Making an insurance claim

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Review your insurance policy

​Insurance companies will pay for the specific losses described in your policy.

Check your policy’s terms and conditions for the following:

  • to see if your company covers your loss or event
  • if there are any exclusions, losses or events that they do not cover
  • if there are specific claim procedures you'll need to follow
  • how long you have to submit your claim

Consider your options

Before you make a car or home insurance claim, consider the following:

  • making a claim may increase your premiums in the future or when you renew your policy
  • some insurance companies offer a discount if you don’t make any claims under your policy
  • if the amount of your claim is only a little more than your deductible, consider if it's worth it to pay for the loss or event yourself

For example, suppose you make a claim for $600 but you have a $500 deductible. In such a case, your insurance will only reimburse you $100. Your premiums may also increase when you renew your insurance. You may pay more in premiums over the long term than the $100 you save by making a claim.

Steps to take to make a claim

If you decide to make a claim, contact your insurance agent, broker or company as soon as possible. Most insurance companies have time limits within which you must submit your claim. The limit usually varies from 90 days to 12 months from the date of the loss or event. Check your policy’s terms and conditions for the time limit.

Provide your insurance agent, broker or company with all supporting documents required by your policy.

For example, you may need to provide:

  • an accident report for a car insurance claim
  • a death certificate for a life insurance claim

Your insurance company will review your policy. They will let you know if you can make a claim under the terms of your contract.

In some cases, the insurance company may look into the circumstances surrounding your claim. This is to confirm that it involves no fraud. This is a claim investigation. During a claim investigation, your insurance company may ask you to provide:

  • medical records
  • police accident reports

Your insurance company will use this information to determine if it will pay your claim.

Making a claim on old or lost policies

To make a claim on an old or lost life insurance policy that belonged to a deceased family member or loved one you must locate the lost policy. To help you do this:

What to do if your claim is denied or your payment is delayed

Get help if you have questions about a denied claim or a delayed payment.

Life and health insurance matters

Your insurance company may deny your claim within the contestability period.

If you want to discuss your claim, contact the head office of your insurance company.

If you're not satisfied with the response, contact the OLHI or your provincial or territorial regulator.

How to make a complaint about your insurance provider.

Home or car insurance matters

If your insurance company denies your claim or delays your payment, contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

You can also make a formal complaint or get legal help.

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