When you’re facing an auto or property claim situation, it can be difficult to know what to do first. Here is some information to help you navigate the process.
Gather and collect all details
If your automobile is damaged in an accident or another type of incident, be sure to collect the following information:
- Date, time of day, location information and weather conditions.
- Name, address and phone number of each driver and each vehicle’s registered owner
- Driver’s licence number, insurance company and policy number of each driver
- Licence plate number of each vehicle
- Name and phone number of any passengers and witnesses
- Injury information
Take photos (if it’s safe to do so) and if possible, obtain a copy of the witness statement and police report. Keep all supporting documentation and insurance information, including pictures.
Download a copy of our accident checklist to keep in your vehicle(s)
For property claims, collect the following information:
- How the loss occurred, and the severity of the damage
- When the loss occurred (date and time)
- What steps you have taken so far to prevent further loss or repair damage Information regarding police or fire department involvement
- A list of damaged, destroyed, or stolen items
Take photos of any damage to your property, as well as damaged items, attach proof of purchase, receipts, police report, owners’ manual and warranties of items.
Report the claim
Report the claim to your insurance provider as soon as possible and contact your broker as well. Your broker can confirm your coverage, explain the claims process and answer any questions. They can also act as your advocate throughout the claims process, contacting the insurance company on your behalf and ensuring things go smoothly.
Confirm loss details
Once the loss has been reported, your insurance company will assign a claims adjuster, who will get in touch to confirm the details of your loss, and collect any other information related to the claim.
Your insurance provider will also determine fault in the event of a collision and advise of next steps regarding repair and replacement.
For property claims, your adjuster will advise which forms need to be completed, as well as important timelines.
Assess the damage
You may arrange for a third-party assessment of your loss, or your adjuster can recommend an appraisal service.
For vehicle repairs, you may be sent to a repair shop and you should receive a copy of the assessment once completed. A copy must be sent to the claims adjuster for review.
For property, a proof of loss must be completed within 30 days, including a list of items damaged or lost.
Arrange for repair
Once your claims adjuster has approved the cost of repair, you will be advised about your options, which include the insurance company’s preferred suppliers, or whether you may use a mechanic or contractor of your choice. At this point, you will also be responsible for paying any deductible applicable to your claim.
Your adjuster will provide any additional services included in your coverage, such as a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired, or additional living expenses if your home is unfit to live in.
If your claim involves personal property, there are different options available for settling your claim. You may choose to receive an actual cash value payment up front to cover the cost of replacing the lost or damaged items. Your insurance company may also be able to set up direct billing with the vender to purchase replacement goods.
If your claim involves injuries, you will be assigned an adjuster who specializes in these claims. This adjuster will detail with any medical benefits available and provide the required forms. If other parties were injured, the insurance company needs your cooperation in their investigation, to ensure a swift and fair resolution.
Closing the claim
Once the repairs are made, your insurance company will pay any invoices on your behalf (except the deductible, which you should have already paid directly to the mechanic or contractor). As well, depending on the type of loss and value of the claim, you may need to complete a Proof of Loss form. Keep in mind you have two (2) years from the date of loss to finalize your claim.
If you’ve experienced damage to your property and/or vehicle and have additional questions regarding your insurance policy, please contact your BrokerLink broker.
Visit our Insurance Centre for instructions about how to proceed with a claim at your insurance company*.
*If your insurance company is not listed here, please refer to your policy for the contact information.