If you have been in a car accident, you have certain rights and benefits under your own car insurance policy. Every car insurance policy in Alberta has a section “A ”, “B ”, and “C”. In a previous article, I explained what rights and benefits you are entitled to under section B. It appears to me that, recently, car accident insurers in Alberta are becoming more and more difficult to deal with in terms of obtaining benefits under section B. It appears that in a greater number of cases the section B insurer is denying benefits at an earlier and earlier time. As the insured person and entitled to these benefits, there are some things that you can do to avoid or prevent the section B insurer from denying you the benefits that you should otherwise be entitled to.
The first thing that I would recommend is that you obtain the forms that are required to make the section B claim as soon as possible. You can do this by calling your insurer and giving them your e-mail address and slash or your fax number. I don’t recommend having then send it to you by mail this will only delay the receipt of the forms and the ability of you to claim benefits. Next, ensure that you fill out the forms completely and if you’re making a claim for loss of income, ensure that you provide a recent pay stub along with the forms. I am regularly hear from clients who say they have sent in the forms to their section B insurer and the section B insurer claims that they never received the forms. In order to avoid this situation I recommend that you fax the forms and keep the fax confirmation sheet. Additionally if you have the e-mail address of the adjuster that you’re dealing with, send the forms by e-mail and request a confirmation notification for your email. In any event, you can ensure that your claim is dealt with quickly by being on the phone to the adjuster on a daily basis. Be the “squeaky wheel” and don’t let the adjuster off the hook until they have dealt with your claim.
Once you have filled of the section B forms, you can start requesting reimbursement from the section B insurer. However, the second thing that I would recommend is, if at all possible, you delay requesting reimbursement of expenses from the section B insurer for as long as possible. If the section B insurer is unaware that you are spending their money, they will be much less likely to send you to their own “doctor”. In my experience, once they send you to “their” doctor, the likely outcome will be that you’ll be told there’s nothing wrong with you or ‘take two aspirin and you’ll be fine in the morning” and you’ll be denied any further benefits (reimbursement of treatment expenses). Of course, you may only be able to do this if you can afford to pay for your normal everyday necessities of life such as food and shelter. Unfortunately, after you have been in a car accident you may be out of work and unable to forward the necessities of life – let alone treatment expenses. I suspect that insurance companies rely on this sort of situation and have organized the wording of the policy so that it is extremely difficult to obtain or maintain benefits.
All of these issues are ones that I would recommend you discuss with a lawyer.