A Step-by-Step Guide to Car Insurance Claims
You’ve recently been in an accident and need to file an insurance claim, but your policy doesn’t state what steps you need to take next. Don’t worry, we have you covered with this simple step-by-step guide to filing a car insurance claim.
Step 1 – Contact Your Broker
The first step is to reach out to your MLS insurance broker. They are your primary contact for filing an insurance claim and will work closely with you to understand your situation and collect any evidence you have. Once they have all the information needed, they will assist with completing and filing the necessary paperwork.
Step 2 – Investigation
Once the appropriate paperwork has been sent off to the insurance provider, an adjuster will start reviewing your car insurance claim. You can expect the adjuster to contact you to discuss the evidence provided and highlight how the claim process works.
Step 3 – Claim Fault Is Assigned
The adjuster will work with the insurer to determine who is at fault. In Ontario, all drivers are subject to the “no-fault insurance” system regardless of the insurer or policy. This system is used to help simplify the claims process and speed up the payment process because each driver’s insurance company would handle their own claim and pay it out. However, even with the no-fault insurance system in place, the adjuster will still determine who was at fault. If you are found to be the at-fault driver, you will be required to pay your deductible.
Step 4 – Policy Review
When they have finished their investigation, they will contact you to review the insurance policy. They’ll outline what is covered under your policy and what costs can be recovered.
Step 5 - Evaluation
During this stage, the adjuster will also determine the extent of the damages to determine the settlement. Typically, they will hire appraisers or contractors to help define the total damages. If repairs are required, they will provide you with a list of vendors that you can use.
Step 6 – Settlement Discussion
Once the adjuster has finished their evaluation, they will provide you with the result. The total damages, costs to repair, and any applicable deductibles and adjustments will be highlighted and explained.
Step 7 – Payment Is Arranged
How you will receive payment will depend on the insurer. In the most common scenario, a cheque will be sent to you to pay the mechanic.
Step 8 – Negotiation Period
If you disagree with the insurance company’s assessment of your claim, your broker can act on your behalf to negotiate and attempt to settle the claim in your favour. They can also assist you with dispute resolution through the Independent Ombuds Service. If a fair agreement cannot be reached, the broker will suggest a lawyer who can help you dispute the claim further.
At MLS Insurance, we assist with the claims process to ensure our clients always have a smooth, seamless process. Contact us today if you need services from an insurance broker in the Ottawa region.