In insurance, the fine print speaks the loudest. Pay attention to the fine print when you are purchasing an insurance policy and you can save yourself from surprises when it comes time to make a claim. The Insurance Board of Canada says insurance companies’ customers are entitled to be “informed fully, to be treated with respect, For claims to be handled in a timely fashion and to have appropriate systems in place for complaint resolution, and to resolve your claim.”
In this article, we give you a brief breakdown as to of some of the rights that you are entitled to when you purchase insurance. Remember, if you do not make yourself aware of some of your rights when you buy, you will be caught off guard later on once you make a claim!
Your rights when you are buying insurance in Ontario
Insurance is often distilled down to simple concepts like monthly payment, maximum coverage and the deductible. What many people don’t realize is that the terms and conditions of the insurance policy can greatly affect its coverage. Look beyond the sales material to find out what is included and excluded in coverage.
Right to information
You have the right to a simple explanation of how the insurance policy works and what facts the price has been calculated on. Before you sign, you have the right to get clear, accurate information about the policy, coverage, claims process and cancellation process. You should also know how your insurance agent is being compensated and if there are any conflicts of interest.
Right to transparency during the claims process
Your claim must be attended to by qualified staff, be responded to in a timely manner and be handled transparently. The company should inform you of the claims procedure clearly (and the deadlines), as well as the status of your claim. If your claim is denied, you have the right to know the reasons behind the decision.
Access to information does not mean accessibility: the insurance claim lawyers at Pace Law Firm are experienced at handling claims and understanding the intricacies of the claim.
Right to have your complaints resolved
Your insurer, agent, or broker must provide information about making a complaint. Furthermore, your insurance company must receive and resolve complaints promptly. If you feel your concerns have not been addressed, you can also approach the insurance regulator or General Insurance Ombudsman Service.
Right to safeguard your privacy
There is an enormous amount of personal information available publicly today and all insurers must abide by Canada’s privacy laws and their own privacy statement. You can ask your insurer to provide the privacy statement and pursue action if your privacy rights have been breached.
Your right to a fair dealing
The insurance company has a duty to act in the best interest of the client – through good faith and a fair dealing. If the company breaches this responsibility you may have the right to claim for damages.
Your right to a full investigation
You are entitled to a full and fair investigation of your claim. The insurer must also provide you with the information necessary so you can adequately defend your claim. It must respond to communications in a timely manner as well.
Talk to an insurance claim lawyer in Toronto
Our Toronto insurance claim lawyers here at Pace Law Firm have helped thousands of people file strong claims and resolve disputes promptly. We defend your right to fair treatment, receive income replacement, appropriate compensation and we help protect you from unfair insurance scrutiny. Fight for your rights – talk to a lawyer at Pace Law Firm today!