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Real Estate and Business

Get Compensated For Fallen Tree Damage To Your Property

Toronto homeowners who have experienced tree damage to their homes may be able to get compensated from the City of Toronto. Among the most expensive damage caused to homes is fallen trees and large branches. In the event that such damage was caused by the City’s negligence in maintenance of City facilities, roads, trees and sewers, then you may qualify for compensation. In addition to property damage, damage can also include bodily injury.

According to the City of Toronto, from 2011-2016, there were 32,407 combined CGL, Auto & Property Insurance Claims against the City. The Total Estimated Value of the claims is $270,376,456, of which $108,039,785 has been paid.

Making a Claim against the City of Toronto

What you should know about filing a claim against the City of Toronto.

1. What You Should Consider When Making A Claim?

The City of Toronto is not your insurer.

If you have auto or property insurance, consider consulting your insurance company or broker first, for advice on how to deal with your loss. Your insurance coverage may be better than what you can recover from the City.

If your insurer believes the City is responsible for your damages, they may seek compensation against the City of Toronto on your behalf.

 

2. What is the difference between making a claim through my insurance company and making a claim against the City of Toronto?

  • Making a claim through your insurance company means that you are taking advantage of your insurance coverage according to your insurance policy. However, it may affect your insurance premiums.
  • Making a claim against the City of Toronto is a third-party liability claim, which means you believe that the City has been negligent in its maintenance of facilities, roads, trees and sewers, causing bodily injury and/or damage to your property, for which you are seeking compensation.
  • What you should know about going through your insurance:
    • Your insurance coverage is usually more extensive than what you may recover from the City through a third party liability claim.
    • Often your insurance company will pay for your loss up front, regardless of who is responsible for your damage. This will likely result in higher premiums in the future.
  • What you should know about making a claim against the City of Toronto:
    • Third party liability claims will take longer as an investigation will be conducted by the City’s adjusters to determine if the City was negligent, causing damage.
    • Payment from the City of Toronto is not guaranteed.
    • If the City is found to be negligent, the amount that you would receive in compensation is limited to its current value, rather than its replacement value.

3. What is Negligence?

The City of Toronto has an obligation to maintain its infrastructure. In the process, it must exercise a reasonable standard of care. The City may be found negligent if it fails to meet the appropriate standard of care, and that failure results in damage or injury to an individual or property.

If you choose to submit a claim against the City of Toronto, it is important to outline why you believe the City is responsible for your accident and provide proof of your damages. The City of Toronto will investigate to determine if it met its maintenance obligations.

If it is determined that the City did not exercise a reasonable standard of care, the City may be found to be negligent. In that case, the City will attempt to resolve your claim. Any compensation paid to you will be based on proof of damage resulting from the City’s negligence. However, if it is determined that the City did exercise a reasonable standard of care, your claim will be denied.

How To File A Claim With The City of Toronto

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How To Claim Fallen Tree Damages From City of Toronto

Fallen City of Toronto Trees causing damage
Fallen City of Toronto Trees

According to the City of Toronto Act, you are required to submit a claim letter or e-mail to the City Clerk for property damage or injury. You are encouraged to submit your claim as soon as possible after the occurrence or determination of damage.

The claim letter should include the following information:

  • Your name, home address, phone number and e-mail address
  • Date, time and location of accident which caused the property damage or injury
  • Exact municipal address including a diagram and/or photo of accident location should be submitted with claim letter
  • Describe how the accident happened and names, phone numbers of any witnesses
  • Detailed description of your property damage or injury
  • Include documentation that you believe support your claim such as: photos, receipts and estimates
  • Outline why you believe the City is responsible for the accident
  • Did you report this accident to the City, if so, please provide name(s) of City staff involved
  • If a City Contractor was involved please provide contractor’s name

Note:

  • Failure to provide exact municipal address will delay the processing of your claim
  • Scanned documents are acceptable- there is limit of 10 MB for each e-mail transmission

Where to submit your claim letter

Your claim letter can be sent by e-mail, mail or fax:

E-mail: claims@toronto.ca
Mail: City Clerk’s Office- Claims
City Hall
100 Queen Street West,
9th Floor, West Tower
Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2N2
Fax: 416-392-1870

The City of Toronto Clerk’s Office forwards all claims to the City’s insurance adjusters, ClaimsPro, for evaluation.

If you submitted by e-mail:

  • Claim letters submitted by e-mail will be acknowledged by the City Clerk’s Office within 2 business days upon receipt of your e-mail.
  • ClaimsPro will send an initial acknowledgement email within 2 business day upon receipt of your e-mail from the City Clerk’s Office.
  • A ClaimsPro Claims Adjuster will be assigned to investigate your claim and will also send you an acknowledgement e-mail within 2 business days of being assigned the claim.

If you submitted by mail or fax:

  • Claim letters submitted by mail or fax should receive an acknowledgement letter from the City Clerk’s Office within 10 business days upon receipt of your letter.
  • ClaimsPro will send an acknowledgement letter within 2 business days upon receipt of your letter from the City Clerk’s Office.
  • A ClaimsPro Claims Adjuster will be assigned to investigate your claim and will also send you an acknowledgement letter within 2 business days of being assigned the claim.
  • Generally, you should receive an acknowledgment letter within 10 business days, however delays may occur due to mail and courier service.

If you do not receive an acknowledgement letter please contact ClaimsPro at 416-252-4431.

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