Aaxel Insurance Brokers Ltd. is a Premier Insurance Agency in Ontario
There is never a good time to suffer a loss, but no matter when it may happen, you can count on our claims service.
Call us to discuss your situation and if you may prefer, several of our contracted insurance companies offer after-hours claims assistance, which may be useful, especially in an emergency, or when you have suffered a major loss.
If your insurer is directly informed about the loss you would not have had the benefit of discussing the situation and possible repercussions of a claim under your policy with us. This is likely to be useful, especially if the loss is a minor one, which may be better handled outside of your policy.
To contact an insurer directly, please have your policy number and details of your loss available. You are advised to visit the website of the insurance company you intend to contact and write down its toll-free number for customer support.
The terms and conditions of your insurance policy will include some very specific obligations concerning a loss. Please note that the following are simply standard guidelines. They are not inclusive of your policy wordings and are meant to provide general information only.
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The first and foremost thing is to take whatever action and/or means are necessary to prevent any further injury or damage. For instance, if a pipe has burst at your house, shut off the water supply. Alternatively, if you have been involved in a car accident on the road or a highway, prevent any further damage to your vehicle.
Do not dispose of any damaged goods without obtaining the approval of your insurer in the first place.
In some instances, your insurance provider may arrange assistance for temporary repairs, such as covering a damaged roof or boarding over a broken picture window.
If a crime has taken place, such as an act of theft, vandalism, hit-and-run collision, in cases of injury in a car crash, or when the damage exceeds an amount prescribed by law, the police must be informed immediately.
If you have suffered a loss for which you are insured, inform us of the nature of your loss immediately. If you are calling outside standard business hours and on weekends, you may either contact the insurance company directly or our twenty-four-hour claims helpline.
Be prepared to provide the details of the occurrence of any such event. You will be required to supply detailed information about the circumstances of the claim, as well as any reasonable evidence to justify the amount of compensation claimed.
Do not authorize any repairs or try to repair the damage on your own, unless the repair will prevent further damage until the insurer has consented or has had a reasonable time to inspect the damage.
Furthermore, you cannot simply abandon a damaged property, for instance, a wrecked vehicle, to the insurance carrier without ensuring first that your insurer has given consent for the same.
However, when your insurer has replaced or paid for damaged property, whatever is left of it or salvaged pertains to the insurer.
Do not admit fault or liability at any time until your insurer is directly intimated about the loss. You must not voluntarily make any payments, assume accountability for any accident, or settle any claim, except at your own cost.
Be prepared later to provide the insurer with a complete inventory or account of your claim, supported by sales receipts or other relevant documentation. Your insurer will want to know exactly what was stolen when you acquired it, and how much you paid for the same.
Most policies state that a written declaration (“proof of loss”) must be made within ninety calendar days of the incident. If you fail to make your claim within this period, your insurance company may not be legally bound to honor your claim.
If you are filing a claim against another individual, you should notify him or her as early as possible. It is also wise to inform the insurer of that other person and never assume that the latter will voluntarily intimate the former.
Who is a Claims Adjuster?
Once your insurance company has been advised of your claim, a claims specialist, more popularly known as an adjuster, will be assigned to look after your claim.
The claims specialist may be an employee of the insurance company or an independent adjusting agency, the latter being quite common in peak seasons.
The job of the adjuster is to ascertain the facts relating to your claim and the extent to which it is covered by insurance. The adjuster is paid by the insurance company, who will make every attempt to reach a consensus with the other stakeholders involved regarding the amount of their loss and the extent of their responsibility. The amount you receive for your claim will depend on the type of coverage you decided to purchase.
Some Additional Points to Ponder
Most insurance claims are subjected to a minimum deductible sum, which is the stipulated amount or out-of-pocket expense that you have agreed to pay for every claim, for instance, $500, $2500, or whatsoever.
As the fundamental principle of insurance is to safeguard the insured from severe financial penury, deductibles help make insurance more affordable for all by eliminating insignificant nuisance-type claims. In addition, by equally distributing the loss to all the policy owners, they foster a culture of being responsible whilst encouraging one to maximize the odds of loss prevention.
A claims adjuster or representative may then be appointed at no cost to you to look after the details. If you have replacement cost coverage, some insurers will assist you by providing the cash value of the used item immediately, topping up that amount later when you provide proof of replacement purchase within one-hundred and eighty calendar days of the loss.
There are exceptions, however, such as when you have been using an already damaged or obsolete item for some purpose other than its original one, for instance, a defunct refrigerator as a bookcase. When part of a pair or set of items is damaged, the loss will be calculated as a reasonable proportion of the entire set.
Should you care to register a claim with every loss incurred? Although this is a very personal decision, before making an insurance claim consider the cost of the damage compared to your deductible, future premiums, etc. If it is minor, you may decide not to pursue making a claim, especially if it means losing a “claims-free discount” (if offered by your insurance company) or results in higher renewal premiums.
A regular and up-to-date inventory of your possessions and a record of their respective financial value will be helpful to you, your insurer, the police, and others in the event of a burglary or fire. After a loss, it may be difficult for you to recall the details of articles that are now damaged or missing.
We also suggest doing a drawer-by-drawer, room-by-room, video/audio recording of all of your possessions. Even photographs or an audio recording would be useful for this capturing more detailed information on your possessions, collections, books, compact discs, tools, stamps, and so forth. Written or typed descriptions are also useful.
Make a point to include makes, models, serial numbers, and/or other identifying marks. Keep purchase receipts for major items. Store your inventory records in a safety-deposit box or another secure location away from your home.
Call us today to discuss your situation at 866-358-2860 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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