The unfortunate reality is accidents happen. That's why insurance exists. However, we recommend you speak with your licensed insurance broker about whether making an official claim with your insurance company is in your best interest. That's where claims counselling comes in handy.
What is claims counselling?
Claims counselling is a complimentary service provided by your OTIP broker that helps you when you need clarification on whether you should make a claim. Keep in mind that this applies more to minor incidents than something substantial.
For example, a minor auto insurance incident could be damage to your windshield or a scratch or ding on your vehicle. At the same time, a minor home insurance incident could be a cracked window that resulted from a storm.
It’s noteworthy to mention that a more serious car accident must be reported to your broker, agent, or insurance company within seven days—or as quickly as possible1. Failing to report it within a reasonable amount of time may result in your claim not being honoured1.
Why can't I file a claim straight away?
It's your decision to discuss your options or go ahead and file a claim. What's important to consider is that your insurance broker can do much more for you than provide you with the best rates. They can also help you avoid making choices that may cause your insurance costs to increase.
What will my broker advise me on?
Customers frequently ask insurance brokers when making a claim: "Am I covered for that?" Knowing what you're covered for and how that protection works is the usual place your broker will start. This can also be a good time for you to do a complete review of your insurance policies.
Homeowners who have been claims-free for a certain number of years can take advantage of a Claims Free Discount. Depending on the number of years you remain claims-free, this discount may increase over time. Consider enhancing your protection with the Personal Property Claims Protector endorsement. This additional optional coverage ensures you can keep your Claims Free Discount and save on your premium if you have to make your first claim on your home in five years.
Along with your coverage, knowing your deductible amounts and understanding if they apply to your circumstances is another essential detail. This, too, should be routinely reviewed. For example, you may have been comfortable with a $2,500 deductible when you initially set up your policy, but as life goes on and things change, you may be less comfortable with it now. Remember, your insurance deductible is the amount of money you'll be required to pay for an insured loss subtracted from what your insurer pays.
Your insurance broker is there to assist you in making an informed decision based on your unique needs, but ultimately, that decision is yours alone.
Making a claim can be stressful, but our brokers are ready to support you through the process. If you're a current OTIP policyholder wondering if you should file a claim for a minor incident, contact us at 1-833-615-9329 to receive professional claims counselling and to review your existing home or auto insurance policy. If you’re not insured with OTIP and are shopping for home or auto insurance, call us at 1-833-494-0085 to get a quote.
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- Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario – After an Accident: Understanding the Claims Process