Calgary Personal Injury Firm for Insurance Broker Negligence Claims
People and businesses obtain insurance policies primarily for peace of mind should the unthinkable happen. If your car or home is severely damaged, you suffer injuries in a car accident, or your business experiences a significant loss due to circumstances beyond your control, you want to know you will be protected. Without adequate insurance coverage, a person or business is vulnerable if they experience a significant financial setback. For this reason, parties rely on the advice and experience of licenced insurance brokers to ensure they obtain the appropriate coverage for their specific circumstances.
Like all professional services, insurance brokers owe a duty of care to their clients to ensure their coverage is sufficient for their unique needs. Also like all professionals, there is potential for a broker to act negligently, leaving their client exposed to financial risk. In these situations, what are the client’s options?
At Cuming & Gillespie, our lawyers are dedicated to helping injured parties seek compensation when they suffer a loss due to the negligent actions of others. We regularly guide clients through the process of seeking compensation for losses they suffer due to various forms of professional negligence, including medical malpractice. We also have a thorough understanding of how Alberta’s insurance industry operates, and we know how to effectively bring a claim in situations where an insurance broker’s negligence has left a client underinsured or under-compensated.
Ways in Which an Insurance Broker May be Negligent
Insurance brokers owe a duty to each client to make sure they fully appreciate the client’s coverage needs and advise them accordingly. Most brokers are extremely conscientious in providing their services, however, in some cases they may fail to meet the requisite standard of care.
Often, a person obtaining insurance is relying on the expertise of their broker to recommend the policy that will best protect them. An insurance broker must take the time to fully appreciate each client’s specific needs and circumstances in order to fully assess their exposure to risk. If a broker fails to ensure a client has adequate coverage to protect their interests, they may be found negligent. For example, if a broker fails to appreciate the needs of a client’s business or industry, they may fail to recommend coverage that could be essential to that client’s business. It is incumbent upon a broker to ask the questions necessary to understand the risks their client may be exposed to, so they can ensure they have ample coverage.
Most insurance policies contain specific exclusions to prohibit coverage under certain circumstances. For example, most motor vehicle insurance policies will exempt the insured from coverage if they were found to be driving while impaired at the time of an accident. However, it is up to each insurance broker to fully inform their client of any exclusions under a policy they are considering. Without this information, an insured may assume their coverage is much broader than it actually is.
Failure to Advise of Additional Coverage Options
Purchasing a standard policy may not always be sufficient to protect an insured against financial loss. For example, drivers often rely on the fact that all other drivers on the road have adequate car insurance policies to cover themselves and other parties in the event of an accident. However, if you are in an accident with a person who is uninsured or underinsured, you may not be able to recover damages for all of the losses your or your family suffer. For this reason, many people choose to purchase supplementary coverage to give themselves greater peace of mind.
When it comes to car insurance, many drivers in Alberta opt to purchase Standard Endorsement Form 44 (SEF 44), otherwise known as the Family Protection Endorsement. In the event the at-fault driver is underinsured or uninsured (or in cases where the at-fault driver fails to remain at the scene), SEF 44 will mirror the amount of your liability insurance to provide additional coverage if the at-fault driver is unable to pay the full amount of your damages after an accident.
Contact Cuming & Gillespie in Calgary for a Legal Team Experienced in Insurance Broker Liability Claims
We rely on insurance brokers to advise us of our insurance coverage needs to protect us in a variety of circumstances. When that trust is broken through an act of negligence, it is important that we have recourse to hold that broker accountable and seek damages for our loss. If you believe your broker may have acted negligently, resulting in your financial loss, the lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie can help.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident or another incident for which you find yourself underinsured, you should contact an experienced lawyer right away. The knowledgeable team of personal injury lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie will help determine whether your lack of insurance coverage is the result of negligence or error which may warrant a claim against your insurance broker. We take the time and effort to ensure that you have to strongest case possible and that the playing field is even when facing any dispute with your insurer or brokerage company.
Call us at 403-571-0555 or reach out online to book a free consultation. We will review your case and discuss your options with you.