Insurance Brokers and Insurance Agents are the professionals that we count on to advise us about the different insurance policies and coverages that are available to protect our businesses and our families from fires, car accidents and disability.
Not all insurance policies are created equal. The Insurance Act and regulations provide some protection to consumers but most people follow the recommendations of their insurance broker or agent. It is important to have regular reviews of your insurance coverage to make sure that you have enough insurance to cover the financial risks that could affect you.
You should find out from your broker or agent if your automobile policy covers basic accident benefits and what the cost is to purchase optional benefits. If you don’t have any disability insurance coverage through work or a private policy you might be drastically underinsured for a loss of income if you are disabled because of a car accident.
You should also ask your broker or agent if you have enough liability insurance. You should be able to purchase additional liability insurance for affordable increases in your premiums. You might also want to consider purchasing an umbrella liability policy to increase the amount of liability coverage that you have. Most brokers and agents can sell you this coverage. If they don’t then you should ask for a referral to another broker or agent that can offer you the coverage that you need.
Home and property insurance policies in Ontario can have very different coverages and exclusions. Most people do not read their policies because they can be very difficult to understand. There is no standard home or property insurance policy in Ontario. The exclusions and limitations on your property policy may be different from your neighbor’s policy. A broker or agent will be able to tell you the differences between the different home insurance policies that they offer. For example, some insurance policies exclude damage for mould and environmental pollution. Some insurance policies limit the amount of coverage that you would have for a sewer backup or it might be excluded altogether.
In serious cases, such as a total loss house fire or car accident that causes a disability, policyholders can be shocked to find out that they did not have the right kind of coverage or enough coverage. If an insurance dispute arises where the broker or agent did not provide proper advice, information or recommendations it may be necessary to retain a lawyer to advance the claim for professional negligence. Fortunately, brokers and agents in Ontario typically carry professional liability insurance in the event of an error.
If you have had a serious accident or loss and you feel that you should have had better insurance coverage please contact one of our lawyers to discuss your case.