Notice And Proof

Definition
Certain steps must be taken following a claim. To give notice and provide proof of loss is an important part of the claims process. The named insured needs to advise the insurer that damage or loss has occurred which results in a claim.

How does this affect me?
If you are named on the policy then you do this notice. If you are not named and are the contact person then you will need to have a consent form set up to give you this authority. This comes under protection of the privacy act known as PIPEDA.

Be aware that during a time of stress it can be difficult to concentrate. Make notes of what has occurred. Try to focus on the event and not the emotions that naturally will upset you an make rational thought more difficult. Firemen call this trauma amnesia.

What if I am hurt and unable to do this?
As well, if for some reason the insured does not want to present the claim or is unable to present the claim to the insurance adjuster, then someone who has a financial interest such as a mortgage payable or lease holder of the property can submit the claim.

These forms will briefly state who the insured is and what type of coverage is on the policy. The date and time of loss is noted. The location where the loss occurred and a brief description of what has happened is also required. Details of the police report filed and contact information can be immediately available or filled in at a later date.

If it is an automobile claim then the details of the vehicles and drivers involved will be detailed. If there is any injuries or witness to the event this is also declared.

What is the proof portion?
You must also provide proof of the damage or loss. You can contact your agent or broker who will complete the necessary information to send to your insurance company. There are two standard forms used - one for automobile and the other for property insurance claims.

You will be required to make a statement to the adjuster regarding the circumstances of your loss. Be prepared that you will be asked a list of questions and it is likely that your responses will be taped. This is a stressful time for you and so you need to take your time and carefully consider your answers.

How much time do I have?
There is a limit of time for presenting your formal statement to your insurer. In most cases the insurer wants the documentation within 90 days. You have one year to file a claim involving your property and two years to file a claim regarding your vehicle. The longer you wait, the harder it is for the insurance company to investigate the particular circumstances surrounding your claim.

Do I call the police?
If your claim is to do with a criminal matter, for example the theft of your vehicle or a break-in at your home then you must report to the local authorities and file a police report. This must be done promptly and failure to do so can void your claim.

Insurance answer
You have suffered a loss. The idea behind an insurance claim is to try and get you back to where you were just before the loss occurred. This can take quite a while to complete. The sooner your start the process then the easier it is to gather information that is accurate.