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Dispute Resolution Steps
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Consumer Assistance

Insurance concerns? You have options regarding consumer advocacy and dispute resolution.

Canada’s home, car and business insurers strive to deliver the best possible service to their customers. It’s in their best interest to do so. With more than 200 companies competing for business, no insurer can afford to have a reputation for poor service.

Furthermore, insurers face severe financial repercussions if they treat a customer unfairly. Legal costs, court awards and fines stemming from a dispute can easily exceed $1 million. As a result, insurers will not engage in a dispute unless they believe there is a very good reason to do so.

Nevertheless, disputes and misunderstandings do occur.

If you have a complaint about your insurer or your insurance professional, it’s important to remember there are many options available to you. You are NOT powerless.

Depending on the nature of your complaint and the processes in place where you live, the steps you take can vary. Here is an overview of your options to help you make sure your concerns are addressed.

Step 1:

Ask your broker/agent, company representative or claims adjuster for an explanation.

Insurance policies are legal contracts that specify the rights and responsibilities of both parties. Misunderstandings about these rights and responsibilities can arise. Often, a simple explanation is all that is required.

You might also consult one of IBC’s Consumer Information Centres. Find out more about these consumer centres. Click here

Step 2:

Consult your insurance company's ombudsperson.

All federally/provincially licensed home, car and business insurers have a dispute-resolution mechanism in place, including a complaints liaison officer.

Get tips for making your complaint. Click here

Step 3:

Use the General Insurance OmbudService (GIO), an independent, regionally-based, consumer dispute-resolution system for the insurance industry.

Get details about the GIO. Click here

Step 4:

Consult your provincial Superintendent of Insurance.

The insurance industry is highly regulated at both the federal and provincial levels.

Get information about regulation at the federal level. Click here

Get information about regulation at the provincial level. Click here

Superintendents of Insurance, Advocates and Others Who Will Help Address your Concerns


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