What GIO can and can’t help with

The General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) is an impartial third-party that independently reviews and investigates consumer complaints against their insurance companies, as well as works with them to resolve their disputes.  Continue reading to find out more about when GIO can help and when a dispute may be outside of our mandate.

When can GIO review your complaint?

GIO can review your complaint once you have completed the complaint escalation process with your insurer and are in receipt of a final position letter from the insurer’s internal office of the Ombuds.

Tips for filing a complaint with your insurer:

  • Identify the problem, state why you think it’s a problem and set out what you would like to happen. Put down the facts in a logical order and provide relevant information and copies of documents.
  • Avoid unnecessary detail and repetition. If new issues arise while the complaint is going through the escalation process, it helps to reduce confusion and delays if you submit a new complaint for the new issue.
  • Ask for information when necessary.

 

If you don’t know how to start the process of complaint escalation with your insurer you can call us at 1-877-225-0446 or look up your insurer by name.

How does GIO’s process work?

If you have received a final response from the insurer that you are not satisfied with, and your complaint is within our mandate, we can begin our independent review. Our review process includes consumer assistance, informal conciliation, mediation and senior adjudication. To find out more about the process, you can review our step by step guide here.

What can GIO not help me with?

There are some things that are considered outside of GIO’s scope of services that we cannot assist consumers with. These include:

  • The cost of insurance and rates (this would be addressed with the regulator in your province or territory)
  • Availability of insurance (this would be addressed with the regulator in your province or territory)
  • Matters that have been, or are, before the courts (your matter would remain with the courts)
  • Dispute settlement procedures as required by law or designated regulatory authorities

 

*GIO’s experienced Consumer Service Officers (CSOs) will review a matter to determine if it falls within our mandate. For complaints outside of our mandate, our CSOs will review other options available to you.*

What does it mean when GIO references “Dispute settlement procedures as required by law or designated regulatory authorities”?

The Insurance Acts (provincial legislation) are under the purview of the provincial and territorial governments. This means that each province or territory in Canada has their own Insurance Act which outlines the obligations of both the insurance company and you as the insured person.  

So, this means that if a dispute resolution mechanism already exists in provincial legislation, we would defer to that process. But don’t worry, we can provide you with an understanding of the process and help guide you on where to get more information or resources that can help.

Dispute resolution legislation in each province:

See below to find out if your province or territory has a dispute resolution mechanism built into the insurance legislation:

 

If you want more information about what dispute resolution is and when you should consider it as an alternative, you can read more here.

Ready to file a complaint?

If you’re ready to file a complaint with GIO, you can submit your complaint here.  

GIO’s services provide consumers with an alternative solution to the courts. The primary objective is to resolve disputes efficiently and equitably. Finding a mutually agreeable solution in a confidential, non-confrontational, and cost-effective manner benefits all participants.

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