Claims – Automobile Insurance


Insurance is an essential service, and often we find that our clients have a hard time understanding what it is they are paying for.  Ask anyone who has ever put through a claim and suffered a large loss, such as the theft of their vehicle or a house fire, and we’re sure they will tell you the premiums they paid were well worth it.  We all hope to never have to “use” our Insurance, but in the event that you do, our Team is here to give you the advice and support that you need.

As many people do not know what to expect in the event of a claim, we thought it would be helpful to outline some of the basic steps involved.  We have broken this post down into two sections – Automobile and Property.  Please see next week’s post for the details on Property claims!

What to do in the event of a Claim?

To ensure that your claim is processed quickly and efficiently, it is important to report your claim to our Brokerage as soon as possible.  We recommend taking the following steps:

  • Turn off your engine and move away from traffic or other dangers
  • Call police and emergency medical assistance, if necessary
  • Provide first aid and assistance where necessary
  • Obtain the details of the other party, including the name of the driver, their address, phone number, driver’s licence number, licence plate number, the vehicle details (year, make, model), the owner’s name and address (if different from the driver), and name of their Insurance Company, and their policy number
  • Obtain the name and number for any independent witnesses
  • Take pictures of the damage and accident scene, if able
  • Contact our Office at 403-245-2424, or if after-hours and the claim is an emergency, you can contact the emergency 24/7 claims line for your Insurer (available on our website)
  • See a primary health care practitioner as soon as possible for an assessment of your injuries, if any

When you contact our Office, one of our knowledgeable Brokers will be able to assist you by taking down the details of the claim and providing you with advice on coverage. In some instances, the damage or loss may be less than your policy deductible, or may cause the loss of a claims free discount or rating change.  Our Brokers can review the impact of the claim on your policy and coverage so that you can make an informed decision prior to submitting your claim.

Once the claim is submitted, an adjuster will be assigned to your file. They will contact you to verify the details and then will arrange for any estimates to be completed, as necessary.  Once these have been completed and any required receipts have been submitted, the adjuster will determine the settlement amount and/or authorize for repairs to be completed.  In the event of injuries or a total loss, there may be additional forms that the adjuster requires you to complete. Should you have any questions or need assistance completing these forms, we would be more than happy to help.

In the event that a claim is put through on your Insurance and it impacts the rating, the change in premium will take effect as of the next renewal term. For example, if you had an at-fault accident on May 1st, and your policy renews on November 1st, the change in rating and subsequent premium increase would not take effective until November 1st.  With most Insurance Companies, at-fault automobile accidents will impact your policy for a minimum of six (6) years.

There are several steps that you can take in order to minimize the chance and impact of a claim, including:

  • Regular maintenance of your vehicle(s)
  • Follow the speed limit and road signs
  • Drive according to the road conditions
  • Lock your vehicle (and even better, get an alarm!)
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle(s)

In order to help minimize the impact of a claim on your policy, we recommend adding the following endorsements (if your policy qualifies):

  • SEF 39 Accident Waiver Endorsement (protects your driving record and rating in the event of a first at-fault loss)

Our Office is also happy to provide you with the following tools, which can assist you in managing your Insurance policies:

  • Mobile App
    • Our Brokerage offers a mobile application for your Smart Phone where you can keep track of your policy information and submit claims

Hopefully you have found this information helpful.  If you have any questions regarding the information in this post, or if we can be of assistance in answering questions about your policy, coverage, or claims, please contact us!

Thank you,

The Costen & Associates Team