Insurance Claims

Claims handled by the City of Hamilton are generally analyzed in four categories:

  1. Liability – includes claims presented against the City by a third party for property damage, personal injury or monetary loss. The most common types of claims are sewer back-up, sidewalk falls, fallen tree limbs and potholes. Fleet or transit claims are not included under liability.
     
  2. Property – includes damage to City property such as buildings, equipment or machinery. The most common types of claims are vandalism, graffiti and theft.
     
  3. Motor vehicle accident – includes comprehensive, vandalism and collision damages to City fleet vehicles and bodily injury claims made against the City by third parties involved in accidents with City fleet vehicles.
     
  4. Transit – includes accident benefit and bodily injury claims made against the Hamilton Street Railway Company, or HSR, by third parties involved in accidents on or with HSR vehicles.

The City self-insures loss risks to certain levels on all claim categories. Similar to a deductible, self-insuring means that the City reserves for, and assumes losses, as follows:

Type of Loss Self-insured retention level
Liability $250,000
Property $500,000
Fleet liability $500,000
Fleet property damage $25,000
HSR liability $100,000

To make a claim against the City for property damage, submit a letter to the following address:

  • City of Hamilton
    Risk Management Services
    21 King Street West, Suite 1101
    Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4W7
    Fax: 905-540-5744

Your letter lets the City know about your claim. It should describe what was damaged, how it happened and the date and time of the occurrence. You should identify any contractors, equipment or operators where possible. This information is very important. Remember to include your name, home address, and all telephone numbers where you can be reached.

About Your Claim

When Risk Management Services receives your claim, an investigation will be started. You will receive a written reply to let you know your claim has been received. A decision will be made when all of the information has been reviewed and you will be advised as quickly as possible. Payment of a claim is contingent upon legal liability on the part of the City.

If your property has been damaged as a result of City construction activity, you should:

  • Write down the details of when and how the damage occurred; include the date, time and location.
  • If possible, identify the company, equipment or event that caused the damage.
  • Call your insurance company. Your insurance policy may provide coverage for your damages and your insurance company can pursue any party they believe to be responsible for the damages. This may be the quickest way to recover any costs and have repairs made.
  • Document your damages with photographs, original invoices and bills of sale. Keep any damaged property available for inspection.
  • If you wish to make a claim to the City for property damage, submit a letter to Risk Management Services.

 

Most sewer back-ups happen because the length of pipe that runs from your residce to the City sewer line is plugged or requires maintenance. City By-law 06-026 establishes that the maintenance and repair of the entire sewer lateral (yard sewer & private drain) is the property owner’s responsibility.

Many insurance policies cover damage from sewer back-ups. This may be the quickest way to recover any costs and have repairs made quickly. Your insurance company can pursue any party they believe to be responsible for the damages. A claim may be considered if the blockage was within the City sewer.  

If your vehicle has been damaged by a pothole, you should:

  • See a licensed motor vehicle mechanic. Do not continue to drive your vehicle if it is not operating properly.
  • Document the exact location of the pothole/ hazard.
  • Call your insurance company. Your vehicle insurance policy may provide coverage for this type of loss. Your insurance company or broker can provide you with this information.
  • Call the City. Road crews can investigate the hazard and take steps to fix the road.
  • If you wish to make a claim to the City for property damage, submit a letter to Risk Management Services.

If your property is flooded, you should:

  • Protect your property from further damage. Be aware of electrical hazards if you choose to move any property from the affected area.
  • Keep any damaged property available for inspection.
  • Call your insurance company. Many insurance policies cover flooding from the break of a public watermain. This is the quickest way to recover costs and have repairs made. Your insurance company can pursue any party they believe to be responsible for the damages.
  • If you wish to make a claim to the City for property damage, submit a letter to Risk Management Services.

To make a claim against the City for personal injury you must provide notice in writing within 10 days of the incident to:

  • City of Hamilton
    City Clerk
    71 Main Street West, City Hall, 2nd Floor
    Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5

The Municipal Act may require you to initiate a legal action within two years from the date of the incident. Contact your lawyer for further information.

Contact Us

To speak to a Risk Analyst or Claims Representative contact: 

Risk Management Services
21 King Street West, Suite 1101
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4W7
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 5742