How to File/Report a Claim

We're sorry if you've suffered an accident or have a claim on your insurance policy. That's why you have insurance, to protect you when something bad happens. We'll guide you on every step along the way.

Should you file this claim?

If there's a slight chance that someone may have suffered as a result of the accident, then you must file the claim. Otherwise, if you choose not to file it, you won't have the insurance policy to protect you from lawsuit.

There are, however, situations where it makes sense to not file a claim. Keeping your insurance record clean will probably keep your rates down.

If this is a consideration, read this special report before you make that decision.

I need to file a claim

As your independent agent, we’ll do our best to make your claim experience a smooth one.

  • Please contact The Insurance House and we will be happy to speak to you. 
  • If you have a claim and would like our assistance, we will be happy to speak with you. In most cases, you will need to speak directly with the Insurance Carrier to report the details but we can help to make sure that your claim is processed correctly. Simply contact our nearest office for assistance.
  • After your claim is processed, we will follow-up with you to ask about your experience and make sure you were treated well.

If think you’re not being treated fairly, need some help along the way or want to share your positive experience with us, just let us know! We’re always here for you.


After an Auto Accident: Understanding the Claims Process


Report the Auto Accident to Your Broker, Agent, or Insurance Company

When you are involved in an auto accident involving injury or property damage, you need to report it to your insurance agent, broker, or insurance company within seven days, regardless of who is at fault. 

If you are unable to report the accident within seven days, report it as soon as possible after that. If you don’t report your accident within a reasonable amount of time, your insurance company may not have to honour your claim.

 

Have the Facts in Hand!

Your insurance agent, broker, or company representative will likely ask you to supply some basic information. To help speed things up, try to have the following information with you when you call:

  • the name of the registered owner’s insurance company and his/her auto insurance policy number;
  • the make, model, year, registration and licence plate number of the vehicle; and
  • details regarding the accident, including:
      • the driver's name and driver's licence number (if the driver is not the registered owner);
      • the date, time and location of the accident,
      • the extent of any injuries;
      • the number of passengers involved, if any;
      • the extent of damage to the vehicle;
      • your description of the accident;
      • the names and driver's licence numbers of the other drivers, as well as the names of their insurance companies and their auto insurance policy numbers;
      • the licence plate and vehicle identification numbers of the other vehicles; and
      • the name and badge number of the investigating police officer, if the accident was reported to the police.


Can I File an Auto Insurance Claim Without A Police Report?

Yes. In Ontario, it is not mandatory to report to the police if the collision causes damages costing less than $2000 (between both vehicles combined). This is true when there is no injury and no property damage other than the vehicles involved. While reporting the collision to your insurance company, the loss adjuster may ask you to inform the police or the Collision Reporting Centre.

If you believe that hiding accident details could help you stay clear this may cause issues. The other party involved in the accident may report it and also file a claim against you. This could affect your insurance premiums once the car accident shows up on your driving records. Your insurance premiums may increase. It will also be non-disclosure.

There may be other factors such as the extent and severity of the damage itself and the ownership of the fault. It does not matter if the other party filed a claim initially or not. They may do so later. Hence, it is recommended to file an auto insurance claim in Ontario so that you have the best result for your claim.


When You Need To Report A Car Accident to Police

When am I legally required to report an accident? There are other situations where you will be required to report an accident in Ontario, even if there is no damage. Here is when you need to report a car accident:

  • Injury:                          You must report the accident if someone is injured.
  • Government Vehicles: The accident involves a government vehicle.
  • No Insurance:               If it involves a driver who doesn't have car insurance.
  • Criminal Act:               A criminal act occurs such as impaired, DUI, etc.
  • Pedestrian:                  The accident involved a pedestrian.
  • Property Is Damaged: Damage is caused to private or municipal property.

How Long Do I Have to Report an Accident to police In Ontario?

How long do I have to file a police report? In Ontario, you should report any accident within 24 hours of it occurring. Even if the damage is minimal (less than $2000) and you decide not to file an insurance claim, you will have a record of the accident.

Can you report a car accident after 24 hours? If you have let 24 hours lapse, then you should report the accident immediately at your local accident reporting centre.

Do Police Reports Impact Insurance?

Contrary to popular belief, car accident police reports will not impact your insurance company’s assessment of the car accident. It is up to your insurance provider to determine who is at fault for an accident and whether or not you will see an increase in your car insurance rates.

What Happens After You File a Claim with Your Insurance Company?

Once your claim is reported, you will be contacted by the claims adjuster assigned to your file. In some cases, the adjuster will want to meet with you in person; in other cases, the entire claim will be handled over the telephone. To support your claim, you may also be required to complete a claim form, also known as a Proof of Loss form (a sworn statement in support of your claim). Your claims adjuster will determine the extent to which the claim is covered by your insurance policy, explain the coverages provided by your policy, and help guide you through the entire claims process. If you have any questions or if there is something about your policy or claim that you don’t understand, ask your claims adjuster for clarification.

How Does Your Insurance Company Assess Fault?

Someone is always determined to be at-fault in an auto accident, whether partially or fully. Insurance companies must determine the degree of fault to be assigned to each driver for purposes of determining which property damage coverages apply to the accident, and to ensure that the premiums of the driver who was more than 25 per cent at-fault are adjusted appropriately.

The Insurance Act and the Fault Determination Rules made under the Insurance Act determine fault for an auto accident. The Fault Determination Rules are regulations put in place to help insurance companies provide consumers with prompt claims handling and consistent treatment. After you report an accident to your insurer, the company will investigate the circumstances of the accident and then make a fault decision based on the Fault Determination Rules.

These rules:

  • cover more than 40 accident situations, using diagrams to illustrate specific occurrences, can be applied to almost every possible road collision scenario; and
  • are applied regardless of road or weather conditions, visibility, point of impact on the vehicles, or the actions of pedestrians.

Fault is allocated to each driver based on which accident scenario most closely resembles the accident. If the accident is not described by any of the scenarios, then fault is allocated according to the ordinary rules of negligence law.

Visit the Service Ontario e-laws website to view or print a copy of the Fault Determination Rules.

Minor At-Fault Accident

Insurers can no longer use a minor at-fault accident that occurs on or after June 1, 2016 meeting certain criteria to increase your premiums.  The criteria include that no payment has been made by any insurer, that there are no injuries, and that damages to each car and property were less than $2,000 per car and were paid by the at-fault driver. This provision is limited to one minor accident every three years.

How Do Police Charges or Convictions Affect Your Insurance Company’s Decision?

If you are charged with an offence, you will not necessarily be found at fault for insurance purposes.

Similarly, if the police don’t file charges, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the insurance companies investigating the circumstances of the accident will not find one or more of the drivers involved at fault. For example, if a vehicle was unable to stop on an icy road and rear-ended another, a police officer may say that neither of the drivers was at-fault. Such a comment relates to the laying of charges and should not be taken as an opinion about how the Fault Determination Rules apply to an auto insurance claim. In a case like this, the insurer would apply the rule stating that a vehicle which rear-ends another is at-fault. On the other hand, with certain types of charges, the Fault Determination Rules will not apply, and fault will instead be determined according to the ordinary rules of negligence law.

What Can You Do If You Disagree with Your Insurance Company’s Assessment of Fault?

If you are dissatisfied with your insurance company’s decision on fault, and believe that the decision does not accurately reflect the circumstances of the accident, speak to the claims adjuster handling your file. Ask him or her what rule in the Fault Determination Rules has been applied in your case. Bring any new information to the attention of your insurance company. Generally, an insurance company will revise or reconsider its decision on fault only if additional, relevant information is provided. For example, if an accident occurred in which each driver stated that the other driver had gone through a red light, an insurance company would have little choice but to assign fifty-fifty fault. However, if an eyewitness confirmed which driver went through the red light, an insurance company could review its decision. If your insurance company refuses to revise its decision and you still disagree, contact your company's complaint officer. He or she will guide you through the company’s complaint-handling procedures.

For more information on your Auto Insurance claim Process, please visit the following link: https://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/auto/brochures/pages/brochure_claims.aspx