Understanding The Business Liability Claims Process In Canada

The support you need when your business needs it most.

Understanding the liability claims process.

When things go wrong, your business liability insurance is there to respond. And while everyone hopes for blue skies and clear sailing, your business liability coverage is specifically designed to deliver peace of mind when things go awry.

Canadian business leaders know this. The Insurance Bureau of Canada reports that the Canadian property and casualty insurers paid out $39.1 billion in claims throughout 2018.1

Furthermore, “In 2018, private P&C insurers wrote $8.8 billion in direct written premiums for commercial property insurance and paid out $6.5 billion in direct claims incurred. Also in 2018, private P&C insurers wrote $6.6 billion in direct written premiums for commercial liability insurance and paid out $3.7 billion in direct claims incurred.”2

Despite following risk management best practices and implementing safety protocols, your business may one day need to file a claim. To help you understand how the process of filing a business liability claim in Canada works, we’ve brought together some information that we hope you’ll find helpful.

Most importantly, as an ALIGNED Insurance client, we are your advocate throughout the business liability claims process. Each one of our brokers across Canada will be there with you, supporting and advocating on your behalf in the event that you have a claim. Keep reading to learn more about the Canadian claims management process.

So…what exactly are the most common business claims in Canada?

Each year, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) publishes a Fact Book about the property and casualty – aka P&C – market across the country. This helpful resource outlines key statistics about the industry from national and provincial perspectives as well as by types of coverage. The organization also provides some timely insights about what types of risk exposures are trending for Canadian businesses.

As of 2019, some of the major issues that Canadian businesses are encountering include:

Growing cyber threats. A lack of reporting and increased frequency of cyber-attacks are happening across all industries and sizes of business.

Cargo theft. Launching in 2014, IBC is championing a national cargo theft reporting program. This collaborative effort includes insurance companies, “law enforcement agencies, the trucking industry, retailers and manufacturers”3 and “alerts insurers of emerging cargo theft patterns”.4

Natural disasters and extreme weather. The Fort McMurray Alberta fires devasted lives and livelihoods. IBC reports, “The city’s businesses filed about 5,000 insurance claims, averaging $285,000 per claim.”5 Furthermore, “Business risk is increasing due to the increase in frequency and severity of extreme weather. This includes supply chain disruptions and business interruptions caused by disasters.”6

This is why working in close collaboration with an experienced ALIGNED broker each year to discuss your changing risk profile is essential to ensure that your coverage always aligns with your current exposures.

Claims 101 | What to know about filing a property claim in Canada

The old adage timing is everything is a fundamental within the insurance industry. The most important thing to know about filing any claim is that connecting with your insurance representative is the most important first step in the process. As a result, it is essential to always keep your insurance contact information close at hand because worst-case scenarios can and will happen when you least expect it.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada provides some guidance about what you should know when you are reporting a property claim.

While the information below is intended for a general audience, business owners should take note because these best practices are also relevant to the filing of any business liability claim.

  • “Call your insurance representative as soon as possible. Most companies have 24-hour claims service.
  • Details are critical. Provide as much information as possible about the circumstances and damage. Take photographs if it is safe to do so.
  • A claims specialist or adjuster (who is paid by your insurance company) will contact you to investigate the circumstance of the loss, examine documentation and explain the next steps. He or she also:
    • Determines the facts related to the claim and the extent of what is covered by your insurance policy.
    • Attempts to reach an agreement with any other people involved about the amount of their loss and extent of their responsibility.
  • Your insurance company will ask you to complete and return a proof of loss form after the incident. …You will be asked to:
    • Make a complete list of all damaged, destroyed or stolen items. Attach proofs of purchase, receipts, police reports, owner’s manuals and warranty, if possible.
    • Attach photos of damaged items. Keep damaged items unless they are dangerous or a health hazard.
    • Sign and swear that the statements you make in the proof of loss are true.
  • Review your policy and become familiar with specified deductibles, coverage limits and replacement values.
    • If you make a claim, the amount you receive will depend on the type of coverage you bought.
    • Insurance companies have three options for your damaged or stolen items:
      • Repair
      • Replace
      • Reimburse
    • Your policy requires that you take all necessary steps to limit further damage.
  •  Ask your insurance representative if you can hire a contractor or supplier of your choice to do repairs. If so, discuss the costs. Make sure the contractor or supplier respects the price and specifications that you and your insurer agree on.”7

During the claims process, it is likely that you may have questions. Similarly, your claims adjuster will have questions they’ll need you to answer.

Above all, it’s important that you know that as an ALIGNED Insurance client, we are your advocate throughout the claims process. We are here to help answer your questions and work with you throughout the claims process.

INSIGHT: Why an insurance broker is always your best advocate

We’re here for YOU! As insurance brokers, we know that aligning our insurance experts to understand and support your business – during good times and bad – is why so many people choose to work with us.

This is because things go wrong and your business needs to make a claim, you need to know there’s an advocate on your side.

Unlike an insurance agent who represents one insurance company in Canada, your ALIGNED insurance broker represents YOU!

Source(s): 1-6 IBC.ca: 2019 Facts of the Property and Casualty Insurance Industry in Canada ; 7 IBC.ca: Claims Management – 7 Things to Know About a Property Claim ;

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