What to do when you receive a Notice Letter from us

When we are assisting someone who has been hurt, one of the first things we have to do is write to the potential defendant (the at-fault person or company) and put them “on notice” of a potential lawsuit.

One main purpose of sending out a notice letter is that it is the “official” way that we get in touch with the potential defendant’s insurance company.  So, we send the potential defendant a letter saying something like this:

We have been consulted by Joe Smith who was injured as a result of the above noted motor vehicle accident.

Enclosed please find a Notice of Intention to Commence an Action served upon you pursuant to the Insurance Act. Please refer this matter to your automobile insurer.

When you receive a letter like that, the first thing that you should do is call your insurance company .  If the letter is about a car accident, call your automobile insurer.  If the letter is about a slip and fall at your house or business, call your homeowner insurer or your commercial insurer.  Or, if the letter is about your dog biting someone, call your homeowner insurer.

It is somewhat surprising how many people don’t want to report claims to their insurer.  Some flat out refuse to do it.  Frankly, that is a terrible choice.  You have insurance for situations like these.  Your insurer will take care of everything (investigating the merits of the claim, appointing and paying a lawyer to defend the claim, and potentially paying out a settlement or trial award).  You will have very little to do and basically nothing to pay.

You may worry that your premiums will go up.  That may or may not be true, as your premiums can rise and fall for a number of reasons.

On the other hand, if you do not report the claim to your insurer, you are on your own.  You will have to pay your own lawyer and pay any damages award.  And, if you notify your insurer very late, they may deny coverage.

So, please, things are much simpler for everyone involved if you just notify your insurer when we ask you to.