filed. However, there are a few caveats.

For example, if you have already received your insurance payout, e.g., if your payout came as a cheque and you cashed or deposited the cheque, then you cannot cancel your car insurance claim. Further, if you are found to be at fault for an accident, which is why you are filing a claim, you likely will not be allowed to cancel your claim. This is because if you were deemed the at-fault driver in an accident, the claim must remain open until it is resolved with the other party.

Please note that personal injury claims can be lengthy, as medical treatment can take time. Sometimes, personal injury claims must stay open until the affected party has recovered from their injury. Thus, the answer to whether you can cancel a personal injury claim is no.

Reasons why policyholders might want to cancel a car insurance claim

A few reasons why policyholders may wish to cancel a car insurance claim after filing it are as follows:

The deductible is higher than or barely more than the cost of the damage

Perhaps the most common reason that a policyholder may cancel an insurance claim after filing one is that they realize that their deductible is higher than the cost of the damage. Thus, they may receive no payout from their insurance company, which makes filing a claim not worth it. The same goes if the insurance payout amount is minimal due to a high deductible. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and the cost of the damage is $550, you would be filing a claim to receive a payout as little as $50, which some policyholders do not find to be worth the hassle.

You cannot afford to pay the deductible

A second reason that some policyholders cancel a claim is because they realize they cannot afford to pay the deductible. If they choose a high deductible, they may have trouble affording their deductible amount in the event of a claim. Premiums and deductibles impact one another, so although a high deductible can result in a low premium, it will be more costly if you need to file a claim. Thus, if the damage isn’t time-sensitive, the policyholder might choose to cancel their claim and deal with the damage later to avoid having to pay their deductible in the present.

The car insurance claims process is stressful

One final reason that a policyholder may wish to cancel a car insurance claim is that the claims process can be stressful. Sometimes, claims processes can be time-consuming, drawn-out, and anxiety-inducing. For example, sometimes insurance adjusters can take quite a bit of time to investigate a claim and may contact the policyholder numerous times to get more information. Given this, some policyholders may prefer to avoid the hassle and stress of a claim by cancelling it. Usually, this reason would only come into play for minor claims with minimal payouts.

Find out more about how to cancel car insurance claims by contacting BrokerLink today

If you want to learn more about cancelling a car insurance claim, contact BrokerLink today. We can explain the different types of auto insurance out there and explain if and how each type of insurance claim can be cancelled. A few types of coverage that we can help you find and file a claim for include:

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