What You Can Do If Your Insurance Agent or Broker Filled Out Your Ontario Application for Automobile Insurance Incorrectly
You are responsible for checking your application for accuracy. By signing this form, you are agreeing to all the statements in it. Even if your answers are written by someone else, you are responsible for them. If the application was completed in person, then a licensed insurance agent or broker should have asked you to read and sign it to confirm that all of the questions had been answered correctly. If your insurance agent or broker is completing the application for you over the phone, request a completed hard copy to review and insist that it not be submitted to your insurance company until you sign it. If the insurance agent or broker remembers the omitted/incorrect information, ask him/her to communicate this to the insurance company immediately for further review. If the insurance company’s review is unfavourable, and you cannot resolve the issue with the company, you may want to contact the General Insurance OmbudService and/or obtain legal advice.
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is responsible for regulatingthe insurance industry in Ontario. If you have a complaint about an insurance company, agent or adjuster, you have to go to FSCO to resolve the problem. One of the resources available to consumers who have an insurance complaint is an independent OmbudService whose role is to assist consumers in resolving insurance complaints. The services are free of charge and you do not need a lawyer. However, it is a good idea to talk to us first or consider seeking legal advice somewhere else BEFORE making a complaint.
In addition, some insurance disputes may involve a possible breach of the Insurance Act and/or regulations. If you think there is a possible violation of the law, you can make a complaint directly to FSCO, who will review the allegations. The focus of FSCO’s review is to determine whether the law has been violated and whether there is a case for taking enforcement action against the insurance company, agent or adjuster. There is a form you can use to make a complaint to FSCO.
The Insurance Complaint Process
There are some recommended steps you can take when you have a complaint:
Step 1 – Contact your insurance company to discuss your complaint.
Each insurance company has a process for dealing with complaints and has a complaint officer who is responsible for overseeing the insurer’s complaint process. You can get the name and contact information of your insurance company’s complaint officer by:
- asking your insurance representative,
- referring to FSCO’s list of company complaint officers, or
- contacting FSCO
Often a complaint can be resolved by discussing it with the insurer’s complaint officer.
Step 2 – If the insurance company is unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, ask the company to provide you with its final position in writing
Your insurance company complaint officer should ensure that you receive a letter that states the company’s final position and provide you the contact information of the independent OmbudService that can review your complaint.
Step 3 – Contact the appropriate Ombudsman
Once you have the insurer’s final position letter, you may wish to contact the appropriate OmbudService to get assistance in resolving your complaint. Once the OmudService has all of the information it needs, the OmbudService can provide dispute resolution processes such as mediation and adjudication.