Reporting a Claim
To report a claim against your local government, please email the Director of Claims, Sherman Chow, or the Deputy Director of Claims, Nicole Purves, or call the Claims Department at 604-683-6266
The policy of insurance issued by the MIABC is called the Liability Protection Agreement (the “LPA”). The LPA provide members with liability coverage for claims relating to bodily injury (including death), property damage and errors and omissions.
When should a claim be reported?
The moment a member receives any information to suggest that someone is contemplating a claim or an event has occurred which could give rise to a claim, it should be reported to the MIABC as soon as possible. If there is any doubt about involving the MIABC, just give us a call.
What is the importance of reporting?
Reporting a claim or incident in a timely manner ensures that the ability of the MIABC to investigate and defend the claim is not prejudiced and therefore avoids jeopardizing coverage under the policy. Even minor matters should be reported because they may have the potential to escalate as the facts develop.
What is the downside of reporting?
There is no downside. Rest assured the MIABC will make every effort to deal with the matter in an expeditious and cost effective manner. For example, if the matter is categorized as an incident, it is dealt with by the MIABC at no charge to the member. For claims, the cost of investigating (such as adjusters’ fees) will not apply against the member’s deductible unless their claim has progressed to the stage of legal action. In the absence of a lawsuit, the MIABC pays for the investigation costs.
A Notice of Civil Claim (Supreme Court), Notice of Claim (Small Claims Court), or any court document served on a local government should be forwarded to the MIABC immediately. Such court documents will include a deadline for response. Failure to comply with the deadline could lead to default judgment against the local government. Staff in all departments of the local government should be made aware of this and contingency plans or standing instructions should be in place for when staff who would normally receive and deal with legal documents for the local government are unavailable.
Information Required to Report a Claim or Incident
If your local government has received a written claim from a member of your municipality, a notice letter must be emailed or faxed immediately to the Director of Claims or Deputy Director of Claims
You are welcome to draft your own notice letter. Please include all relevant documentation, which may include:
- time, date and location of the incident;
- any documentation received from a claimant;
- the names and contact information for the claimant or affected parties;
- the identity of independent contractors involved;
- copies of relevant contracts with third parties;
- police or fire service records;
- building inspection records (including permits);
- inspection and maintenance records;
- accident or incident reports;
- land surveys; and
- the names and contact information of witnesses.
Using the MIABC Website to View Your Claims
Information and resources are available under the Claims section of the web site including:
- Access to member-specific underwriting information.
- List of open claims.
- List of claims closed in the past six years.
- List of incidents reported in the past six years.
- Claim details including payment history.
- Claims Summary Reports.
- Claims Detail Reports.
Our website also includes a new Member Services section which contains information on many of the services provided by the Member Services Department. Members are encouraged to spend some time going through the site. The MIABC would be pleased to receive suggestions for improvements or reports of any problems with the website.
The Difference Between an Incident and a Claim
All matters reported to the MIABC are categorized as either an incident or a claim.
An incident is where an event has occurred that may give rise to a claim but the local government has not yet received a formal complaint or notice of claim.
The MIABC does not post reserves for incidents, does not hire adjusters, and does not assign claim numbers. The member’s deductible is therefore not triggered and all expenses associated with the investigation and handling of the incident are paid for by the MIABC. The processing of incidents is more streamlined, and incident files are normally open for a much shorter period of time than claim files. Again, this service is free of charge for members of the MIABC.
There are three main reasons for opening a new matter as an incident rather than a claim:
- If it is clear that the member will not be found liable and if the required information can be obtained quickly from the member, the MIABC will open the matter as an incident, complete the investigation as soon as possible, and then deny the claim.
- If the member learns of an occurrence that could become a claim, an incident file may be opened as a precaution to monitor the situation.
- If a member receives a small property loss claim and the member would like to handle the claim themselves, the member should still notify the MIABC of the matter, in which case the MIABC will monitor it as an incident as well.It should be noted that an incident can turn into a claim at any time, even after it has been closed.
A claim arises when a local government receives notice that contains an allegation of wrongdoing coupled with a request for compensation.
We will then send you an email acknowledging the MIABC’s receipt of the claim and to advise you that it will be assigned to a Claims Examiner. The Claims Examiner will assign a claim file number and will usually hire an adjuster to investigate. A preliminary estimate of the costs associated with the claim will be made and reserves set accordingly.