Before Filing an AABS Application
You are encouraged to talk to your insurance company and try to settle your dispute before starting the AABS process. Settling your dispute with your insurance company is the fastest and least costly way to resolve your claim.
PLEASE NOTE: These steps are meant to help you settle your dispute quickly, but the law states that you must file an application with AABS within two years from the date that your insurance company denies your policy benefits. The two-year time limit is important. If you do not apply to AABS within two years, it is very possible that your application will be refused.
Some steps you may want to take before filing an application with AABS:
1. Write a letter to the insurance company
- Explain the reason you are making the claim;
- Summarize the facts; and
- List what you want, and if this includes money, how you have calculated the amount
The insurance company should answer you in writing. The reply should include whether they accept or deny your claim and the reasons why.
2. Exchange important documents that explain why you made the claim
Exchanging important documents with the insurance company – like a police accident/incident report or a hospital discharge summary - may help you and your insurance company understand your differences and may provide information that will allow you to settle.
3. Consider other ways to resolve your dispute
Before you apply to AABS you may want to consider negotiation or mediation services.
AABS recommends that:
- The parties continue trying to reach a settlement at all times;
- Each party review all documents and evidence to see if AABS proceedings can be avoided; and
- Even after an AABS claim is filed, the parties work to narrow-down their differences and agree about important facts.
Who can apply to AABS?
The person injured by the accident or an insurance company can apply to AABS if there is a disagreement about the injured person’s entitlement to accident benefits or the amount of benefits that should be paid, and this dispute cannot be settled.
If an insurance company believes an individual has been paid too much under their policy, the company can file an AABS application to have the money returned.
AABS does not hear disputes about:
- damages for pain and suffering;
- damage to cars or other property;
- who was at fault in the accident; and
- which insurer is responsible for your claim.
When can you go ahead with an AABS application?
If an insurance company denies or stops paying benefits to an insured person, they must provide written notice of this decision that includes the reason(s) for their decision, to you. You can file an AABS application after you receive that denial notice. Remember, you must file an application within two years after the denial notice from the insurance company.