A recent article said picking up the phone to talk to an insurance broker is going in the same direction as the CD and the Walkman did – online. That is, more people in Canada are choosing to buy insurance coverage virtually.
Shopping for insurance products online lets people pick and choose the coverages they want, opt for usage-based insurance, and compare a diverse range of products before making a decision.
But what impact (if any) does buying insurance from an insurance broker have in the event of a personal injury claim?
Can An Insurance Broker Be Liable?
Before there is an insurance claim there is the start of it all – buying the insurance policy. Brokers act as the intermediary between the insurance company and you (the insured). But the Supreme Court considers insurance brokers to be “more than mere salespeople”.
What Is an Insurance Broker Responsible For?
Insurance brokers owe customers a duty of care “to convey information but also to provide counsel and advice.” That means failing to advise customers about coverage, exclusions, and optional benefits can lead to insurance brokers being found liable for underinsurance in the event of an accident.
Role in the Claims Process
If you need to claim on your insurance policy (for instance, for an auto accident or property damage), you can report it to your insurance broker.
If you purchased your insurance policy through a broker, they may be the ones who record the particulars of the claim and offer to assist in filing it on your behalf.
Any mistake a broker makes while recording the claim can negatively impact the benefits/compensation you receive. You have to ensure facts are recorded correctly as any mistakes can prove costly later on in the claim’s process.
Can You Trust Your Broker To Guide You Through The Insurance Claim?
An insurance broker is well suited to guide you through the claim’s process, but note that a broker is not an insurance claims lawyer. They may be able to guide you through the technicalities of the process, but they cannot advise you on what you may be entitled to claim.
There is also the issue of conflict of interest. Brokers inherently “work for” the insurance company (being paid commissions for the policies they sell). They do not have an incentive to maximize the compensation you receive.
What Will Be The Role Of Insurance Brokers Moving Forwards?
In a heavily digital world, insurance brokers are expected to remain valuable touchpoints for insurance companies. Talking to a broker about an insurance policy or insurance claim is a comfort for many.
However, for expert guidance about an accident that has caused catastrophic injury, it’s best you discuss your case with insurance claim lawyers. We can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Book your free consultation with our experienced lawyers today. We’ll tell you the next steps and who may be liable.
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