Insurance Claim

Cenotaph

If you have incurred an injury or financial cost for an incident you believe falls under our responsibility, you can make a claim.

However, we encourage you to begin by contacting your insurance company or broker. Depending on the type of property damaged, as well as your insurance policy, you may be eligible for greater compensation than you could legally recover from us or another party.

How to make a claim

If you experience property damage, you should notify your insurance company of the loss. Failure to notify your insurer at the onset of the loss may affect your rights to recover costs under your insurance policy.

If you choose to make a claim against the City of Peterborough for property damage or personal injury, you must provide written notification as specified in the Municipal Act 2001.

In some situations, you are required to place the City of Peterborough on notice within 10 days of the incident. To ensure that your claim meets the notice requirement, please forward your claim within the 10 day period.

You can submit your claim using our online incident form or

By mail or in person at:

City Hall: City Clerk's Office – Claims

500 George Street North

Peterborough ON K9H 3R9

Or by fax 705-742-4138

Or by email – claims@peterborough.ca

Please ensure that your notice of claim includes the following information as applicable:

  • name, address and phone number of the person making the claim
  • name, address and phone number of the person submitting the claim if different from above
  • date, time and exact location (address or closest intersection) of the incident causing damage, injury or loss
  • a brief description of what happened
  • the type of damage or injury sustained; first aid administered or ambulance called
  • weather conditions
  • footwear worn
  • attach copies of repair estimates (at least two), invoices or expenses incurred as a result of the event, or list these and indicate “forthcoming”
  • attach photographs taken or drawn diagrams
  • list name(s) of City staff involved, where applicable
  • list name(s) of witness including contact information
  • list name(s) of any contractor involved, if known

Claims will be investigated without prejudice, based on facts, and under standard legal practices and principles.

The personal information collected to investigate your claim is collected under the authority of the Municipal Act 2001, S.O. 2001, C.25 and will be disclosed to staff and service providers who require the information to investigate your claim against the City of Peterborough. Questions about the collection of this personal information should be directed to the Insurance and Risk Coordinator, 705-742-7777 ext. 1652 or claims@peterborough.ca.

Fraudulent claims cost all taxpayers. The City will prosecute all fraudulent claims to the full extent of the law.

Claim handling process

After a notice of claim is received, the City will contact you to acknowledge receipt of the claim. Claim investigation times will vary based on complexity and severity. Most investigations will be complete within 90 days.

What are the considerations in evaluating a claim?

  • The facts of the alleged loss
  • Applicable Law
  • If the City has a legal responsibility
  • The claimant's role in the situation
  • The type and extend of the damages claims
  • Supporting documentation

The City's assessment of your claim is final. A claim will only be reconsidered if you can provide additional relevant evidence to support your claim, which was not originally considered.

Is there a limitation period to file a claim?

Yes, under the Limitations Act 2002, you must issue legal action (Statement of Claim) in an Ontario Court within two years of the date of loss. Written notice to the City alone does not satisfy the requirement.

How do I check the status of my claim?

Contact the Insurance and Risk Coordinator at 705-742-7777 ext. 1652 or claims@peterborough.ca.

City compensation for your costs

Payment for your property damage or bodily injury depends on the City being found legally responsible because of a negligent act or omission which resulted in damage or injury.

In all cases of damage, you should contact your insurance company or broker. Your insurance policy may provide coverage for damage and this may be the quickest way to have the repairs done and recover costs. Your insurance company may pursue any party they believe to be responsible for the damage.

Types of claims

Potholes, sidewalks and road hazards

How do I report a pothole, sidewalk or road hazard?

Contact the Public Works Division at 705-745-1386. This telephone line is answered 24/7. You will need to provide the closest street address or closest intersection for this service request. The exact location of the hazard will be recorded and an inspection arranged so that the appropriate action is taken.

My vehicle was damaged in a pothole on a City road, what should I do?

Report the hazard to the Public Works Division at 705-745-1386.

It is your responsibility to ensure your vehicle is operated in a safe manner. Should you feel your vehicle is not roadworthy, contact your insurance company for guidance.

Will the City pay for my damages?

The City adheres to the provisions of the Provincial Minimum Maintenance Standards (MMS) for Municipal Highways (Ontario Regulation 239/02). These provisions dictate the frequency of road inspection and repair.

By meeting the MMS provisions, liability will not be found against the City for damage to privately owned vehicles. If you feel your vehicle has been damaged due to an improperly maintained road, you should immediately contact your automobile insurer. They may seek compensation from the City on your behalf.

Claims for non-repair of a municipal roadway must be received in writing by the City within ten (10) days of the incident. Follow the procedure outlined in the Making a Claim section of this site.

It is important to note that the City is not responsible for all the roads in the region. Condominium Associations, private lanes and parking lots are not under the control of the City of Peterborough.

Sewer back-ups

When there is a sewer back-up what should I do?

Please contact the City Public Works Division at 705-745-1386 to report the problem. This telephone line is answered 24/7. A City staff member will attend to investigate the cause.

You may be able to control the degree or amount of back-up by not using your plumbing until you have the sewer problem checked.

If you have damage to your property due to a sewer back-up, contact your insurance company. Many insurance policies cover damage for sewer back-ups. Your insurance coverage may be more extensive than what you could recover from the City and this may be the quickest way to have repairs made. Your insurance company may pursue any other party they believe to be responsible for the damages and recover costs.

A claim may still be made directly against the City by following the procedure outlined in the Making a Claim section of this page. Please be aware that the onus will be on you to demonstrate the City's negligence.

What causes a sewer back-up?

Most sewer back-ups happen when the sewer line, called the lateral, is plugged or requires maintenance. Blockages can be caused by a number of problems; root invasion, grease build-up or pieces of debris that have been flushed down a drain.

What is a sewer lateral?

The sewer lateral is a length of pipe that runs from your building to the City sewer line. It consists of a privately owned section and a municipally owned section, separated at the property line.

What is the City sewer?

The City sewer runs underneath the roadway collecting waste from sewer laterals and transporting it to the sewage treatment facility.

What is the privately owned section?

The privately owned section is the portion of the lateral located on your property between the building and the property line.

What is the municipally owned section?

The municipally owned section is the portion of the lateral located on the street right-of-way between your property line and the main sewer.

Trees

Property damaged by a City tree

Please contact Public Works at 705-745-1386 to report the damage. This number is answered 24/7.

Will the City pay for my damages?

Each claim will be examined individually. You will need to demonstrate that the City was negligent in some way. A branch falling from a City tree during a windstorm or weather event does not necessarily mean the City was negligent. If you choose to make a property damage claim, follow the procedure outlined in the Making a Claim section of this page.

Vehicle accident

Involved in an accident with a City vehicle?

The Province of Ontario is governed by the Direct Compensation Rules of the Insurance Act. Regardless of fault, all physical damage must be reported to, and paid for, by your own automobile insurer.

The Highway Traffic Act requires you to report the accident to the police if the combined damage exceeds $2,000 or if there are injuries. In addition, if you feel the other party violated a traffic code, resulting in the accident, you must report the accident regardless of damage.

Personal injury

Injured at a City owned facility, City street or sidewalk?

The Municipal Act, 2001, as amended, places time restrictions on the reporting of accidents on roads and sidewalks including those involving slip, or trip, and fall. Such incidents must be reported to the City within ten (10) days of the occurrence in order to be considered. Follow the procedure outlined in the Making a Claim section of this page.

If you are injured within a City facility, immediately report the injury to City staff.

City construction projects

Property damaged as a result of City construction activity?

If you encounter damage to your property from a City construction project, write down the details of when and how the damage occurred; include the date, time and location. If possible, identify the company and equipment or event that caused the damage. Please refer to the information on preparing a notice of claim, as detailed under the Making a Claim section of this page.

Your insurance company may provide coverage for your damage then pursue any party they believe to be responsible for the damages. This may be the quickest way to have repairs made and recover costs.

If possible, document your damage with photographs, estimates, original invoices, and bills of sale. Keep any damaged property available for inspection.

If you wish to make a claim for property damage, follow the procedure outlined in the Making a Claim section of this site. Each claim will be examined individually and judged on its own merit. Contractors hired to do work on the City's behalf are required to provide General Liability Insurance for the project. Claims associate with this work are the responsibility of the contractor.

Damage to City property

If you have damaged City property, you must report the damage to claims@peterborough.ca Please ensure you include the date, location and description of the damage along with your contact information and the contact information of your insurer.

The City of Peterborough seeks recovery of costs from the individuals responsible for damage to City Property such as street lights, fences and signs.

Water main break

If you encounter a water main break or a concern about your water delivery system, please contact the Peterborough Utilities Group at 705-748-9300.The water distribution system in the City of Peterborough is managed by the Peterborough Utilities Group.

Power outages and other electrical issues

The power distribution system serving the City of Peterborough is managed by Peterborough Utilities Group. Should a concern arise regarding electrical services, please contact Peterborough Utilities Group at 705-748-9300.

These guidelines about insurance claims are provided for information only and are not intended to be legal advice. Claimants should consult their own legal counsel.