November 10, 2014

Jeffrey J. Nieuwenburg

Claims adjuster

People buy home or tenants insurance so they are covered if the unexpected happens. But even if damage is covered by insurance, will you and your insurance company be able to agree on the value of lost items and the appropriate cost of repairs?

Today CBC’s Go Public reported about an Ontario couple that that have been in a nearly year-long dispute with their insurance company concerning the value of the contents of their home destroyed in fire.

Luckily for home owners and tenants in British Columbia, there is a process for resolving these types of disputes which may be done without a lawyer. Section 12 of the Insurance Act allows customers to require their insurance company to participate in an appraisal process to determine the value of damaged items and required repairs. Customers can hire an independent insurance adjuster to represent them in the appraisal process.

In some cases, consumers may need to file a lawsuit to protect their legal rights. There are time limits to file a lawsuit, so consumers should consult with a lawyer if they are unsure of the deadlines that apply to them. If a consumer makes an insurance claim in BC, the company is required to advise of these dates.

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