Insurance Claim Woes Starring Aviva Canada

In my previous post, I described how my family was affected when our car was stolen. In this post, I will walk you through the insurance claim woes I ran into while trying to keep it as short as possible..

When Aviva Canada made me an offer for my stolen car ($8426.41 Including HST) I felt it was a very low offer. After some research of my own I found it was selling anywhere between $8800 and $10,998 on AutoTrader without HST. The car I had was in excellent condition, so I figured I would refuse the offer and see what they came back with.

The second offer was $9040 including HST. I once again refused the offer and asked for the middle range of what the vehicle was worth. My whole train of thought is I should be able to buy the exact same vehicle with the cheque that the insurance company provides me. Even the lowest priced vehicle would be $9944 including HST.

After the second offer was made, I was told that the rental vehicle was due back 5 days later. I would still not have a cheque in my hand by then so I contacted the manager of the department to plead my case. My exact e-mail was:

A fair replacement market value for the vehicle is what should have been offered in the first place. There is only 2 cars identical for sale in my area within 50km of my home. 

I would like to have the rental car period extended until I receive a settlement cheque. Please pass this along to the manager reviewing the claim as I feel this decision is unfair treatment and an attempt to make me accept a low settlement amount by forcing me to be without a vehicle until the claim is settled.

And this is the response I received:

 Unfortunately we can not extend the rental. The appraiser had presented a value after doing research. Had there been an agreement a cheque would have been to you on August 6. The appraiser still feels this value is fair, however I have escalated it to management for one final review.


So here is my question,

When the appraiser is doing their research, what exactly is the criteria for the value based on?

I have paid roughly $25,000 in insurance premiums in the last 10 or 11 years and have never questioned my rates or had a late payment. When it is the insurance companies turn to pay (in this case, Aviva Canada) they low ball you hoping you accept the offer. After reviewing they make you a second offer of which you have no real choice to accept.

Had I chosen to dispute their final offer, I would have had to find an independent appraiser of my own to dispute their appraisal. The problem with this is you must pay your appraiser and cover the rental vehicle until the claim is settled, so in the end it is not beneficial to dispute with them any further.

In my case, my car was stolen. I would like to know exactly how my own appraiser would determine the value of the vehicle without having a vehicle to look at. I bet you my appraiser would be doing the same thing I did….looking on Auto Trader.

I would definitely say that this is a case of big company pushing little guy around.

This is just my small rant on the entire insurance process. This stolen vehicle ended up costing me over $2000 in under payment from Aviva Canada and the contents of the vehicle that were not worth claiming when the $500 deductible was taken into account.

I do encourage someone from the insurance industry to comment on this and help me understand why they must steal from the poor and give to the rich.



Posted on August 5, 2014 in Blog

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About the Author

I am a freelance photographer and web designer / graphic designer with a flair for creativity and a passion for anything digital. I love to learn about new and emerging technologies. I currently reside in cambridge, ontario with my beautiful wife and 2 (mostly well behaved) children.

Responses (7)

  1. Devon
    November 24, 2014 at 3:59 pm · Reply

    Did you ask for a copy of the valuaiton the appraiser completed ? Then you could verify they included all of the options your vehicle had when comparing against other vehicles. Also, the mileage of a vehicle has a huge bearing on the value as well,. Did your vehicle have more, less or average mileage compared to the vehicles you saw on Auto Trader.
    Did you ask your broker for assistance ? I am now a broker, but worked as an Auto Adjuster for 10 years and spent 3 of those years with Aviva. I can tell you from experience that the adjuster could care less how much he pays you for your vehicle, he just has to justify why he is paying that amount. (ie, appraiser report, comparable vehicles higher than settlement amount, etc..)
    Amd, despite popular belief, Adjusters are not told to low ball the customers. Most Adjusters dread the total loss settlement call as no one ever agrees with the price. Adjusters need to be able to show why the vehicle is worth more than what the valuation came in at. It can be as simple as the wrong vehicle edition or wrong options being on the appraisal. You shouild always ask for a copy of the appraisal.

    • Tim Piche
      November 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm · Reply

      Hi Devon,

      I tried providing them with comparable vehicles from Auto Trader as well as contacting the broker. The vehicles I had found were within 50 km of my home with similar mileage and exact same trim options. The adjuster told me that I had only sent in the highest ads and that I was trying to bump up the price of the vehicle. I invited the adjuster to do their own search and they said that job belonged to another department.

  2. Katie
    January 29, 2015 at 8:52 pm · Reply

    I too am having serious issues with Aviva Canada, and i promise you. as soon as this claim is settled. it will be the LAST time i deal with them as MY company. (currently seeking another company)

  3. Donna
    June 24, 2015 at 7:27 pm · Reply

    My car was stolen a month ago.. the car is in an impound 200 km away.. they took it there after it was found smashed into a pole the same day. They refused rental coverage after 10 days .. won’t provide any information. . They say they don’t have the police report.. today I received a notice that I have to get an oath signed by a commissioner… pay for storage .. I ended up taking the rental back because I had to pay for it myself.. picking up a new car, with a new insurance company. . Because I can’t cancel the insurance on the stolen car. They haven’t even offered any payment.. because they think I had the car stolen. ..the car was worth more to me as it was paid for and now I have payments. NEVER go with AVIVA..

  4. Bansi
    November 11, 2015 at 12:43 am · Reply

    I am quite disgusted at how Aviva is handling my claim. Despite providing all the required information, my claim is still “without prejudice”

    Darryl pushes us around. One month later, I am still making payments for this car and he still has my claim on “without prejudice”. Disgraceful.

    I will now go to social medial with must case and move to the courts if necessary.

    Could you imagine if my house had burnt down ? I also have my home insurance with this terrible company.

    Stay away from this company.

  5. Neil
    January 21, 2016 at 10:56 am · Reply

    For the past 8 months they have been giving me the run-around after my RV was damaged after being sunk. The unit needed to be extricated using heavy equipment and ended up being twisted out of shape and cracked. The run-around started with Aviva Elete outsourcing the adjusters job to another company. That company in-turn outsourced it to another adjuster. I have had two major licenced shops check it over and they have deemed the unit beyond repair.I have sent all documentation and photos that their adjuster provided to the factory service center and they have quoted almost $180,000.00 to repair the unit. Their appraiser had me drive the damaged unit (which was barely derivable and unsafe) to an unlicensed shop for inspection. He then came out with a quote of $30,000.00 which they insist I take in a cash settlement and have the repairs done myself. After I complained about that they had a local shop weld together a tie rod end so that they could order me to drive it over 300 miles away to have the Aviva adjuster look at it. It was one of the most terrifying drives I have ever had to make and it took over 8 hours to complete. The adjust did not show up and I was forced to leave the unit there for him to look at and make my way back home. It has been down there for over 2 months now and there is no way I can drive it back without the front suspension and steering being properly repaired. There is no shop in the world that will even consider repairing the damages for the amount that they want me to settle for. I have 8 months of unanswered calls and emails from the worst customer service you have ever had to deal with and have been told that I will be losing my rights to this claim if I don’t accept their offer within the next 4 months. After asking to speak to their ombudsman I was denied the right to even bring my case to him/her. I was told that I can “hire my own appraiser” and they might consider looking at their findings. Tell me, where do you find an appraiser that wants to go up against a company like Aviva? My next step is to contact the General Insurance Ombudsman and see if there is any help from that end. Beware, IMHO these people are as shady and heartless as it comes and you will regret the day that you ever signed up with them.

    I have now purchased and set up a website somewhat like this one in order to give aviva customers a place to talk about their experiences and possible solutions that they may have found in dealing with this company.

  6. thomas deuling
    May 7, 2016 at 12:33 am · Reply

    I live in Edmonton, Alberta. I was working for a car dealer here. I was told to park on the other side of the fenced property. I did so, in the afternoon I came back to my car. I slipped and fell and broke my femur and hip bone in my right leg. I was in a hospital for 2 months and finally released to come home. Aviva was my employer’s insurance company. My lawyer received a letter from the adjuster stating that it was my own fault this happened! My lawyer is continuing to proceed with a lawsuit now. They are deceitful and liars. We finally got them to admit it was the employer’s fault for making me park there and rather in their lot. So, not only is it car claims they don’t do, it is also personal injury claims. They don’t have any expertise in this matter at all!!! Luckily, I have a good lawyer.

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