An Example: Car Accident
Imagine a standard car accident claim. You are injured in an accident caused by another driver. Below, is a simplified image depicting a straightforward rear-ending collision, as an example.
Seems simple enough, right? However, there are many people involved in even the most straight-forward car accident claim. For example:
A car accident can be overwhelming on its own, particularly if someone has been injured or hurt. The various parties involved can add to this sense of confusion. Time after time we hear from people who are overwhelmed and confused by the sheer number of different adjusters and other individuals involved in a claim.
Who is this “PD” adjuster? Why is this person called a “BI” adjuster calling? How are they different from the other person whose title is “AB” adjuster? Who do I talk to about getting more physio treatments approved?
This is only the tip of the iceberg. The whole scenario can be much more confusing when both drivers involved in the collision have policies of insurance with the same insurance company, or if one party does not have insurance, or if there are injured passengers.
That is why we have drafted this blog – to help you sort through the complex web of people shown above. Below, we break down the different parties and adjusters involved in a collision and explain what each one’s role is.
Your insurance company
Let’s start off with your insurance company.
After you’ve been in an accident, you will want to report the collision to your insurance company right away, as there are time limits that can affect your ability to open a car accident claim and access coverage. Learn more about what you need to remember to do right after a collision here.
Before we dive into the different adjusters that your insurance company will assign to your file, let’s begin by clarifying who “your insurance company” is, because it is not always straightforward.
If you are both the owner of the vehicle and the driver of the vehicle at the time of the accident, then who “your insurance company” is should be straightforward: it is the company that you have purchased a policy of insurance from. If you are the driver of someone else’s vehicle, then (in most cases) “your insurance company” would be the company that the owner of the vehicle purchased insurance from. If you are the passenger in a vehicle, “your insurance company” would (in most cases) be the company that the owner of the vehicle purchased insurance from.
Please note that the above are simplified examples. There may be other factors that complicate whose insurance will cover you and be considered as “your insurance company” for the purposes of your car accident claim.
To learn more about your insurance policy’s Section B coverage, read our past blog post here.
When you call your insurance company to report an accident, they will most likely open a claim. Depending on what you report to them and the coverage that you have under your insurance policy, your claim may have up to 2 adjusters assigned to it: a Property Damage (or “PD adjuster”) and/or an Accident Benefits (or “AB adjuster”). Each of these adjusters serves a different role, which we outline briefly below.
Throughout the lifetime of your file, you will be in contact with the adjuster(s) from your insurance company, as they approve repairs to your vehicle, and treatments, disability payments, and other coverage, as applicable, to help you recover from your injuries.
- deals with the property damage aspect of the claim (damage to your car, etc)
- may not be applicable if you or the owner of the vehicle have not purchased “fully comprehensive coverage” or Section C coverage as part of the insurance policy
deals with damage to your person including
physical and psychological injuries, and approves coverage for treatments, prescription medication, ambulance bills, disability benefits etc