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Council Looking to Help Extend Insurance Claim Deadline

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Council Looking to Help Extend Insurance Claim Deadline

Mayor Don Scott speaking with reporters // Jaryn Vecchio - Harvard Broadcasting

Residents still having trouble with insurance claims could be getting an extension on an upcoming deadline.

The two-year statement of claim cutoff is fast approaching – scheduled for May 2. This means people must send in their claim or notice to their insurance company before that date.

“If you haven’t done a claim then the insurance companies could literally throw up their hands and say hey it’s too late – you didn’t bring your claim in time,” said Mayor Don Scott.

If people miss the cutoff date they won’t receive any funds while losing their ability to take legal action.

On March 19, Scott sent a letter to Premier Rachel Notley and Joe Ceci, Minister of Finance and person responsible for the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance. In it, he’s asked for a one-year extension of the deadline.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people who aren’t in a position to start a claim, some of them don’t even have the money – I’ve been counseling a lot of people to make sure you attend to this deadline because people who don’t could be in big trouble.”

Scott adds many insurance companies have already extended the deadline for their clients. If so, it’s being recommended that people get a written copy to prove this.

Personally, he’s heard from a handful of people concerned over cutoff – prompting council to ask for the extension.

“What I like to see is the insurance industry come forward as a united front and say we’re going to voluntarily extend the deadline by a year.”

Meanwhile, the Insurance Bureau of Canada is giving residents some tips before the deadline comes and goes.

Director, Consumer, and Industry Relations for IBC’s Western Region Rob de Pruis says the first step is talking to your adjuster.

“They’re working very hard and insurance companies are working diligently with policyholders to try to resolve their outstanding issues. Keep an open mind when dealing with your claim and try to work through the issues with your insurance companies.”

He adds people in a dispute can contact IBC to learn more about options they can take, including legal, before the cutoff.

“Some people aren’t back in their home after almost two-years and people are working really hard to get the people back in their home,” added de Pruis.

So far, over 50,000 claims have gone through the process, the majority being resolved.

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