What is an ombudservice?
In its broadest definition, an ombudservice or ombudsman is an independent organization or individual, who is charged with representing the interests of the public by investigating and addressing complaints by citizens.
What is the General Insurance OmbudService?
The General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) is an independent organization, created in 2002, with the sole purpose of helping Canadian consumers resolve disputes or concerns with their home, auto or business insurance.
Our primary goal is to use our extensive experience and industry-related insight to work toward a fair solution between you and your insurance provider.
How much does this service cost?
Our services are available, free of charge, to anyone in Canada who has a concern, problem or dispute with their home, auto or business insurance company. Our independent, impartial services are available in both English and French.
What sorts of insurance-related problems can GIO help me with?
GIO specializes in resolving consumer complaints with home, auto and business insurance providers only. We do not handle complaints about life, health or disability insurance matters. If you have an issue with a life, health or disability provider, you may contact the ‘Consumer Assistance’ centre at the Canadian Life and Heath Insurance OmbudService at www.clhio.ca.
GIO does not handle complaints related to the cost or availability of insurance. Similarly, we are not in a position to handle matters that have been (or are) before the courts. We do, however, specialize in resolving consumer complaints with home, auto and business insurance providers.
I am frustrated about a dispute or concern with my home, auto or business insurance provider. How do I get GIO involved?
Using our services is simple and straightforward. First, please verify that the nature of your complaint falls within GIO’s mandate (insert link to ‘Who Can Use GIO’). The next step is to contact us by telephone (1-877-225-0446), e-mail (insert link to e-mail address), or with our easy-to-use online complaint form (insert link to online complaint form). Our services are strictly confidential and your information will not be shared without your permission (insert link to Privacy Statement).
When you call GIO’s toll-free number, you will speak with one of our experienced, courteous consumer service officers, who will listen to your concerns and engage in a friendly, informal discussion aimed at guiding your issue toward resolution.
What is the ‘mediation process’ and how does it work?
Often, your initial discussion with GIO results in an acceptable resolution to your concern. If the issue has not been resolved at this stage, you will be asked to complete several forms to outline the details of your complaint. Upon review of this information, the decision may be made to proceed to mediation.
The mediation process is conducted in an impartial environment and is provided to you free of charge. GIO will provide a neutral, third-party, professional mediator to help you and your insurance company resolve your differences in an impartial, informal and confidential manner.